Museum Musings: should we blame it on jetlag, or the hadeda’s half way round the world?

False Bay 

“Could you direct me to the coffee cart?” a middle-aged American woman asked me.
“Go upstairs and you’ll see it’s right there in the courtyard,” I said
“I must go up?” she said
“Yes,” I said
“Is that up?” she said, pointing to the ascending staircase next to us.


“How much is this?” he asked me.
“Four,” I told him.
“Four Dollars?”
I wish I could’ve said, “No, four pharts…”


“How do I get here?” the twenty-something American woman asked me, pointing to the map of the museum, but before I could answer her, she added, “Is it the same exhibit as the one up here on the second floor, because I’ve already seen that, and I didn’t care for it?”
“Every gallery is different,” I told her.
“Are you sure?” she asked.


Why are people asking me such silly questions?

In an attempt to come up with a plausible explanation I wondered whether they’re all suffering from jet lag?  After our trip to South Africa, I understand how hard airtravel is on the body. We left L.A. on Sunday night at 10pm and arrived in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening around 5pm, I was bleary eyed from two sleepless nights, my stomach didn’t feel so good filled up with all those airplane meals, the only exercise being the walk to the little loo and back to my seat, and also after sitting so long my back and neck were stiff and aching, and my bum was complaining about the thin seat cushion…

our home for the next 18 hours

dinner is served on SAA

finally, a view of land out the window ..

It took over a week to get over the jet lag, but we never really caught up on our missed sleep, because the birds in Johannesburg – especially the Hadeda Ibis which start their loud unmistakable “haa-haa-haa-de-dah” calls around 5:30 a.m. – make it impossible for anyone to sleep in.

One of my readers wrote a comment at my last post

This post needs a soundtrack – the words, the birds, the music!

Take the few minutes and watch this film of the Hadeda Ibis – and try to imagine what it’s like being woken up by that screaming, every morning without fail, and at 5:30 a.m

A 2008 documentary of Johannesburg’s favorite bird
by Andrew Yamaguchi

But that still doesn’t answer the question I asked at the beginning:  Why am I being asked so many silly questions? Not everyone I see is suffering from jetlag, and we don’t have Hadeda Ibis’s waking us up at the crack of dawn in L.A.?

City of Cape Town (in three languages)

About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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11 Responses to Museum Musings: should we blame it on jetlag, or the hadeda’s half way round the world?

  1. E fullstop says:

    Perhaps we can blame Mercury being in retrograde.

    • dearrosie says:

      Now I understand why everyone was so crazy yesterday! Mercury’s retrograde three times a year i.e 11 weeks of every year. That’s a lot! From now until April 23, Aug. 2 to 26, and Nov. 23 to Dec. 13.

  2. Val Erde says:

    Crazy birds those are! They sound like a cross between seagulls and crows! Must’ve given you quite a headache…

    I dunno why people are so crazy. The time of the year? Seasons sort of flipping through each other, maybe.

    • dearrosie says:

      I like your description that it’s “a cross between seagulls and crows”. All I can say, is If you like to wake up in peace and quiet and perhaps have classical music playing on your radio alarm, do not go to Johannesburg.

  3. Josee says:

    I’d never heard, nor heard of these birds, though I lived in Johannesburg for several years, back in the 70’s. (Had they not yet comandeered the airwaves back then?) After watching the documentary I realize that the pronunciation is not “Hadedas” (like “Adidas”) but “Hadeda” (like “La-Dee-Da”) !!

    Re the sign post – what strikes me is not so much the three languages, but the wording of the sign, which is SO like the old South Africa – I mean, what exactly is a “by-law relating to streets” ?!!
    Great post, Rosie.
    Methinks it was the food on SAA which did you in – is that beige stuff on the left, pasta?

    • dearrosie says:

      Josee I didn’t think of explaining how one pronounces Hadeda, thanks for bringing it to my attention, and yes its exactly like “La-dee-dah!” I’m glad someone else watched the video.
      I believe the birds only came to Johannesburg in the last 20 or so years, and after they arrived they multiplied because there’s so much good food for them there, and no enemies.

      I also don’t understand what is meant by a “by-law relating to streets”!

      Yeah I think that’s pasta on the left and cauliflower on the right…

  4. Reggie says:

    Wow, those hadedas sure are LOUD! I stay in Cape Town, and we never used to have hadedas down here when I was growing up – but it seems that they have extended their range in the last 10 years or so. We even have a pair that nests in our neighbours’ large tree. They often visit our garden too, and wake us up pretty much every morning.

    If you’d like some more pics of them, have a look here: and and and

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Reggie
      Thanks for the links to your blog. I didn’t realize that hadedas are also in Cape Town or that as well as waking one up so bloody early with that nasty screaming, they do so much damage to gardens.
      How does one scare them away from one’s yard? I can’t imagine such big birds being intimidated by scarecrows.

  5. Pingback: South African wildlife without the safari. | Wondering Rose

  6. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Great video! If the hadeda keeps the insect population in check – more power to them! But then again, I’m an early bird so I don’t mind waking up at dawn… 🙂

    • dearrosie says:

      I’m glad you came to watch the video. It certainly shows you what the hadeda sounds like. You have no idea how awful it is to be woken up by that loud horrible noise. If you get up before 5:30 then you wouldn’t be bothered by them. Well not too much …

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