Sunday in Newtown

Enjoyed a lazy Sunday morning and then made our way to Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown.

The square is one of several fan parks around Joburg with large jumbo trons for public viewing, but when we arrived there were very few people walking around. We thought that it would pick up once the games started for the day but it remind quiet with only a few more people trickling in for the match. A unique art feature of the park was a giant red man made of Coca Cola boxes that toward overhead.

Next to Mary Fitzgerald square was the Museum of Africa that I had read about in Lonely Plant and was interested in check out, especially because it was FREE. The entire square was fenced off for the fan park making entrance to the museum a little more challenging. We didn’t feel comfortable walking around along the street because the area around the square is not the safest neighborhood in Joburg, so we decided to go through security for the park and cut across. The security guards could have cared less if I was caring anything illegal; one squeeze of my closed bag and I was cleared to go through. At the other side we realized that there was no exit. I was ready to just hop the fence given that it was only a little taller than waste high, but some security guards who were also looking to get out took the fence apart for us.

Museum Africa contained several interesting exhibits including details on the first gold and diamond finds of ZA and the formation of Alexandra township (with a walk through shanty town). Unfortunately the museum had poor organization, which took away from the experience. The building had a great layout to allow the exhibits to flow in a natural progression, however it was all over the place. On one wall I was reading about gay culture in ZA and viewing pictures of Ghandi in Joburg. I would recommend people to go since it is one of the only free museums, but limit yourself to one hour- that is all it takes to see the important parts.

Hungry and ready for lunch we happened upon Gramadoelas. It smelled good and there were a fair amount of people eating so I said alright let’s go in. Usually before entering a restaurant in ZA it is typical to ask to see the menu in order to check prices and food options. We didn’t this time which was a huge mistake. Once seated our waiter shared with us that the buffet lunch was R245 a person (that’s more than we typically pay for dinner and dessert for two). we asked to see the normal hole hoping that the prices might be a little more reasonable, unfortunately that was not the case. Unable to afford to eat at the place we were currently seated we needed to get out of there with as few eyes on us as possible. Alex pretended to answer his phone like we had an emergency, but it was not as convincing as it is with the iPhone where the App will ring for you just like a real call. Sitting facing the rest of the restaurant I waited until the coast was clear and we made a mad dash out the door, down the street and around the corner.

Still hungry we found Capello, a reasonable priced cafe, with outdoor seating in the sunshine. I had an amazingly delicious chicken dish in an almost bisque like sauce and Alex had a beef sandwich with grilled mushrooms, which looked just as delectable minus the mushrooms. It turned out to be one of the best and one of our cheapest meals yet.

This evening we went and saw The Killers, since the other Joburg sights we wanted to see were not open on Sundays. The first part of the movie was funny and rather enjoyable, but the ending was a big let down. Movies in ZA are still affordable, so going to an ok movie just for fun doesn’t make you feel completely ripped off. I wouldn’t recommended anyone at home to go see this in the theater wait for DVD.

Tomorrow we are driving to Kroonstad after visiting a few cultural sights here in Joburg.

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