Durban,
7th to 9th October 2007

Durban was very sad.

The old Durban Club, symbol of Colonialism, is now owned bt Robert Mugabe - the itinerant President of Zimbabwe.

On the streets below its colonial elegance white tramps now beg and up and coming natives race the streets in their fancy cars.

While I enjoyed reading the excellent article in the Sunday Tribune written by Jani Meyer on my book I looked out at the bay and reflected on just where the country would go from here.

The beaches of Durban are strictly a no-go zone for what used  to be a white beach. Stall holders replace the old amusement park and many of the beach side hotels are starting to reflect a "Hillbrow-like" appearance - run down and no longer serving the purpose they were once built for.

The Suncoast Casino north of Durban stands out as a money-growing-tree for the casino king Sol Kerzner. I went and watched S Africa beat Fiji in the world cup rugby union semi-finals - while the Afrikaners st in the bar in front of the big screen screaming at the "poofta" ref who had allowed Fiji to draw 20-20 the natives queued at Kerzner's pokie machines (literally). I have never seen people queue to lose money before so this was a first!

On the road home that evening Kerzner's PR campaign was in full swing with some radio host proclaiming his greatness for establishing a hospitality school where natives could gain skills in the tourism trade.

I was pleased to be out of Durban although its ity Hall still as one of the finest collections of stuffed animals (including the Dodo).

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Summary

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7th Flight to Durban from Johannesburg - great views; meeting a real sporting star Shaun Diaz; The Sunday Tribune article about my book; the "white" beaches have gone "black" and the sad fate of the "white" tramps - the new face post-1994 .

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8th The excellent natural history museum at the Durban City Council; the sad fate of the historic Durban Club home of South Africa's first token coins

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9th The book launch at the Killie Campbell library

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Return to Scott Balson's 2007 book tour