Friday, July 30, 2010

South Africa

A few weeks ago (or so) I spent some time in South Africa with my job. We landed on the day of the World Cup in Johannesburg. The stadium where the game was being played was only a few kilometres away but after a 14 hour flight and an almost 24 hour journey, football (soccer) was the last thing on my mind. I did hear the vuvuzelas from the hotel.

It is a shame to say that I saw nothing but work and some very fancy restaurants and did nothing but work and more work. But every trip stands out with something. Now, when I think back, when I think of South Africa, I will think of sherry.

Some really good local sherry. Yes, of course I bought some Amarula back but sherry is what will stick in my mind.

Sherry, as Neil informed me later, is a very Christmas(y) drink. So I decided to have Christmas every week, at least once. Now I just need to get some proper Sherry glasses...

Other things that I will remember when I think of this trip will be the barb and electrical wires on fences, the shanty towns or "informal settlements", bitter cold, kind people, South African accent, amazing food, and tiredness to the point of nose bleeds.

One of the most unexpected and surprising things was the matter-of-fact(ness) that the locals spoke of highjacking, kidnapping and robbery. It is so much part of their lives that when they talk about it, their voices sounds the same as when I speak about going grocery shopping. It's so sad because there is so much beauty in the country.

It was good. I needed a break in the routine. Surprisingly, traveling with the CEO was really lovely. I got to know him better and realised what an incredible sophisticated and humble man he is.

I feel blessed to have these opportunities.

I did not take this photo but here is a little taste of all the lovely things that I missed during the trip :) These are hippos, not pigs as it might seem... :)

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