Monday, November 28, 2011


I was expecting something more of a Benin: chaotic airport, dirt roads, dilapidated buildings, gnawing poverty.

I got a modern and swanky King Shaka International Airport, freeways, high rises, and neat bungalows on a hillside.

I told the white folks who fetched me from the airport that things look more like European than African.

And quaint Chelsea Guesthouse Villa in an upper middle class white neighborhood along Brand Road is indeed Europe with a splash of Australia.

Then the security protocol came and I realized I am not in Europe after all.

I am in fact in South Africa…

FOOTNOTE: Photo shows Pres. Jacob Zuma of South African formally welcoming delegates to the UNFCCC’s 17th Conference of Parties in Durban. The second photo shows the iconic city hall of Durban, South Africa’s 3rd largest city and home to Africa’s busiest seaport. It was also in Durban where Mahatma Gandhi first used the method of non-violent protest against the compulsory registration of Indians, where Nelson Mandela cast his vote for the first time in 1994, and where the 2010 FIFA World Cup was held. 

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