Spuitpoep and how I prepare myself for a holiday.

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My sister-in-laws (whom I will see for the first time in 3 years on Friday- it’s exciting!) have oft used a term  which I find amusing but didn’t think applied to me. It does and is manifesting itself in a number of different ways- I’ve listed some of my symptoms as they’ve appeared in my preparation for our imminent trip to South Africa here. Oh, don’t know what spuitpoep is? Read on and find out (there’s an inadequate definition at the bottom of this post).

  1. 1. Sleep deprivation:I like to kick things off a few weeks out from a big trip with dreams which start quite benignly, usually involving some pre-flight packing which  turns quickly into a nightmare where we have MISSED the flight because we forgot about it or slept in. My other favourite theme is the one where we leave for the flight/train/boat on time but are waylaid by roadworks or stupid people and I spend the entire dream trying to get to the mode of transport which is leaving in like, five minutes. Then I wake up and convince myself I’m dreaming before lying in bed for the next hour wondering what the queues at airport security will be like. Which is all really useful at 2am.

    2.   Ridiculous dietary demands.

    When we go en masse on a plane/train/boat, it’s usually for pleasure, and if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll have realised that pleasure to me is a bottle of wine and lots of fattening food while I sit around and make pithy observations about whatever takes my fancy from a reclined position. This, unsurprisingly, results in weight gain and/or bloating directly proportionate to the time spent in that destination. So I like to really make my pre-trip preparation extra awful by attempting to either ‘get really fit’ or ‘lose weight’ or ‘detox’ three weeks out in an attempt to combat this inevitable weight gain. NEVER WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!! Never. Ever ever. Usually end up fatter and have to wear my fat clothes.

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    South African meat pie. Not for the fainthearted or the diet-conscious: I smashed this down without a worry last time we visited, as you can imagine.

    3.  Cleaning frenzy:

    Because it would be disastrous to come home to sheets slept in for more than one night, or a plastic container drawer which hadn’t just been reorganised so that lids and bottoms could be found easily (or simply so that you could close that drawer without swearing and jamming plastic things into it). Oh yes, currently I am half way through my pantry, about to tackle the spice shelf (or Poking Yourself In The Eye Hour) and staring down the barrel of a three day spring clean binge. We leave in four days.

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    My plastics drawer in its current state. Obviously I can’t leave the country with it like this.

    4.   Endless lists:

    Random thoughts about the rubbish bins, Christmas presents, duty free requirements, termite inspections and post parcels to be sent are had with startling frequency as I prepare our home and home ‘life’ to be without us  for a little while. Some of this is pretty important, others, which I like to write down at 3am, not so much (See Point 1)

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    A typical dessert scene in South Africa involving melktart. Packing list: Fat Pants.

    5.   Pre Trip Fuck Up

    Yep, happens somewhere in the organisational phase. To be fair, it’s never usually Sheep Stations (See Note 2) since we always manage to realise we have fucked up in something and have time to change it, or that it wasn’t really that important anyway. This trip I booked airport parking at the international terminal and realised whilst in a cleaning frenzy (see Point 2) that we are leaving from the domestic terminal a few kilometres down the road, which would have been VERY irritating at 5am with check-in time counting down. Another time I forgot to mail a birthday card and realised as we boarded the plane #notsheepstations.

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    I’ll be using every trick in this book to get us across the Indian Ocean without infanticide being carried out. Read here to see how the trip went.

    Note 1: Spuitpoep (pronounced spate-poop. Origin: Afrikaans). A feeling of extreme stimulation, where one feels one might shit oneself, such is the heightened feeling of anticipation and excitement.

    Note 2: Sheep Stations. A phrase used when a Big Deal is made about something that is not really a Big Deal. For example, when playing UNO and a player becomes very agitated about the rules or winning, one might say “Settle down knob-jockey, we’re not playing for Sheep Stations.” Sheep Stations in Australia can be the size of small European countries and are therefore Big Deals.

    Get spuitpoep? How does yours manifest itself???

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