Friday, October 19, 2012

And now for something completely different

Having been in South Africa for several days now I though it might be of some help to post some of what we have come to understand about this nation and people. It's probably important to note that in no way should this be considered factual or even too accurate given our limited view and time in this country, but here are some observations.

When asking for the final bill eating out, you ask for the book, not the check.

You always greet someone with the time of day(good morning) not a simple "hello" or "hi"

There is a wide disparity between the wealthy and the poor in South Africa. 5% of the people possess about 95% of the wealth.

The coast of Cape Town is beautiful... See picture below

Americans are spoiled when it come to unlimited phone service. This week we are limited to 35 minutes of wifi access through our hotel and 1 hour at the local McDonalds- where no one seems to eat except tourists.

There is a deep, expansive level of respect in this nation for the people who spoke out and suffered under the apartheid regime. We saw it with Ahmed Kathrada, Mpho Tutu, and with the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town.

Even with the fall of apartheid there is still a pretty strong class system here with the whites on top, followed by colored people (non-black) and then blacks. There is some room for movement now among these groups.

iPhone cords can handle the 220 volts from the outlets here. A Nook cord can not. Nothing damaged.. Just not helpful.

Mango juice is so sweet, I can hardly drink it.

African beef tastes awesome! Whatever grass they feed their cattle makes a huge difference in flavor.

Yes, I've tried warthog, kudu, ostrich, and crocodile- all of which tastes excellent. Springbok is my next hope.

Boike, which was an Afrikaaner traditional meal was very similar to beef stew, substituting warthog for beef.

South Africa reflects a very diverse group of people from the native South Africans, Influences from the Dutch and British and also the Afrikaans.

I really need someone to explain cricket to me. Not much of this makes sense. But a game that literally takes all day seems like a lot to me. Sports in South Africa seem to consist of rugby, cricket, and football (soccer)

African people we encounter appear to know much more about what is happening inside our country than we do about theirs.

There are simple switches on all South African power outlets that turn on and off these outlets. Why don't we have these in America?

I have a sneaking suspicion our 2nd bus driver hates Americans from the way he drove. He might not like too many South Africans either.

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