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: 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.



  1. Ooo – Durbs bai the ceeeeeee. That’s my city, man. You’re not missing much, just sun, sand, sea, surfers and more muggings. Annie x

    Comment by Anne — 23 May, 2007 @ 12:45 pm

  2. and I thought i was cold. put on your woolly knickers!

    Comment by lucy p — 25 May, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

  3. Brrrr!

    And there’s wussie ol’ me avoiding a dip in the grey n murky Briny… with or without wetsuit…!

    You’m ‘ard core, bird!

    Comment by vic — 26 May, 2007 @ 5:56 pm

  4. “Strangely, they weren’t carrying guns – what sort of amateur mugging behaviour is that?”

    NOW you’re beginning to sound like a South African 🙂

    Comment by Helen, Cape Town — 5 June, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

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