Thursday, April 15, 2010

Khartoum Shopping and a New Camera from South Africa

My practical, beautiful leather handbag which I've used extensively for the past ten years
Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I am a "handbag" person. In South Africa a handbag is what a purse is to an American lady. A hold-all, a fashion accessory, an absolute necessity in my opinion.

I always longed for a good handbag. I've had many cheap, plastic handbags whose stitching unravells within a week of purchace and worse still, gets caught in a cheap zip. About ten years ago my husband, who had realised by now that I'm never seen without a handbag (except when we're riding our motorbike or climbing a mountain) decided I should have a good leather one. He took me to an exclusive shop in Durban which sold only handbags - leather handbags.

My heart sank when we walked in because there was a man in attendance. No lady in sight. My husband told him what we were after and he began to take down bags for my inspection. The shelves were accessible to the customer, so hubby also found a bag which he showed me. What he and the gentleman was showing me, was not my taste. (I mean, what do men know about handbags, ha!) Bag after bag was taken down by the two men and proffered. I'd take it, open it, hang it over my shoulder and hand it back. Too small, not enough pockets, not the right colour.

Just then my husband found a deep brown handbag, with shoulder straps, pockets on each side, a sturdy zip which concealed beautifully-lined large inner space and two sections on either side of this with their own magnetic clips. Just perfect, I said. Until I flipped over the price tag and almost fainted.

Before I could change my mind, hubby told the assistant we'd take it, paid for it and I had a new handbag.

On Saturday evening in the plane, after opening my bag to use my handcream, the zip would not close properly. The catch had come off the zip-rails completely but I managed to thread it on again. I closed it carefully and did not open it until we were in the flat where I noticed that the zip was "stripped". Nothing else for it but to buy a new handbag to use while in Khartoum. When we return to South Africa, I will take my handbag to be repaired and hopefully I'll have my trusty handbag with me when I return to the Sudan.

The handbag bought at Chinatown in Khartoum and which I'll use while I'm here

Yesterday we visited Chinatown in Afra Mall across town. There I chose a servicable, large handbag to use while I'm here. It has no seperate sections inside - just one large area - and a small zipper section to place my lipstick and cell phone. Hubby paid SDG20 / US$8 for it.

In my post on Monday I mentioned that I had a new camera. Gaelyn has been asking about it so here goes: I still have a very good Canon EOS350D bought in 2007. It is an SLR and has a detachable zoom lens. I used this camera extensively in my work as a newspaper reporter while living at home in South Africa. It takes beautiful photos and I have more than 30,000 images on computer taken with this camera.

While at Natures Valley in the Eastern Cape last month, Grant and I were walking at the forest edges on the lookout for the elusive Narina Trogan (a beautifully coloured bird which I've seen on two occasions but Grant has not yet seen). As we were spotting the vividly coloured Orangebreasted Sunbirds and singing Southern Boubous among other more common birds, we saw a gentleman walking along the road towards us. He kept stopping and not using strong birding binoculars like we were, he was photographing the birds way up in the branches above us. Only thing is, the camera didn't have a long zoom lens and we wondered what his photos would be like. Drawing nearer, he called out a greeting, to which we responded then Grant asked him what type of camera he was using. He told us that it was a Canon Powershot with an optical lens which magnifies the image 20x. Therefore the birds are being photographed with the same magnitude as we have when viewing them with our Zwarovski birding binoculars. Wow!

Back home while discussing this camera with our brother-in-law, Lourie, he took out his new camera: a Canon Powershot. Grant was able to have a closer look and was most impressed. While we were in the city in South Africa last week, he bought the same camera for me.

My new camera

Now all I have to do is use it!


  1. Hey Jo! That is the exact camera that I have and so far I love it! So 4 more months up least you had a little time at your home and with the animals. It can't be easy to leave those beautiful gardens either. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Good evening Jo. I will venture posting comments again and see how I go, but it looks like this is going to work. I have no idea why it is so different when it comes to other regular bloggers.

    Thanks for the visit and the kindred wishes for my grandchild.

    I am still over the moon and cannot get over with my emotion to this new event of my life.

    As to the handbags, I wish I could help out but the postage is just incredible. It costs more than the item itself.

    Lovely camera too. So send along those Safari photos.

    Thanks once again. Cheery blessing from down under.

  3. Wow, new camera and new handbag. We call them handbags too. I'm like you and like to have a shoulder strap and compartments. I think my daughter just bought one of those. They are sort of half way between a big SLR and a small point and shoot.

  4. Yeah... the smell of leather... and enjoy playing with your new camera!

  5. Jo: That is a neat leather bag. The Canon Powershot is a great camera. I shot all my photos on my trip on the SX100IS which has a 10X zoom. I have taken 28,000 photos with it. It is much more comfortable to me. I use my SX10IS when I need longer shots. I carried it to Europe and it stayed in the bag.

  6. Now you'll have even more interesting photos to show us. What a nice new toy.
    Sorry about the faulty handbag. Hope your Chinese one gets you through.

  7. It's an awesome camera ... I have the Canon powershot SX10 ... and love it ... not too big/ small... great zoom capabilty, good macros ... and most of the features of a standard SLR ..... I wish you many happy snaps with it!
    Gena @ Thinking Aloud


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo