Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A little bit of Cape Town History...

A compilation of a series of historical photos, showing the growth of Cape Town. It's amazing to see how things have changed and developed into the town we know affectionately as the Mother City. Enjoy this journey back in history.

Orange Street, Cape Town in 1870

The beach that used to be in Woodstock. This photo was taken in 1899
The naval base of Simon's Town in 1900
Welgemeend is one of the oldest surviving houses in Cape Town and was built in Gardens in 1700. This photo was taken in 1901
The lime kilns in Mowbray in 1910, with Table Mountain in the background
The Old Pier was completed in 1910 and became a popular spot for Capetonians. This picture was taken in 1911
The USS Huntington arrives to a very desolate foreshore in 1948. The foreshore was built in 1945, but due to the economic climate after the war, it took a while to be properly utilized
The view from Blouberg in 1950
Kloof Road en-route to Glen Beach in 1953
The first Cape Argus cycle tour took place in 1978, with 525 people taking place

Friday, 13 April 2012

Why Is Mumbai the Most Expensive City in the World for Locals?

How much would it cost for the average local to buy a luxury apartment in the world's most important cities? In Singapore, it would take four decades of income. In Shanghai, two centuries. And in Mumbai -- poor souls -- they'd be looking at a good three centuries of hard work.

Those numbers come courtesy of Bloomberg, which yesterday compiled the chart below (I've recomposed it for readability). The news service calculated how many years worth of earnings it would take the average national to buy a high-end, roughly 100-square-meter piece of real estate in each city. (That comes out to about 328-square-feet, or a studio apartment in America).

Now what does this chart tell us, other than the fact that Manhattan home buyers have nothing to complain about compared to, say, Parisians? Each market has its own unique circumstances. But I think this graph is largely about the impact of globalization on property, that most local of all commodities.

The top three cities on this list have all developed wildly wealthy upper classes thanks to global trade, whether they're oil oligarchs in Russia or chemicals magnate in India. But they also have widespread poverty and a relatively tiny middle class. Cities in the developed world are also paying a different kind of globalization premium. In London, for instance, fancy apartments have become hot investments for the rich international buyers looking for a place to park their money. The same thing is happening in Sydney, where wealthy Asians are also snapping up residences as investments, or sometimes as places to retire.

Of course, there are probably exceptions. Manhattan has enough of its own uber-wealthy to push the cost of prime real estate to astronomical heights without help from abroad. But as the world's rich get richer, we can expect the most expensive cities to become more expensive. At least, that is, if you're in the market for a place as cool as this.

Reference : http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/04/why-is-mumbai-the-most-expensive-city-in-the-world-for-locals/255741/#.T4ZPtZ5eMds.twitter

Monday, 30 January 2012

Tragic truth about Indian caste system

I frequently get asked in America why India’s caste system, a pre-feudalistic division of labor that assigns one’s line of work at birth, has persisted into the 21st century. I typically answer: the need of the privileged upper castes for cheap labor. But there is an even more tragic explanation, as I discovered during a recent visit to New Delhi while talking to Maya, the dalit or untouchable — the lowest of the four castes — who has serviced my family for 35 years. Maya herself clings to her caste because it still offers her the best possible life in India.

What’s puzzling about the caste system is that it endures without legal force. Unlike slavery, where whites actively relied on authorities to maintain their slave holdings, the caste system is an informal, self-perpetuating institution.

How? Consider Maya’s story.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

India on Wheels...

David recently travelled with Wildspace to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in South India and to New Delhi in the North. He has shared with us the below sketches capturing in excellent detail some of the numerous modes of transport in India...enjoy

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Everest Sky Dive at Syangboche, Nepal

Take the leap and experience a heady free fall over the highest drop zone in the world. Skydiving from an altitude of over 29,000 feet is a thrill you cannot easily express in words. Combine your free falling close to the mighty Himalayan peaks with a trek to the base camp of Everest.

  • The World's most Elite Skydiving Adventure
  • Skydiving in front of Mount Everest (29,035ft - 8848m)
  • World Heritage area national park for trekking and skydiving
  • Landing on the highest Drop Zone in the world
  • Experience a High Altitude jump, with supplementary Oxygen
  • Catch yourself live into Air to Air video on each jump
  • Be part of an Elite club of International skydivers
  • Jump from Switzerland‘s Turbine Pilatus Porter PC 6 aircraft