Saturday, November 10, 2012

Johannesburg Week 1

Here we are on SA204, having successfully dodged Superstorm Sandy who tried desperately to keep us waterlogged in NJ. Although no bars were open in the airport--we made up for this by drinking as much free booze on the plane as we could hold. In between Dry Lemon & Gins, we did crosswords, walked around, and took funny photos.

Our seats were equipped with these useful television screens (YES! How I Met Your Mother AND Big Bang Theory were both available!). These were handy to see where we were in the world. We actually got a great view of a lightning storm off the coast of Freetown in Sierra-Leone. Simply stunning. And here we are flying over Namibia just 4 hours before landing!

The Rubidge family was kind enough to host us for our first night so we didn't have to sleep on hard floors in our empty house. Their home is lovely, and here we are drinking tea, eating cake and chatting about all things South Africa.
(Left to Right: Marc, Marina, Bruce, Kelsey)
 Marina is a wonderful cook!

And these two adorable Corgies are 
Clumpie & Rumple Rubidge.
Such sweethearts! 

On Monday, our belongings finally arrived!!! These are only four of the five crates. They had to go back and retrieve the last one once these were unloaded. I'm standing in the middle of our driveway gate. Let the unpacking begin!!

Our amazing crew from Pickford's. They all spoke Zulu, and were awesome. One of these guys can lift a box on his head that took two US guys to struggle to lift. I was impressed. They couldn't believe how much stuff we had and seemed to have a good time laughing at us silly Americans.

Here's just a sample of the amount of crap we had to unpack/set up. I think we might have set a record because our house looks relatively normal in just three days. This is our front hall (front door is to the right). Oh, did you notice our NEW VACUUM!?! :)

Our first task as South African residents was to outfit our new home with appliances. It's common here for previous home owners to take washing machines and fridges with them, even in rentals. So, we headed off to MaKro's to purchase our first grownup appliances. We got a great washing machine that can wash up to 13kgs of clothes. It plays merry little tunes to apprise you of its progress. And behold...our SA fridge! You'll notice it's slightly smaller than a USA fridge. We assure you, though, there is plenty of space for necessary items (see below)!

 All of the essentials:
beers (top rack), custard (door), and of course, 
a wine rack.

 Just when we thought we could take a break, Jonah had a last-second scientific visitor. He was kind enough to provide us with meat & beer, the South African essentials. On the left are skilpoetjies (pronounced "Skul-Pike-Ease"). These are lamb liver covered in spices and wrapped in lamb intestinal fat. These little things resemble small tortoises, hence the name. On the right are pre-marinated kabobs available in any grocery store in great abundance. The makings of our second braai.

Many of you have been asking about the beer selection here. The best common beer is actually Namibian and is shown here on the right. This beer is pronounced "Vund-hook" and is like a typical European-style lager. You can see our transformer (the bomb-esque black box) in the background, powering our red rice cooker.

Kelsey's first South African purchase at the Checkers (local grocery store). Ranch dressing is not available here (gasp!), but luckily, bleu cheese dressing was!

This morning, we ventured to Neighbourgoods Market, the hipster farmer's market, just by campus. It's two floors: the top floor has clothing and jewelry and a bar with tables outside, the bottom floor has many tables of food to purchase. Mostly lunch items and delicious bites. There is also an abundance of organic wine & local beer to purchase a glass of. The local crowd was availing themselves liberally of both. (I have to say, I was pretty surprised at how trendy Joburg is so far. It's really a great place!).


  1. Haley would never eat the lamb liver and I'm still not unpacked from my move. Miss you guys glad you're enjoying it so far! I'll send you some laundry to do. Love you :) love whit

  2. haha Whitney couldn't be more right. as soon as i read what it was, i was disgusted and can't believe you'd eat that. ew! It was fun to read about your trip so far! i like this site! love you two! miss you!!

  3. Grown up appliances! Clumpie! Trendy Farmers' Markets!