We made our way back to Johannesburg, back to family, to old neighborhoods and to one of the best parts for me....the FOOD. Oh the glorious food, I don't think I could begin to tell you just how good Portuguese food is, if you've never had it you have no idea what you're missing, but if you're one of the lucky ones to live near a Portuguese community, say for instance in Massachusetts, Newark, New Jersey, San Francisco or even up in Canada....do yourself a favor, go to a Portuguese restaurant or to a bakery and just try it....then come back and tell me what you think.
We arrived back in Johannesburg on Friday afternoon and did nothing for the rest of the day, just hung out at dad's house, chatted with family and ate good food.
I had to take the kids and Curt to the Portuguese bakery Belem. They hadn't tried any cakes yet, so I think we pretty much got one of each LOLFrom the left: Pasteis de Nata (cream cakes), Bolas de Berlin (filled donuts), Pasteis de Arroz (Bean cakes)....I know the last ones sound weird, but believe me, they are to die for.
Sunset view from the backyard of my parent's house
If you look to the right, you see the city lights in the distance....that's Johannesburg
Dinner that night was typical Portuguese, Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa.
The next morning we woke up refreshed and ready to go....but not before Curt enjoyed a game of Guitar Hero LOL
Oh and I almost forgot to show you Jasmine's new haircut....how cute is that?
This morning we were heading out to take some photographs of my old houses, schools etc. It was a part of me that my children and husband had never seen and I was eager to show them around. Little did I know that some of those old houses would bring tears to my eyes and not in a good way.
My brother Miguel's house
My brother Paul's house....this is the house that I lived in before getting married and moving to the States. My parents moved to a different house down the street and my oldest brother moved in with his family.
Now let's turn to the left and head down the street. Boy do I remember this street, I walked up and down every single day morning and afternoon when I was in High School, which is just at the end of the road
And here's my old high school, The Hill High School
Now we're traveling up Geranium street towards the middle of Rosettenville. I spent many afternoons here after school with my friends, I also walked up and down this street with my grandmother to go shopping.Middle of Rosettenville, so much has changed, there's buildings that are gone, there's businesses that have since closed down etc.
If you look to the right, do you see that dark brown building that says Bombay Bazaar? That's where you go and buy the school uniforms. LOL I remember those days, the days of dark green dressed, white button up shirts and BROWN shoes. YUCK!
Yum, Steers, one of my favorite burger places, my friends and I ate lunch here many times
Good old McDonald's LOL
This is going up Main street, to the right you have Spar, it's a big grocery store
Rio Douro Fisheries, the fresh fish market we go to back home
In 1988 we moved to Portugal and within 4 months we had moved back to South Africa, we didn't like living in Portugal, it's a long story and a whole other post LOL
When we returned, we moved into this house, it was my grandparents home and we stayed with them for a bit until we got our own place.....nowadays, it's empty and it looks like there may have been a fire at some point. It was just sad to look at!
The famous 167 Church Street, this was the haunted house, the horribly haunted place that forced me to stay away all night long with the light on, the house where I woke up in the middle of the night with hands around my throat, or the time I lay in bed and looked to the window and saw what appeared to be my greatgrandmother standing there while she actually lay asleep on the bed next to me. Horrible house, but it was a pretty house and I was saddened to see the state it's in now. That metal gate was not there, nor were the HUGE walls.
The other haunted house where my Uncle Carlos got choked in the bathroom. It also looks completely different, it had a beautiful driveway and big open doorway, that wall was NOT there before. Again a shock and a sadness to see it this way.
Continuing with the shock factor we go to 197 Prairie Street...I mean what can I say? It's not even a house anymore, it's a business LOL
My Elementary School, I have the best memories from this place and it pretty much looks the same, except for the big tall green fence. Welcome to Africa people!
Fred Street, there weren't that many bars on the windows when we lived there, but times have changed.
And that was it, we drove back to my parents house with a feeling of sadness. I have to tell you that as much as I loved being back home in South Africa and walking down memory lane, it struck me that 10 years really had gone by....it may not seem like a long time, but it is. So much changes and I'm greatful for the memories that I have of all these houses during my childhood, because the memories I have etched in my heart do not mirror the dilapidated, run down and scary looking buildings that I saw this day.