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Day 27: Pretoria (and Johannesburg)

February 25, 2012

Ok, so it’s been a while. In my defence, I have been quite busy over the last few days.

Ok, so… Tuesday? Yeah, Tuesday. Jasmine and I spent the day calling customer support for the modem because they send us the wrong login details. Yay them. And then we spent the late afternoon (it took us that long to finally get it working) just enjoying the wonder that is the internet – reading emails, facebook, random various things. You know how it goes. We were going to go out, but we looked outside and it looked like it was going to rain. Decided to wait 10 minutes, and I’m really glad we did – it started raining. Lots. Thunder, lightning, overflowing pool. Yeah. It was big. So a nice stay-in night.

Wednesday. We went to Menlyn Mall again – started relatively late in the day because we went to bed late the night before. What do you expect, honestly. Internet after so much deprivation? Of course we lost track of the time. So, anyway, at Menlyn, I got a Rubik’s cube, and we also got a hula hoop, badminton set, and Scrabble. Some random people asked us for our BBM (blackberry messenger number or something) – obviously we looked athletic and smart because of what we were carrying. And then guess what. It started raining again. Getting a combi-taxi back home was going to take ages, but Tony very kindly agreed to pick us up, and we had some delicious cake and chai while we waited. Yum! Oh, I also started to teach Jas to solve the Rubik’s cube!

Thursday was AWESOME! We headed of to Johannesburg to go to Gold Reef City Theme Park – thrill rides, water rides, fairy floss, etc. I went on almost all the open rides (by which I mean all the ones that looked good) – the best one that was open was the Anaconda – really fast twisty-turny loop-the-loop fun! Jasmine only went on it once (she has to close her eyes otherwise her contact lenses fly out), but I went on it a few more times – the best time was when I was at the very front! Because it was a weekday, it was really empty – no queues or anything! Woo! Another really good ride was the Golden Loop – they shoot you (in a roller coaster) like a cannon around a loop, then up a really big slope, then you go backwards down the slope, and back through the loop again. Only thing was that it took a while to get the air pressure high enough for the ride to go. Still, it was good. We did all the water rides first so we’d have a chance to dry off – one of them, Raging Water Rapids (I think that’s what it was called. Something like that anyway) got us very wet the first time – good thing we brought plastic shopping bags to wrap our actual bags in. Otherwise they would have gotten very wet! It took all day for our clothes to dry.

Travelling on Thursday was a big adventure in itself. Now, I know that lots of you  sent me off with a ‘Don’t Get Stabbed’, so I’m going to reassure you now, NO ONE GOT STABBED, OR KILLED, OR SHOT. We’re both fine. Bet that’s got you worried. =P Ok, so to get to the theme park, we had to take the Gautrain to the end of the line, then a bus to the end of the line, then walk a bit. After walking 10, maybe 20 minutes, we saw the rides, a little further away than expected. So we got a combi-taxi the rest of the way. Much faster. So that was all good. The way back, however… We got out of the theme park, went to the main road, and got a combi-taxi – telling the driver we wanted to go to the Gautrain, he nodded, so we got in. We assumed that since he nodded, he would actually take us to the station, but no, apparently not. We ended up in (very dodgy) downtown Johannesburg, with no idea how to get to the train. Luckily, there was a lovely, very nice woman who was getting off the combi-taxi, who asked the driver what was happening, then offered to walk us all the way to the train station. It ended up being about 20 minutes walking through street markets, holding our bags tightly in front of us, and being constantly grabbed, poked, followed, and generally harassed. We went through a train station (not the one we were looking for, but the local ‘stabby-train’/metro. And I don’t mean metro in the Melbourne sense. I mean metro in the ‘only locals will ever, ever, ever go on those trains’ sense.), and then finally got to the Gautrain station (which was closed, so we had to take a bus to the next stop). As I’m sure you can all understand, we were very lucky that this woman had taken us there, we would have been completely lost without her! The good news is that we now know exactly how to get to Gold Reef and back, without having to go through that! So yay! It all worked out well, and we had our little adventure =D

When we got back home, we played some scrabble, read a bit, made some food. You know, usual stuff.

And now today, Friday. We slept in, read, ate, and now we’re on our computers – sorting out technical problems in Jasmine’s case, and replying to emails and writing posts in my case.

Lots of love, I miss you all, but I’m having lots of fun! We’re definitely going to go back to Gold Reef City, though hopefully next time there will be someone to go on all the rides with me, lots and lots and lots and lots… =D

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