We're waiting at the airport in Johannesburg for someone to give us a lift out to get closer to home. Last night, we were still hoping to make it to Germany to attend my nephew's wedding in Freiburg, but when we saw Lufthansa was extremely overbooked for the next few nights with an equally long standby list,we realized it was not to be. We investigated Delta for a flight home, same thing there for the night. The flight was hopelessly overbooked, and there were a ton of people on standby with us 27 & 28 in the cue, so we called Hector at the B&B were we had stayed on our arrival here.
Now after having a good night rest, we are back at the airport waiting for another 8 hours until we find out if we can actually get on for tonite. The joys of flying standby! But we wouldn't be able to do this traveling any other way.
This rest just gives me time to reflect a bit on a great time here in South Africa,
One thing that stuck out for me was how relaxed life seems to be, at least in East London. I got used to walking slower and taking my time to do stuff. As an example, our gardener, Nico, annoyed me in the beginning for coming late, and I don't mean just five minutes; sometimes it was over an hour, but by the end of our stay, I just got used to it and was very surprised when he turned up on time on our last day here.
What also made our stay very pleasant here was the cost of everything. We would go for dinner and for a comparable meal at home of $25 per person including wine, we paid about half.
That's the upside for us. The downside is felt by the other side. People here earn very little, like $15 for an 8-hour job cleaning house or gardening.
The experience here made me appreciate even more the life we live. I suppose that is reflected in the statistic that says that we in the US & the Western countries in general are the top 1% of the worlds population.
We had great weather, so we took advantage and walked the beach every day and went on some safaris, Patricia covered all of that in here writings.
Whenever I park my car somewhere, someone would be there pretending to make sure it is safe, and of course, you tip them when you leave, and I found it very appealing how everyone cups booth hands when receiving a gift. The tip for a service like this usually is $0.05US. I am not joking.
We got to make a lot of great friends here, and on our last Sunday, Jimmy & Theone invited us to a great restaurant about half hour drive from East London, right above the beach. We ate lots of oysters enjoyed a fantastic buffet. To top it off, the chef at the restaurant is our new friends Mary & Steve's son.
|Steve & Mary|
|Patricia & Ady|
|Rod, Jimmy & Theone|
|Mirjam & Annkathrine|
Now we have another notch in our house-sitting job reference and new impetus to continue in the profession.
And to cap it off, we have another night in Joburg. Did not make it out of here; better luck tomorrow.