Day 28 - Old Vic Travellers Inn Nelspruit to Melville International Backpackers Johannesburg
This morning at 7.30am Kristina, Thomas and I left Old Vic Travellers Inn. Dave gave us a ride to Johannesburg, which was very nice of him. He even dropped us at Melville International Backpackers. On the way we stopped at a petrol station, because Dave wanted something to eat. Here we bought a chocolate bar for him, because we had promised him chocolate if he found us a leopard. And he had found us a leopard. He reacted really pleased and was looking for another leopard, haha.
Before we went to the backpackers Dave had to go by a Greek school in Johannesburg. Here he had to pick up his number for the marathon he is running tomorrow. I tested myself a bit while I was there by trying to read the Greek words that were written on some of the buildings. I am definitely getting rusty. From there we drove through Johannesburg and got to see the wealthy as well as the poor and also the criminal areas. The difference is quite big still and the areas are pretty close together as well.
When we arrived at Melville International Backpackers, we said goodbye to Dave and thanked him for everything. The days spend at Kruger National Park were definitely one of the highlights of my trip. At Melville we were greeted and shown to our rooms. This is were I said goodbye to Kristina and Thomas, because they were staying in a different room and had other things planned for the day. I was also shown around the place. There were two kitchens and two showers and two toilets. I was sharing everything with the dorm next to me. They also have a pool in the courtyard and a common room with TV.
My room had three beds in it, of which one was a double bed. I was the only one staying in the room, so I took the big bed. The whole room was filled pretty fast while I tried to organise my bags for the plane ride to Cape Town tomorrow. At this point I also put all the clothes I did not want to bring home with me in a plastic bag. The owner of Melville assured me that they would give them to someone who could use them. I hope that works out.
At 1pm the owner of Melville International Backpackers came up to my room to ask me what I wanted to do today. I told him I wanted to go to the Apartheid Museum. According to a lot of people that should be great. So he arranged for a taxi to come and drop me off at the museum. I needed a bit more time on the internet, the wifi had a great connection by the way, so I was picked up at 1.30pm by a guy called Freedom. He told me a lot about the history of the area, especially in the time of Apartheid. At around 2pm I arrived at the museum. This was a bit late because the museum closed at 5pm and a lot of people spend three to four hours there.
The entrance of the museum has a pool with a wall behind it on which a saying by Nelson Mandela is written. There are also a few pillars with words like freedom and tolerance on them. When you enter the museum there are two doors you can go through, one for whites and one for non-whites. I was a bit shocked, because I thought I would actually have to go through the door for whites. Then I saw a sign that on the back of my ticket was written which door I should take. At least the decision was taken out of my hands, I had a non-whites ticket.
The halfway you come into is covered with passes of the different people in the Apartheid era. The passes were mandatory in those days. If you did not have one with you, you were thrown in prison. At the end of the hallway there were sayings from different people during Apartheid, each as ignorant as the next. They said stuff like that whites are just superior and that they had to rule blacks, which is not based on anything. From there you went outside again and the first thing you see is a photo of the oldest human remains found in the world. These remains were found in Africa. This proves according to a lot of people that all people originate from Africa and that evolution just made us black or white or any other colour. It also proves that one people can not be superior to another, because we originate from the same people. All the people in South Africa are religious, so if you like at the Bible or Koran or anything like that the people should have already thought that everybody originates from the same people.
Anyways, the museum actually did not start after you walk outside for a while with some pictures on the right. Here I first went to the right and ended up in the temporary exhibition about Nelson Mandela. There was a sign that said that if you hadn’t been to the permanent exhibit yet, you might want to do that before going to the Nelson Mandela exhibit. So I turned around and went to the left of the entrance. Here the Apartheid era was pictured and written about on signs from the beginning of colonisation. The colonisation and the Anglo-Boer wars had a big influence on the start of the Apartheid. It were the descendents of these people who end up starting Apartheid. From there we went into the reasoning behind Apartheid and the laws adopted to implement it. After that there were areas about every ten years of Apartheid. There were videos and photos and stories from people who went through it. At the end was a whole room about how they accomplished the end of Apartheid. By the time I got out of this exhibit it was exactly 5pm. At first I thought I might be able to sneak into the Nelson Mandela exhibit, but I decided against it. Everybody was poring out of the museum already.
Because Freedom had said he could not pick me up until 5.30 I took a walk through the garden and just relaxed. When I came out of the complex though he was already there waiting for me. He had decided to pick me up first and then go to the airport. So I went to the airport with him to pick up a new backpacker for Melville. We thought the backpacker would be a woman, but ended up being a man. You just never know from a name, at least not always.
When we arrived back at the backpackers I was very hungry, because I thought they did not have a restaurant at the museum. The restaurant was at the end of the museum, but by the time I got there it was closed. Anyways, I did not want to walk a couple of blocks to a restaurant to sit there on my own so I ordered something. It was nice, because I got to relax and just do nothing all evening. I called with my parents for a while to arrange for my homecoming and then went to sleep.