Expatting vs Backpacking

Disclaimer: The following post is tongue in cheek.   I don’t have any prejudices against back-packers, it was rather a specific comment, by a specific person – known henceforth as Pinhead –  at a specific time, that inspired this little piece.  IMG_6164

Continue reading

High Altitude, Dry Altitude

Jo’burg is located up on a plateau, known as the Highveld, which is some 1753 metres or almost 6000 ft above sea level. Yes, we live about a mile high. One of the things you quickly notice is that the air up here is crackling and dry, particularly in the winter months when rain is scarce. This results in dry-wizened-zombie-hag skin which feels like it’s going to crack and fall off at any given moment.

Continue reading

Star Wars in South Africa

South African Star Wars fans are in for a treat.  DSTV’s channel 109 is going to host a pop-up Star Wars channel for an entire fortnight, starting on August 31st.  The smorgasbord of movies, interviews, documentaries and behind the scenes peeks on offer will ensure that all Star Wars fans can have a total fest.

Star Wars pop up channel

Continue reading

Awesome Blossom

Spring is in the air here in Jo’burg.  You can tell by the awesome blossom that is beginning to bloom.  I’ve mentioned the phenomenal bird life in South Africa, but the annual techni-coloured flower show we are treated to is also stellar.

Red Tree
Help. Please tell me what kind of tree this is?

Continue reading

Cultural Conundrums in Constantinople: Time Warp Tuesday III

November 2011 – Istanbul

Sultanahmet is the original heart of old Constantinople, now Istanbul.  This is THE area that draws tourists in the by the coach load.  The magnets being Topkapi Palace, the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cisterns, all located within spitting distance of each other.

View across the Golden Horn of Sultanahmet, taken from Galata Tower.
View across the Golden Horn of Sultanahmet, taken from Galata Tower.

Continue reading

A Friend at Hand is better than a Far Distant Relative

“A friend at hand is better than a far distant relative.”

This African proverb of unknown provenance is printed on a patchwork quilt that I won, a quilt made by a brilliant group of expat ladies (which is a story for another time).   It’s not just a proverb, it is a truth, a fact, a mantra that the seasoned expat understands well and one that new expats will learn very quickly if they are going to survive in a strange new place.


Continue reading

“Roughing” it at Number 1

IMG_6039 1
The City of Gold takes…Gold!

I previously told you about some of Johannesburg’s winning ways in the post: It would be a crime NOT to tell you. Now, I’ve stumbled across some MORE positive news about this thrumming city that we currently call home. Jozi has been ranked in the top spot, the numero uno big banana of cities to visit in 2015 by The Rough Guide.

Continue reading