West With The Night

West With The Night by Beryl Markham [click image for more]

Few books capture the spirit of Africa as well as West with the Night. I won’t try to summarize it here because I won’t do it justice, but there are tales of lions, courageous dogs, horse breeding, flying, and elephant hunts, all laced with a great deal of wisdom.

Even though it was written ... 


African Crafts

african crafts at Rosebank rooftop market in johannesburg

The Rosebank Rooftop Market on Sunday is a flea market where you'll find the gaudy and useless, but also a huge collection of African crafts. Stalls upon stalls of wares crammed onto the roof of Rosebank Mall, from wooden masks to drums, spears, paintings, clothing, incense, soap, spices, beaded figurines, stone carvings, woven grass baskets, cheese, painted ostrich eggs, and more.


World Cup Fever

Wherever you look in the streets of Johannesburg these days, you can’t escape the World Cup Fever. Street vendors are selling flags, mirror covers, hats, and tons of other gadgets in team colors and they’ll quite happily run and find what you’re asking for if they don’t have ... 


Saving Face – the African Way

I’ve found that whenever I ask for something, in a store, for instance, and they have no idea what I’m talking about, instead of admitting that they don’t know, they will pretend to look for it, and then apologetically inform me that they are sold out. “I’m sorry Ma’m, we don’t have ... 


Finally – a New Trash Can!

Just a quick update on my trash odyssey: It took almost a week of waiting for our landlord to divulge our account number with the City of Johannesburg, but he did, and I faxed that to the Piki Tup people, and lo and behold, a few days afterwards, a new trash can sort of just appeared in my driveway. ... 


Recycling in Joburg

I’m happy to report that I just got our recycling set up. Recycling is not very big here, and I almost got used to throwing everything in the trash over the past few months, but not quite. It turns out there is recycling, but not for free. I went with Mama ... 


The Dustbin Saga Continues…

I’m still not making any progress on our trash problem, but at least am learning something about the City of Johannesburg and its bureaucracy in the process. The problem is that I still don’t know our account number, and none of my calls to a) the owner’s daughter who promised we could call ... 


More on Traffic – When You Get Pulled Over

Ha! I am gleefully reporting that I am NOT the first in our family to receive a traffic ticket here in Joburg. This is definitely going against the trend established during our previous moves, where I was (unfairly!) singled out for the most obscure traffic violations. This is Noisette’s story from the other night:

It was a Friday (duh!, he was later told by friends, Fridays are ALWAYS the days the cops are out, as they’re looking for a quick buck before the weekend) and as always traffic was backed up coming from the office. In an effort to get on the highway quicker, Noisette did what he (and on other days ... 


Security and Crime

If you’re moving to South Africa, this is probably your number one concern, so I’ll share the few insights I’ve so far gained. Not that I’ve gotten much of a sample yet, because any security problem you might encounter would happen when driving into a not so safe area, and I haven’t even ...