Tuesday, July 06, 2004
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Phone: +27 21 863 3925
Homeopathy has its delights. Marianne is one of them.
I've just driven the one-hour trip from Cape Town to visit her in the tiny town of Paarl, breeding ground of Boland rugby players.
We're on the back porch of this delightful little bistro, sitting in the winter sun. Deeply pleasant.
I tell Marianne, "I wanted to go into the chemist and say, 'I'm travelling from town to town in search of the most beautiful homeopath in South Africa. Any candidates here?' But I chickened out when this pharmacist walked up to me and said, 'Yes? Can I HELP YOU???' Too aggressive. Thought it wouldn't wash."
Marianne says, "You're a stranger, and they're very curious. This is a VERY small town."
Our waitress walks over. She's very short, very compact, petite, with a gorgeously feral face. I shudder to think about her and the local rugby dating stock. Her name's Viodie.
We ask about the cakes, and she goes through a fairly long list of them. Marianne goes for the chocolate cake. I would normally go for the chocolate cake too, I think. But I'm on holiday. I'm doing unusual things. Like travelling to Paarl to flirt with this gorgeous blonde I met on Friday night with Ian. I figure that the green fig tart will be interesting.
I order normal tea, and Marianne goes for rooibos. "May I have some mint?" I ask.
Viodie says, "We have a mint plant. You can pick your own."
So Marianne and I head for the mint bush and pluck a few sprigs to add to our tea.
We talk about things shamanic, and about how small Paarl is for a single, professional woman looking for love. Everyone's either conservative or a rugby player.
When the cakes arrive, the tart looks a bit sorry for itself. The figs are minced up into a greeny-yellowy-custardy type cheese-cake-ish substance, and it tastes a bit like fig flavoured condensed milk. While the local tannie who made the thing must be pretty proud of it, I give it one and a half stars on the Roy-o-meter.
Marianne's chocolate cake, on the other hand, is worth the trip to Paarl. I end up eating about half of her portion, and she takes a mouthful of mine. I finish more than half of mine, but it's hard work.
Near the end of our time, Marianne looks at her watch. We've been keeping an eye out for time flying, since she's got to be in Hout Bay at 4pm. So she's got a 90-minute drive ahead of her. So we head for my rental car and I drive her down the inordinately long Main Road (it's about 15 kilometres long) back to the pharmacy where she has her consulting practice. Her car's parked back there.
We kiss goodbye.
Yummy. Better than the chocolate cake.