|Bus back to Pretoria and eve in our favorite internet "Youth Cafe" where Hocine, an Algerian immigrant from 4 years ago, cheerfully welcomes us back w/ a great smile and hearty handshake. Feels like home away from home, even Derek at NS BPers was quite friendly - not his usual all business style.
Talked w/ Chris(middle aged black man) on the bus back who said we need to visit him in Soweto - gave me his phone #. Very friendly guy...we watched 3 movies kind of since the DVD player was on the blink and skipped badly, Chipmunk Movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, and Medeas Family Reunion.
Sunday, most everything is closed except internet from 4 to 8 pm...we did laundry and caught up on our packing/unloading plans...hope to ship a box back before flying out.
Some big decisions today...went to China consulate and they could not date our visa foreward so if we had opted to get it here we'd run out of time before even getting to China since it is only good for 3 months! Must wait until Turkey and after July 1 to get it. So we did a bit of hustling and now we fly out(if all goes to plan) tomorrow eve at 7:25 arriving in the am in Istanbul. Of course, Tim is getting a bit of grief from you-know-who for not getting more passport pages when the rest did in W. Africa because now it is crunch time and I've got only 2 pages left! It will cost us but mostly a lesson learned, do not waste opportunities Tim, HA!
Yesterday I went to a travel agent, Work Travel in Hatfield Square and spoke to a Vasti Pruis. She was very helpful with our tickets, changing and reserving tickets for flying out today. She said to return this am which I did after we shipped our 3 packages - US $100 - and she also got us seat assignments and said there would be no penalty either! This was a big change since when Bon had called the airlines herself they said it would cost us $100 US each to change! I highly recommend to anyone needing travel help who is in Pretoria to look these folks up, especially this gal, Vasti.
Anyway, we had hired a driver to take us to the US Embassy in Joburg where I got my new pages in only 20 minutes, and then he gave us a little tour of N. Joburg - it was his hometown but he's since moved to Pretoria due to situation in Joburg - before heading to the airport. There in plenty of time, couldn't even check in til 5, but then the fellow in charge tried to add on the extra charges anyway! Well, Bon did her thing and he finally relented so no extra $$. Up Up and Away on a great flight with super service and dinner and bfast and movies and...well, you get the drift.
Now onward to 'Pluscentralasia', new passward to get to our next phase in the journey! See you there I hope. Cheers, Tim.