Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday 28th March 2016...a new continent and a new country!!!

OK I will start with when I returned Silver Streak to the car rental agency there was no issues at all and I asked for a ride to the terminal and the guy behind the counter said he would take me in Silver Streak so it was good did not have to take my case out of the trunk.....the most dangerous time of all this journey was riding with him to the was so bad I asked him if his other job was race car driver..he thought I was being funny!!!
Arrived with plenty of time and at check in I asked the lady who checked me in if there was a seat in the exit row(where there is extra leg room)she checked and said no but told me to ask again when I get to the boarding gate.
I watched my plane come in

This plane sure got a work out will tell you more in a minute.....
So when I got to the boarding gate I did ask about the exit row and the lady checked her computer and told me she could give me a window seat in the exit great was that!!!
This is my first time flying with this airline but it is without any shadow of a doubt the best I have ever used!!!
Very attentive staff dressed in beautiful cotton tops and long skirts.....I don't sleep on the flights and spend a lot of time stretching in the bulkhead and they continually asked if I needed anything and one time I asked for some OJ and a cookie and she came back with a glass of juice with ice and a small plate with a cloth napkin on and there was about 6 assorted biscuits...the 7.5 hour flight went by quite quickly I watched a movie and did some reading......
I had almost 90 minutes wait in the airport and took these photos

I was alreday had my boarding pass so I did not need to check in(I have no idea why the type decided to change to this format!!!)
So at the gate I decided to try my luck again and asked the supervisor if there was a seat in the exit row and to my amazement i got another window seat in the exit row and the funny thing is I got back on the same what I was going to say about the plane is that when I took the photo above in Sydney it was coming in from Singapore....2 hour turn around and back to Singapore another two hours and onto South Africa.....a lot of mileage on that plane in 36 hours!!!
So this flight was just over ten hours and really it was no problem....wonderful food a steady supply of beverages another movie some reading could not sleep so plenty of stretching in the window photo shots did not turn out to be very good.

So I landed in J'burg at 7am Monday morning I am completely lost as to what time it is in any country or what day it is either!!!
In hindsight I should have laid over in Singapore for a couple of nights and time!!!
My hosts for the three nights gave me instructions on how to get from the airport to their home and I followed them and they were right on.
So I collected my bag went through Immigration I would describe the agent as not friendly but polite....
So here I am in this new country where most of my friends have told me to be really careful try mot to stand out as a tourist and be my case and went up the elevator to the walkway to the fast train into the city...hard not to look like a tourist when you are next to the airport and have a huge suitcase......anyway I bought my ticket for the train and stood on the platform minding my own business when I saw a man dressed in dark blue  uniform with a hat with black and white squares a bit like the hat I used to wear as a Bobby in England....anyway he walks along the platform and I could sense he is coming right to me...and he did.......he asked me to turn around and I thought what the heck have I done now but I said sure and turned around and there right in front of my face at eye level was a sign saying there was no food, water, alcohol or gum chewing allowed on the platform or train  700 Rand fine.....and he said you are chewing gum and I was ..I said I was really sorry I did not know and I swallowed it......he smiled and said have a good day!!!
Got off the train and as per instructions went to the next platform and caught another train for one stop and got off.......
Outside there were taxis waiting but they were just private cars with a small yellow flash light on top and my book said to be careful with these as they do not have I went to the driver and asked him how much to take me to the address I gave him and he told me 100 Rand and I said that was fine and off we went..the car was an old Mercedes and it sure needed a tune up but he got me to the house and I gave him a 100 Rand bill...

OK this is the only time I will convert the Rand for you after this you are on your own...

100 Rand is worth approximately
8.5 Canadian dollars
6.5 USA dollars
4.5 UK pounds
So I was happy with the cost of the fare!!
My hosts Ayesha and Eric were waiting for me and I got here about 9.30am....
The little separate cottage is lovey and has everything I need

All this for 49 Canadian dollars a night to me it just not make any sense to stay in hotels....there was food in the fridge and outside
I got unpacked and then went in the lounger and just lazed for a while and then went to find an ATM which I did and a grocery store where I bought a few things including the local favorite

What is beskuit (rusks)?

Beskuit, known as "rusks" in English, is made from dough, broken or cut into chunks or slices after baking, and then slowly dried in an oven. It is usually briefly dipped into a warm drink such as coffee, tea, or rooibos tea before being eaten.
Beskuit (South African rusks) is the ideal snack food for rumbling tummies; morning, noon and night.
Making beskuit is simple: balls of dough are packed into loaf tins and baked in the oven. Once cooked, the risen balls are then separated and dried out completely in a warm oven for a couple of hours.
Beskuit is best enjoyed when dunked into a hot drink of coffee or tea. Be careful not to dunk it for too long though: it will become too soggy and end up inside your cup.
A traditional way to treat stay-over guests, is to wake then with a tray of freshly brewed coffee and rusks.
Beskuit variations include buttermilk, aniseed, bran, muesli, etcetera. The raising agent can be selfraising flour, baking powder combined with buttermilk or yeast. Instant yeast is common, with alternatives such as potato yeast and "mos". Mos is the juice of grapes in the first stages of fermentation. Beskuit made with mos, "mosbolltjie", are particularly good.

I must say I am impressed with the food prices quite a lot cheaper than the other countries I have been to including Canada and USA.
Even though I had not been to sleep in over 30 hours I wanted to stay awake till the night time so I packed a lunch and drinks and set off walking to here
The area around the cottage is nice but there are also pockets of run down homes and every home has
 Wires, cameras and electric fence
and then
What I have decided to do is to change my demeanor I usually dress in shorts and soccer shirt and have my fanny pack and my camera in my hand and I rely and play on the fact that I am old, have silver hair and talk funny..I also smile a lot and say I am changing my ways I am always vigilant where I am and my not make eye contact and do not speak to anyone and keep a little cash on me..I am sure out of the city it will be easier.....I do not think I would be happy with all this protection around the houses.....having said all this I felt quite safe did talk to a few men and asked for directions and everyone was helpful..
This is where I walked to

The gardens were mainly green but I did find some color

I enjoyed the walk around the lake

There were many people around just having fun it was nice to see kids of every color and creed being together enjoying this Holiday Monday!!!
I had lunch looking out over the lake and reflecting on how I am in this fabulous vibrant country with I am sure many adventures ahead....
 like the shots of these ladies in the park

Came home and had a light dinner a lovely hot shower and now going to have tea check out the cup!!!!!
To put it in perspective my computer is ten inches!!!
Where I came from..

So a busy two days but glad to have made it here without incident.....
Yashi Kochi!!!


Kevin Read said...

Looking forward to seeing your thoughts on South Africa. Enjoy!

mexicokid said...

Thanks it looks like being a fascinating country safe travels to Ruth and you...cheers les

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