Following the launch of their great East West: South Africans Zabroad YouTube travel show, the husband and wife team of Retha and Miguel Sanchez have since followed up their initial South Korea exploration with a move of focus to Thailand, where they interviewed South Africans living and working in both Phuket and Bangkok.
As per usual, it’s pretty interesting to hear how fellow South Africans are adapting to and enjoying the new culture and norms, but of course it is the stunning visuals accompanying these interviews that are the real stars of this show!
Episode 4 jumps to Phuket, where property owner Gert Loubser, holiday makers Nox & Fumane, and Justin & Reinhardt share their impressions and tips on making your Thailand experience unforgettable.
Next up, episode 5 then concludes the Phuket leg of the show, featuring interviews with Louis Baartman, Paul & Nadia, and Tieka van Rensburg. There are also beach excursions and a visit to rural Phuket – as well as a braai!
Leaving the beaches of Phuket behind, episode 6 next explores Bangkok’s temples and floating markets, with South Africans Sally, Matt & Dan thrown in the mix:
Finally, episode 7 sees the second part of the team’s Bangkok visit, interviewing Marce, Mandi & Krige in the process. They take a stroll down Khao San Road, see 1600 pandas and enjoy fancy cocktails at the Sky Bar!
Thailand is a pretty popular holiday destination for South Africans given our relatively weak currency (in other words, it is a more affordable overseas holiday than most!), but having seen all this, I have to say, I wouldn’t mind going for a break there either!
The team has since taken a short break to walk the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain (which went very well based on their Instagram account – and Chantelle’s Whatsapp chats with Retha!), and with East West now based in Spain for the next short while, we can definitely look forward to some “South Africans in Europe” tales hitting YouTube pretty soon!
East West, the documentary style travel show that follows South Africans from all walks of life around globe and depicts their daily lives against the backdrop of their adopted culture, returns for episode 3 with an interview with English teacher Chantal Terblanche in her South Korean surroundings, followed by a look around Busan and then a trip to the popular Jeju Island.
Naturally, a trip to Jeju Island isn’t complete without mention or view of the saucy naughty erotic theme park Loveland… which is exactly what hosts Retha and Miguel do!
Episode 4 of this great web series should be out pretty soon, with the team moving on from South Korea and scouting out South Africans in Thailand next…
Pleasingly, the second episode in the series has just been released, continuing their look at South Africans living in Seoul (the capital of South Korea) – this time featuring Cape Town film maker Raoul Dyssell and the man behind South African wine on tap, Tobias Jerling.
Definitely worth watching:
Nice, right? Now hit the subscribe button – I suspect it’s just going to keep on getting better and better!
We discovered the beautiful Harold Porter Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay last year, and following our delightful little outing to the Stony Point penguin colony with Retha and Miguel, we decided that the botanical garden would be the perfect spot for some delicious picnic food.
Which it was.
The slightly overcast weather must have driven off all the other visitors for the day, because we pretty much had the entire garden to ourselves. Selecting a beautiful lush section of lawn, we plonked our blanket down and started tucking in to a simple but yummy selection of Chantelle and Retha organized snacks.
The girls then decided that a short nap/chat was in order, while I missioned off with Miguel and the girls, eager to show off the first bridge leading into the Leopard’s Kloof area.
Sadly for me though, it turns out that the reconstruction of the bridges is now in full swing (the park was heavily damaged by flooding in 2013), which meant that we couldn’t really get very far as the first bridge is now inconveniently blocked off in the middle!
(Probably just as well because it turned out that my two little girls were in fact in NO mood to walk anywhere anyway!)
So instead, Miguel and I strolled around the gardens for a bit, played with the girls on the outdoor stage area, and then summoned the ladies to head off for coffee at the onsite Red Disa restaurant – a welcome which was made even more pleasant by the owner setting down some nice Old Brown Sherry in front of us when we got there!
I guess we’ll just have to give it another shot a little later then, once all the bridges are back up and running. As for a picnic venue, it’s quite difficult to beat the beautiful surrounds that make up the Harold Porter Botanical Garden!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”38448,38449,38450,38451,38452,38453,38454,38455,38456,38457,38458,38459,38460,38461,38462,38463,38464,38465,38466,38467,38468,38469,38470,38471,38472,38473,38474,38475,38476,38477,38478,38479,38480,38481,38482,38483,38484,38485,38486,38487,38488,38489,38490,38491,38492,38493,38494,38495,38496,38497,38498,38499,38500,38501,38502,38503,38504,38505,38506,38507,38508,38509,38510,38511,38512,38513,38514,38515,38516,38517″]
Related Link: Harold Porter Botanical Garden
Since the kids, Chantelle and I have probably visited the world class African Penguin breeding colony at the Stony Point Nature Reserve in Betty’s Bay on average at least once a year, purely because it’s a works so well as a tourist attraction and is always an exciting outing for the little ones.
This time around we were playing host to good friends Retha and Miguel Sanchez (who’ve just launched a very exciting, South African-themed travel series called East West) and following a relaxing evening of sipping Jack Daniels together, we were excited to show off this site which neither of them had yet been to.
By this stage, most of the penguin chicks have already hatched, meaning that you are guaranteed in spotting many a juvenile penguin being fussed over by either their mom or dad penguin, making for some very cute sights indeed. As it was, we lucked out when on arrival, we came across a big group of penguins heading down the slipway for a quick dip!
As I’ve mentioned before, the beautifully constructed walkway is a real gem, allowing you to easily saunter through the breeding grounds and get some great views of both penguins and dassies alike. The weather was playing along perfectly, and the girls in particular were quite excited to have aunty Retha and uncle Miguel tagging along as a distraction!
In addition to all the cute and cuddly on display, all three species of cormorant, the Crowned, Cape and Bank cormorant, were out in full force over by the watch tower area, leading to thus a rather pleasant afternoon filled with sightings!
(In other words, a very successful outing indeed…)
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”38377,38378,38380,38381,38382,38383,38384,38385,38386,38387,38388,38389,38390,38391,38392,38393,38394,38395,38396,38397,38398,38399,38400,38401,38402,38403,38404,38405,38406,38407,38408,38409,38410,38411,38412,38413,38414,38415,38416,38417,38418,38419,38420,38421,38422,38423,38424,38425,38426,38427,38428,38429,38430,38431,38432,38433,38434,38435,38436,38437,38438,38439,38440,38441,38442,38443,38444″]
Related Link: Stony Point Nature Reserve
If you are a South African with expat friends living overseas, or you find yourself calling another country home far away from sunny South Africa, then you’ll definitely love East West: South Africans Zabroad, a brand new YouTube-based travel show that focuses on talking to South Africans living on foreign soil and showing us just a little of what it means to live outside of our beautiful homeland.
(“South Africans Zabroad” – seriously, how can you not love just how clever that is!)
Lovingly pieced together over the course of three years by good friends Retha and Miguel Sanchez (the first a South African, the latter a Spaniard), who make it a habit of staying in other countries to teach language, East West interviews South Africans from all walks of life around the globe and depicts their daily lives against the backdrop of their adopted culture.
As the team themselves say, “East West wants to remind our community of that elusive “something” South Africans have – that thing that makes us embrace each other when we sing Nkosi Sikelel’, wear our flag with pride or attempt to make biltong with spices snuck in through customs, organize potjiekos competitions and bazaars with koeksisters and melktert, and being united by the motto: Where there’s a will, there’s a braai!”
The first episode has just been dropped onto YouTube and it’s fantastic.
From the description: “Episode 1 of our web series about South Africans abroad. The seasons starts in South Korea where we meet Durban hip hop talent Blessing Majola and partner in rhyme Saul Goode. We enjoy truly South African food at Braai Republic and chat to Chris, Roddy and Louis about doing business in Korea. Korea House, Namdaemun market and Dongdaemun History and culture park is also on the menu.”
How awesome and catchy is that opening tune? Love it!
I can’t help but be proud of these two and their brilliant labour of love, and sincerely hope that everyone will do their best to make this spread like wildfire – because it certainly deserves to!
Chantelle and I didn’t have a particularly good end to 2015. I haven’t gotten around to detailing it all in the blog yet, so I guess this is then officially the start.
Thursday 26 November 2015 marked the evening that we had invited my Mom and Dad over to have supper with us at our home. Of course, this then meant that on arrival back from work, Chantelle immediately set about cleaning the house, which translates to a lot of wiping down of surfaces and some furious mopping. (Standard procedure for whenever we’re expecting visitors mind you!)
Sadly for her sake though, she must have applied just a little too much soap to her mop water or sprayed a little too much floor cleaner beforehand, because on stepping down into the braai room to mop there, her feet slipped and she went down like a ton of bricks, landing on her back and somehow (miraculously!) not hitting the back of her head on the step in the process!
Lots of screaming, swearing and gnashing of teeth immediately let me know that something was wrong – which made sense considering that the toes on her left foot were now staring back at me whilst in the shape of a V!
The kids were beside themselves, so after calming them down, I organised with Jessica that we drop them over there for a bit until my folks (already on their way) could arrive to pick them up (shame, interrupting a date night with Mark in the progress), whilst Chantelle swore and managed to get hold of someone at our local pharmacy on the other line.
After a quick painful drive there, the doctor and pharmacist both took a look and concurred that it looked broken, meaning that our immediate next step was a race through to the Emergency Centre at Vergelegen Mediclinic Hospital (because of course, as with all accidents in the Lotter household, it was already after hours).
Naturally, Chantelle was in a heck of a lot of pain, and unfortunately it was quite the extended wait at the Emergency Centre to get her seen to.
(I twiddled my thumbs for a very, very long time, while back home, my folks ended up getting pizza for supper! This means that technically we still owe them supper one of these days…)
Anyway, luckily for Chantelle the twin x-rays showed that the toes were just dislocated as opposed to broken, and so after a super painful injection into her toes (she had insisted on the anesthetic without realizing how sore receiving it would be!), the doctor popped everything back into place and bandaged her up.
With that, our expensive and painful evening was now finally over.
Recovery was slow and sore, but thankfully the toes managed to heal up just in time such that she could still make the big, big December event – which was of course her being bridesmaid to best friend Retha’s big Stellenbosch wedding!
(Which sadly I didn’t get to attend, the sorry story around that still to follow…)
Related Link: Vergelegen Mediclinic
Situated on the edge of a private nature reserve along the R304, Wild Clover farm is a smorgasbord of activities, included among which is a more than decent restaurant, a onsite brewery, large secure outdoor kids play area, cottages for accommodation, a weekly market, archery field, clay pigeon shooting facilities, horse riding, and a RC airplane landing strip!
Chantelle’s best friend Retha is once again down in South Africa (she and Miguel usually come home once a year – though this time around she has good reason to be back – in a few weekends’ time it is her big South African wedding!), and as such was spending a couple of days with us and the kids.
Taking advantage of the great weather, we thought it a good idea to show her this excellent spot we’ve become rather fond of in recent times,
Despite Chantelle’s still throbbing toes (more on that saga later, I promise), the five of us bundled into the Hyundai Accent and made the pleasant drive through Stellenbosch until at last we pulled up at the rather bustling Wild Clover parking area.
The horses were out in their numbers and the vibes coming from the kids play area and restaurant were pretty inviting. Battling through the rather loud (pity) live music, we found a nice table in the shade and let the girls loose to go and play.
(Which of course, they didn’t. They never do exactly what you plan, in case you didn’t know that already!)
Of course, eventually everyone did get settled in, the girls sped off to play, the live music stopped which meant that the noise subsequently abated, meaning that once the delicious pizza’s arrived, things got properly enjoyable.
All in all leading to a rather pleasant afternoon out and about at Wild Clover!
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”35474,35475,35476,35477,35478,35479,35480,35481,35482,35483,35484,35485,35486,35487,35488,35489,35490,35491,35492,35493,35494,35495,35496″]
Related Link: Wild Clover
As a toddler Jessica always admired these fun animal-themed rides found at various malls and shopping centres around the country from a safe and secure distance. However, viewing alone wouldn’t cut it for very much longer!
We were entertaining Retha who had come to South Africa for a year-end visit, and after a relaxing lunch at the Spur in Somerset Mall, Jessica seized the opportunity to grab Auntie Retha and lead her to the Pony Cycles.
A green dragon was the choice for the day, a seat was taken, and off they went, smiles firmly planted on faces (though admittedly Jess wasn’t quite strong enough to move it completely unassisted!).
[subvertedgallery link=”file” columns=”7″ ids=”26769,26770,26771,26772,26773,26774,26775,26776,26777″]