This is next to the hotel they actually stayed in. The English Channel is just to the left.
that town (amsterdam) is awesome. i heard so many european languages there. there is an ugly side to it--the red light district. our hotel shuttle driver was telling us that it is basically behind this big church. he thought that was really funny. i told him i thought that was a really great location for a church building, actually. he didn't get it. i wish we could have seen that city in the daylight--the buildings were so awesome. so much history here!
Amsterdam Central Station
there were no arrival cards to fill out at the airport (in south africa), and the customs didn't even stop us to rifle through our bags. the airport was really nice and modern and clean. a major change for the better from the lagos (nigeria) airport.
we got in around 6:30am, and were taken to the house we are staying in...it's called the travel lodge in auckland park, which is a suburb of jo'burg. the house is AMAZING. it has 12 bedrooms or so, most of which have two twin beds (not pushed together, thankfully). the neighborhood resembles newport beach or even maui with the style of the homes and the vegetation. it's a bit confusing hearing everyone speak the queen's english here. and it doesn't feel like africa at all. my room is on the bottom floor next to the driveway, and i can look out of my window and see the old-fashioned tennis court in the front yard. further up the hill on the side of the house, there is a small pool and a neatly manicured yard enclosed in a brick walkway. the whole place is a blend of england and the tropics. the city is very modern as well. it'll be nice to be here for a few days before going to ghana.
we are at the studio in jo'burg waiting to get everything set up and plugged in. this really nice older gentleman named kevin brought in a bunch of guitar gear--some old fender amps, a marshall cab, and a few guitars--a mexican tele (pretty cool), a les paul anniversary edition (meh), and a REAL 1961 STRAT (UNBELIEVABLE)!!!! it sounds so good, plays great. worth about $30k...
the studio that we are tracking in here in jo'burg is in the national tv/radio broadcasting studios. it's a huge complex, and i guess it's the only place that broadcasts south african tv. during apartheid, it was where the oppressive white regime would spread their propaganda.
on that note, there is a bit of darkness about this place that comes from its crazy history. there are still townships, which are basically huge fenced-in slums where blacks were forced to live and given little to no rights. the crazy part is that apartheid didn't really end until 1994. can you believe that? most of the country is still not very safe for whites. you need to be aware at all times even in the major cities (which are the safest areas for sure).