Wild Valentine’s


I know that this may sound like a postcard to you, still here it goes:


Whoever you are, wherever you live and whatever you do, Valentine’s Day is basically a terrible déjà vu: the special hotel picked with care, the handmade room, the rose petals over your bed, the heart shaped chocolates, the candlelight dinner reflected on a mirror bay… You and millions of other lucky Valentines have it all every year, and so do I.


Now, try this: you open the door of a bush cottage to find a couple of passionate zebras right in front of it. You approach, remembering to keep a cautious distance. Yet, not even your presence disturbs that hot romance. You go back forgetting about the Valentine’s addicted zebras. One hour later they are still engaged in deep affection demonstrations. Another lapse of time and you discover that the courting is still going on.


Well, this Valentine I had the zebras. Up to now I didn’t realize zebras are such immense flirts. Add to this the afternoon love-drunken elephant walking on five legs and I am forced to suspect that Valentine’s has moved into the bushes.


My own Valentine’s dinner wasn’t that romantic, although it had a slight wild touch. The evening started with a colorful cake and champagne shared with six of JP’s colleague divers. From the divers’ headquarters we went to a waterfront restaurant, four divers and I.


The beauty of the night was the dance of the lights reflecting on the surface of the calm bay and all the passing by couples, most of them carrying picnic baskets prepared for one of the various cruises on the bay.


At one point, the restaurant owners decide to simulate one of the now constant blackouts, five minutes of complete darkness cut by silly remarks of well-drunk clients.


Most of the dinners were celebrating Valentine’s, including man-man and woman-woman couples. One diver commenting a girl-girl passing by: “What a waste!” And then he told about clubs and bars where every single night deadly combats over girls are fought. The lack of women is palpable and South African men are behaving worse than in the bushes. That’s how wild my Valentine’s can get…


The camera I had with me decided to be emotional, thus I could only photograph: 1) Flirting zebras. 2) Heart chocolates. 3) Rose petals on a handmade bed (unfortunately, the tusks are real). 4) Bush stop and waterfront suite.