This week was immigration week ..

I got a workseekers permit for South Africa before coming here, which was good for three months, during which I have to get a work permit.

Well, it turns out that I needed to get one before starting work ..

The “Home Affairs Department” is a bleak place - the cattle stomping in lines 2 hours long, and the frustration inevitably spilling over the counter to the people the other side.

I was lectured to, angrily, by a lady who told me I had to write a letter “fully explaining” why I was working without a permit, and my company had to write another ..

After listening for a while, I felt I needed to remind her that South Africa needed people of my qualifications, as anyone locally that had them had already got an offer to work in Seattle, and that I was sorry that I had not followed all the procedures, but we would get onto it right away.

I was instructed that I was not allowed to go to work until my application was in. We worked on it all week, and I got it in on Friday.

Immigration is the same everywhere - I cannot blame them, and I should have known.

We have a Hungarian called Valentin who works in the company - a Land Rover fanatic - he described a holiday he took in the USA, and when he needed to put air in his tyres. He had used of KiloPascals, Kg per sq m, and lots of other measurements, but pounds per square inch completely floored him. He had never imagined anything so arcane.

I asked if he knew what a Stone was - a British measure of weight used only for weighing people. He had, and even knew the other arcane measure used by Afrikaanse-speakers for the same purpose, weighing people, and different ..

My favourite is the fluid oz - 4% different either side of the Atlantic, representing the change in volume of water between zero and 25 degrees Centigrade. Of course, Farenheit is only used in the USA. And everywhere else uses A0/1/2/3/4 paper sizes… My motorcycle cruises best at 120kph, though it will do 160 .. A full tank costs about 40 Rand.

There is a restaurant we went to on Thursday that has a special that night - 600g of ribs for 20 Rand. They were great !

Cheers, Andy!

PS. $1 = 6.5 rand. 10 Rand to the UK pound (not on my keyboard).