South Africa

Published on September 12th, 2013


Catching Up Series: South Africa 5 of 12

The fifth installment in the “Catching Up: South Africa” series (gee, do ya think we’ll EVER get to the end of it?)

Catching Up on… South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho & Mozambiquexxx

(April 2, 2004)

Pecked from: Johannesburg, South Africa


Tattoos, Krugerrands and Soweto Homestay



Goodness, just 48 hours and already so many new adventures to share.For starters, this near 6-0 grandma finally utterly lost it – went out and got herself TATTOOED! Yes indeed, no doubt just loopy enough from sleep-deprived marathon flights to push me over the edge. But actually it’s quite demure – an itty-bitty caligraphy for “tranquility”, now permanently etched near the pinkie toe on my foot.Now I ask ya – will that not ever remind me of my first day in South Africa or what?Other events – but quickly now ‘cuz I’m paying by the minute here on this ‘puter.

Krugerrands: For those of you hoping for them, I managed to get all you wanted. A sweet gaggle of wee 1/10 oz. Krugerrands – all shiney and new. All paid in full but left safely at the coin shop for security ’til I return to Johannesburg in May (i.e. not smart to tote around a bundle of gold dubloons for the next 6 weeks.) And oh my – no small adventure to snag them. Only took 5 different mini-taxis (each packed w/ up to 17 local South Africans plus one lily-white – me!) in a zany 3 hour gad about the big bad city of J-Burg. Hadn’t a clue where I was going, nor how to find my way back to the hostel, but… long story short? I managed to nab the dubloons and got to meet a great bunch of new South African friends!


And finally, the greatest experience yet – an overnight homestay in Soweto (the legendary township that produced no less than 2 Nobel winners (Tutu and Mandela) – where the fall of Apartheid was born). Had dinner with the most remarkable “Phoshoko” family: Grandma “Grace”, mother “Rahaba” (a 1st grade teacher) plus friend “Magantha” (also a teacher – of high school english and business economics) and children so bright and well-behaved – 15 yr. son “Thoto”, 13 yr. niece “Kgaogelo” (that’s her artistry – selected for a South African book on what freedom means), plus… the wee sausage dog aptly named “Limozine”. Goodness but I could write a book on the lovely evening and morning we had – in a most humble Soweto home.

But time to close, gotta quit – getting up bright and early tomorrow to head off to…


Fast-forward 9 years:

Of course… I STILL have my most favorite souvenir of those early days in my life-long dream destination:  my precious TATTOO!  Thus a little bit of South Africa continues to follow/lead? me nearly a decade later.

Indeed, just yesterday, on my last full day here in Nepal, I again suddenly decided to add another tat to my “collection” – a little beaded ankle bracelet (and oh my but did it HURT!)


A permanent souvenir of my visit to Nepal.

Check out all in the “Catching Up” South Africa series HERE


About the Author

Off-the-beaten-path travel is my passion,and I’ve always lived life “like-a-kid-in-a-candy-store” – eager to sample as many flavors as I can. Indeed, my life motto has long been: This ain’t a dress rehearsal, folks!

3 Responses to Catching Up Series: South Africa 5 of 12

  1. Pingback: Travel Tattoos from Around the World | Be My Travel Muse

  2. Paul says:

    I like the ankle bracelet!
    Paul kindly contributed to world literature by posting…The Way It’s Supposed To Work – Sort OfMy Profile

    • Dyanne says:

      Thanks Paul. I’m thrilled with it (and it was only 2500 rupees – ~$25 with colors). But I must say, those %#&! feathers sure hurt on my ankle bone!

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