Cape Town Day 9 & 10 (Vlog) | Chilling at the Waterfront

- Day 9 -

These two days were really chilled mainly because I was still feeling sick from my flu.

After waking up, we went to the Waterfront to have some breakfast, and then headed to Pick n’ Pay supermarket located inside the waterfront mall to pick up some pills. One thing I noticed and I really like about South African supermarkets is that all the price tags are electronic displays. That’s much better than paper ones because it really wastes paper, but also I can imagine that’s much more convenient when updating prices. You don’t need to type up some prices and print out more. But it was also really nice to shop at the supermarket. It might sound weird, but because supermarkets in Hong Kong are really small, the one in South Africa really reminds me of life back in the states where there are isles and isles of food.

Before heading back to the hotel to relax, I picked up 2 new books from the bookstore. One is an infographic facts book called “ Knowledge is Beautiful”, and another book is a pretty famous book called “The Power of Habit”. I basically spent the whole afternoon at the poolside reading these two books.

Knowledge is Beautiful has a lot of facts packed into one big book of infographics. The knowledge in the book ranges from health, food, transport, science, tech, society, pop, history, business, nature, to space. At the end of the book it also gives you all the icons, fonts, and the infographic layouts they’ve used in the book. It is really a book that represents my interest – learning new things in a visual way. Some of my favorite pages include “Ingredients to add to a sandwich depending on the main meat”, “Best tasting and worst tasting animals”, “Substances from beneficial to the most harmful”, and “Most cliché titles used in Journalism”. It’s definintely worth the read.

The Power of Habit is a book combining neuroscience and consumer behavior, another book that really speaks to my interests. It talks about how habits are formed, and that habits are stored in a special part of our brain. We switch into auto pilot mode for habits we’ve formed. But for a habit to form there are a series of steps you go through and a trigger point, and that is exactly where consumer behavior comes in. An example the book uses is toothpaste. In the mid 20th century, it wasn’t normal for Americans to brush their teeth every day. But marketers managed to convince the public that having a bright smile is the way to go. But changing just the concept doesn’t work; you also need a trigger and a reward. So that’s where the minty taste comes in. Those two things trigger you to think “ok, now my teeth are clean.” In fact toothpaste doesn’t need to be a minty taste. Same thing with body wash and shampoo, they don’t need to foam to serve its cleaning purposes. But regardless of that, if a brand of soap doesn’t foam, no matter how effective it is at cleaning, people won’t buy it. Because we have all been conditioned to associate foaming with cleanliness.

For dinner, we returned to Belthazar at the waterfront. This time I ordered an ostrich skewer. It was actually pretty good! Another unique meat on the list of “Things I’ve tried in Africa”. It is actually pretty common to just buy ostrich meat and BBQ it yourself in South Africa. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen ostrich meat being sold in the US or in Hong Kong.

The waterfront during sunset time is really nice. There was a live band playing, and also in the water I spotted some seals just laying with their belly facing up!


- Day 10 -

Today is a super sunny day! We had breakfast at a place called Arnolds. It’s a small breakfast shop located on a quieter street up towards Table Mountain direction. I had salmon salad and “green juice” which is a healthy juice with ingredients like kiwi, green apple, and cucumber.

The next day was New Years’ Eve so there were a lot of check-ins and many tour groups arriving at the hotel today. I was just chilling and reading at the pool again but were disturbed by a pack of noisy tourists waiting to check in because they’ve arrived before check in began. Outside the hotel they were also building the outdoor stage for the NYE countdown party. It’s summer time so I guess it’s very popular to have outdoor parties. A lot of the streets were blocked for street party stages, especially the ones in front of hotels. I overheard some staff planning the NYE party and it seems they’re going to have a DJ, Sax player, as well as a female singer for the event. All hotel guests will get free tickets, but I can see the stage pretty clearly from where our room is anyway.

Tomorrow, which is the last day of 2014, we will be visiting The Cape of Good Hope!

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