Sunday, July 31, 2011

Someone Like You

Its almost 2am and I should be putting the finishing touches on a document I need to present at 11am this morning, but I needed to write. Like a singer sometimes just needs to sing. Or a guitarist sometimes just needs to strum. Sometimes, I just need to write.

Shakera Kaloo, if you are reading this, know that you are the most amazing woman I have ever met, and I have met many.
I stood in awe watching you on the day of our daughter's 5th birthday party, turning the chaos into sweet music like a conductor leading an orchestra of a hundred musicians.

I am truly blessed. Everyone who's life story crosses yours is truly blessed.

I thank you.

Love always.

(Right, back to my work)....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In The Name Of Religion

It was a fairly chilly Wednesday on that fateful day in April back in 1995. The date was the 19th. I remember this because it was the same year I began keeping a diary. Many interesting things take place when you're 21 years of age, and some require their own space in history.

Between random entries titled "She'll call, I know she will" and ""Hot Dang It's On Like Donkey Kong" was one which stood out in bold capital letters:

"Fuck Me! What Have They Done Now?!"

A bomb had gone off in America, and since this was pre-24hour CNN in South Africa, it was pretty much on all the radio stations and on the breaking news on crappy government TV. All the fingers were being pointed in the direction of Muslim terrorists, and this annoyed me for no reason other than the fact that I had just started dating a Christian girl. Neither my hormones nor my testosterone would condone this bombing, and the first telephone call I had with Amy was rather terse. I found myself suddenly anti-muslim in the hope that this would win favor with her.
It didn't.
She agreed with her dad that my religion was one of violence and intolerance.
In light of what had just transpired in America, how could I argue with either of them?

While the dust was settling and the investigations were beginning, I found an interesting awakening taking place within myself and those of the Muslim faith around me. There was a level of introspection taking place which I had never witnessed before. Questions were being asked amongst us all. A microscope had just been focused on every single one of us, and what we were seeing left much to be desired.
There was almost this sense of blindness to what was happening in the rest of the world.
A sense that we were living in a cocoon, totally unaware to how the religion we loved was being tarnished by extremists, and the media was only too happy to oblige and play conductor to the orchestra of terror being played out in the name of Islam.

Timothy McVeigh was finally convicted and given the death sentence for the Oklahoma Bombing which killed 168 men, women and children. Then and now, very little mention was ever made of his faith. His biography on Wikipedia makes no mention of his Christian beliefs. Ironically it does mention the initial suspects being Islamic Terrorists.

So you can imagine my surprise when I called upon Amy at her home a few weeks later, feeling absolved of any sense of responsibility for the atrocious bombing that had gripped the world.... absolved because it was clear that this madman was not a member of my clan, but rather hers... a skip in my step because I would now be able to tell her dad "Ha! He's one of yours!" ... as I said, imagine my surprise when she responded with "No but he's not a Christian, we don't do stuff like that!"

So it was OK to assume that this was done by an Islamic Terrorist...
and then assume that all muslims are terrorists, hence I too must be one...
But when it transpires that he is in fact not a Muslim but rather a Christian, we shall declare him persona non grata and wash our hands of laying blame on religion?

It was this single response that made me become so much more aware of social and religious injustices which I was completely naive and blind to previously.This was my true awakening.

Fast-forward 16 years and we find ourselves in a similar position.
Norway, Oslo. 94 Men, women and children killed.

Fox News and other media outlets had us believe this was an act of terror carried out by an Islamic organization. They had a vile bucketful of 'experts' spewing their opinion, and one group kept coming up as the most likely suspects : Islamic Terrorists.
When a blue-eyed blonde Christian was eventually arrested, suddenly his religious beliefs were no longer worth a mention.
For more on how the media contorted the facts, read this.

Now I had this discussion with a friend of mine, and him and I regularly debate matters of race, religion and politics. He happened to mention an oft-repeated lie which the western media first propagated. This being that Islam is the most violent religion in the world, and has killed more people than any other religion or country.
Hhmm... really?
Let's have a look at the breakdown of wars in the last 150 years, shall we.

First, the worlds religions as per 2005.

Wars in last 150 years

1860-65: American civil war (360,000)
1886-1908: Belgium-Congo Free State (3 million)
1899-02: British-Boer war (100,000)
1904: Germany Vs Namibia (65,000)
1904-05: Japan Vs Russia (150,000)
1910-20: Mexican revolution (250,000)
1911: Chinese Revolution (2.4 million)
1911-12: Italian-Ottoman war (20,000)
1912-13: Balkan wars (150,000)
1915: the Ottoman empire slaughters Armenians (1.2 million)
1914-18: World War I (8 million)
1917-21: Soviet revolution (5 million)
1928-37: Chinese civil war (2 million)
1931: Japanese Manchurian War (1.1 million)
1934: Mao's Long March (170,000)
1936: Italy's invasion of Ethiopia (200,000)
1936-37: Stalin's purges (13 million)
1936-39: Spanish civil war (600,000)
1939-45: World War II (55 million) including holocaust and Chinese revolution
1946-49: Chinese civil war (1.2 million)
1946-49: Greek civil war (50,000)

1947: Partition of India and Pakistan (1 million)
1948-1973: Arab-Israeli wars (70,000)
1948-: Kashmir's civil war (40,000)
1949-: Indian Muslims Vs Hindus (20,000)
1950-53: Korean war (4 million)
1954-62: French-Algerian war (1 million)
1958-61: Mao's "Great Leap Forward" (30 million)
1960-90: South Africa Vs Africa National Congress (?)
1961-2003: Kurds Vs Iraq (180,000)
1962-75: Mozambique Frelimo Vs Portugal (?)
1964-73: USA-Vietnam war (3 million)
1965: second India-Pakistan war over Kashmir
1965-66: Indonesian civil war (200,000)
1966-69: Mao's "Cultural Revolution" (11 million)
1966-: Colombia's civil war (31,000)
1967-70: Nigeria-Biafra civil war (800,000)
1968-80: Rhodesia's civil war (?)
1969-79: Idi Amin, Uganda (300,000)
1969-02: IRA - Northern Ireland's civil war (2,000)
1969-79: Francisco Macias Nguema, Equatorial Guinea (50,000)
1971: Pakistan-Bangladesh civil war (500,000)
1972-: Philippines Vs Muslim separatists (120,000)
1972: Burundi's civil war (300,000)
1972-79: Rhodesia/Zimbabwe's civil war (30,000)
1974-91: Ethiopian civil war (1,000,000)
1975-78: Menghitsu, Ethiopia (1.5 million)
1975-79: Khmer Rouge, Cambodia (1.7 million)
1975-89: Boat people, Vietnam (250,000)
1975-90: civil war in Lebanon (40,000)
1975-87: Laos' civil war (184,000)
1975-2002: Angolan civil war (500,000)
1976-83: Argentina's military regime (20,000
1976-93: Mozambique's civil war (900,000)
1976-98: Indonesia-East Timor civil war (600,000)
1976-: Indonesia-Aceh (GAM) civil war (12,000)
1979: Vietnam-China war (30,000)
1979-88: the Soviet Union invades Afghanistan (1.3 million)
1980-88: Iraq-Iran war (1 million)
1980-92: Sendero Luminoso - Peru's civil war (69,000)
1980-92: El Salvador's civil war (100,000)
1980-99: Kurds Vs Turkey (35,000)
1982-90: Hussein Habre, Chad (40,000)
1983-2002: Sri Lanka's civil war (64,000)
1983-2002: Sudanese civil war (2 million)
1987-: Palestinian Intifada (4,500)
1988-2001: Afghanistan civil war (400,000)
1988-2004: Somalia's civil war (550,000)
1989-: Liberian civil war (220,000)
1989-: Uganda Vs Lord's Resistance Army (30,000)
1991: Gulf War - large coalition against Iraq to liberate Kuwait (85,000)
1991-97: Congo's civil war (800,000)
1991-2000: Sierra Leone's civil war (200,000)
1991-: Russia-Chechnya civil war (200,000)
1991-94: Armenia-Azerbaijan war (35,000)
1992-96: Tajikstan's civil war war (50,000)
1992-96: Yugoslavia's civil war (200,000)
1992-99: Algerian civil war (150,000)
1993-97: Congo Brazzaville's civil war (100,000)
1993-: Burundi's civil war (200,000)
1994: Rwanda's civil war (900,000)
1995-: Pakistani Sunnis Vs Shiites (1,300)
1995-: Maoist rebellion in Nepal (10,000)
1998-: Congo/Zaire's war - Rwanda and Uganda Vs Zimbabwe, Angola and Namibia (3.8 million)
1998-2000: Ethiopia-Eritrea war (75,000)
1999: Kosovo's liberation war - NATO Vs Serbia (2,000)
2001: Afghanistan's liberation war - USA & UK Vs Taliban (25,000)
2002-: Cote d'Ivoire's civil war (1,000)
2003: Iraq's liberation war - USA, UK and Australia Vs Saddam Hussein (14,000)
2003-: Sudan Vs Darfur (70,000)
2003-: Iraq's civil war (100,000)

Notice anything interesting?

Out of the total number of around 160 million dead, more than 135 million have been killed in or by countries that are now the five big powers of the world, namely China, the US, the UK, France and Russia. The killings by or in Muslim countries form a very small percentage of the total killings, despite the fact that Muslims form about one fifth of the world population.

For more on the stats listed above, read this interesting blog.

If these facts and figures prove anything, it proves that religion can be used as a vehicle to carry out evil just as easily as it can be used to carry out good.
If we removed religion from our interaction with each other, I'm of the belief that this world would be a better and safer place. I'm not saying religion has no place in our daily lives. What I am saying is that it need not be an aspect of our lives which we need to force-feed on those who believe differently.

Every religion has it's fair share of extremists. Every religion.
What we need to do is accept that those extremists are not spokespeople for nor an indication of the rest of those who believe in peace, love and tolerance for all.

That's why I like what this guy says in his letter to the editor of an online newspaper. It's plain, it's simple, and it's honest.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Curious Case Of Bongi

So earlier today I got that one call that every one of us dreads... no not the call from the Doctor saying your test results have come back and somewhere in that cocktail of drugs he found a renegade STD.
I'm talking about the call from those annoying TV Licence lawyers who are always wanting to haul us to court kicking and screaming, while they threaten to have us electrocuted, shot in front of the firing squad, hung, and finally salt & peppered and served to Parliament as sushi.

By now you should know that the only person I detest more than a call-center agent is a lawyer, so needless to say when these guys call me, it's a no-brainer that the conversation is never going to go according to plan.At least not their plan.

Here's a transcript of today's call.

Troll : Good morning. Is this Mr Kaloo?
Me   : Yes it is. Who is this?
Troll : Mr Kaloo this is Bongi from *insert name of legal company who wholesales blood & spleens as a sideline business* I'm calling regarding your TV Licence. We've been unable to get hold of you for 3 weeks now Sir.
Me   : I do apologize. I've recently been declared dead.
Troll : I'm sorry to hear that Sir. I must inform you that all our calls are recorded....

Of course after being told that the person you've just called has been declared DEAD, the polite thing to do is apologize. Clearly.

I love pushing the barriers with these morons. Any moron who calls me for anything other than to tell me I've won the Lotto can expect me to push the envelope.

I say bring it on!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Your Occupation Sir?

This is a transcript of a phone call I received earlier today.

*phone rings*
Me     : Kaloo hello.
Caller : Good morning Sir. Is this Mr Kaloo?
Me     : Yes it is. How can I help?
Caller : Sir I'm calling with some fantastic news today. You've been selected by *insert name of gym who thinks their membership would fill an entire planet* for a free 3 month membership!!
Me     : *yaaawn* Ok that's nice. Drop my membership card off for me, will you.
Caller : Sir I need to get a few details from you first.
Me     : Of course you do. Shoot.
Caller : What's your occupation Sir?
Me     : I'm a retired pornstar.
Caller : Ok, and are you married or single Sir?

Now at this point I'm wondering if she heard ANYTHING I just said.
Do these call-center agents even listen to us, or have they been trained to just drone on until their eyes light up when they hear us giving out our Credit Card or Banking Details?

I have weird crazy conversations with random people almost every day, and if you follow me on Twitter ( @kaloo5 ) you will soon realize that abnormal is just a part of my normal day.... but these call-center agents make it too easy for me to take that to a whole new level.

The fact that there is no shortage of agents calling every other day for any number of products or services means I will have enough material for an entire new section within the blog. I'm calling it 'Transcripts'.
This blog already has a few transcripts found here.
This will include transcripts of not only conversations held with call-center agents, but people in general.

Watch this space.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Open Letter To Eskom

To whom it may concern

Dear Sirs / Madam (Does Helen Zille still work there?)

I write this letter on behalf of the entire country, and even some people outside of our country.
OK not so much our neighbors to the north, because as we all know they get their electricity from you, and it's cheaper nogal. (I'll come back to this point later)

As a tax-paying member of society who has never toyi-toyi'd (clearly, I don't even know how to spell it) against my government and have always been a law-abiding citizen, except for that one time but that bitch had it coming to her and she didn't even know the true value of Hydroponic Zol before she flushed it down the toilet....but other than that, I've been the poster-boy for an exemplary citizen... I write this letter to you with a heavy heart and some serious concerns.

I came home earlier today to find that I was neither able to enter my property nor my garage since my electricity had been interrupted and I was forced to jump my own electric fence, which in a cruel twist of fate, was also off due to the same matter I am now bringing to you attention.
I overlooked this fact thinking that a warm plate of mutton biryani with a soji side-dish would warm my cockles and make me forget my despair, but alas my microwave does not run on gas.
The Lord teaches us to turn the other cheek and I did that today on numerous occasions, but the final straw was walking into my lounge and seeing the air-filter to my fish tank not in operation!

This is an abomination I cannot and I will not stand for, Sir.
Punish me if you must. Punish the nation if you must.
But my fish did you no wrong!
If you prick them, do they not bleed?
If you tickle them, do they not laugh their cute fish laugh?
If you poison them, do they not die?
If you wrong them, do they not seek revenge? Well not them per say, but their bigger cousins who live in the oceans and are commonly referred to as 'Sharks'.

Karma is a terrible thing Sir.
Today you cut my power. Tomorrow your arse gets bitten by a great white shark, and you're left holding what's left of your bollocks in your hands asking yourself "Why me?"

Is it because my fish are not black enough Sir?
Is it because their BEE status does not qualify them to swim with the guppies?
I once had a TV Licence inspector come into my home and refer to my fish as "Bloody Agents". The nerve of that bastard! My fish and I are tired of these white tendencies Sir, and we demand answers.

This is a humble appeal from me to you, asking that you please not load-shed or interrupt my power or whatever other fancy term you assign to the incompetence so inherent in your company.
As I mentioned earlier, our neighbors to the north have no interruption to the cheaper power you supply them, yet we, your constituency, have to suffer the consequences of your lack of planning. This is unacceptable.
Am I to assume that it would be beneficial to me and others in my position, to start buying power from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, which I could possibly get cheaper? I honestly would if I could find an extension chord that's 650km long and wouldn't be stolen for it's copper somewhere along the way. This is the dilemma that I face.

I have never considered myself to be a social activist, but the recent attitude of your company and that of the other bastion of evil we know better as Nestle' have led me to become a crusader for the voiceless, and powerless (literally) and those void of Hot Chocolate.
Those nepotistic arrogant bastards at Nestle' are paying the price for their folly, and my open letter to them is proof that a just man, fighting a just cause, with true conviction, can score free Hot Chocolate  can see justice done!

I don't want the tone of this letter to sound threatening.
I just need you to know that I know people.
People who have big Russian pliers.
People with bolt-cutters.
People who like copper.
People who aren't afraid to walk around in public with spiky hair.

I'm willing to make this deal with you, Sir.
If you promise not to interrupt my electricity supply ever again, I promise to remove that cable I hooked up to the street lights outside to power my big screen TV.

I eagerly await your response.

Power to the people.

Love always.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Nelson Mandela Day : Cheesekids

Nelson Mandela (or Madiba as he is affectionately known by millions around the world) turns 93 tomorrow, and quite frankly I'm still not sure why he hasn't been given Sainthood yet.
I'm not sure if it's the Catholic Church or the Queen who grants Sainthood, but I'll be writing a sternly worded letter to the both of them tonight demanding some answers.

The history of this man's greatness is plastered all over the interweb, so I won't be going into the reasons why I think he is so deserving of the title Saint Madiba.

I had planned to spend today at Cheesekids, a national event held in Joburg, Cape Town and Durban every year to celebrate Madiba's birthday by doing something for 67 minutes to honor the great man. Not just 67 minutes of randomness, but 67 minutes dedicated to giving something back to the community, and more especially giving something back to the children who need it most.
Alas, a pinched nerve put paid to that idea, and I spent the day on my back, dedicating 67 minutes to Madiba by laying down and staying out of trouble. See, even when we do nothing, we're really doing something positive.
That's my story and I'm sticking by it.

Kudo's must go to my dear friend Gwen Britz who is a true inspiration whenever something worthwhile and soul-enriching comes up, and I'm tempted to ask myself where will I ever find the time to get involved. Gwen is proof that there is always time to get involved, there is always time to help others, and there is always time to do good.
I salute you my friend :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Running Low On Fuel?

A little girl asked her Mom, "Mom, may I take the dog for a walk around the block?"

Mom replies, "No, because she is in heat."

"What's that mean?" asked the child.

"Go ask your father. I think he's in the garage."

The little girl goes to the garage and says, "Dad, may I take Princess for a walk around the block? I asked Mom, but she said the dog was in heat, and to come to you."

Dad said, "Bring Princess over here."

He took a rag, soaked it with petrol, and scrubbed the dog's backside with it to disguise the scent, and said "OK, you can go now, but keep Princess on the leash and only go one time round the block."

The little girl left and returned a few minutes later with no dog on the leash. Surprised, Dad asked, "Where's Princess?"

The little girl said, "She ran out of petrol about halfway down the block, so another dog is pushing her home."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Supper tonight at one of my favorite restaurants, The Schwarma Company in Norwood.
This place always reminds me of those Italian joints where the Mafia would hang out and have secret meetings in the back, and you always expected a shoot-out between rival gangsters armed with Tommy-guns and 38 Special revolvers.

Ok so Schwarma Company is nowhere near as violent, but it is a hangout for Lebanese folk.
I had a point with that statement.... hhmmm... moving on.
The most gratuitous violence I ever witnessed was the day a diner stepped on a cockroach, admittedly this was outside the restaurant before we could enter.

Having said that, it is an awesome eclectic mix of people who come through those doors, and the food is simply delicious. Owned by 2 Palestinian brother's or so I'm told, the food is authentically mediterranean and the portions are large enough to feed a small African village.
My favorite item on the menu however, is not a meal but rather a drink : the homemade lemonade!

The last time I ate at Schwarma Company, I was mistaken for an Arab by someone who passed me and asked me something or the other in that eastern dialect. Maybe it was Egyptian or Hebrew. I'm not sure. Come to think of it he may just have been choking on some hummus.

Right... gotta go.
There's a dish with my name on it waiting for me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Afro-Centric Sweets

Expect more of this if China takes over the world, and don't fool yourself into thinking that this will never happen. I think I mentioned this in a previous blog post, possibly the one about my visit to Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves, but I'm too lazy to check right now. Here's an interesting stat:

Population of the world : 6.6 Billion
Population of China : 1.6 Billion
Population of India : 1.4 Billion

At this rate, in 20 years time the world as we know it will consist of only Chinese and Indians. If you're neither of those right now, well, might I suggest you start eating rice and samoosas with chopsticks and learning to speak either Mandarin or Hindi.

I was watching Zeitgeist the other day , you know the conspiracy movie that debunks religion and pokes holes in America and it's foreign policy and a whole lot of other pokeable issues. Anyways, somewhere in the movie was this piece about how this secret society in America who are part of the Freemasons believe that the worlds population should not be more than 1 Billion people. All these wars and famines and diseases are apparently man-made to control world population.

Sounds far-fetched, I admit, but what's more scary is that it's a very real possibility. A group of crazy men out there want complete control of our planet and they will stop at nothing to get it. Now I generally wouldn't have a problem with their plan for world domination as I assume I'll be amongst the 1 Billion intelligent folk worth having around, but I'm pretty sure that the 5 Billion who must perish will include MacDonalds employees.
If this 'world population control' plan starts messing with my Happy Meal, I'm not going to be so happy anymore.

I'm just saying.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Princess Sabreen's 5th Birthday

I remember my 5th birthday like it was yesterday.
There were thousand's of people singing and dancing and waving their arms in the air and blowing vuvuzela's and cheering and.... oh wait, that was the England vs Germany game in last years FIFA Soccer World Cup.

So Sabreen turns 5 on the 28th of July, and I'm still dumbstruck at how quickly the time has gone by. It really does seem like it was just yesterday that she was learning to crawl and then walk.Suddenly she's at school and already wanting to know when she can expect her own Blackberry and Laptop!

Kid's parties today are nothing like they were back in my day.
Back then, a kid's party consisted of 2 glass bottles of 1 liter Fanta Orange, a bag of Nik Naks, some smarties and a few balloons. Some of those balloons even had Merry Christmas on them, but it didn't matter as long as you had your best friends with you.
We'd dress up in our Sunday best, polished shoes and neatly cut hair. We'd help our folks put up the ribbons and brightly coloured tissue paper across the dining room walls. Our friends would arrive armed with the coolest gifts like a coloring-in book which already had 2 pages done, plastic toy guns, left-over fireworks from the Diwali festival the month before, and the most awesome handmade birthday cards. Everybody got to play with your toys before the candles on the cake were even blown out, and by the time the cake was cut there wasn't a single working toy left. You didn't really care. You were just glad to break them with your friends anyways.

The party usually started just after lunch on Sunday and ended either by 5pm or when the Fanta was finished, whichever came first. Party-packs given out by our folks to all the kids that attended was a highlight not to be missed. Sure it was just a little packet with a Chomp, a matchbox of Sherbert and a sucker inside, but it was proof enough that you were one of the cool kids invited to the grandest parties in the neighborhood.

Did I mention that these parties were usually planned a day or two before the event?

Today it's like planning a wedding or the invasion of a small European country.
There's choosing the venue, then planning the color-scheme and theme, outfits, invites, food and snacks, magicians and jumping-castle's and pony's and and and ...
Suggest a small gathering at home with a few friends and a cake and you might as well go to bed with the dinosaurs.

There's the school party which is regarded as the Official Birthday Party, and then there's the Casual Birthday Party which is usually reserved for family and cousins and neighbors. You can't have one without the other, but just like the Queen, the Official Birthday Party is the one we have to make the most fuss over. If for no other reason, than because other school mom's will be judging and using your party as a yardstick for all future events.
Try pulling off a budget-kiddies-party and your kid will be regarded as having grown up in the projects or council homes, with her cards saying "Shame" instead of "Happy Birthday."
Good luck scoring an invite to other kids parties. You've officially relegated your entire family, and more especially your son or daughter, to a life of ridicule and pity.

Ok so maybe I'm making it sound more drastic than it really is.
The fact is that on the day, watching your little Princess running about with her friends knowing that this day is all about her, and having her smile and laugh and give you hugs and kisses as she thanks you for being so awesome, makes it all worthwhile.

Besides, in about 20 years time you get to do it on an even grander scale with even greater expense, while you hope to still get hugs and kisses and thank you's for being the best parents ever. Then she drives off with her new husband who thinks you're a knob.

Aah the joys of parenthood!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Defending The Caveman

My friend Sabeen from Dubai arrived for her yearly vacation with us on Thursday.
Her kid's aged 4 (Raaz) and 7 (Fiza) wanted to do something outside of the usual theme-parks or malls over the weekend, so I decided on something completely South African. They'd recently been to DisneyWorld in Japan, so topping that was not going to be an easy task.

A hundred years ago while I was still at school, I remember going to Sterkfontein Caves during an excursion. I figured a day spent at Maropeng learning about the history of mankind followed by a tour through the caves would do the trick.

Clearly it was!
The Maropeng Museum was a far cry from the stuffy quiet museums we're so accustomed to. This place is totally inter-active, with tons of things to do for both adults and kids. The highlight was a boat ride through a man-made cave, complete with ice-tunnel, waterfalls and a mini-volcano. If the kids get bored (highly unlikely) of being indoors, there's an outside picnic area with jungle-gym and a viewing deck.
3 Adults, 3 Kids, 3 hours of great fun. Total cost :R10!
I kid you not. All you pay is the entrance fee per vehicle, which is a measly R10!
Now that's my idea of a value-for-money day out.

The Sterkfontein Caves are about 7km away from Maropeng.
Interesting fact is that the restaurant at the reception area is halaal for those who haven't packed a picnic basket. I expected to pay tourist prices, but once again I was pleasantly surprised.
R35 for a chicken burger meal. That's not too bad, considering this place is out in the bush, about 60km away from Sandton.
The Cave Tour is R120 per adult, R70 for kids between aged 4-14.
For an amazing one-hour tour, it's another awesome experience.

Today we're off to Lory Park Zoo in Midrand.

Thanks to my friend Roela Hattingh and the link on her Facebook page to Toodoo where so many of these local outtings and events are showcased!

Yesterday was proof that entertaining the family during the school holidays need not break the bank or require a second bond.