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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
Dutch newspaper Spits

This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
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Reports

Tuesday, 16 October 2001
Durbanville --> Welgemoed, Cape Town (SA)

From one house of Big Brother addicts to the next one, like todays' report might be concluded as the Griffin family dropped me off at the Croucher Residence in Welgemoed.

You can't say that Big Brother television isn't much of a thing in this country...

Rob Griffen had taken a day off work today and after I woke up and had a shower I joined Rosie and Rob for a cereal breakfast as the kids had already gone to school.

School hours here are from 7.45 am until 2.15pm and after school the pupils can work on other projects or outside (sporting) activities.

We noticed how it was raining outside and I was pretty happy with that. I had not seen South African rain before. But I had to tell them the truth, this was just a very Dutch rainfall, just ongoing showers. But in Holland there would be more wind and of course a bit colder.

Rosie was watching the 24-hours Big Brother channel on television and she told me how an amazing habit this is for home executives like her. "It is such a new thing for South Africa," she told me, "we now get to see everything on television, look! Can you imagine that less than ten years ago we only got to see what the Apartheid-government wanted us to see - and believe? Everything was censored."

Rob told me about that era. "It sounds harsh, but if you watched television and lived your life as any white South African, you would never know about the fights in the townships and the clashes with the army at the squatted camp sites. We never heard about the murders."

Fortunately the media opened up to, after the first public and free democratic elections on May 10, 1994. Suddenly the white minority realised how much they were blindfolded...

And while we talked about all this, the power got cut off again. How usual is this in South Africa? "It's normally a twice a year thing, but three times a week already does make you suggest that there is a problem..." Rob stated.

This time it took over an hour until it was back. With nothing to do in the house, Rob and Rosie took me for a ride. It was funny to see how suddenly everything became a manual job. The garagedoor wouldn't open with the remote, it had to be pulled up and closed again by hand.

I tried to get on the internet on their computer before the power was switched off, as I hardly had to communicate with my hostingprovider. It seemed that I was out of web space on my server. This website now contains over 2400 photographs and almost 2400 invitations plus 169 reports and it that was already good for 400MB (think about almost 300 stiff floppy disks) of web space.

Eventually there were no worries, the hostingprovider just threw another few hundred MB's online, so you can still follow my tracks.

Rob and Rosie took me out of Durbanville towards the coast. We drove through the Durbanville Hills and saw that the weather had cleared up a bit. That's the fun thing about Cape Town. It is just that big that it has to rain or be dry in some parts of the city any time!

We ended up in Table View, a coastal suburb of Cape Town, where we shortly enjoyed the view on the centre of the city, across the bay, where Table Mountain was covered by something bigger than a table cloth...

Rob treated me with a Big Brother Burger at Steers and enjoyed the seagulls fly around the car, hoping for a piece of potatoe (of course leaving their thank-yous on the windscreen of the car, hehe) and the kite surfers in the water.

I was brought to my next hosts in Welgemoed as my backpack was already loaded in the trunk. When we arrived at the right location we were all a bit surprised by the size of all the houses here.

I thanked Rob and Rosie for their hospitality. They told me that they enjoyed it very much and I could always come back another time if I'd be arround.

After I rang the doorbell, Malcolm Croucher opened the door of the Croucher Residence. He is the son of Brian and Anita Croucher who had invited me to stay for a day.

Malcolm showed me my bed room for the night, just a slight walk to the bedroom wing of the house. All the way on the other side was the kitchen and the home office where I met up with Anita and Brian.

They were very relieved to finally meet me. Anita had heard about me on the wireless, as she called [ulr=www.capetalk.co.za]CapeTalk[/url] on the radio and decided to put me up.

I met up with all the family members, and Malcolm and I took the dog Tandy out for a walk on the golf course across the street.

During dinner, a vegetables with chicken stew, Anita told me how she felt sorry with me as I travel around depending on people and travelling with empty pockets. That was the main reason to invite me.

But their son Malcolm went to the Rotary Deutchland in Germany last year, where he also stayed with people who just helped him out for accomodation and care, that it should be just an easy thing to help others out.

Brian is a manufacturer's representative and has his own agency at home. He is specialized in cookware by Hendler & Hart and his pride and enthusiasm in his job was noteable in his words.

Downstairs, in the garage, their other son Justin runs the Internet Service Provider E-SA.co.za, together with his businesspartner Simon Fishley.

I was happy that I could use their speedy 24-hours internet connection on one of their many computers to publish the reports and photos which couldn't really go online when the server was full.

In the TV lounge, Brian and Anita were watching Big Brother where never anything happens, and of course nobody watches it...

I handed the Letmestayforaday-gift to them, totally a surprise of course, and Anita was happy with the three bags of dates she received from the Griffin family in Durbanville. Brian had to try them all out.

At night, when Brian and Anita were off to bed, I stumbled in the downstairs office once in a while and noticed the youthness of this growing office. The garage door was opened and gave a nice nightly view on the mountains and hills far away, while a parked car with open door provided for some amusing radio.

And the guys were building servers, installing software and coding lines into the depths of the night. Somewhere there I walked the way back to the bedroom wing of the house and got to bed.

Good night Welgemoed!

Ramon.



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Hey - who turned the power off again?