Leaving on a jet plane

Trip Start Mar 13, 2010
Trip End Feb 13, 2011

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Flag of South Africa  , Gauteng,
Thursday, July 1, 2010

After finally saying goodbye to our truck buddies in Cape Town we boarded a coach and set off up to Pretoria to visit my Aunt Kate for a few weeks. The drive was an epic 22 hours, at one point an hours drive from our last-rest stop we were told that someone had got off at the wrong place so we were turning around to go and fetch them! -Only in Africa.
The next four weeks were a fantastic tonic after a very busy 4 months of travel. Lots of daytime T.V, a comfy bed and long hot baths! Mark spent many hours getting sozzled with my Uncle Bill who regaled him with war stories and we ate meat till it was coming out of ears.
We went on various day trips to museums, monuments and casinos (my Gran's influence) but mainly just enjoyed feeling at home. It gave us a very good insight into what it's like to live in South Africa, for example having to wait for SIX HOURS in a hospital to pick up a repeat prescription(!) Having other people put petrol in the car for you, paying people to guard your car once parked, and being on constant hijack alert. One article I read in the newspaper summed up the state of things perfectly. It was about the discovery of an abandoned HEARSE which had been crashed into a fence on some disused land. The hearse (presumably stolen and dumped) had a coffin containing a corpse in the back, it was only approached after passers by started to complain about a "bad smell" coming from the vehicle. Apparently the police had actually been alerted to the situation a few days before but no report had been filed and nothing was done. Even after the second call it took a few days to actually recover the coffin after much faffing and confusion over who had to deal with it(!) 
Living in Africa is unlike anywhere else in the world, it has redefined the meaning of incompetence and frustration for us but it has also provided breathtaking landscapes, awe inspiring animal encounters and the opportunity to meet some amazing people. From Maasai warriors who showed us hospitality beyond their means, to ragged children waving at a big yellow truck from the streets to fun-loving truck mates from around the world who became friends for life. So it with with heavy hearts that we headed to the airport on Marks birthday to leave this amazing continent but this was countered by a lightness of the unknown still to come. As we waited for hours to be checked in at Johannesburg airport, and for another 45 minutes at the desk for my passport to be properly processed i couldn't help but smile at the aptly African kerfuffle of a send-off we were receiving. 
And unbeknown to us, the efficiency and impeccable standards of service on our flight with Singapore airlines was equally apt for a reception into the Asian way of life which we were entering!
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shiiuga on

Howdy, pop pickers!

Glad to see you had fun in Saaf Ahfricah! Got your postcard the other day, and I am insanely jealous you got to go to a World Cup game. It's not quite the same but I just got back from the second leg of the Liverpool vs Rabotnicki tie at Anfield.

When/where are you guys going to be in America? My itinerary is fairly easy so let me know (email me: patrick.r.kidd@gmail.com) and I can arrange to meet you where/whenever.


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