At the beginning of a New Year , along with the new plans and hopes, I tend to go back in time to review small and big happenings in my past that fall into the category of 'unfulfilled expectations' . This gives me a realistic perspective for the new year and provides me once again with an opportunity to test the saying of ' Dissapointments that don't kill you, strenghten you.'
I met Ethan (fictitious name) - a compatriot - in Cape Town, the cosmopolitan city of South Africa , the gateway to the huge african continent.
He said he was a doctor, at the beginning of his medical career, but when I tried to make conversation on the nature of his work, he changed the subject.
He was not what one would call good- looking, but there was something magnetic about him, especially about the way he spoke and moved his hands. Hands are the first thing I notice in a man, and his, were big with long, slim fingers like those of an accomplished pianist. He caught my eyes looking at them so I said, trying to sound funny, " Do you practice a lot on the piano?" "I practice a lot on dead bodies" he replied,"I'm a forensic doctor".
This came as a big shock to me, and for a few moments I felt sick. So that was it, that was the reason for his reluctance to talk about his work; Later on, he would say that he didn't mind talking about it, but he noticed I was sensitive and vulnerable ( I liked that, coming from him) and he wanted to spare me the unpleasant aspects of his profession.
During our conversation, I made an effort to look composed and behave naturally, trying to take off my mind from corpses and autopsies.. We discussed the two famous landmarks of Capetown: the Table Mountain with its flat top and sloppy sides, overlooking the city, and The Cape of Good Hope which had been named so, to mark the opening of a new hope - a sea route to India and the East.
He offered to take me the following day on a tour to these two attractions ; "no visit in the area is complete", he said, "without seeing from the top of the mountain, the spectacular views of the city and the cape peninsula with its Cape Point tip , the stunning cliffs and the rugged stretches of rock of the Cape of Good Hope, the mingling of the two oceans: Atlantic and Indian".
I accepted the offer although the weather was not friendly, and I could well imagine that it was probably windy and cold, up there on the mountain. Frankly, I was in a romantic mood, ready to get involved in a relationship with Ethan, so the weather and the anticipated wonderful scenery came second into my thoughts.
Soon after we had reached the spot , a young man approached us, and Ethan greeted him with such a big, warm hug that I stood there watching them with unbelieving eyes and a widely open mouth. Then he turned to me and said in his irresistible low voice something like: 'Meet my boyfriend and home mate ; he'll be our guide as he knows the place perfectly'.
'There goes my Romance, here comes the end of my Hope', I thought to myself, and plunged into the breathtaking beauty of the Cape surroundings.