Jason's Southern African Journey 2005 travel blog

A beautiful Hartbeespoort sunset

The poolhouse/bar at the Moonlight Backpackers Lodge. Home to many a game...

The main building of the Moonlight Lodge

Me, Christel and Yogi


Hi everyone,

Well, I'm finally in Africa. I landed at Johannesburg airport here in South Africa at around 9:30 this morning local time (it's 6 hours later here than from the east coast of the US). I was met at the airport by Christel who, along with her boyfriend Yogi, run the Moonlight Backpackers Lodge in Hartbeespoort, a popular tourist town about 90 minutes northwest of Jo'burg. My 15 hour layover in Paris was uneventful simply because Air France hooked me up with a day room at the Sofitel Charles de Gaulle airport along wiht a free lunch and dinner in the restaurant. Seeing as I was worn out from the flight, I basically just slept and hung around the hotel instead of heading downtown.

After taking a 2 hour nap I spent most of this afternoon walking around the property here and making friends with the 4 dogs who live here. I also learned a couple of random interesting things about South Africa. Because of the diversity of cultures and languages it is mandated by law that 3 different languages be represented on TV: English, Afrikaans and a third local language that usually has tribal roots. The amount of airtime each language receives is calculated by what percentage of the population speaks that language in a respective area. What some shows do is have 90% of the dialogue in Afrikaans (a cross between Dutch and Klingon) and then have some random character who comes out of nowhere who only speaks English. As I only speak one of these languages it's as though the guy speaking English in the conversation either belongs in a nut house or is a horrible ESL teacher.

Jan: Hi Mike! How was that party last night?

Mike: Pfjnekn jhkjshdk khjn.

Jan: Yeah, the quesadillas were a little overdone.

Mike: YDjhjk lkjlk bnjnknkl.

Jan: You can say that again!

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