Have you ever met a tourist? Chances are that your encounter was filled with misconceptions… and a few musings. (Hence the title of this post).
I am absolutely fascinated by people’s stories. I love hearing about their lives, passions and experiences. This being true, I know many people have serious misconceptions about the world around them. I always thought that England was really cold and rainy, all day, everyday! And for some reason I believed that England (for example) would look way different from anything I’ve ever seen in Africa. So I was quite surprised to see fields of yellow flowers growing along the highway between Gatwick and Heathrow airports that looked a bit like the flower fields in Namakwaland (a region in the Northern Cape Province in South Africa).
Laughing at my own misconceptions made me more open to accepting and enjoying the misconceptions of others about Africa. We always get questions from visitors like: Do lions run around in the streets? (No, we also have to pay to see them – see my cute encounter pictures below). Do you have electricity? (Yes, we do. We also have internet, supermarkets, coffee machines and as of recently Burger King).
I recently had the pleasure of showing someone around Johannesburg (the city I work in). He is a tourist friend from Germany and I loved spending time with him, sharing my thoughts and informing him about our country and language. I learnt a lot from him and a lot about my own country while visiting some tourist spots that we never really get to.
Our trip included a visit to Constitution Hill where the Constitutional Court of South Africa is situated. It also houses part of the Old Fort Prison where thousands of prisoners were housed and trail awaiting offenders were locked up. The history of this place is absolutely breathtaking and I will be sharing that with you in another post (on a rainy day).
As part of our stint as tour guides to our German friend we went to show him the lion park. Our lion encounter was a special moment that I will always cherish. I adore animals and have immense respect for people who take care of our wildlife. We went on a tour of the lion park with our guide and a truck full of Slovak and Italian tourists. Communicating with our new foreign friends was not easy, but it added to the experience. After the tour we got to interact with Giraffes, ostriches and lion cubs. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Lion Park to any visitor. Have a look at the website if you are interested: http://www.lion-park.com/
I hope you enjoy the post and the photos. I would love to hear about the misconceptions and funny questions you have heard from tourists visiting your corner of the world.
With love, from Africa