Tuesday, August 23, 2011

China Town - Late August 2011

Oh rapture!!! one of my, admittedly smaller, dreams came true and I finally got to go to Chinatown! This is a large shopping complex situated in Bruma - East Gate, which is largely devoted to selling Chinese goods < - - as you might just have guessed.

Oooh look! Look! Oriental writing that I can't read and that could actually be a curse on all Caucasians and their fore-bearers! Yay, we must nearly be there!!

Okay first sight out of the car was the loos. Not to get titchy or anything but what is that brown stuff oozing from the walls? Walk on Jo, walk on!!

Inside the complex and WOW! Stalls everywhere! Things everywhere!! It's all so bright and garish! Of we go!!! And yes, suspicious looking lady, I am taking a pic of you!

Colourful!!! Doesn't it just make you want to dive right in and see what weird and wonderful things could be in there?! (This time I waited for the guy to stop staring at me before I took the pic, variety is the spice of life [Though pepper is good too]).

Beads! Beads! Beads! The amount of beading shops was astronomical! If there exists a bead in this world, then some of it's kith and kin exists in Chinatown!

Seriously, beads everywhere!
Okay but besides beads there were also:-

Toys - all sorts and varieties, some I'd never seen before and some I hope to never see again! Going to china town with a small kid or medium sized Jo is really not recommended!

Odd Chinese Stuff - Have you got the balls? I do! A nice green, musical pair! And too late, I've heard every innuendo and joke about it under the sun and over the moon, but thanks for trying all the same!

Weaponry - So if you want to rob the shop you have a wide variety to choose from!

Um - Well I suppose a wig can be useful... All these disembodied heads are a little creepy though, I sort of half expect the eyes to follow me as I go past! *Shivers*

Um?!?! - Want a last statue of Elvis? Maybe Michael Jackson to scare the kids? You want it, they got it!!

It was wonderful though! So much to see and touch and smell and try not to step in! I thoroughly recommend it as an adventure for the whole family! Just maybe go at the end of the month when funds are low, otherwise who knows what you'll step out with! "But Ma! Ah jus' had to have one o' them rotating Jesus statues with them thar perdy green light up eyes!!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Cradle Mid August 2011

A weekend away? Why yes I'd love it!

So off we went to the Cradle resort, situated in the Area known as the Cradle of Mankind, (Origionality wasn't their strong point) about an hours drive from Randburg. I'd not done any research on the area or even so much as asked for clues about it through charades, so it was all terribly exciting! That whole, "I've no idea where we're going or what to expect, eeeek!" kind of feeling!
ROAD TRIP! (Short but it counts!!)

Traveling the long and windy roads to the Reserve, you notice everything is very beige and brown and crisp due to it being winter, but the weather was surprisingly warm and the car trip wasn't uncomfortable at all! I can just imagine how it could have gone... 5 people in a car when it overheats and strange, and best left unmentioned, odours start to permiate your senses! Thank you gods of weather for your kindness!

From tar roads to lumpy-bumpy sand and dust roads! Once inside the resort you drive for Kilometers yet to get to the chalets themselves. It's an up, down, up-down-down-up, ditch, ouch-my bum sort of ride!!
I think it would be nice for spotting animals but most seemed to be having an afternoon siesta when we drove down. Does a dust devil count?

There we are! hidden amongst all the twigs and grasses! Rattly branches and a forest-like feel made it seem like a scene from 'The Blair Witch project!' (Only the home vids we made were far more entertaining...)

This is the reception hut. Isn't it teeny? Very small and snug, though I don't recommend it if you're too much bigger then Jo height!

As everyone got their resevations sorted I made friends with the local wild life.

There was a lot of plant life and even a stream to explore. Alas, unlike weird Uncle Freddy, it didn't have any crabs! We walked all about it though spying on the various things it did have. Rocks.
A lot of rocks.

But there were a few odd creatures about as well! ^_^

This is the outside of one of the chalets. They're all connected by bridges that have that classic smell of pitch and tar to them. You had to keep all the windows and doors locked because the monkeys, who were not very photogenic, would come in and make off with your biscuits! Our neighbours discovered this the hard way.

This is the inside! Small hey? Like a hobbit hole! the bathroom is behind that bulging lump of wall and privacy is well near not an option. Half the lights were on strike but luckily at least one worked! They do provide you with most everything you'd need for a self catering place though. Mind there was a spider on the curtain and I sure as heck don't remember ordering that!

I think this is either the electricity shed or a prop from Stephen king's 'Tommyknockers'! Open the door and find people in pickling juice having their brains sucked dry!!! Damn, the door is locked! Ah well, it's not that high up on my 'to do' list anyway!

So of course we all ended up taking tons of pics of the braai! That came out really well! (The pics and the food!). It was warm and snuggly as the night air became more and more chill! And SO QUIET!!

It was a nice little place to stay, and for a Couple (It gets a bit cramped when the numbers start leaping past 2), it would be a great get away from the worries and strife of modern civilization. (But with a fridge and cell phone signal because there have to be limits, you understand.) You couldn't stay a week, you'd get bored and turn cannibal, but for a weekend away it was, all in all, pretty dang nifty!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Through slush and snow! 15 August 2011

Cor Blimey! Middle of August and the sun's been getting stronger, (a bit like your old tough Gramps after a mean bout of clenching constipation), and the days are getting warmer and warmer and really, who needs that extra blanket any more? And then...
You're slapped upside the head with one of the coldest days of the entire season!!
Do you call that playing fair?!

I was in the middle of my walk when the hail came down! I phoned Rob and we decided that going to the shops would be a much better idea in the nice, warm car. It turned out to be quiet the adventure instead!

The first sign we had of impending doom was a splotch of slush on the windscreen that vaguely resembled frozen bird poop. Then the stuff came spewing down looking for all the world like some sort of Slush-puppy mixture, maybe the original, unflavored variety that no one likes but slimmers pretend to and gulp down in large mouthfuls as their taste-buds desperately grasp for anything even vaguely resembling taste!

Rob went into daredevil mode and very confidently sliced through the ice and smoosh that had conquered lesser vehicles! The road was full of this frosty, ice chunky water that made the most ghastly sound when being thrown backwards into car steel by the tires, like a thousand mouse skulls being pulverized with the greatest of ease! KKKRRRRRRRRRAH!!!!

The stuff piled up in no time! It looked like such a classic winter scene! Wouldn't you just expect to see a shy wild reindeer out in the grasses? Or maybe a yeti, running free, with someone's kid under it's arm... Gives you a warm glowing feeling doesn't it?

I will admit it was a bit scary in the car with the elements going psycho outside, but also, curiously satisfying! It was like, "Haha! Rage all ye will, we shall triumph!" < - - Admittedly I only thought this AFTER we were safe and sheltered!

To be fair it was only for about 10 - 15 minutes before the deluge turned to just rain! It always feels longer when you're living it though!

When we did finally stop the car was covered in this beige / brown ice that did not look all that finger licking good! Ooooh and it was so cold! Cold cold cold cold cold!!

Just goes to show, don't count your summer days before they've dawned!!

Keep warm everyone!