Thursday, April 19, 2007

Last night for dinner I went to an African restaurant across the street from the hotel, Moyo. They had a large outdoor seating section and since the weather was slightly chilly there were large blankets on the back of the chairs to put over your legs or shoulders to keep warm. The ostrich fillet came highly recommended so I had to try it. The spices on the fillet were great, it was slightly undercooked for my liking but I enjoyed it nonetheless. While eating the starch all I could taste were peanuts so I asked what it was - turns out it was pumpkin mash with peanut butter.

While driving home from work yesterday I was surprised by the number of people approaching the cars trying to sell things everything from newspapers to umbrellas to plastic hangers to garbage bags. The funniest was the man selling umbrellas to the people in cars during the rain - they might have had more luck selling them to the people walking in the rain. The reason he was most likely targeting the cars is the people that own cars have more money than the people walking. There is a huge discrepency between the middle class and the lower class. While more people are buying cars there is still a huge unemployment rate. Please note these facts I'm about to give have not been checked for accuracy - I am taking the word of my driver. There is a 24% unemployment rate and that only includes the people that are actively looking for work. If you include those that are no longer looking for work. If you include those the unemployment rate goes up to 40%.

On the subject of cars and unemployment, I noticed that none of the gas stations had signs indicating the price of gas so of course I had to ask my driver about it this morning. Gas is 6 rand/litre and is controlled by the government. The first Wednesday of every month the government sets the price of gas. Stations can not offer any specials or promotions to attract more customers. None of the stations are self service they are all full service (helping to reduce unemployment or at least not increase it).

Tomorrow after work I take off for my safari - and don't worry I won't try to pet any of the little animals I encounter in the wild. Not sure if I'll have Internet access there but if I do I'll be sure to post.

1 comment:

mom said...

Being in Africa must seem like a dream to you. Have fun on the Safari. I guess this means I will not be talking to you this weekend.