Ag in Africa

21 May, 2007

Meanwhile, 10 hours south…

Filed under: johannesburg — Ag @ 9:37 pm

It’s freakin freezin man!

Just 10 days ago I was basking in Maputo. That pic of me below was taken at night outside, and look! Naked arms. Then we made an error of judgement and drove 10 hours south to Joburg. And look at this obscenity: http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/5day.shtml?world=0082. To be fair, if you look after the 25th it’ll probably be 25 degrees. But if you look today you’ll see it’s going to be -4 tonight, a balmy -2 tomorrow night and -6 on Weds. I daren’t cry in case my face freezes. 

And it’s completely dry. It hasn’t rained for weeks. Apparently it won’t rain til Sept. My skin is cracking. Everybody’s skin is cracking. In the malls and in cars and in offices you see people slathering themselves with grease. Men women babies animals. We’re all trying to stop ourselves from cracking up. I coat my lips with vaseline and they’re dry before I’ve finished my sentence.

Weird weird foreign weather. Actually, weird foreign behaviour as well: nobody here has heating! They have heaters – those horrible gas bottle ones, and the two-bar ones that are reminiscent of the 1970s and nylon – but they don’t have central heating. They say that the winter is too short to merit central heating. Too short? It’s 3 months long! True, it will probably be warm again next week, but these freezing temperatures are not uncommon throughout the winter. Too short! 

But, it takes more than cracked lunar skin and hell freezing over to stop our national sport – crime. My superace friend walked up to Pick n Pay (isn’t that the worst name for a supermarket you’ve ever heard? It’s Tescos, by the way, in disguise) to get me a bottle of wine (really nice stuff and it costs £1!). It’s a 5 minute walk through my leafy suburb. And he got mugged on the way back. Fortunately for him, though not for his assailants, he’s hard so they came off worse. Strangely, they weren’t carrying guns – what sort of amateur mugging behaviour is that?

Meantime, I’m turning my attention to Durban. I’ve never felt moved to visit Durban, but it’s only 6 hours drive and 20 degrees tomorrow. But for tonight I’m going to grease myself, hug my electric oil radiator, moan about the weather with my English friends and drink loads of tea. Home from home.

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16 May, 2007

I love Mozambique

Filed under: Mozambique — Ag @ 7:07 pm

I know a lot of my posts are titled ‘I love….’ but I love loads of things. Lucky me! Actually, I love Lucy and Michael and my mum and Poppy and Daisy, so Happy Birthdays from Maputo:

Happy birthday from Maputo

So I’ve just got back from a holiday in Mozambique. It’s gorgeous, empty, tropical, undeveloped and all that stuff that won’t be true in 5 or 10 years. It has the most perfect beaches I’ve ever seen. Actually I’ve seen outrageously perfect beaches in Thailand but they do tend to be peppered by nearly-naked Westerners, looking like fleshy whales, but not as cute. I feel ashamed to be a Westerner in this respect – in Africa and Asia, where modesty in dress and respect for local customs is carefully observed, the bleedin ugly pink Westerners insist on getting their kits off and revealing their pinky-reddy breasts stomachs arses torsos, with no regard for their own dignity or the dignity of the people from whose hospitality they are benefiting. And they just look stupid. We all look stupid enough lying around on beaches anyway, oozing money and leisure and look-at-our-privileged-lives, without blotting the incredible landscapes with our flesh. So PUT SOME CLOTHES ON! Have some respect FFS.

So back to the case in point, whatever that means. The first four pics are taken in the Bazaruto archipelago.

Bazaruto archipelago, Mozambique

Rogerio and the crew
Rogerio and the crew taking us out to sea.

The Indian Ocean, Vilanculos, Mozambique

Bazaruto archipelago, Mozambique

The archipelago is off the coast of Vilanculos, which is about 18 hours drive from Joburg. Vilanculos suffered horribly from a cyclone a couple of months ago, as these two pics show:

Cyclone destruction, Vilanculos
The building at the front had a roof and paneling around it. Now it just has the supports. The roof at the back is covered by plastic because the roof was ripped off. Most of the buildings were damaged in this way.

Cyclone damage, Vilanculos.
This was a warehouse type building before the cyclone.

If you can’t decide where to go for your hols this year, I’d def recommend Vilanculos. It’s beautiful, unspoilt, cheap and they could really do with your custom right now.

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