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  • Brian D. Hinson

Honeymoon in South Africa



Part 3 of a series on Africa travel. Black Lives Matter.


When we were dating, my wife found out first hand that she wasn’t really into third-world travel. She was brave and adventurous enough to travel to Venezuela and Southeast Asia with me, so she really did give my style of travel a good try. When it came time to plan a honeymoon, we chose a compromise place that I’d visited twice already: South Africa.


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Apartheid was nine years gone by that time, and the nation was still suffering fallout: crime and corruption. The transition was not going to be easy or short. The black majority had been oppressed for a long time and considering the vengeance bloodshed that could have occurred, they did remarkably well. Well enough that Kathleen and I didn’t only spend happy honeymoon days in South Africa, we went house shopping.


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Johannesburg and Capetown are perfectly cosmopolitan cities. Both have their issues, but blogging here is a guy from Detroit. Kathleen was receptive to the idea of a big move, and the houses there that we could afford for under $150,000 were absolutely splendid. And one could hire cooks and maids and pay them above the standard and it would still be economical. We could have lived very well.


But, when considering a move, those aren’t the only considerations, and in the end, Kathleen thought a life switch to the literal other side of the globe would just be too much.


The three-week honeymoon was splendid. I blogged a while ago about Kruger National Park, and we did that with more luxury than I would have normally sprung for. Honeymoon, you know. In Capetown we stayed at the luxurious Twelve Apostles Hotel. While there, I looked up Isadore, a friend I had met in Namibia a few years back. I knew he was an architect. I found his office number in the yellow pages and gave him a call. This was out of the blue, no warning given.


ME: Hello, Isadore! It’s Brian from the States. I’m in Capetown!


ISADORE: No, you’re not.


ME: I am!


ISADORE: No, you’re not!


Me and Isadore, Kathleen, me again.


This went on for a bit, as Isadore is really a funny guy, and brilliant and kind to boot. He drove us around Capetown for a day, touring the wine country and hitting the beach. His hospitality and mirth are unparalleled.


Same for South Africa. The nation has been through a lot and there’s still challenges. The bed and breakfast we stayed at in Johannesburg still showed dark signs of the past. The matron of the house was verbally abusive to the black help, right in front of us, so that had to be the routine. She had to think this was still acceptable. I do hope, since another seventeen years have passed, that things have progressed.


Work still had to be done at the bed and breakfast in Johannesburg.


We’re still married, by the way. 😊


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