About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

08 July 2006

Weekend starts on Thursday ...

So, I have just returned from the 6th Information Security South Africa conference (my 3rd) in Sandton. To be honest, this was a very disappointing conference - the quality of many of the papers in the conference, was poor, and as I blogged earlier, the reviewing was very poor, and I wasn't the only one complaining. Furthermore,half the conference was taken up by industry presentations, which had very little value - and some of the industry attendees I spoke to weren't impressed either. So like SATNAC last year, this was yet another South African conference that left a "well, that was a waste of time" feeling.

Anyway, Thursday night was the conference Gala dinner, an occasion usually featuring good food and entertainment - and although we were not expecting a big name band like Mean Mr Mustard at SATNAC, we were expecting something interesting. We were instead treated to, what can be best described as "Medical Pop Idols", a show featuring songs and dances organised by medical students, friends of the program chair's daughter. Unfortunately, most of the show was rather uninspiring, and Reinhard's Mobile TV proved itself once again (although there wasn't much to watch on TV either)!

Anyway, after coffee, we decided to get out and see what the surrounding area has to offer, in the light of one of the resident attendees proclaiming that, in Gauteng, the weekend starts on Thursday. But, since we did not have a map, we decided not to stray too far ... We discovered, very quickly, two things:

  • Jo'burg seems to have very few street lights

  • There are some really high speed bumps in Jo'burg

Furthermore, other than petrol stations, only News Cafe, Teasers and a Fontana Chicken Roastery, there was nothing else open. Phoning friends who stayed (or used to stay) in Jo'burg didn't help either - and so we decided, that while the weekend might start on Thursday, but no in Sandton/Rivonia/Morningside.

06 July 2006

Red Lights and Car Shopping

Over the weekend, I was visiting my family in Gabarone, before heading off to ISSA 2006 (where I am currently, bored out of my mind with the corporate crap). One of the interesting things about Botswana, is the price of second hand cars, which are on average 30 - 70% cheaper than South Africa. After all where, will you get a 1998 Lexus with relatively low mileage for about R50 000? The reason off course is simple - most of the cars are imported from the Far East, like Japan and Singapore, who have a high replacement rate and have very high taxes for second hand cars. And even with a huge number of importers, the variance on car prices is quite low, although the selection is quite limited.

Unfortunately, I will not be getting any of those cars, but I should have wheels soon ... finally. And on the note of driving - I noticed a rather strange phenomenon with regards to traffic lights in Gabarone. The change to the red light, it seems, stands for stop in the next 5 seconds, and not immediately - and cars just stream past the red light. And it seems that most drivers in Gabarone know this, as drivers hardly set off at the change to the green light!