Highveld Driving

21 June (lost blog post until today 29 Dec)

A late start today meant that the Museums in Newtown must wait for our return to Johannesburg. A last load of laundry was done as we don’t know the next time we will have that access, and a quick cook up of the ‘minced’ meat that we seasoned with Taco seasoning and sour cream, inside terrible burritos. We thought it a novelty to try out the latest in Mexican food here in South Africa, as we had famously made a large serving of Mexican food while in the dorms at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2007. This could not  be topped by our attempt, as the ‘Mexican’ rice was quite a disaster, and the taco seasoning though in a similar package to that sold by El Paso, did not taste like much.

It was a bit surprising in the Pick ‘n Pay (the large supermarket chain started in South Africa and now in many African countries), that the selection has changed very little in the three years we have been out of the country. On a whole, the three major chains, Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay, Checkers, all draw their products from both the UK and the United States. In most cases it is the best of both worlds (cheap prices on Cadbury Products as there is a factory in Port Elizabeth) and Activa yogurt. However, there are curious absences, such as no tortilla chips or dry stick deodorant. Most stores also seem to plan to sell most of their bakery and dairy products on the same day, as when you enter a store in the evening, the shelves of loafs of bread can be near bear and few bottles of milk left in the dairy section. It is rare to see a large trolley of bread at the checkout as we have seen most South Africans seem to buy what they need for the day, or only two days out. Though we did see a checkout total of R1000 (150 USD) the other day, so perhaps trends are changing. Continue reading

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