The first stop on our Indian Ocean trip was Durban, South Africa. We took it easy for our couple days in town, mostly just getting over jetlag. But we did have one big goal — to eat Bunny Chow, a local food specialty. To make it, you hollow out a quarter loaf of bread and fill the hole with spicy curry. Our quest was satisfied in a mall food court.
The spicing of the curry was very strong and reminiscent not only of Indian curries but also had hints of Ethiopian flavors. Speaking of which, it is traditional to eat your Bunny Chow with your hands. Our fingers were orange through several washings.
Here are some more images of Durban… mostly from shopping malls. But not just any old mall, the Gateway mall is the second largest in Africa (after one in Casablanca which we somehow missed). And we also went to uShaka, a mall/beach park.
The parts of Durban we saw were really lush and pretty. We’re told there are much grittier areas but we took some long drives and saw only leafy suburbs and glistening highrises. Both the upscale mall and the more populist beach park were encouragingly racially integrated, though with a disproportionately high number of white people at the mall and low percentage at the beach. We would have been more optimistic about the progress in the country if we hadn’t read just an article in The New Republic magazine on the long flight to Durban that described the problems of extreme economic and racial disparities in the country. And the resulting rise of demagogues, corruption and cynicism. The article made the case that South Africa is a leading indicator for the future of America.