Well, my short sojourn to South Africa has finished and I am back in the UK. I am suffering from sinusitis and apathy, and frankly dread going back to work tomorrow.
I was only there for just under 3 weeks, but accomplished a lot. My car is sold, my furniture is sold, my collection of “stuff” is so much smaller, and I have managed to cull 2 sources of debt from my “portfolio”. It was traumatic getting rid of some that I have had for years. I still had the bed I bought in 1984, as well as quite a few other items that I bought all those years ago when I moved out on my own. They are now history.
What did I think of South Africa?
It has become expensive; foodstuff and clothing have jumped in price, all of which is exacerbated by the e-toll debacle. Service is still mundane in some places, and generally the areas I was in are looking decidedly shabbier. Quite a number of shops that I had frequented before had also closed, and there was a decided look of emptiness on the shelves of others. I did experience very good service in a number of places, and for that I am grateful. It did make my life easier. Unfortunately SA is suffering from a number of strikes that are effectively killing the economy, and that means things will just get tougher. If my memory is right the Rand/Pound exchange rate was about £1=R16 when I arrived, and when I left it was £1=R18.04.
I was not there to do the “braaivleis, rugby, sunnyskies and chevrolet” thang (gads, I hate that advert). It was all about rationalising my stuff and moving the balance into a smaller storage unit. I did bring 3 of my doll collection back with me, and some of my anime has also come back with me. My computer is broken up, my book collection is reduced, and it was not an easy thing to do.
My mother was relieved to see me after so long, but I think she is also resigned to the fact that I will not see her again probably till next year. She is unfortunately bearing the brunt of neighbours from hell, and is convinced that “payback time” will arrive one day. The reality is that had I had a job in SA I would not have moved to here, and could have done something to get her moved elsewhere. Frail care would be the ideal situation, but finances really govern what can or can’t be done. I was also re-united with my friends and of course their collection of cats, sadly, one of these is really showing his age and it was not easy to see this once fiercesome street fighter reduced to being a mere shade of his former self.
The flights home were long, and by the time we landed I was tired, but, I did get to watch a number of interesting movies, most memorable being “I, Frankenstein” and “Pompeii”. I do not know how I managed to get such a kak seat on my Dubai – Heathrow leg, but I do know that the guy sitting next to me was a real grumpy-kun. Frankly I am not too big a fan of those new fangled A380’s, if anything they are just like everything else I have flown on, just with more people.
So, in a nutshell that was my trip. Phew, tomorrow its back to the olde grindstone. I just hope that the pile of busted equipment hasn’t completely obliterated my desk.
© DRW 2014-2021. Image recreated 17/04/2016