Here I am

Trip Start Mar 18, 2007
Trip End Aug 16, 2007

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

After a long, long trip... I've finally made it.  After picking up my rental car, my first day was not without event.  I took a wrong turn driving to Pretoria from the Johannesburg airport, something I noticed as I found myself suddenly on a toll road in an increasingly rural area.  Anyway, I pulled off at an exit to start heading the other way, only to learn that the toll system is to pay when you exit or enter the road.  Oh, did I mention that I had not a single rand, the South African currency?  And they don't take credit card.  No problem, I'm told, do I see that hole over there?  No, what hole.  The one between the trees.  Between the posts.  No, I don't see it.  So I'm told to just drive back onto the road, via the exit ramp, and I'll see it.  But I don't see it.  So I drive to the next exit, and I'm told virtually the exact same thing.  I eventually piece it together that they want me to drive through the grass between the two sides of this interstate-like road, in a gap between trees.  Having no choice, I comply, fully expecting my first morning in Africa to result in some sort of police encounter.  But it was no problem, that kind of stuff is... normal, apparently... which wouldn't be a problem for me, except that I also have to remember to drive on the left side of the road, while shifting with my left hand.  I've seen some wild moves pulled on these streets already.  It's very exciting, driving is an adventure.

 And my job is pretty great too.  I have an unbelievable office, with a decent view too.  And... yes... even a balcony.  The only problem is the 20 mile drive each day.  Hopefully I can find a place a bit nearer to the NECSA complex which is, by the way, a very cool place.  It's a huge place, with a nuclear reactor, a decommisioned uranium enrichment facility, a particle accelerator, and plethora of other random facilities.  The area is a sort of nature reserve, as well, with, I'm told, plenty of game roaming the complex.  I believe it, too, as massive piles of dung line the sidewalks.  And, today, I walked past two monkeys looting a trash can.  It was really cool.

Now, I should probably take a break from roaming the internet and blogging to, maybe, think about doing a little bit of work.  Or not.
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