The road to the Motherland was paved with many apprehensions. Uncertainty about adoption paperwork being accepted, possible snafus in reservations, and paranoia in the form of safety concerns because all read information about South Africa basically say “caution: negroes come out at night to pillage or plunder”.
In actuality this road to the Motherland was like many other roads we’ve traveled except we had to drive on the other side of the street. Aside from the initial reservation snapfu with the flight from Vegas to the east coast (wrong date, repurchased ticket), other reservations have been smooth sailing (knock on wood). The adoption paperwork which obviously was a slight change from the norm for TSA, went pretty much unquestioned and after 2 long, loooooong flights we find ourselves in OR Tambo Airport or in other words, Coming Straight Outta Jo’Burg (bad pun intended). Then and there I realized i did my family a disservice, I made no plans for cellular communication outside of the US also with no means for transportation from the airport. Talk about egg on my face!
With the fact that my family is just as cheap as I am, its like we made an unspoken pact that our phones will stay in airplane mode for duration of our vacation, so it was time for old resourceful to come up with a plan. Well, the airport allows for 30 minutes of free internet and with wifi anything is possible. I initially cooked up a scheme to try Uber for the first time, in South Africa. I had an account with the phone app but I never used it, until today. It seemed smooth enough and a driver was on his way but as it became time to communicate the pick up location and what to look for, my 30 minutes of free internet ran out. I’m not going to pay to re-up the internet, so now its time for plan B.
My spouse being fearless traveler she is, started speaking with airport security about the transport train (Gautrain) and whether it would take us in the vicinity of where we need to be. After a few different conversations with helpful South Africans and with each other, we had a plan. We took the Gautrain which cost about $30 total to get to the city where our AirBNB house is located (Sandton). Upon arrival to the Sandton train station, we walked out and hooked a left as if we knew where we were going and started hoofing it. By the grace of the patron saint of travel, a tuk tuk (makeshift golfcart-like transport for hire) showed up.
For the price of like $2, we showed him the address and he brought us right to the gate. Good looking out homie! Our AirBNB host let us in, exchanged pleasantries and information about the area/places to eat. With that, our Day 1 adventure was over, we ordered a pizza from Andiccio’s (yep, pizza in South Africa and it was good) to wrap up our evening. Looking forward to tomorrow. 1