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Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

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Old 05-04-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

All,

I will be taking a work trip to South Africa shortly. I will be spending most of my time in Pretoria and some in Johannesburg. Has anyone been there before? If so, any suggestions on where to go/what to do while there? I'm not a very experienced travel, so basic foreign travel tips -- regardless of how elementary you may think they are, would be appreciated!

Additionally, the military part of the thread. I will be working in a place that has Marines stationed there for security. Step 1 when entering a new country at my job -- make friends with the Marines. I know we have a lot of ex-military on this board. When stationed abroad, what type of presents from the States would you like to get from someone. Keep in mind the presents can't be personalized and these guys aren't the typical deployed into a war zone, so they have a little more of the niceties than say a deployed guy. Just looking for some ideas to take these guys to thank them and build a bridge.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:50 PM   #2
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Give them bin Laden's puppy.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Double Stuffed Oreos. Seriously.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:42 PM   #4
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Stop by the Kimberly's place and retire early...........
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:43 PM   #5
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

There's no need to come bearing gifts. The troops on the ground would think nothing of it. Honestly it may cause an akward situation. I would not be surprised if they were unable to accept your generosity. If you're a civilian contractor protocol would prevent accepting a gift.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:17 AM   #6
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

What Buck said, plus you probably don't have enough to go around. Are you entering a base or just hitting roads patrolled by them?

Are you planning on meeting some strange? S.A. is no stranger to AIDS.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:08 AM   #7
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

  1. Never get wasted. Really bad things happen when you're wasted in someone else's backyard.
  2. If a woman is too friendly/easy she's probably a prostitute.
  3. Don't say anything negative about the country you are in.
  4. Don't talk politics.
  5. If a woman asks you how old do you think I am lie and tell her she looks 10 years younger than you think she is.
  6. If you have food allergies make plans to work around them.
  7. Don't use public computers for personal use.
  8. Be ready to play the "I am Canadian" card. An item with a maple leave might come in hand (backpack accessory, a t-shirt, or a hat).
  9. Know where the US embassy is located.
  10. Find out the travel time between where you are and where you want to go. You don't want to go on a 30 min cab ride to a place that's only 10 min away. When dealing with cabs, tell them where you want to go and ask them how long and how much.
  11. Buy snacks and water and be sure to have food in your backpack at all times.
  12. Don't walk between money courier and their armored cars as they transport money from a bank to the car.
  13. Make sure your pants belt has notches before and after the current notch you wear it at.
  14. Have at least one formal wear.
  15. Be sure to have a secondary battery for all your electronic equipment....at the very least for your cell phone.


That's all I got for now.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:56 AM   #8
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

I'd buy a few of these to wear when out walking around town.




If you really want to have some fun wear this out one night.


I was actually very surprised to see people actually make these.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

If you plan to use your ATM card (yes, there are ATM's in S. Africa), make sure to tell your bank that you are traveling there before you go. Otherwise the bank may think that your card is stolen and turn it off.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:47 AM   #10
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Travelers checks are worthless... dont buy them but get a prepaid visa card instead.
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Old 05-05-2011, 11:54 AM   #11
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Are you really going to build a bridge? That's pretty cool
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:09 PM   #12
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

A little clarification:

I'm not building a bridge. Mainly just wanted an offering. The Marines stationed there know the area better than anyone else. I will be working at the embassy, and have been told to make friends with them immediately. Technically, they aren't allowed to accept gifts -- but if it's something small that may be a small slice of America that is difficult to get abroad, they aren't sticklers for it.

I have access to secure ATMs, internet, currency exchange, people to help me book trips out and recommend places to go/etc.

Was wondering if anyone did something awesome there (besides buy blood diamonds and smuggle tigers back, both of which I plan to do) and knew about it.

Saden -- mind expanding on this one? Make sure your pants belt has notches before and after the current notch you wear it at.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:14 PM   #13
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daseal View Post
A little clarification:

I'm not building a bridge. Mainly just wanted an offering. The Marines stationed there know the area better than anyone else. I will be working at the embassy, and have been told to make friends with them immediately. Technically, they aren't allowed to accept gifts -- but if it's something small that may be a small slice of America that is difficult to get abroad, they aren't sticklers for it.

I have access to secure ATMs, internet, currency exchange, people to help me book trips out and recommend places to go/etc.

Was wondering if anyone did something awesome there (besides buy blood diamonds and smuggle tigers back, both of which I plan to do) and knew about it.

Saden -- mind expanding on this one? Make sure your pants belt has notches before and after the current notch you wear it at.
I wanted to know that one myself, but not sure I was old enough........
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #14
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

I did a month long Euro trip back 2005. I ate something bad on the first leg of the trip in the Netherlands and I couldn't keep food down for a few days. Then walked a shit ton in the Paris and southern France. The last week and half I spent exploring Italy and I couldn't eat a lot of food on restaurant menus because I'm allergic to tomatoes.

I was size 40 waist and on the last notch on my belt at the beginning of the trip. Between getting food poisoning, walking a shit ton, and not eating I lost about 20lbs and my belt became no good. I searched endlessly for size 38 belts allover Italy with no luck. Needless to say my pants were on the ground looking like a fool the last few days.

Moral of the story is waistlines expand and contract so leave room for it on your belt. Also, size 38 belts are for fatties and regular stores don't carry sizes above size 36 in Italy.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:58 PM   #15
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Re: Traveling to S. Africa -- Need advice (military)

Gotcha. I probably should. My current belts are on the smallest notch and still don't fit =(
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