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.

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What’s Your Big 5?

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, and a jolt of regret that I no longer live there. This ad asked: What's Your Big Five?

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A First World Problem: We Have No Time

I am often nostalgic for the long and leisurely coffee mornings while living in South Africa. In part, they were possible because of domestic help keeping care of our houses, but there is another underlying theme: As a general rule, people in Africa have more time than people in the Western world. Which is why people in the Western world fall in love with Africa so easily.

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Ode to South Africa

Africa, it seems, was just as determined teaching me patience as I was determined to bend it to my will. Needless to say, I admitted defeat when I realized after more than a year that I was still carrying around with me the same dog-eared to-do list that I’d written the first day, without hardly anything checked off. The curious thing is that I was grateful rather than annoyed.

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Life in South Africa: The Unannounced Playdate

playdate in South Africa

More than anything else, the Unannounced Playdate is the face of the South African lifestyle. How many afternoons did I spend leisurely at a friend's house, only having meant to drop off or pick up my child, and, after being invited in, whiling away hours with great conversation while nibbling at biscuits and sipping tea? In South Africa, you are ALWAYS invited in, even if you're strangers.

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The Joys of South African Bureaucracy

If you have never lived in South Africa, the very idea of a TV License might be a rather alien one. Why would you need a license to watch TV in your very own home? But you do, renewable annually. It's their way of collecting a tax for broadcast TV. Even though you will probably never be caught watching that, and even though you pay a much more handsome fee for cable via Multichoice.

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