Reply To: South Africa / Best of Rest versus Spain…


Chris M

While in South Africa, we got to know some of the hotel drivers and tour operators quite well. We asked if it would be possible to take a tour of the townships, a private tour, where we could perhaps go into the shanty towns and have a look for ourselves how people lived there.

We thought this might be a problem, but it wasn’t, an experienced and knowledgeable guide was found, and he took us and our two children into and I mean right into all the major areas of the townships on the Cape Flats.

My goodness what an eye opener, it was staggering, we were booked for an hour and we spent 4 hours in there, we went everywhere and right into the homes of the worst areas, where we were welcomed with open arms, lots of smiles and laughter, now OK this was a Saturday afternoon, and had it been the evening our guide would not have considered for one second taking us there.

But my children who are aged 17 and 15 have no real knowledge of what apartheid was, or its consequences or indeed of poverty on any scale. But they have the best four hours education that afternoon that I think they have ever had.

And I saw amazing positives in that place and amongst those people.

However, the really disturbing thing, was that of all the white South Africans we know and or had met, none of them had ever been in these areas or even had considered doing so.

We don’t do third world, abject poverty and inequality on the Costa del Sol, we are a lot more fortunate than that I suppose, but the people on the Cape Flats were genuinely decent souls and a lot happier than many I have met elsewhere.

I want to go again and again actually, I loved it, I think those people will rise above their problems and Zimbabwe it will not become, but I perhaps don’t have the time for the issues or the problems, and much as I truly adored the place for a hundred other reasons also.

I don’t think I could give up Spain for SA.

And I hear what Brian_li was saying about Brazil too.

Giving America some thought after what Katy said…