The right side is the wrong side.

February 9, 2006

We are in Johannesburg, South Africa. Wherever we go we try to soak up the local culture and seek out local adventure. Since Jo’burg is a city of mall culture and the car jacking capital of the world, we decided there was no better way to fit in than to rent a car and hit the malls.

It is, however, not the risk of car jacking that is scaring me- it is driving on the left side of the road. It takes complete concentration to make a right hand turn across a divided highway and go through a rotary without killing myself or anyone else. I must have turned on the windshield wipers twenty times trying to use the turn signal since everything is reversed.

Despite all this, after our 89 hour experience on the train (coming soon!) we decided to rent a car and tour South Africa without depending on public transit. Since the dangers of the center of Jo’burg have driven many people to the suburbs, we spent yesterday visiting a number of malls that comprise the social and recreational life of most white residents of the city. We were buying a tent, air mattress, cooking stove, pots, towels and the dozens of other things that we need to be semi self sufficient as we drive the country.

Today we are leaving Jo’burg and heading northeast toward Pilgrim’s Rest and then on to Kruger National Park. On Sunday we start a three day hike through the park, then we’ll head to Swaziland and along the coast toward Capetown.

We now have a South African cell phone with free incoming calls, so give us a buzz at [number deleted becasue it is no longer functional]. The 0 may not be necessary when calling from overseas, so if it doesn’t work try removing the 0. Please remember we are 7 hours ahead of the East Coast so please don’t call past 4pm ET unless it is an emergency.