HitchDieds in Cape Town Podcast Episode 30


00:00 Intro
00:38 We took a week off again for reasons of sadness
01:00 We talk honestly about what is bumming us out
01:40 Collin talks about science!
02:48 Collin sounds like a vampire.
05:39 Now we talk about fun things!
05:40 We saw Point Break on a rooftop
10:02 We went to a few wine farms, one American-owned that was our favorite yet.
Wine tasting
14:30 Just in case you forgot, it’s summer here bitches!
14:46 And now that the festive season is over there are fewer gabronis on our pool deck
15:26 Collin is training for the Two Oceans ultra marathon
16:15 Shout-outs!
16:40 If you live in Pittsburgh, check out the new Arcade comedy theater!
17:50 Outro
18:04 EXTRA BIT!


  1. My heart leapt when I saw you had another podcast up… Ever since I started working from home, the 20 or so minutes that I work while listening to your podcast have quickly risen to the best 20 minutes a week. Is that totally lame to admit? Yes, I think it is. Oh well, I have no shame. :)

    I had a hard time, too, fully appreciating the opportunities I had while I was in France, because I missed home so damn much. I think it’s okay to feel that way though, and I think you guys are doing great by creating things you can look forward to while you’re there. And going on adventures. That makes it so much better, even if it’s still super hard. <3

  2. Ha! Thanks, guys. I nearly leapt outta my office chair when the “radio” said my name. <3

  3. Haha I did too, when they said “Evie” I was like I KNOW HER! And then I realized that Donnie was in the other room, sleeping, so… that fell on deaf ears. :)

  4. I am so sorry that you are not feeling so well, and Collin, that research / work is frustrating. It can be very hard to be away from home, and the new place not feeling like home. I am glad though that you are doing fun stuff and focusing on the positive things like visits, and training.

    Collin, your experience made me think of my time at a Conservation Ecology lab in Mexico city. I was working on a reproduction / ecology project on the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum). But I got pretty frustrated because I soon realized that a project (master) that was supposed to take 1 year and a half was going to take minimum 3 years, because we did not have enough adult axolotls. The Zoo and another faculty kept promising me they would lend me some animals, but it was never happening and the reproduction season (February, temperature dependant) was going to be over soon (of course I was also going to try and control it by adding ice to the water / with air conditioning/ or with hormonal injections). At the lab we had lots of axolotls, but they were all juvenile, I had to wait a year for them to grow and be sexually mature. And for my experiments to be statistically valid I needed at least 4 repetitions of each experiment (36 experiments in all), which meant 36 female axolotls and 36 male. I just felt trapped and stuck, and at the same time I kept thinking of becoming a vet because Biologists “look” at animals from afar, whereas I wanted to touch, to medicate, to be more in contact with them. So I quit the master (sometimes I wonder if I should have stayed, when I see people m age becoming someone in conservation) and I went on to study Veterinary Medicine.

    Anyhow, we were in London this weekend and we visited an exposition called : “Doctors, Dissection and Resurrection men”. It made me think of what you were saying about the lung samples. The exhibit was about how dead bodies were very difficult to get for medical faculties / training surgeons in the 1700-1800s, and so a whole mafia developed , resurrection men, who would dig out the corpses out of their tombs and sell them for high prices to the doctors / faculties. They later went on to start murdering people and selling them fresh. The exposition concludes explaining how hard it STILL is to get people to donate their organs / bodies for medical (organ donor) or research purposes, it is still a very sensitive and controversial subject (nobody wants their body to be played around with I guess).
    I think you would have liked it.


    Anyhow, make the most of this time (as I think you are doing) and I hope you manage to get your samples and get some of the work you want done, it really sounds like a dream job, but that is the thing they don’t tell you about research, it is often very very frustrating, boring even… sometimes at least.

    And Robin I hope you will be happier. I am making myself focus on the joy and not allow myself to have negative thoughts and I have to say it is a good strategy (not saying everything is perfect, far from it… we just heard my husband will lose his job as of August… and I am still unemployed, plus the fertility struggles) but it is about the attitude.

    Hugs to you both. I really enjoy your podcasts.

  5. I think this may have been my favorite podcast so far. Not because you guys are sad and homesick! That part sucks. But I really liked hearing about Collin’s work (guest post?) and then you guys were really enthusiastic about the good things you’d run into.
    Also, I’m waiting for Life of Pi to get to my cheap second-run theater. I loved the book, and it seems like the movie should be good.

  6. While I’m sorry to hear that you guys are having tough times, I enjoyed hearing you speak frankly about it because it was honest and it was real.

    I love the idea of an all science episode! Also, wine tasting episode? Yes, please! I don’t even drink or care about wine, but I KNOW this would be entertaining.

    Miss you guys. Hang in there. <3

  7. I do love how honest and true to heart your podcasts are. It really sucks what is going on with your work, Collin but I do think that you are learning GOBS and gobs on many other levels right now. I also cant help but feel that there are other opportunities just waiting for the two of you to explore as well. your wonderful relationship shines in your podcasts….Robin I feel your fantastic laughter deep in my heart and the two of you sure are finding time with friends and each other enriching in ways thatwill be so unique to your life in Cape Town….I am sure this journey will be treasured for ever!

  8. We loved hearing your Podcast…You are fabulous kids and you have your heads all in the right place. You are handling everything terrificly…Just stay well and keep on podcasting…luv Grandpa and Dottie….And we loved the P i movie too

  9. We belong to an “international” wine club that spotlights different winemaking areas of the world, and when they did South Africa I actually begged them to trade for other wines because it was so unpalatable to me. I don’t even know how to describe it… it just seemed sour and mineral-ly to me, which I guess is a unique product of the soil. Have you experienced anything similar, or am I just being way too picky?

    I’m sorry you guys have felt so down lately!

    • Watch out… long comment ahoy:

      A few things to note about South African wine that might explain your bad experience: 1. During Apartheid, most of the world wouldn’t trade with South Africa, so the only wine to drink here was South African wine. The lack of comparison let it get… weird. Once apartheid ended the wine industry kind of banded together to make their grapes and product better through the Vine Improvement Program. My guess is that is still a work in progress.
      2. One of South Africa’s problems is that they have a lot of economic protectionism in place because they worried about total collapse of their economy once it was not longer forced to be self-sustaining. As a result, only the biggest wine farms can afford to export their wines out of the country. So it’s like if you were judging American wine from E & J Gallo brands
      3. South African wine generally has a higher alcohol content, which is actually because they are allowed to add more sugar to “fix” their grapes, but it might be contributing to the sourness you are experiencing.
      4. Additonally, pinotage, which the signiture grape round these parts, is just sour. I LIKE it (when it is in a good wine that balances that with spiciness and other flavors) but it is not for everyone.
      5. My main complaint with South African wine is lack of variety. When we were doing our wine club back in the states, it astonished me how different two bordeauxs could be while still both being delightful. Here it’s more like, “oh, this is a good [insert grape] so it tastes like this.”

      But generally, I’ve been enjoying the wine. I enjoy that it is cheap and reliably drinkable by my tastes (really only when I try to buy “bubbly’ do I find myself gambling). And I loooooooooove going to wine farms. And sorry, liver, but with my limited social life here, there are going to be more nights where I say, “so, wine?” So despite my notes I want to be clear I love South African wine for the weird beast it is.

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