Saturday, January 2, 2010

No Hope at "Cape of Good Hope"

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.


  1. Ooops! Have had that experience myself, when in my forties. Lovely man. Had hopes for something special. Then he also introduced me to his 'friend'. Ah well. C'est la vie! But I think not to 'Hope' is fatal for one's frame of mind, that to keep 'Hoping' that things will work out helps to keep pessimism away, that if one sees oneself as travelling towards a 'Hopefully' happy life which includes having a partnership with someone special, then most definitely it will happen eventually. Hope is a powerful word. I hope you recovered your hope, Duta, and that 2010 is a kind year for you.

  2. I'm sure your heart sank just a bit.

    The thing about hope it that it can be easily rekindled in a thought, touch of a hand or a twinkle of an eye. Never ever give up the hope dear Duda.

    Have a very blessed New Year filled with hopes and dreams that really do come true!

  3. My daughter, 30 and unmarried, always explains this state as: "All the good men are all either married or gay" (lol). Glad you enjoyed the beauty of our "most fairest Cape" though.

  4. Well, I suppose if you take something from the experience, you learned that you're ready for someone to come into your life. On the up side, I'm sure the gay couple knew all the best spots to go and things to see and places to dine. And, you made two new friends, no doubt. And, you won't have to be haunted by what your new man does for a living...

  5. I must say I didn't see the end of the story coming - I was expecting that he didn't show for the tour, or wasn't really a doctor. I'm sorry you were disappointed - but we must look at all such experiences as good blog material LOL!

  6. They say in Al-Anon .. Expectations lead to Resentments..

    You did have an Adventure... and we do learn something from each we meet..

    Happiest of 2010 to you..

    Betty Ann

  7. Duta - this was a wonderful post for me. Reminding me about taking my time to know someone and to relinquish my ideas about how it should/might go.

  8. ooohh...Downer! Sorry that happened. He was insensitive not to have realized that you were interested. Gay people should state that up front in such situations.

  9. I did not see that coming-but I hope you had a nice visit anyways! Wishing you a wonderful 2010.

  10. I hate it when that happens. ;)

  11. Oh my, a slap in the face wouldn't have been as bad as that moment when he introduced his BF! :C

    Once more, a happy new Year to you!

  12. As you once told me, don't give up the ship. There's plenty of guys in the world that would love to have you in their lives.

  13. This is the perfect story to illustrate the theme of your post. I'll bet it felt like a slap on the face, though. This year will be much better. I just feel it. The energy of this year is already lighter and joyful. Well told!

  14. As they say "C'est la vie"! This is life and no wonder why these things happen and will keep on in our daily life. It depends on the character, personal leadership and the personality for someone to hadle it! I believe you will manage to find your own way! Best of luck for 2010.

  15. Oau!Africa de Sud!
    Cit de norocoasa esti. Un an nou cu bine!

  16. Vera,

    Without hope there's no Life, I think. Hope is what makes it possible for us to go on.
    Thanks for wishing me a kind New Year. May 2010 be the Best of years for you and family!


    " can be easily rekindled in a thought, touch of a hand or a twinkle of , one must never loose Hope.
    Have a Blessed New Year too, Nezzy!

    A human kind of human,

    I'll add to your daughter's explanation, something I've read in a blog the other day: "Men are like Jobs - you never get the one you want". I hope your daughter finds herself in 2010 with the right job and especially... with the right man.
    I sure did enjoy the wonder beauty of the Cape.


    All your assumptions are correct: I've learnt from the experience, the two guys were friendly, polite and knowledgeable, and I think I won't be haunted by what a man does for his living.

    The Bug,

    Well, a little surprise in the end, never hurts the reader, does it?
    As always, your humor is great - "experiences as good blog material".

  17. Hi Duta,

    I agree with Janie B. Maybe the lesson here is to state your intentions sooner rather than waiting for him to pick up on clues. On the other hand, if he knew how you felt, it was a mean way of showing you he was otherwise engaged.

    You have a lovely way of telling the story...

  18. Ms Hen,

    There are a lot of quotes about expectations and in each one of them there's a grain of truth. Here, for instance:

    Dame Edith Evans: " I can't imagine going on when there are no more expectations" or
    Charlotte Bronte: " Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not match the expectation".
    Happy New Year to you too, Betty Ann!


    Thank you. I'm glad my post reminds you about something important like taking your time "to know someone ...".

    Janie B,

    In principle, you're very right. Things, however, are more complex than they seem. Sometimes, a person lives in both worlds: the so called gay world and the straight one, and this might result in a confused and unfair behavior.


    Indeed, I had a great time enjoying the sights of the Cape peninsula.
    A wonderful 2010 New Year to you too!

  19. The Cape must have been majestic and to have knowledgeable guides was great however, the cliff hanger fact must have taken you aback for a brief moment. Great photo to go with the title and post. Good job girl and Happy New Year and welcome to the new decade. Peace be with you.

  20. Cabo,

    In one single sentence you've said it all. You're a master of language and thought, Cabo.

    Pink Panthress,

    Well put! Glad to hear from you and wish you a Happy New Year!

    Skip Simpson,

    Thank you for your kind words. May the New Year make all your wishes and dreams come true!

    Ronda Laveen,

    Thank you. I'm glad and honored that you think my stiory is well told.
    Indeed, it did feel like a slap on the face.
    I tend to believe in what you say about the light and joyful energy of the New Year 2010.

  21. Phivos Nicolaides,

    Indeed, C'est la Vie - That's Life, sums it all up.
    Thank you for your NICE comment and have a wonderful 2010 year!


    Africa de Sud este o regiune ideala pentru geografi si biologi, caci diversitatea naturii acolo este coplesitoare.
    Fie ca Anul Nou 2010 sa va aduca numai Bine!


    You're right, but sometimes one is not quick enough to grasp the situation one got into and act accordingly.
    I'm glad you like the way I've told the story. Thanks.

    Lady Di Tn,

    The photo is a fusing of two different photos: one showing Cape Point and the other showing the sign directing to the Table Mountain which is indeed majestic.
    Thanks for the New Year wishes. May year 2010 and the new decade bring you the Best of Life! Peace be with you too.

  22. Duta,

    You are such a wonderful story teller. Have you ever considered writing a book...or, have you ever written a book? It would definitely be a best seller.

    Lemons to lemonade, I always say. You didn't have a romance but you did come away with a wonderful experience and memory. Isn't it great that he picked up on your sensitivity and that he honored that in you? Also that he trusted you enough to share his true self?

    You must be as wonderful a person as you seem in your postings. Have a wonderful day.

  23. That is absolutely a wonderful story, DUTA! It gave me a wonderful laugh, although I did actually guess before the end, simply because I've never seen you discuss anyone as being handsome before, and thought perhaps it was leading to that particular revelation.

    It beats the "good ones are always taken" in some ways though, doesn't it? At least that sense of "Ah crap, I missed my chance." isn't present!

    This was a really fun entry, DUTA. I had to get up to do a few things, came back to finish my comment, and realized I still had the biggest smile on my face.

    Thank you for that!

  24. Happy New Year Duta. ..cute story...thanks for sharing.

  25. C Hummel Kornell a/k/a C Hummel Wilson,

    Thank you for the compliment. No, I have never written any such thing; I would like , however,to write something on my Genealogical Quest, but my search isn't finished yet.

    Indeed, I try to remember the good things from this encounter, such as his thoughtfulness in my sensitivity.

    Land of Shimp,

    I'm glad it made you smile and laugh. Come to think of it, the funny aspect of the story overshadows the 'sour' one.


    Welcome back! Have a Happy New Year!

  26. Oh no! I was loving reading the romantic story until the end. So sorry it turned out the way it did Duta.

    I guess it just add's to your lifes experiences. Until the next one...

    Best wishes for 2010

  27. The ending to your story was definately a surprise. And life is full of those that's for sure.

  28. dear duta,

    such a powerfully written post! hope is the one thing that keeps me alive through this tender age of mine.

  29. pennycones,

    Well, I guess we have to experience all kinds of things in life.
    Best Wishes to you too!

    Sharon Wagner,

    I'm kind of surprised that readers are surprised by the ending to my story since, as you say, "life is full of those".
    On the other hand, I 'm glad hat I've managed to surprise my readers.


    Thank you for stopping by. 'Hope' keeps anyone alive. Without hope, there's no Life, I think.

  30. Oh no Duta! I can't believe it! What rotten luck :) Well did you end up taking the tour with the boys? :) I bet you have met quite a few interesting people on your travels.

  31. I understand your disappointment in this situation,I do hope you find someone special soon.We have several visitors to the castle that are gay,they are very good and caring friends.I love them dearly.I understand you were unaware he was gay,but you will have a loyal friend in him once you accept his sexuality.There is someone out there for you,you just have not found him yet.

  32. I hope you had an exceptional tour!!! :)

    Wishing you a blessed New Year full of hope!!

  33. I wonder if this man had an idea about your feelings, and showed you in an indirect way that he was not interested? Hope you're not still pining over this gentleman:) Like one of your other readers said, there must be someone out there, that IS interested in you! Have a happy New Year, Duta.

  34. Libbie,

    Yes, of course. I went on with the tour. The 'boys' were quite charming and the tour as well.


    These two were also quite nice people. After all, I can hardly blame for my disappointment.


    Indeed, I had an exceptional tour.
    Have a blessed New Year too!

    jeannette stgermain,

    That was many years ago!!
    Have a Happy New Year!

  35. I like the way you tell stories, though it is the only one I've read so far. Sharing stories, remembering them, reliving them, it's what keeps us going and builds up hope.
    It was a pleasure to "meet" you, Duta.

  36. madibusoi,

    Thanks for the lovely comment.
    Happy New Year!

  37. Hope ~~~~~ DUTA ~

    As a wise person, I have recently met, says " there is no life without hope".

    Thank you for sharing DUTA ~

    ~ MC ~

  38. Well, where would we be if we couldn't get our hopes up now and again.

  39. Ha! At least you got to see the sights.

    I was afraid he was going to end up being evil or something. I was relieved at the end.

  40. MCJArt,

    I often use this saying; there's a lot of truth in it.


    Good question, and the answer is - we would hardly be alive without Hope.


    That's right. I got to see the splendid sights, and so the tour wasn't completely 'bitter'.

  41. DUTA,

    I did NOT see that coming!

    What a wonderful post. I love the picture too.

    Could you perhaps ask Ethan though, to start a blog?

    See, I'm weird like that. I love dead folks. lol
    I would have been either a funeral home owner or a forensic scientist if I was not an entrepreneur.

    Living people would just annoy me with all that complaining they seem to do.

  42. Entrepeneur Chick,

    Hi Chick! Glad to hear you love the post and the picture.
    Funeral home owner, or forensic scientist? I like your humor.

  43. oh my how crushing!!! I would have had to leave... you were very brave to stay and just move on past the situation.

  44. Lori R,

    You're the only one who remarked I was brave. I'm flattered. Thank you.

  45. Good story! Sorry it didn't work out. I notice a man's hands, too. I don't know any other woman who has ever said that.

    Regarding Cape Town....I would love to return to South Africa to see the Cape....maybe someday. If my husband has his way, we will return to Africa, maybe not South Africa but who knows.

  46. Wow... I actually know that feeling kinda. I dated a man back in 79-80 that I found out after 8 months that he preferred men. It explained alot of things... I was so naive back then, and he was the first man I actually loved. It took awhile to get over that. But he was a very gentle special man. Dang, I had not thought about him in forever....lolol. So much for romance huh?

  47. Sandy,

    I guess only the two of us notice a man's hands (LOL).
    I wish you may indeed have the chance to visit the Cape in all its beauty.


    They are gentle and special, aren't they? But what a waste of a good romance!

  48. Yes Duta, What a waste.... lol The man I was with played guitar and sang, had a beautiful voice and wrote his own music. Very talented man....

  49. Well, for crying out loud!! ugh. I hope the views were spectacular, in spite of it all!

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  52. mighty interesting and a good read to say the least. i'm sorry for the deleated comments. i keep hitting the wrong tagents.

  53. Susannah,

    Yes , the views didn't disappoint me; they were indeed spectacular. It's a region of unique beauty and diversity.


    Thank you very much for your kind words.