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July 14, 2003

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Last night we left Rio on an outbound flight and this morning we touched down at Johannesburg, South Africa. This is a backpacker friendly country. In the lounge next to baggage claim we met a lady offering accommodation (and a free ride) to a hostel called Brown Sugar. The hostel itself served as the former mansion of a mafioso. The mob king left the country - he thought South Africa was too dangerous and the crime rate too high.
Real estate prices are also extremely low. A huge 6 bedroom house, each room en suite, a five car garage, pool, tennis court, and separate house for servants is offered at $500,000. A 3 bedroom house in a decent neighborhood sells for $30,000.