The magic of Harties

Yep, that's what you get to see when you take the Harties cableway!

Yep, that’s what you get to see when you take the Harties cableway!

As unpronounceable as it might be for us foreigners, Hartbeespoort is actually quite a well-known place amongst Jo’burgers. Just one hour away from the big city, the small resort town located on the slopes of the Magaliesberg range is the go-to place for who want to escape from the frenziness of the city, reconnect with the wild and enjoy the deep blue sight of its famous dam.

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Where the wild things are…

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It took me a while to understand it. And then it hit me. I was looking for a Christmas gift for my nephew, something not too heavy for my parents to bring back in their suitcase, but something meaningful, something that would last longer than the usual 2 weeks of post-Christmas euphoria; so I was looking for such a gem when my mind stumbled across one of my sweetest memories as a child: the reading of “Where the Wild Things Are”, by Maurice Sendak. And here it was, plain for me to see: not only had I found the perfect gift, but I had also solved the mystery of why I was so fascinated by South Africa.

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My year with Madiba

Extract from last new's newspapers, the day Mandiba died

Extract from last year’s newspapers, the day Mandiba died

What a presumptuous title for a post! But still a meaningful one… We arrived for the first time to South Africa last year the day he died. In these days of remembrance, one will surely reflect on how the life of the leader of the nation has impacted his/her own. And so do I. Hence this post. Continue reading

The true weight of heritage

My dear future train driver

My dear future train driver

On September 24th, people celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa. On this occasion, everyone in the country is invited to re-connect with his/her own roots and to show for the whole word to see that despite its differences, this patchwork of tribes, races and cultures has finally learned to live happily together.

Heritage Day has soon turned into Braai day, the braai – local barbecue – being the common denominator bringing people of different layers of the South African society together. On that day, right before noon, the acre smell of burnt charcoal rises from every house, every garden, every park, striking eyes and nostrils equally while opening a long awaited perspective to your tastebuds. You feel “yummy” inside before you can even see the shape of a braai in your horizon.

This year was the first I participated to Heritage Day, and as excited as I was, I must admit that the memory of it is still bitter-sweet to me.

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The sun also rises on Soweto

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Jabulani Theatre reflecting the first rays of the sun

Soweto. Or So.We.To. for South Western Township. Its history is intrinsically linked to the one of Johannesburg, and its name bears memories of freedom fighters and greater men.

Soweto was created as a result of the gold rush that started in the late nineteenth century in the south of Johannesburg. “Matchbox houses” were put up for the hundreds of black workers who came to the golden city in the hope of making a living  and it grew steadily during the industrialisation of the first half of the twentieth century. Continue reading

I learned something valuable today

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There are a few things you will learn when you arrive to Johannesburg. Casual ones, like to always carry a lip balm with you everywhere you go, as the dry climate tears your lips apart. Or more serious ones, like to roll up your windows at crossroads, to prevent the mash and grab.

And then, there is the golden rule. Always hold on to your remote as if your life depended on it. That’s your lucky ticket, the one you don’t want to share, because a remote, that’s basically the key to a safe place in case of emergency. And in this city, you don’t want to jeopardise the access to your safe place. For your own security, and more importantly, for the one  of your family.

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