2016 Christmas Holiday in Africa

overall aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa

It has been 6 years since Robin Zodiac has traveled to Cape Town, South Africa.  The climate is similar to Southern California, but December and January are windy times of the year. She began regular Christmas trips traveling on 2 to 3 flights for two days to reach the ‘Motherland’ in 2000. The jet lag usually takes 10 hours to recover from being 10 hours ahead of California time. The sun is brighter with little smog in the air and able to smell the shrubbery once exiting the plane.

South Africa has 15 different languages, but most speak the Queen’s English.  There is allot of wealthy properties next to shanties, which is traditional tribes living in shack communities with tin roofs and dirt floors.  It seems that everyone walks around with smiles on their faces.  It is often to see baboons crossing the streets and must use burglar bars, unless living in a gated estate area.

It is common to see black women walking with baskets on their heads or their baby tied in a blanket to their back.  Most natives still use witch doctors instead of proper medical services. The food is pure and the dairy gives cheese and chocolate true enjoyment when eating.  The cost of food is allot less and it seems really reasonable to dine out, because the bill (or check) is a third of the price of a meal in the States.  It is new in L.A. to purchase grocery bags, but this has been the case in South Africa for decades.  Selecting a movie theater seat was another thing to be implemented in the States from Africa, but America serves alcohol and sometimes meals depending on which movie house you attend.

It has been told that there are 3 women to 1 man and Cape Town has a large homosexual community.  Gays have been marrying for years in South Africa and even though the apartheid ended in the mid-90s compared to America’s race equality of the 1950s to unite the races, it seems there is allot less of racism in Africa.  But, there are laws that employers must hire more blacks than whites and these business permits are checked yearly.  It is more difficult for a white man to get a good paying job due to these laws.  But, Robin was raised in Washington D.C. and it was like this in school with a dozen of whites to thousands of black and the teams or cheerleading squads only allowing 1 or 2 whites allowed to participate.

There has been many changes, since Robin’s last visit.  There was always a person in the car parks helping load groceries into the car for a tip.  It was common to see workers cleaning the floors and windows or manning the bathrooms at the malls, but these jobs do not seem to exist anymore.

Driving in Cape Town is on the left side of the road does take some getting used to, especially when told to turn right or left.  And, when using the car’s indicator (turn signal) is with the right hand or the window shield wipers will go on.  Also in some Provinces people get an electricity bill, but in Cape Town you must go to the market and add funds to a bank-like card and insert into the electrical box that is usually located in the kitchen.  There are not electrical sockets in the bathroom either.  It was like this with wifi, but now you can pay a bill for unlimited useage and different packages are offered.

Tips before coming to Cape Town;

  • Bring an unlocked phone or if you have paid your bill for 12 months constantly, your carrier will unlock your phone to get a local number. Robin Zodiac bought a second phone with data and hotspot’s her American iPhone to it for navigation.
  • Buy a Skype phone number and credit to be able to call anywhere in the world.
  • Reserve a rental property on Gumtree, which is like the American’s Craigslist.
  • Book no later than August to get a flight or a self-catering rental.
  • Schedule plastic surgery appointments in advance, because it is more than half the cost in the States and the doctors are the best in the world.
  • The South African Yelp is Zamoto for reviews.

Robin Zodiac has felt a huge American influence this year’s surroundings, unlike years past.  She is organizing her visa to move back to South Africa by the end of 2017 in hopes to establish manufacturing company for her patented products with cheaper labor available.  If applying for residency, you must stay in the country for 4 years as other Commonwealth countries require i.e. Canada and Australia.

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