Jo'burg & Pretoria, South Africa

August 13, 2010 - Johannesburg, South Africa

We're in Africa!!! After an emotional goodbye in Oz, we landed in Johannesburg 15 hours later (although thanks to the time difference it was confusingly still the same day). The next morning was Jinnie's birthday, so we had a celebration/reunion braii (thats BBQ to the rest of the world) with our 'soon-to-be' housemate (Jinnie's childhood buddy), Vanona and her boyfriend, Machin.

A few days later we headed off to stay with Jinnie's Grandparents, who fed us lots of overly rich Boar style food, and took us on a mini tour though Jo'burg (in a car that kept breaking down outside particularly scenic stretches of township!?).

We've spent the last few days chilling out in Pretoria at Vanona's house (which is soon to be our house too, when we get back in October), and getting a feel for the place :)

There seems to be quite a positive attitude in the air here - post World Cup - and I was interested to size the country up having just come straight from Australia (which I always imagined to be similar to SA). For some reason the place just seems more African to me this time (!?). Perhaps when I first came here a few years ago I was expecting to step off the plane and straight into a Children In Need commercial (with lots of dusty dirt roads and shanty towns all over the place), and the modern face of the country left me feeling like it was totally western... but seeing it next to Australia showed me how culturally African the place really is! It was also nice to go walking around in Pretoria and be reminded that we felt totally safe here, and that the place wasn't in-fact a virtual war zone (as so many people seem to keep telling us!) I don't know what it is about this country, but whenever I've been here before I've never felt any more or less threatened than I would in the UK... but as soon as I'm away from it for a while, someone has managed to convince me it's unsafe, and I get nervouse going back!? The place definately has it's problems, and perhaps I'm still just being naive, but if the majority of crime statistics actually come from the townships, isn't that like saying Kensington high street is unsafe because the Heygate Estate is in the same country!? Like I said, maybe I just don't know any better...

So what else...? We went to the zoo (perhaps a bit stupid since we're about to go on safari for a month (!?), sat out in the sun, and on Sunday we fly down to Durban - plus we're taking a 4 year old (Jinnie's sisters little boy) on the flight with us (!!). Fingers crossed he's not a screamer ;)

Alex & Jinnie

 


Pictures

...and the dinning area :)
...lounge...
Alex, in our room...
Prrrrrrrrr
 
 

2 Comments

August 13, 2010
I really like this travel blog of yours. I'm finding out so much about your lives! Also remember to give the four year old a colouring book as I remember going on trips to New Zealand as a child and the colouring books made it more bearable. Can't wait for next update...
DJ:
August 17, 2010
So jealous of you guys. I would do anything to be back home. Miss you. Love you.
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