This is what my blog is all about. After publishing my last entry, a review of my Picasa files showed stories I had forgotten to include. Let me relate some of them now.
We found the City Sightseeing Hop-on Hop-Off bus tours in both Johannesburg and Capetown, interesting and economical. In Johannesburg we just stayed on for the full tour without any intermediate stops. This gave a great introduction showing where Gandhi practiced law, the jails where anti-apartheid protesters were held, and the modern commercial district in the photo below. Only later did I realize that most of the white vans are share taxis. They are vital for the townships as the bus and train transportation only run basic routes.
In Capetown we came upon the multicolored buildings of the Bo-Kaap neighborhood just a few minutes walk up from where we stayed. This was the home to the Cape Malay community made up of immigrants from all over Asia. Many who spoke Malay were brought as prisoners from the Dutch East Indies colonies in Indonesia. It appears that very few of the prisoners came from the peninsula covered by present day Malaysia.
In Windhoek, we stayed at a Guest House. Although it had been dry, we managed to be caught in the rain a few times. Safe at the guest house, we were treated by a full arc rainbow.
Afrikaans is one of the languages of South Africa. It sounds similar to Flemish (the Belgian variety of Dutch) so I can pick the gist of some conversations. From its Cape Dutch beginnings, it has become an amalgamation of Portuguese, Bantu, Malay, German and other languages. What I found most interesting is the first books written in Afrikaans around 1820’s used Arabic script. Below is an example from 1860. This occurred as Afrikaans replaced Malay as the language of instruction in Muslim Schools. The first books were school primers.