South Africa: where I've seen thing you people wouldn't believe. The mighty hippo's nostrils. I watched mad taxis glitter in the dark near every stop. Sudden storms like tears from ten billions eyes. Beautiful people in a fantastic country. Time to remember.
The long war with the kid and back to Jo'Burg.
Last day in Capetown. A morning visit to the waterfront, just in time to enjoy a 30 minutes tour with the boat, and to see seals sle
eping or showing off in the mole, to see from distance Robben Island
, the place where Mandela was kept in jail for many years.
Time to give back the car to Hertz and to say goodbye to the beautiful Cape Town. While we flew coming in, we decided to get the bus on our way back... a 18 hours ride.
I don't remember much of the bus, I just remember the kid sitting before me. I'm never too comfortable sitting many long hours on a coach, because I can't
never stretch my legs, so when the annoying kid (he kept waking up his poor friend to show him his new high score at the gameboy) tried to lower his sit and steal my precious leg space, I just decided to not let him do it, and for almost all the trip I kept my legs pressed firmly against his sit.
It was a long trip, and the dvd player on the bus broke down soon after we left, just 20 minutes before the end of the Ocean's 11 movie. We stopped every two hours or so, to relax, buy food or wondering where the hell we stopped.
I really trying to remember what I saw during the 18 hours trip, but, excluding Kimberley
, a city built around a huge hole manmade to dig diamonds, the rest was rocks, hills, grass, and nothing else...
We arrived in Jo'Burg the next morning, and Lindsey's parents collected us at the coach station.
They showed me Johannesburg while driving back, a city, it seemed, completely lived by the black population. The white population moved mainly in the area surrounding the city.
I'd like to spend few lines talking about what fascinated most about my Jo'Burg experience: taxi drivers
and electric fences
Taxis in Johannesburg are completely different than the one we all know and love. They can store up to 20 people, squeeze maybe even 10 more, cause they look more like minibus. They work more on the "bus" idea, with people stopping them with an intricate movement of fingers at determined points. The drivers are reckless, and they drive those minibus/taxi like 4x4 cars in the savannah.
That's why even if the number of street accidents may be low, the amount of deaths is always high: if 70% of time a taxi is involved in a fatal accidents, and if 90% of the time a taxi involved in a car accident carries between 10 to 20 people, than you can easily do the maths!
And in Johannesburg I saw the biggest taxi depot ever. Scary like hell.
The other interesting thing is the obsession with security. EVERY conglomerate of houses outside Johannesburg has an electric fence built around. In Johannesburg they don't need it, the "armed response
" sign does it just fine.
By the way the voltage isn't too bad. I tried it myself, obviously.
Let's come back with the story. After visiting a section of Johannesburg dedicated to London (every single street has a name recalling
some London place... Fulham Road, Barnes Road, Richmond Street etc...) and relaxed a little at home, we (me and Lindsey and Shari) went to a barbecue, or braai, as they call it there, to Chris' house. A huge storm hit us on the way to the place, but it didn't spoil the fun and the food.
And the pool with warm (but) salty water was another chance to relax after so many days of fooling around South Africa.