Before I left the office, someone emailed me, in jest, why I didn't "regale (the readers of this blog) with romantic tales of riding on a jeep into the Savanna, swinging with the apes (ala Diane Fossey), or stroking the lion's mane while feeding it raw meat!"
Prior to this trip, I would've thought South Africa was all about the Safari and the Savanna stuff. I've since learnt better.
During the past week in Pretoria and Cape Town, much of what I've seen was from inside a car, setting off at 5am in darkness, then the rest of the day inside a training venue, and finally off in the car again back to the house.
But I did visit some malls and restaurants. The car trips brought me through the roads of Pretoria and Cape Town, passing through the country side and town areas.
I had a chance to walk along the Waterfront in Cape Town, I've seen clouds billow gently over Table Mountain. I also visited the Union Building and fell in love with the flowers and well-kept greens.
I saw shanty towns along the country side. There were modern buildings in the cities. Traffic problems were discussed daily (it's a growing problem). Crime was mentioned too, but I didn't feel I was in any immediate danger in the places I was brought to.
South Africa isn't all about Safaris and the Savannah. Those are the typical National Geographic stuff (which I admit, were the first things that came to mind prior to the trip).
South Africa is also about its city and her people.
I'll always remember the hospitality of the people. Those I've met were genuinely friendly and hospitable, generous with their 'Please' and 'Thank You' and 'No Problem, You're Welcome'. It's 1st Class Service.
But I think in a romantic sense, it's the Southern African sky that I'll remember most fondly. That brilliant azure sky.
If I stare at long enough, I could almost lose myself from the hold of time.
One incident marred the entire trip though. It was on a plane journey back to Singapore. A guy, in a drunken state, made me want to lose my temper. But that's him being an asshat and in the end, he embarassed himself more than anything else.
Will I visit South Africa again? I can't say when that will happen with certainty, but I can certainly say, "Yes!"
Just hope I don't meet asshats on or off the plane.
I'll blog more about South Africa if I get a chance to come home from reservist training. There's still a pleasant aftertaste of Southern Africa, metaphorically speaking.