Hong Kong Living, A Squash and A Squeeze (minus the livestock)

Hong Kong living can be a squash and a squeeze, skyscrapers make up the skyline filled with small apartments.

Hong Kong is an exciting city.  It’s completely different to anywhere else we’ve lived. There are things that we like, things that we love and things we’re still getting used to.  One of the biggest adjustments when moving from almost anywhere else in the world to Hong Kong  is the bijou nature of the accommodation.  It’s shall we say….efficiently compact.    Continue reading

What was Hong Kong’s Biggest Super Typhoon Mangkhut like?

D0547967-7106-46ED-93E6-328B2FAB1BF0

On our expat travels we’ve experienced a few hairy moments. There have been riots, petrol shortages, a political coup, contentious elections, minor earthquakes and an unexpectedly severe hail storm in Johannesburg. Now we can add Super Typhoon to the list. Toto, we are DEFINITELY not in Joburg any more.

Continue reading

Out of Africa

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_76

It’s been woefully quiet on the blog front.  Woefully, pitifully quiet.  That’s because during the long summer break, we’ve been in transit.  It was our turn to pack up, ship out and move on.  After five fabulous years, the sun has set on our South African adventure.  It has been a huge wrench to say goodbye.

Since those first stumbling days where one child got a little too up close and personal with a lion cub and the other innocently asked whether Nelson Mandela was the guy on the red and white KFC boxes our kids have learned, experienced and grown (quite literally, height wise they are both catching up with me at an alarming rate) an enormous amount   They’ve encountered  many of the wild residents of African bush, learned about the unfairness of apartheid, ridden an ostrich and can recite the alphabet in Zulu.

Continue reading

Penguins, Roadworks and Peeping Toms

Here are just a few of the most unusual and memorable signs we’ve encountered in South Africa.  In many ways they reflect our experiences here.

 

  1.  Always expect the unexpected …and in South Africa always expect wildlife, anywhere and everywhere at any time.
IMG_5232
Watch out for the poor little penguins.

Continue reading

Could Beau Constantia be Santa’s Secret Hideaway?

IMG_3974

Whether or not Santa spends time here, there are hills to roll down.  What more could you ask for?

Have you ever wondered where Father Christmas goes to recuperate after his mammoth Christmas month?  It could be anywhere really, but I have a theory that it could just possibly be Beau Constantia Vineyard in South Africa.  Here’s why… Continue reading

Where are all the Old People?

IMG_8153

Living abroad, certain differences between your home country (or wherever you’ve just moved from) and the country you have moved to are startling.  They are eye-popping and jaw-dropping, immediately leaping out at you in the first days and weeks.  Other differences are more subtle and take far longer to register.

I slowly noticed that one of the differences between South Africa and everywhere else I’ve ever lived is that you rarely see old people in public spaces.  I don’t mean old-ER people, like the glam grannies I see hanging out at play areas or in coffee shops with their grandchildren while mum and dad are still at work.  Neither do I mean the sprightly pensioners who eagerly help out with after school activities.  I mean the truly elderly, the ancient, the frailest citizens.

South Africa, I really hope you don’t mind me asking this question.  It has been simmering away and niggling at me for months, it is very much an observation and absolutely not a criticism.  South Africa, where are your wrinkled and your wise?

Continue reading

5 Reasons to Visit Cape Town’s Castle of Good Hope

Castle of Good Hope Cape Town South Africa view over courtyard.

For a long time the Castle was the tallest structure in Cape Town – not any more!

The Castle of Good Hope is unlikely to be top of your list when visiting Cape Town.  After all, it has to compete with the mountain*, the infamous island*, the abundance of vineyards and craft breweries, beautiful nature and beaches and superb restaurants, copious shops, sunset cruises and the stunning new Museum of Contemporary African Art.  But if you have a spare half day, tucked away behind the unappealing stone walls is a fascinating attraction.

Here are 5 reasons you should visit the Castle of Good Hope: Continue reading

Visiting or Moving to South Africa? Here’s how you can get Culture Smart!

Culture Smart South Africa front cover of book.

Culture Smart! has updated their guide to South Africa and as part of their first ever blog tour, promoting updated and brand new titles, I was invited to take a sneak preview.

What is Culture Smart!?

The concept of the Culture Smart! book series is similar to traditional travel guides in that they cover the basics of geography, history, language, climate and so forth. However, rather than accommodation, restaurant and sightseeing listings, Culture Smart! focusses on culture, customs and traditions.  This is for the traveller who wants to travel easily without offending local sensibilities.

 

What can I expect from Culture Smart! South Africa?

Continue reading