This Thanksgiving break I inexplicably got it in my head to migrate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. What I should have done is a) picked a more opportune time when I wasn't already extremely busy, and b) created a test domain to migrate my blog to before switching to live, which I could have built in peace and tested to my heart's content until it was rock solid. But I didn't.
Most expats sell their cars in their home country when they leave and buy a new one in South Africa. But what if someone doesn’t want to give their car up? Maybe it’s a vintage model or a custom-made dream car, or maybe they’ve just grown attached to a specific model that isn’t available in South Africa. Whatever the reason for wanting to keep your current car, there are ways to make it happen.
There is a lot of confusion around the topic of a South African driver's license for expats. Do you need one at all? Does it depend on your type of visa? if you do convert your foreign license to a South African one, will you have to take another road test? We've collected reader comments and information from various websites to give you some answers.
One thing South Africa doesn't do particularly well is public transport. Without a car, you're pretty much lost in Johannesburg, otherwise a world class city in many ways. That is not so different from many American cities, where public transport is often scarce or missing altogether. Here is a story of having to ride the bus to get from one city to the next in America.
Driving in South Africa comes with a few caveats. And it's not driving on the left side of the road, for those who are not accustomed to it, though that is also the case. The real challenge comes from the South African traffic police randomly stopping you to solicit bribes. It's important for you to know your rights and the law so that you can't be bullied into paying a bribe.
Of all the bureaucratic headaches assaulting you when moving to South Africa, perhaps none is as fraught with angst and speculation as that of the driver's license. But don't despair. It's really not as big of a problem as it's made out to be. Learn all you need to know about South African drivers' licenses and how, if necessary, to convert yours to one.
I don't know if it's an African thing, or a South African thing, or just a Joburg thing, but traffic circles there work very differently - and, once you get the idea, better - than in the rest of the world. Noisette still doesn't understand it to this day, but it is a brilliant concept. I wish there were traffic circles everywhere in the world, and I wish they all followed the South African system.
Not much can be so anxiety-inducing as being stopped by the police in a foreign country. Especially in a country such as South Africa, where there is no shortage of horror stories about crime and corruption (even though they can also be humorous rather than frightening). The question is this: Should I bribe the cops when they stop me? If not, what SHOULD I do?
I've told you my story about buying a car in South Africa, in all its detail. I've also told you my story about selling the car again, taking place almost three years later, and it provided another welcome opportunity to let you learn from my mistakes. But what might have saved me a great many words (and almost certainly some money) is a simpler approach: I could have used Gumtree.
Buying a car in South Africa is relatively straightforward. You pay, you get the keys, more or less. It's the registering of your car which will have the potential to drive you insane. The main reason many expats will question their sanity a few weeks into their stay in South Africa is a little document called Traffic Register Number. You need one before you, a foreigner, can register your car.