Converting, comparing and jalapenos

When travelling words of advice given freely by all around is never convert, especially as a travelling South African, where our Rand can fluctuate off the scale just depending on what our “esteemed” president has for breakfast, and don’t compare.

Day 1 – draw 100 pounds and receive an sms to say I have just withdrawn R 1700 of my hard earned cash, day 2 and 100 pounds equated to R 1850 – ouch!!!! And so the converting continues – it is really hard not to, when you know you can buy a really decent bottle of Merlot back home for about R 60 and that is what you get charged for a glass, and a half full one at that. But enough about that depressing subject and onto comparing.

As South Africans, we tend to complain a lot about our beautiful country, how things don’t work, the litter, the lack of public transport – the crime …. don’t forget about the crime, though I have to say I have heard more police sirens whilst here in the UK than I do back at home, though some may say that is because our police maybe don’t have as many vehicles or they are not that committed to chasing the criminals. And we oft tend to forget all the good, the wildness, the beauty, the people and sounds – on all my travels I have found nothing to compare to the noises of an African night in the bush, the cicada beetles on a hot summers day, the crickets, the frogs and those dreaded Hadadas* at 5 am on a Sunday morning.  Even the abundance of the Indian Mynas* in Natal sound like home.

The idea for this post however was not formulated to compare one country’s pros against the cons of another, but was after going to movies in the UK for the first time with my sister yesterday.

I thought it was expensive back home, costs 3 x the amount here, service is exactly the same.  You can book your tickets on line and collect from the totally unmanned ticket office, queues for the popcorn – identical – with lines forming and only 2 people serving.  I can never understand why it takes some people so long to decided what they need to eat whilst watching a 2 hour movie! BUT – its is what is on offer that I hope South Africa never follows suit, you can buy a bottle of wine, which maybe depending on what show you are going to watch, could be a civilized option…….. but the plate of nachos and salsa and jalapenos that the fellow movie goer sitting next to me had ordered I really draw the line at.  The lingering odor of the meal stayed throughout the show, give me crunching popcorn and slurpy slurpys any day.

* Hadada – the loudest bird in Africa

*Indian Myna – one of the top 100 invasive species in the world

 

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