We’ve decided to hand out small packets of cookies to beggars at crossroads. Then at least they’re hungry while their teeth resemble first-world dentures.
During the weekend, we visited a gallery and a museum. The Apartheid museum, right next to Gold Reef City, is interesting, as it should be with the history this country has. It’s also well laid out. Very visual, very dynamic. The building was also very cold.
The papers can’t stop talking about how cold it currently is in the country. At night, temperatures actually can get as low as -1 degree centigrade. Meanwhile, we sat in the garden today, in the sun, enjoying the weather. But it’s true, out of the sun, it’s quite cold.
On Saturday evening, we went to the Point Blank Gallery, smack in the middle of Jo’burg. It’s located at the very spot where the old jail used to be. Betsy can’t be said to smile from ear to ear when driving around downtown Jo’burg at night, which is not too surprising and, as with the first time we tried to get to the Johannesburg Art Gallery, it was quite a struggle to get into this one.
The building isn’t hard to spot, but what appears to be the only entrance onto the grounds is market with warning signs pointing out you’re not allowed to enter. We did, but although the compound was well kept, well lit (useful, at night) and clearly some sort of museum, it was also very quiet and very empty. And the entrance was also very closed.
Betsy waited in the car, doors locked, while I walked around the building, looking for a way in. Close to where the car was parked, a doorbell wasn’t really inviting me to use it. I did, with no effect. Only on my second round did I find another doorbell, one that was actually on the building itself, not on a gate on the side.
But it also didn’t help. No one answered. Then, when I walked back, some guy was opening a door and gate, at the side of the building, that could take us into the gallery itself.
That we were actually at the right spot was easy. We were going to see an exhibition of neon lighting and we could see the lights from street level. But there was also no movement whatsoever.
The guy opening the door turned out to be huddled up in one small room whenever no one else was there, just to stay warm.
The exhibition was nice enough. We signed the guest book. The previous entry was a week old. The total number of entries for this month less than two hand fulls.
Meanwhile, I’m trying to get broaderband into our home. It’s a very slow process. There’s only one supplier who has contracts that last LESS then 24 months but with me not being officially a resident nor having a SA bank account, it’s tough to get a subscription, even though they accept credit cards as their favourite form of payment.
Finally, last Friday the goods were delivered to my door (by a courier service which couldn’t find the place) but the PC card supplied doesn’t fit my laptop. Now I have to go back to the office on Monday and replace it with a different type of modem.
And then it’s friggin expensive. I’ll be paying 600 Rand (around 80 euros) per month, plus an initial 2000 Rand (some 260 euros) for the modem, for a maximum of 3GB per month. That’s what? Four movies? If I’m lucky.