Monday, May 17, 2010

On avoiding hooligans, armed robbery and killer mosquitoes

Hooligans? Or trying to get the last travel neck pillow at Target?

If you are heading on, say, a 17-hour flight to, for example, Africa, you need to go to Target first. Why? Because I am all about the shopping, and because you can get everything there. Here is what I have purchased at Target in the last week:

* prescription for malaria medication
* prescription for typhoid medication
* tsa luggage lock
* compression bags for maximum packing space
* peanut butter cups (OK, those were for me)

Yes, Mr. Snarkshelf is off to South Africa two weeks from today. This installment of the World Cup is taking considerable more planning than the previous four he covered. While being on the road for 40-ish nights takes work no matter what, this one has its own peculiar set of circumstances.

The last World Cup was in Germany, where trains ran freely and it stayed light till 10 p.m. and, aside from the lack of air conditioning in his (our) East Berlin hotel, it was positively sophisticated living.

This adventure features a nice hotel stay, but comes with advice like this (warnings in bold - sometimes in CAPS!:

"Only carry as much cash as you are willing to hand over to a criminal/AVOID ALL FORMS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION/When inside an establishment, take not of all the exits or other avenues of escape/Avoid walking near money transport vehicles - they are often targets of armed gangs. If you hear shots fired, get down on the ground. DO NOT try to investigate or intervene.

And you thought it was just British hooligans the press had to worry about!

I will be sitting this one out. As much as I would like to squeeze in an African safari, I don't want to be a on a plane to anywhere for 17 hours. Plus, our (non-expense account) travel budget has been severely cut back this year.

So I will be stateside, doing what I do. Husband will be in Johannesburg doing what he does. Me: Swim team season, paying bills, keeping things afloat, not making dinner, making sure the basement does not flood (See World Cup, 2006) and, I am sure, returning to Target several times for non-malaria related items . Him: Working, avoiding hooligans, avoiding armed gangs, working, not taking public transportation, working and maybe drinking some South African wine.

Actually, I think you can get South African wine at Target. It is excellent paired with malaria pills, I hear.

Stingy, unofficial mascot, malaria division

Zakumi, official World Cup mascot

Shirazy, unofficial mascot, wine country division

Sharkie, official swim team mascot, son of Snarkshelf stateside division

1 comment:

  1. Silly ignorant woman, do you realise that malaria is not prevalent in most of South Africa? Likewise avoiding all forms of public transport is just daft! My recommendation, rather than using disgruntled white South Africans as your source of information, try something a little more objective like or