Daily Archive for: ‘March 6th, 2013’

Welcome to SA: William Jones

Welcome to SA: William Jones

William 2            William 3

1. Flight and airline?

Delta flight 200. Atlanta to Johannesburg direct (http://www.delta.com)

2  Johannesburg, South Africa. First thoughts?

So excited to be in SA and to see my friend! The airport is easy to navigate and the Gautrain is a clean, quick way to get into the city.

3. How many days did you spend in Johannesburg?

 9

 4. Where did you stay and why?

 We stayed at Southern Sun Hyde Park. My friend suggested it and I had been to the rooftop lounge with her on my first trip, so I knew it would be a nice place to stay.  The room was lovely and the views are amazing. We had breakfast in the hotel most mornings and went a few times to the pool lounge. The food and drinks were good, as was the service. The people at the front desk were very helpful when we hired a car. Also, being connected to Hyde Park Corner gave us lots of convenient options for food and shopping.

5. Stereotypes you had before?

This was my second trip to Johannesburg so I was sort of familiar. I remember on my first trip I was surprised at how much the landscape looks like California to me.

6. Best part of your trip?

The point of the trip was to see my friend (Adjoa Amuah) . The best part was just hanging out and talking to her.

7. Worst part of your trip?

Leaving. Isn’t that always the worst part?

8. South Africans are the most ___ people?

South Africans are the most open people. All of the people I’ve met there are very open in their conversations. No subject is off-limits and nothing is shied away from in any conversation. Race, religion, politics, sexuality and anything else are up for discussion anytime, anywhere.  And it’s not a salacious or voyeuristic thing; it’s an open, frank, inclusive exchange that no one is afraid to have. It’s refreshing to me. I’m lucky enough to know someone who lives there and I may be exposed to conversations that most tourists are not, but openness has been my experience with South Africans.

9. What do you think of the new currency?

I love the new currency! Mandela definitely deserves the honor and the vibrant colors and the animals are stunning to me. I’m American and am used to looking at boring currency, so any colorful departure from that is exciting.

10. Best restaurant?

The Foundry. (21 3rd Ave, Parktown North, 2193 Johannesburg, Gauteng) The mushroom ravioli there is particularly good.

11. Distinctly South African things that you did

The first night we were there we went to the Sanlam FoodWineDesign Fair (http://foodwinedesign.co.za/home/). It is an outdoor market featuring the best local furniture crafters, artisan products, top wine labels, micro breweries and speciality foods. I tried Kudu and Wildebeest stews. I had never had African game before and they were both delicious. If you can find it, I highly recommend.

12. How do you say hello in Xhosa?

Molo! (I didn’t learn that on my trip, I googled it just now)

13. What does travel mean to you?

I believe that experiencing another place enhances my perspective. I think that I’m a more understanding person because of travel. Even though people live in different geographic locations and are products of different cultures, I’ve seen that everyone wants the same basic things. I do recognize that travel is a luxury and an indulgence, but it is an important part of my life.

14. A must see for future travelists?

Neighbourgoods Market. I bought a peacoat there that I am obsessed with. It’s by Adriaan Kuiters and I wish I had bought more of those clothes.

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