Folks,

I took my bike through the Karoo - a semidesert area, and over Bainskloof pass - a very beautiful part of the country.

Back in Cape Town - I ordered a made-to-measure motorcycle jacket last week and I am to pick it up. However, when I arrived for a fitting they had not started it yet - grrrr. They promise faithfully it will be ready today.

I visited the South Africa museum - excellent. They have full size dioramas of bushmen - from actual plaster casts made in 1911.

I went in to the RSA parliament today - which is in Cape town. Organised along British lines, the ANC have the lions share of the seats (most of which were empty) with the National party in opposition (half of whom were there) and the Inkatha Freedom Party, the Democratic party, and other smaller parties in evidence.

It was as ramshackle and boring as parliaments everywhere - Speaker pleading for less chit-chat, long, boring speeches, etc. Nice building, though, lots of history, hi-tech voting systems.

The best speech came from a DP member.

Banks here - I can pull money (in Rands) using my US ATM card. Locals here can do practically anything from an ATM - including printing statements and ordering new checkbooks. Some ATMs do not even have the ability to dispense money - they are purely for other services.

I had first hand experience of the “affirmative action” program at work - calling for information at an Internet Service Provider, the man at the other end told me he was not qualified to answer my question - and gave me another number to call - no answer - I called him again and eventually was put in touch with someone who knew what I was talking about. The initial (black) contact was there purely to satisfy hiring practices.

I have found an old ex-pat bar here that I can talk politics - and drink Mitchells beer. A good combination.

Cheers, Andy!