Welcome to South Africa! It’s December 31st and we’ve landed around about midday. Now, what’s worth telling you about?
Well, we’ve got a SIM card. There was a deal at “Vodacom” (South Africa’s Vodafone) where, for a 500 Rand deposit, you can get a SIM and talk time up to that amount. Assuming you don’t LOSE THE PHONE (obviously a serious risk given Rich’s loser-like history) it’s quite a good way to get you talking and not freaking out about adding talk time. A good convenient way to make money from tourists I think. Well done Vodacom.
Anyway, aside from praising a phone company, the reason for mentioning this is that the experience gave us a bit of a perspective on racial integration in South Africa. We were served by an archetypal white Africaans guy. He looked like he’d just stepped either out of the gym or off his farm – basically ripped. Anyhow, he took us through the transaction but struggled to get the computer system to co-operate, turning to his boss – a younger, black lady to get help to get through it. So it was interesting to see their interaction. Full of banter, as I’d expect from a South African, but basically a good working relationship transcending racial, age and gender stereotypes / prejudices.
If this is what post-apartheid South Africa is creating then it feels pretty good. Nonetheless, we couldn’t help wondering what the real attitude behind closed doors might be…
So one job nailed we then made it to our hotel to celebrate probably our quietest New Year’s Eve for roughly 32 years. Some beers in the irish pub at our “in-the-vicinity of the airport” hotel while reading our kindles and watching premier league re-runs was as intense as it got.
Regardless, it was good chilling time to ponder what the start of our tour would bring the next day.