A Johannesburg Holiday

As we opened the doors, we found other people in our hotel rooms. Confused and tired, we checked the room numbers and key cards and then proceeded to explain the issue to the other parties whose privacy it seemed we had invaded. We all then decided to go to the reception to complain about the error. At some point in the conversation, the other party we found in the room, argued their case independently. Oops, we thought we were all in this together, turns out it was every man for himself. We changed our tactic- it was now important to make our complaints based on what worked best for our party. Well, as at the time we left, we were assigned the rooms the other party would have desired. Why? Because the other party had already checked into our initial rooms- would have been unfair if we had to wait for them to check out the other party and clean the rooms before they could check us in. Don’t know if the other party ever got the rooms they wanted. Note: This story did not happen at the hotel pictured below.

Two lessons: If you are not comfortable with what is being offered to you especially if you paid for it, don’t use it. Don’t get comfortable with the product or service and then hope to demand a better service afterwards. By checking into those rooms, the other party accepted the service and the rooms they were offered. Secondly, not everyone is necessarily on your side; people think about themselves first a lot. If you notice this and you are not okay with this, especially in business deals etc, you probably need to change your tactics and think about your self- interests too.

I want a Bicycle
Two brothers wanted bicycles. The younger brother found out the cost of a bicycle and started saving towards getting the bicycle. By the time they both made their requests known to their father, the younger brother had already saved about a quarter of the cost of the bicycle. The father was impressed and took the younger son to get a bicycle. When they got to the store, the little boy brought his jar of coins to pay and was told to save them as the father had covered the full cost of the bicycle. Lesson: Before you ask others to invest in you, you should be willing to invest in yourself and show you are capable of managing the investment.

Should I plan things to do when I’m on holidays with family?
When I got to Johannesburg, I kept postponing planning things I wanted to do because I felt I had a lot of time (approximately 3 weeks). That said, I ended up staying at home and hanging out with family and friends (which was equally amazing). I didn’t plan what I wanted to do until my last week there and had I known, I probably should have written down what I wanted to do earlier and spaced the activities over the three weeks. There were a number of things I wanted to try out like entering an E-tuk-tuk (tricycle aka keke-napep), going for a comedy night show, going to the rosebank rooftop market, lion park and checking out a rooftop bar however, that didn’t happen on this trip- maybe next time! Lesson: Time moves fast even when you are on holiday. Make the best use of your time (vacation) and plan ahead.

Never Again
This has been an influential phrase for me this year. I’m not entirely sure of the story but I know it has something to do with the Israelis and their sophisticated security advancements. The idea behind “Never Again” is that you use something negative that happened to you in the past and instead of holding on to it, you let that inspire you to do better and be better.

What I got up to in Johannesburg

  • Went to the theatre, saw wedding party 2, TWP was a lot better in my opinion.
  • Tried some south African dishes- South African dishes are mainly meat based.
  • Went on a tour and got to visit some amazing sites. I got on the bus and Soweto combo which was about R480* for a day, however, I suggest spacing out the activities in two days, so you get to experience some of these places without being scared of running out of time. 2-day pass- R580. Note: This price just includes the tour, there are fees to enter some of these locations such as the apartheid museum (I believe it was R50-R70), the tallest building in Africa (R5 entry fee) and Nelson Mandela’s house in Soweto. I love getting on these tours as I get to learn more about the places, the history and significance. *Prices vary based on the seasons.
  • Went to Soweto and Suncity.
  • Ate, relaxed and had a good time with family.

Good to know

  • Summer time in South Africa is from November to March.
  • At the moment, R10 is about USD$0.84.
  • South Africa is not completely a cashless society, so you have to ensure you have cash with you.
  • Depending on where you are from, you might need a visa to go to SA. Click here to see if you require a visa.
  • From speaking to the locals, I realized a number of people are from the neighbouring South African countries like Zimbabwe.
  • Lesotho and Swaziland are separate countries in South Africa, but a South African visa can’t get you into those countries (if you require an SA visa).
  • There are 9 provinces in South Africa, Gauteng is one of them notable for places like Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria.

For this post, I decided to share some of the stories I heard and experienced during my trip to Johannesburg. Hope you have enjoyed this post. What’s your favourite story? Did you enjoy this post? Please let me know in the comment section. If you haven’t already- please subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss my weekly posts and share with your friends too.

Talk soon,

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