Planning for a Safari: Shameless exhilaration!

I was just working through my planning for my next safari into Africa and I got so excited that thought “let me jot down some thoughts on it.” This little note might well develop into a series on various aspects of “expeditioning”, so if you are the safari type, keep on watching this space! People mean a spectrum of different things when they use the word “safari”, so let’s first set the scenario: At the more civilised end of the spectrum there would be taking the SUV out on a safari into the platteland to some game lodge or...

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The progeny of greed

Johnathan slapped his paper closed and got up to join them at the dinner table. “Yep . The economy is looking strong. Unemployment is down, again, and we haven’t even seen the full effects of the tax cuts yet,” he half-grunted from a luxurious stretch that said “of course, that’s what I have been saying all along will happen.” Neither of them responded. Antoinette felt uncomfortable with the self-satisfied finality with which he had said it. Justine just seemed too exhausted to bother. Johnathan took his seat and gave Justine a “come on, admit it”-look. Antoinette saw the lines...

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Thoughts on a visit to China

The company was paying, so I could simply have flown into Guangzhou, stayed in a nice hotel, attended the flower show they were sending me to and flown back. But I decided I wanted to get a feel for the country – at least that part of it. So I flew into Hong Kong and took the bus from the airport to Guangzhou. I thought I’d see some countryside, farmers working their (even small) fields, perhaps farm animals grazing. What I got was a taste of lower middle class travelling in China, and five hours of industrial scenery –...

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Manipulation of perceptions at warp-speed

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose – the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Said to be an old French proverb, but also attributed to Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr  (1808 – 1890), French novelist, journalist and one-time editor of Le Figaro. In the St James translation of The Bible, Solomon is said to pronounce in Ecclesiastes: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”  Every generation, as we older people know, confidently pronounces the most damning prognosis on the...

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A two-pence on Brexit (and democratic system failure)

Hmm… What a noise. Even the normally apathetic or delightfully uniformed are having their voices heard, and quite adamantly.  In all (but a few of) the pieces I have read over the past two days, delivered from across the spectrum of august analysts to plumbers down the street, the message has been overwhelmingly negative; pointing to the most dire consequences. However, in one (satirically dark) piece I thought the last sentence cuts through all the lamenting and cheap blaming and finger pointing and character assassination and misrepresentation of actual events and blatant lying (in it and in others of its ilk): “Tomorrow – well. Tomorrow, we get...

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The future of Europe and global power shift

There is such a raging debate going on about the future of Europe that I thought I might as well join in from here, the southern tip of Africa – the long-forgotten wastelands of European rivalry. Down here affinity to Europe have more or less faded to almost nothing in the case of the average white person, to academic in the case of the few intellectuals, to a lingering nostalgia for their roots in the case of a smattering of older people.  I guess I fall into the latter two categories with my interest in international politics and a...

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Democracy at the mercy of professional politicians

It was an alleged remark by our dear president, President Jacob Zuma that prompted me to write about it: The destruction of democracy by professional politicians. Admittedly the remark was read from lamp pole posters, because I more or less refuse to subject myself to the feverish sensationalism of the day press, unless I am caught in a doctor’s waiting room with nothing else to read; much better, I find, to read the more considered opinions about the whole lot in a good weekly isor monthly Oh yes, the remark. He was alleged to have said that his party,...

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Thoughts on a visit to Istanbul

Ok, so it seems a bit strange to find the African Wanderer rambling on about Istanbul on his very African website. Actually my intention with this blog is to write about anything that I feel I’d like to share with the odd lost soul that might stumble onto the site  – travel impressions, political or economic insights, philosophical thoughts; anything that generates enough energy to make me sit down and write. Perhaps I should put this sentence up as a warning right at the beginning. So what was it about the two weeks of meandering through the enigma that...

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