REGISTER

WheresCherie.COM
3789506 visitors since 07/2002
search the site

Where Cherie has been

Cherie is currently in
the United States

Featured on: Yahoo! Picks
& USA Today

OC Register column

Tampa Tribune Article

Directory

Who's Cherie?

Model

Adventure

Contact Cherie

Parable

Most Popular

Friends & Family

Culture

Scary

Silly

Animals

Sports

Burning Man

Quotes

Sailing

Books

Cool Links

Invite a friend

Post News

Register an account!
Registering for an account is quick, and registered users can send messages to other users, post on message boards rate stories, and are notified of site updates.

login:
password:
poll
Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
 Safeway5 votes
4.42%
 Australia2 votes
1.77%
total votes: 113
read comments (1)
write comment

Poll archive

 

logged users ::
active for last 5 minutes

euskirkpatthadd
rhairhair

Site created by
Raging Network Services
Logo by
Chris Barela

RSS Feed

WheresCherie.COM Quote
"A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." -- Emerson

142--South Africa: I Ate a Giraffe
@ Where`s Cherie?     Jul 30 2003 - 15:41 PST
cherie writes: Flying to South Africa is anything but easy. My flight from Los Angeles to Paris was 11 hours (plus a 9 hour time change and a 5 hour lay-over) and then I straggled on another 10 hour flight to Johannesburg. On my flight from Paris, I sat next to a South African woman who reminded me of the dangers of South Africa for 9 of the 10 hours. The malaria, the AIDS, and the violence…I turned a pasty white as she told me tales of murder, rapes, and car-jackings.

Amy changed her tune the last hour of the flight only because I was seriously considering not getting of the plane. She became more optimistic about her country and my chances of survival. The Zulu people, according to Amy, were mostly murdering white farmers and taking back their land. “You shouldn’t worry.” Amy said trying to comfort me. “You don’t look like a farmer.”

As the plane descended into the capital of South Africa (the largest inland city in the world), I saw a thick band of smoke and flames. A farm was on fire. I gripped the arm rests and my eyes glazed over like a Krispy Kreme donut. Amy started to laugh. “They are burning the sugarcane. South Africa is an amazing and beautiful country. It’s not really that violent.”

When I landed Kristi, Renee and Carter were waiting for me with the hugs only close girlfriends can give each other. Then we drove to Tinus’s condo. Tinus is South African and is Carter’s boyfriend of three years. A traditional display of hospitality in South Africa is to serve honored guests a sheep’s head. Luckily, Tinus (pronounced like penis with a T) spared us the sheep’s head and made us sheep’s neck soup instead. Fortunately we didn’t know what it was until after we declared it was delicious.

Driving around Jo’burg (as the locals call it) is a treat for the bargain hunter. First the currency is the Rand and you get almost 8 Rand per dollar. Along Jo’burg main streets they have what Tinus calls the “highway shopping network.” Everything you can imagine is for sale on the side of the road. You can buy yo-yos, bean-bags, furniture, dog houses, golf balls and the item no tourist can leave Africa without--the 5ft tall wooden giraffe.

So far Jo-burg seems safe, but it is eerie to see a street of mansions with grills on their windows, electric fences and watchmen standing guard. Tinus’s condo has two sets of guards that make me feel safe and uneasy at the same time.

Driving seems to be the most dangerous thing here. The locals drive their jalopies like Formula-One cars weaving in and out of traffic like they have a string attached to their trunk and they are trying to lace up the freeway. Most South Africans (except the Zulu) speak English, but you still can’t understand anyone because of the many different words. For example, someone told Carter to “make a right at the robot.”

“What does the robot look like?” Carter logically questioned. I would have asked the same thing. I mean, was R2-D2 going to be standing on the corner?

Of course, she learned later after realizing that Jo’burg didn’t have any automated androids that “robot” is the South African word for “traffic-light.”

While visiting South Africa, the five of us (Tinus plus the four ladies) have been going through “robots” on the wrong side of the road. The South Africans drive on the left side (which of course is the wrong side, since us Americans drive on the right side.)

When you are stopped at a robot, it is common for someone to try to wash your windows, persuade you to buy an avocado, or sell you a joke. We like the buy the jokes because it’s better to pay for a little humor than be car-jacked. The joke-seller said “Thanks, boss,” after Tinus dropped him a few Rand.

“Why did he just call you ‘boss?’?” I asked confused. Carter explained that many black people call white people “boss.” I wondered if anyone would call me “boss” and Kristi kindly offered to call me “bossy.”

“No one will call you ‘boss’ because white females are called ‘ma’am.’” Carter clarified. I don’t like being called “ma’am”—it makes me feel my age.

After three days in South Africa, Jo’burg doesn’t seem any more dangerous than any other big city. As long as you don’t wander into the wrong areas, you feel safe.

So far we have been quite adventurous in Jo’burg--not by going into the bad part of town, but by tasting everything on the menu. In the last three days we have tried crocodile, giraffe and kudu (Africa’s second tallest antelope.) All I can say about giraffe is that is doesn’t taste like chicken. And we each had second helpings of the croc.

Click on each picture to see it full size.

read comments (0) | write comment| views: 4894    | rated: 0.0    printer-friendly version
 

Four big Flirts.  Cherie, Carter, Kristi and Renee with bags of Flirts, a typical South African snack.

Four big Flirts. Cherie, Carter, Kristi and Renee with bags of Flirts, a typical South African snack.

Carter and Tinus.  *Photo by Kristi

Carter and Tinus. *Photo by Kristi

Look at that cake!

Look at that cake!

Kristi, Renee and Carter at the "Qweekery" (which is South African for nursery.)

Kristi, Renee and Carter at the "Qweekery" (which is South African for nursery.)

Three cute kids.

Three cute kids.

Carter clowning around.

Carter clowning around.

One scary clown.

One scary clown.

Pressed tongue...gross.

Pressed tongue...gross.

Kristi and Carter checking out the "biltong" which means "beef jerky."

Kristi and Carter checking out the "biltong" which means "beef jerky."

Renee, the African Queen.  *Photo by Kristi

Renee, the African Queen. *Photo by Kristi

Cherie, Renee and Carter.  *Photo by Kristi

Cherie, Renee and Carter. *Photo by Kristi

Gun safe?  *Photo by Kristi

Gun safe? *Photo by Kristi

I included this photo of me just because everyone says that I never take a bad picture.  *Photo by Kristi

I included this photo of me just because everyone says that I never take a bad picture. *Photo by Kristi

Three kids and a clown.  *Photo by Kristi

Three kids and a clown. *Photo by Kristi

Carter and Kristi swinging around on tire swings.

Carter and Kristi swinging around on tire swings.

Renee at the spice counter at the grocery store.

Renee at the spice counter at the grocery store.

Two pumpkin heads.

Two pumpkin heads.

At "Carnivore" restaurant we ate giraffe, crocodile and kudu.

At "Carnivore" restaurant we ate giraffe, crocodile and kudu.

Cherie, Kristi and Carter by the wild game spit.

Cherie, Kristi and Carter by the wild game spit.

Zulu dancers.

Zulu dancers.

More dancers.

More dancers.

Cherie with a Zulu dancer (whistle not customary Zulu attire.)

Cherie with a Zulu dancer (whistle not customary Zulu attire.)

The "Nawa" maker.  It's a ocal drink that lights your insides on fire.

The "Nawa" maker. It's a ocal drink that lights your insides on fire.

Renee tries the giraffe.  It doesn't taste like chicken.

Renee tries the giraffe. It doesn't taste like chicken.

What a croc!  Kristi loves the crocodile.

What a croc! Kristi loves the crocodile.

Carter and Tinus like the hippo.

Carter and Tinus like the hippo.

Cherie likes the kudu (a large African antelope.)  *Photo by Kristi.

Cherie likes the kudu (a large African antelope.) *Photo by Kristi.

A lion is one of the "Big 5" tourists want to see on a safari.

A lion is one of the "Big 5" tourists want to see on a safari.

Carter models a rugby hat.

Carter models a rugby hat.

Renee and Kristi see what they would look like pregnant.

Renee and Kristi see what they would look like pregnant.

The crepe maker.

The crepe maker.

If you mix up the letters a bit, the word takes on a whole new meaning.

If you mix up the letters a bit, the word takes on a whole new meaning.

Tinus isn't too proud to carry a bottle-cap purse.

Tinus isn't too proud to carry a bottle-cap purse.

Kristi making friends with the locals.

Kristi making friends with the locals.

Tinus blends in with his mask.  Maybe the Nike shirt gives him away?

Tinus blends in with his mask. Maybe the Nike shirt gives him away?

Young South African girl on the corner.

Young South African girl on the corner.

Cherie on the wrong side of the car, and the wrong side of the road.  *Photo by Renee.

Cherie on the wrong side of the car, and the wrong side of the road. *Photo by Renee.

A sunset drink at the Westcliff Hotel in Jo'burg.

A sunset drink at the Westcliff Hotel in Jo'burg.

Cherie by the infinity pool.

Cherie by the infinity pool.