Tommorow is Good Friday, and strangely enough, its not a public holiday in Ireland.
Its what they call a Discretionary day, so businesses can “declare” it a day off for their staff, or not (like my employers). The Mrs works for a company that likes their employees, so she has tommorow off. I don’t. Which is rather rubbish, but not nearly as rubbish as being home in bed sick on a free day! Heh
So in the spirit of being mean for Easter, here’s some instructions on how to make an Easter Egg that no-one can retrieve
Back. Still alive, barely.
Its been a crazy few months…
To sum it all up, we got married! Yeah, that sounds dramatic, but it did take 4 months. And then I was forced to spend a week on the beach in Mauritius. I can think of worse punishments
Anyways, thats the state of things, and I’m sure there’s more to come.
We’re looking for a new place to move into. This apartment is starting to feel a little small, so we spent the last few days searching for houses.
(And then we’ll finally ship over all the stuff that we left in South Africa)
Stay tuned! Who knows… I might even post an update this year!
We’re doing a little touring over the next few months.
Now travelling on a South African Passport is far from easy. Infact, its near impossible if you’re going anywhere that requires a Visa. Which is just about, Everywhere!
Its a real pain in the ass.
So I was at the French Embassy applying for a Multi-Entry Shengen Visa.
The Visa section is a tiny waiting room (Looks like a converted double garage), with 9 seats in a U-shaped layout, and a bank-teller style window where you get grilled about your intentions.
They only allow 10 applicants in at a time (the rest get to stand out in the street until someone leaves). But today, each applicant had a child in tow (except me), so it was a little crowded in there.
Now loads of kids in a confined space, causes a load of screaming and screeching. And parents shouting at their offspring, “Leave the ladies bag alone!”, “Stop pulling that kids hair”, etc.
There was one well behaved little boy, who was laughing and playing under the chairs, just keeping to himself and not bugging anyone. We learned that his name was Robert.
Both his parents were there. The father was Irish, and the mother was Chinese.
His mother, had a partial dublin accent, we call this Dublinese.
Someone’s other child had escaped through the front door, and was heading as fast as a 2 year old can travel, towards the front gate. So there was a rush of excitement as people dashed to stop it.
In the meantime, Robert had climbed up on to a chair, and another kid was complaing loudly to his mother that “He’s sitting on daddies seat!”. Daddy was standing at the interrogation window, and wasn’t going to be returning to his chair any time soon. This little brat was getting on my nerves lately, he was a spoilt little shit, and was always complaining to mommy about everything.
Robert’s mom had decided to try and keep the peace, and started to reign him in and keep him close.
It soon became apparent, that Robert’s father won, when it came to naming their child.
“Lobert”, wasn’t listening to his mother.
We’d waited so long, and now we were finally in the land of the sun.
And it was hot.
A little too hot infact. I wasn’t use to it anymore, I was suffering.
Then there was the drive back home, which was an experience. Read the rest of this entry »
As promised… Tales from the Holiday
We flew with Air France this time around. Dublin to Johannesburg, via Paris.
None of this 2-stop nonsense (Last time, we did Johannesburg to Windhoek to London to Dublin).
The Flights were great, the service was good, and the onboard movies were good.
I don’t think they make those seats for people with shoulders though.
Arrival in Johannesburg was good, smoothest landing yet. I didn’t even realise we’d landed until Jeanine nudged me.
Too bad our luggage didn’t get to experience it too. It was still in France. Apparently they need at least 1h30 to transfer the luggage between planes, and our stopover was only 1h15, so it missed the flight. Read the rest of this entry »
We went back to South Africa for Christmas and New Year.
It was a nice 2 week break from all the madness of Ireland (especially around Christmas time)
It was also a break from reasonable internet access. It was just so slow trying to post blog updates, that I gave up after attempting to login for 5 minutes (and I’m not that much of a blog addict to sit through the pain).
So I’m back now, and I’ll be telling you all of our trip, complete with pictures and the odd video.
There is so much to say, so I’m in the process of writing it all up, and then I’ll probably have to split it into multiple posts to make them readable.
Our adventures covered things ranging from the mundane (such as waiting in queues to renew a drivers license) to the frustrating (lost luggage, destroyed credit cards), and even as far as the bizarre (elephant riding and pet zebras).
So keep checking back…
In South Africa, after a grueling set of flights and security checks. Exactely hours after leaving the apartment in Dublin.
After some unusually heavy Good Friday traffic, and the taxi running out of petrol (yeah… typical), we made it to the airport 5 minutes too late to board our Ryan Air flight.
We ended up booking ourselves onto a British Airways flight that arrived 1 hour before the connecting flight to Windhoek. So it was a bit of a run through Gatwick. Thankfully we managed to get the luggage (23kg each! yay BA. boo Ryan Air, and their stupid 15kg limit) checked straight through, so that saved alot of time. Although it did take a fair amount of running backwards and forwards between the BA ticket desk, the ATM, and the Air Namibia desk.
The Flight from Gatwick to Windhoek was fairly uneventful. And very empty. We ended up with an entire row of chairs to ourselves, so Jeanine ended up sleeping across 3 of them.
The Pilots are Afrikaans. It was quite a shock to hear that accent again.
I really like Air Namibia, they seem to have kept that old customer-centric approach to things. Friendly staff, flexible tickets.
Windhoek Airport, is something out of a movie. Absolutely flat landscape, dotted with little shrubs. And in the middle of nowhere, is a massive runway and the small airport building.
Standing on the tarmac looking out, and all you see in every direction is perfectly flat, dry, shrubbed plains.
Thats something I’ll never forget.
Its also the only airport I’ve ever been in, where the smoking area is outside on the tarmac…
And the only airport where they employ about 20 people in yellow jackets to stand in a line, like a bunch of traffic cones, to direct people down the tarmac to the airport.
The flight from Windhoek to JHB was nothing unusual. Same old friendly service from the Air Namibia staff.
So 4 airports, 3 flights (excluding the missed flight), 3 in flight meals, and 24 hours later. Johannesburg.
I dont know what I was expecting, but not much has changed. There’s tons of construction going on at JHB International (I refuse to call it by its other “name”). The roads are the same, the drivers are the same. The fear is the same.
Its good to be back with the family. It feels like we were away for so long, but it also doesn’t feel long at all.
The puppies didn’t know what to do when they saw us. Except Giselle, who widdled all over Jeanine with excitement.We
So. Its 2:25 on the day that we’re set to fly off to South Africa.
Looks like everything is packed.
Which idiot at came up with that stupid 15kg per person luggage allowance at Ryan Air? I’d like to have a word with the little twerp. He probably believes that if you’re going to be spending more than 2 days somewhere, you might as well own a second, fully stocked house there. Thus negating the need for more than 15kg worth of luggage.
Either that, or he doesn’t believe in toiletries and clean underwear.
Seriously… I’ve had to pack most of my clothing into my carry-on bags, which means I’m going to be lugging all that weight around with me through 4 airports while the baggage throwers get to manhandle two huge bags full of easter goodies for the family.
So this will be my last entry before we’re off to good old .za
With any luck I’ll be able to post updates from my Parents place. They have “broadband” after all…
So the dates are finalised, and the flights are all booked.
The family are making space, and the friends have all been alerted.
We’ll be arriving in JHB on the 7th of April, at around 13:00.
That is, after a flight to Gatwick, and then a Flight to Windhoek (Yes… Windhoek, in Namibia), and then finally to JHB. Thats almost 16 hours after we depart from Dublin.
We’ll then be heading down to Cape Town on the 16th to do the real Tourist stuff we could never afford to do when we lived in South Africa.. (Isn’t that sad!)
And then we’re off back to Dublin on the 20th. Sadly, not going back via JHB.
So now you all know
(I’ll be available on my old South Africa Cellphone number during the duration of our stay, if anyone feels like giving me a call)holiday, south africa