Africa, Here We Come!

Johannesburg - I can hardly wait to return to the place where we once lived. I have a hard time imagining how it'll feel. Will everything look as new and intriguing as it did when I first arrived in September 2009? Or will it seem familiar? Either way, I plan to soak it all up like the thirsty African soil after a long dry winter.


Top 30 Things I Miss About South Africa

It’s hard to limit this list to something manageable, but here are the things I remember most fondly from our time in South Africa, in no particular order:

  1. Hadedas
  2. Gas station attendants
  3. Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika
  4. Cape Town
  5. Highveld thunderstorms
  6. Jacarandas
  7. Woolworth’s
  8. Weaver birds
  9. The awesome weather
  10. Cape gooseberries
  11. Founder’s Day celebrations
  12. Wine tastings in Franschhoek
  13. Lekker and Kak
  14. Safaris
  15. Street vendors
  16. The Dainfern shit pipe
  17. Sundowners
  18. Eskom (ok, NOT! I just threw that one in to see if you were still paying attention)
  19. Domestic help
  20. Cricket
  21. Avocadoes as main food staples
  22. Yes, Johannesburg
  23. The view of the Magaliesberg from Northcliff Hill
  24. School uniforms
  25. People named Lucky, Innocent, and Pretty
  26. Namibia (ok, technically not in South Africa, but you get my point)
  27. Singing and dancing
  28. Being an expat wife
  29. Lion porn
  30. The African sky

And now, before we get all teary-eyed, here the list of  ... 


Top Gear and Why Africa Stays in Your Blood Forever

Do you have a teenage son? If you do, you might be familiar with dinner conversations that start with “In Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson said…”

For a while, EVERYTHING 15-year old Jabulani wanted to tell us started with those words. Jeremy Clarkson and his two sidekicks were like demigods who could do no wrong. We were treated to endless recountings of Top Gear episodes, which cars they entailed, why this or that one was better than ... 


What’s Your Big 5?

I recently came across this advertisement in a magazine, I think it was actually the Smithsonian. The balloon jumped off the page for me – we did a balloon safari ourselves (though over the Magaliesberg, which looked a lot greener or rather bluer than the desert-like landscape pictured here) in 2010, and I have fond memories of it.

I’m surprised by the many South African tourism ads you see everywhere. Not sure why it surprises me – after all, South Africa is one of the most diverse and stunning travel destinations in the world – but it does. It always gives me a jolt of pleasure to see South Africa mentioned, ... 


A First World Problem: We Have No Time

I keep a file on my computer of miscellaneous pictures from our Joburg days. The other day, feeling nostalgic, I felt compelled to post this one on Facebook:

The caption read, Another thing I miss about #Joburg: Skoobs, a cappuccino served in a real mug (most often served with a pretty design on top), and people who have time to share said cappuccino. Come to think of it, that’s the thing I miss most – people who have time.

The post went on to outperform all my other recent posts. Don’t you love how Facebook screws you and tells you that for $10 it will show this post to all the people who like your page? Well, didn’t those people hit LIKE for my page precisely because they WANT to see such posts? Why should I have to pay to reach them? But I guess you can’t argue with a free service. Plus, how Facebooks is screwing us wasn’t really what I wanted to write about…

The reason the post ... 


Ode to South Africa

I was recently asked to contribute an article to the aptly-named The International Wanderer, a blog/website targeted at anyone who wants to live, work, study, or volunteer abroad. The following is an excerpt from that guest post, which turned out to be an ode to the life of fun and adventure ... 


The Joys of South African Bureaucracy

I’ve recently been suffering from Africa withdrawal.

As a cure for my blues, I thought I’d reflect on a particularly annoying reminder of South African bureaucracy that keeps coming up time and again, by way of my email inbox:

The SABC has not yet received your television licence payment for the current licence year. Your licence year runs from ...