In this monthly column, we chat to some of SA’s premier personalities about their travel experiences and favourite local pastimes and haunts.
This week we feature the original Caveman Tim Plewman, who will be back on stage in the Mother City in ‘The Last Moustache’ at the Baxter from November 4 to November 22.
Plewman plays the last remaining Hitler double, Heiner Schmidt, in the production.
This hapless, once famous (sort of) actor is forced at gunpoint to become the Nazi Führer, and in an epic production, written, directed and produced by the Reich Minister Dr Joseph Goebbels, Schmidt finally has the opportunity to face his demons and reclaims his identity.
What is your favourite travel destination, and why?
Internationally, I would have to say that Egypt is still the most memorable destination I’ve travelled to. Traveling through Egypt feels like touching the ages of man, through the grandeur and grime of our civilization’s beginnings.
It is the ultimate trip for any history nut who gets a thrill from walking in the steps of greatness. It’s hard to beat the Great Pyramids or Karnak or the Valley of the Kings.
Locally, the Natal South Coast is a forgotten paradise that still lets you dream.
It moves at the pace of a growing banana and if you are looking for the opposite of exciting, it is the place to be. The phrase, ‘Don’t rush me, I’m a local’ applies to anyone who has been there for more than a week.
What was your first international trip, and what do you remember most vividly about the experience?
My first trip overseas was to the USA and it was an eye opener of note. Coming from the Calvinistic restrictions of the old South Africa, I found the total freedom of America startling.
People were open and friendly and filled with enthusiasm for the future. I remember going to an Emerson Lake and Palmer concert in Atlanta and being blown away by the entire experience.
I realised that without government restrictions, possibilities are endless. A lesson we still need to learn in the New South Africa.
What is the first thing you usually do when you arrive at your destination and you’re trying to get acclimated?
Check into my hotel and try the bed. No sleep, no enjoy the trip is the motto I live by.
What for you is usually the best way to soak up the culture you’re in?
Tough question. It depends on what the trip is about. Take Turkey for example.
There is so much history to enjoy and so many varied cultures to experience that it is almost impossible to take it all in.
But I would say that having a local guide who is proud of their local culture and wants you to enjoy it too is a great short cut to food and style.
My trips are split into three categories: work, fun or family; each of which require a different look at the culture and how you see it. As with so many things, it’s often not what you know, but who you know that makes the difference.
Flying – love it, or hate it?
Having given up smoking three years ago and discovering sleeping pills, flying’s a breezzzzzzzz.
What has been your favourite cuisine that you have discovered on your travels?
To be honest, I never travel for the food. My cuisine rule is simple: as long as it doesn’t give me the trots, taste like tripe or look me in the eye, I’m okay.
You’ve got exactly R48 in your wallet. Where do you go for lunch in Cape Town, and what do you have?
R48! In Cape Town? Seriously, if you know of some place in Cape Town where you can get a decent meal that doesn’t give you the trots or taste like tripe or look you in the eye for R48, please tell me.
The best I can come up with is calling my dear friend Gerry who lives in Hout Bay (call – R4). He loves to braai and told me I’d be welcome any time. I’d drive to his house (Petrol for the car – R16), stopping on the way to buy his wife a small bunch of flowers (flowers – R26).
I would then eat and drink like a king and have R2 left to send him a thank you note by SMS.
What is your speciality in the kitchen?
Eggs. And strangely no matter what I start out trying to make they always end up scrambled.
Describe your ideal night in, and out.
It’s amazing how that changes as you mature. Gone are the days of wild parties and loud thumping music. Now it’s all about people and the fun they bring.
Home and family and a good book are more than fabulous for a night in. Good friends at a braai with a great glass of red and letting the past, present and future flow in our conversation is a perfect night out. That, or a great night at the theatre followed by good friends at a braai with a great glass of red.
What makes life worth living?
You are full of really big questions. I don’t know that I’m wise enough to answer that question, but at this moment I’d have to say it’s the chance of finding somewhere to eat in Cape Town for less than R48.
* Book for ‘The Last Moustache’ at Computicket.