Now, off to South Africa…

9:00 P.M. April 4, 2009

Going to the boarding gate, I realzed that I’ve been in this airport for nearly 9 hours… Tired, anyone?

I was one of the first passengers to arrive to the gate, and it where it started: Afrikaans was being talked by some of my fellow passengers.

As someone who likes to hear other languages; I heard some English, Dutch and German words in the mix. That was later corroborated to me…

So after the regular boarding pass and passport verification, I boarded the plane.

To my surprise, my seat was near the end of the plane (there’s a joke about this, but since this is a G rated blog, I will omitt it) and in a three seat row, fortunately(?) I had the aisle seat. I sat with a couple that was going to SA on some unknown purpose, to me at least. I initially assumed they were South Africans, but they were queued to the “Other countries passport lane” when we arrived.

This time the plane only took the usual measures and up we went, another 10 hour flight to arrive to my final destiny…

Sunday, April 5

The flight was quite uneventfull, and we arrived to SA pretty much on time…

We got off the plane and went to the customs area where three lanes were open: South African passports, Other African passports and all the rest! Just kidding, it was called “Other countries” but it felt it like that…

One odd thing though, a family of three went ahead everybody on the queue, and nobody said something… These people can be found everywhere, right?

Anyway, off to pick up my luggage and find out if something happened to it… No news on that, both pieces arrived and were unharmed…

Now I had to do three things: first get some local currency, second call back home and third grab a cab to get to my hotel.

After sorting both things right away, well to my spouse demise, it was almost 1 a.m. when she answered… 😛

So I went where the taxis were suppose to be and I was up to the first surprise of many, basically all airport taxis (at least the ones I saw in that area) were high end cars: Mercedes, BMWs, the sort… That’s a change from the ones we have back home!

The second thing I noticed: pretty much of the people working in the service jobs are black. This doesn’t pretend to have a futher lecture or to be read between lines, just stating a fact. Evenmore, the weekend after I arrived I had the chance to know a tour guide, and he told us that since the car he drives at work it’s the model some taxis use (a Toyota Minivan) sometimes people signal him to stop, but when they notce he’s white (he’s from Scotland) they put an amazed look…

Anyway, we went through some of the highways towards Johannesburg and found the view as any other country I’ve been, but with one difference: we were on the left side of the road and the driver was sitting in the right of the cab… Say, what?

That’s one of the most strange things I’ve ever saw, I know, it’s an inheritance from the English…

We only stopped once to ask for directions and arrived to the hotel. Taxies could be somehow expensive here, wel it depends on what you think of it: It charged me R350 (which are around 35 USD)…

I checked in, I unpacked and proceed to take a LONG bath… After that, i went exploring. Our offices are very near where I was staying , and since there were 10:30 a.m., I went exploring…

I ran into this little shopping place just around the corner, I went on walking and noticed another thing: this city had to be an up-scale one… In the surrounding there is an Ashton Martin, BMV and Ducatti dealers… And on the streets too…

And there I went, there is a construction ahead (I later found they are constructing a subway) and another mall… which brings me to other “odd” thing, most of the shopping sites have hotels associated to them…

There, our offices in South Africa. Wow, only a 10 minutes walk… This is going to be easy tomorrow… OK… Let’s explore the mall…

Next: Working in South Africa

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About jcesarmo

A bit crazy, sarcastic, eloquent Mexican

Posted on April 18, 2009, in Life or something like it.... Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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