Tuesday 25 January 2011

Day 6

Day 6 25th January
The views above are typical of Gauteng, which the area Jo’burg is in. Mango trees and fantastic landscapes and townships. I won’t be driving at night on my own and as long as you are alert and remain alert it is perfectly safe to drive here. I’m driving a rental car at the moment and won’t be buying anything flash, so not to attract attention. All bags are put in the boot and valuables kept out of sight, we’ve been told that if we are car jacked to raise our hands, place them on the seat belt strap at the shoulder, then slide hands down gently to the buckle and release, step out of the car and don’t make eye contact, they’re not interested in you, just your vehicle and it makes no difference if you’re alone or with someone else. Keep your mobile phone in your pocket with house keys and don’t forget to make an insurance claim.
This morning Peter and I returned to the bank....Peter has to give permission for me to have a bank account and as I’m here on a visitors passport it seems pointless as I won’t have any money to put in it. I’ve been using Peter’s card for the HSBC, you have to chip and pin for all transactions and sign as well. They stopped joint bank accounts last year to prevent fraud. A single woman can open her own account...talk about a suppressive country.
We drove to the office in Eden vale about 10kms from Jo’burg after dropping Peter off for the day I drove home. Road works and exit changes which hadn’t been updated on the sat nav made for an interesting journey home, thankfully I had paid attention and apart from the township I drove past I felt safe.
After collecting the boys from school we drove to Irene Farm, it’s a 112yr old/365 days a yr dairy. I had left my cards at home and was only carrying a small amount of cash, we weren’t able to buy drinks as they didn’t take cash to minimise robbery attempts, which is worth remembering. We drove onto the Mall for milkshakes and some bread.
SA is safer than I thought; I made an assumption that apart from the school runs I would be ‘stuck’ in the house all day and would need to go out with Peter couldn’t be further from the truth. If I want to pop out to the shops for a coffee or a pint of milk then I can. Living away from the tourist area is fantastic and we are also a bit of a novelty, apart from Dan and Alex there is only one other English child in the school and he was 2 when his family left the UK and has a SA accent.