Arthur Goldstuck
Arthur Goldstuck

Travel blog Pt 1: how SA fell off the world

Is it only me, or has South Africa fallen off the world map? It’s bad enough we have Eskom, The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Sport rubbing salt into our wounds every day. Now it seems our power needs are out of step with the rest of the world as well.

The following product specification appears in Virgin Atlantic’s in-flight shopping catalogue, Retail Therapy, to describe a “Travel Exclusive” Swiss Travel Plug (verbatim, parenthesis and all):

Anywhere you go, this baby gives you power. The four main plug configurations cover the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and USA set-ups, so that it works in countless countries, from Albania to Zambia. Compliant with new international standards. Compatible with … just about any plug in any country (excluding South Africa).

Are we the only country in the entire world that doesn’t comply with international power plug standards? Are we behind even Albania (and probably Outer Mongolia too) in our embrace of modern technology, or at least our ability to keep in step with the world?

In reality, I suspect the compilers of Virgin’s catalogue are out of touch. A little more travelling may broaden their horizons and remind them that the entire world doesn’t fit neatly into four configurations of power supply, even if they do believe it does in ways of culture and taste. Perhaps someone could supply them with an air ticket or two… ?

* PS: I thought it wise to fill you in on recent travels to establish an alibi for the period during which the Silwane Files were missing in action. Whatever Ndumiso was up to, I had nothing to do with it, and I assure you I did not have drinks with that man.