Thursday, February 7, 2013

The African Disease

I suspect that not many of this blog’s readers have visited Africa.  That is too bad, because you have missed something magical.
I always tell friends who plan to travel to Africa that they will catch a terrible disease when they are here.  This disease, for which there is no known cure, causes the victim to want to return.  And each time, the victim returns to Africa in an attempt to find the cure, the disease intensifies.
There is something about the continent, particularly sub-Saharan, that is unlike anywhere else I have ever been.  As I step off the aircraft in Johannesburg, I can smell that I am in Africa again.  Not only is there physical beauty in abundance, as well as unparalleled wildlife, but the people are delightful.  Despite the terrible things the civilized West did to Africa and its inhabitants, there is a pervasive sense of humour and a friendliness that is hard to find elsewhere.   
South Africa, where I was born and live half the year, is a mix of first-world amenities and infrastructure, and third-world attitudes.  Particularly appealing is the amazing creativity that pervades the country, with beautiful items being made from simple things, such as cans and bits of wire (see my blog Something from Nothing at Names too – particularly of roadside stores – are delightful.  We have seen The Taliban Haircut and Car Wash, the Empty Tummies Café, The Welcome Bar No. 1, The Welcome Bar No. 2, and the Jailbirds Security Company.
I thought for today’s blog, I would share some photographs that help to capture the relaxed spirit that is Africa.  They are taken from a variety of sources.
In case you didn't know

In case you didn't know

Be prepared

My job is painting lines, not removing trees

"Operator, I'd like to place an international call . . .

Turn me on, if you dare.

Hotel with a view and t y y y

..and it gets good gas mileage too

If you can't have an open bottle in the car . . .

Hmmm . . .

Let's go for a Sunday afternoon drive, dear.

Each toy is one of a kind.

If you can't afford shoes . . .

Everything you need for a braai (BBQ)

Who needs a Weber to braai (BBQ)

'Nuff said

Sometimes there's nothing to see along the road.

At first I thought this must be Boston . . .

Stan - Thursday


  1. Bravo, Stan! I loved it. The photos make me want to go through my old ones of growing up in Pittsburgh, especially the tailgate party shot. Go figure:)

  2. Mal d' Africa! The most delightful disease! Like teenage infatuation, the more it moves you the more you welcome anything that intensifies it! Thanks, Stan, for ratcheting mine up a few more notches!

  3. I need to get there! Many places that I would like to see, but particularly high on my list is Asmara, Eritrea. One of these days...