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Tag: South Africa (page 1 of 3)

Importing With Aramex Global Shopper

Aramex Global Shopper (henceforth referred to as AGS) is a shipping service that enables you to buy items from online websites that don’t (or won’t) ship to a specific country, South Africa, for example. By signing up to AGS, you have access to 14 physical forwarding locations spread between New York, USA and Shanghai, China. When you buy any item from an online retailer, you simply have the item sent to the nearest AGS location, and when the item reaches that location, it is forwarded to the AGS facility in your country (Johannesburg in our case), and then delivered straight to your door. Well that’s the theory. Conveniently, it’s how the service works in practice too.

In October of last year, mystery gift box service Loot Crate started shipping to South Africa , and we rejoiced. We have come to expect that packages from the USA usually take some weeks to get here using the normal shipping channels, but there’s always the dread that the parcel will get lost in transit, or worse: get stuck in the black hole that is South African customs. This is what happened to a local whose Loot Crate packages took so long to be delivered that he cancelled his subscription.

So that got me thinking: could AGS guarantee a safe, reliable, convenient way to get one’s Loot Crate to South Africa? I decided to test this by ordering February’s Loot Crate (the 1 month plan) and getting AGS to ship it to me. For science, I kept track of the shipment.

On February 22nd, Loot Crate shipped the parcel from Los Angeles and it arrived at my selected AGS forwarding location, New York, on February 27th. AGS promptly notified me of my parcel’s arrival. It was put on a scale and shipping charges to South Africa were calculated based on the parcel weight. These details were clearly visible on my AGS online profile. Oddly and out of place, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to a randomly-numbered JPG file. That, as it turns out, is actually the photo of my parcel as it was captured at the AGS operations facility.

Aramex Global Shopper profile

I had an option to pay for the shipping at the time, or wait until the parcel arrived at the AGS Joburg facility. I opted to wait. The parcel got shipped regardless. On March 2nd, I was contacted by AGS customer support asking for a commercial invoice to have my parcel cleared at customs. AGS does provide the option to upload an invoice, but I had forgotten to do so, my bad. I e-mailed the required documentation to AGS, and *SIX* days later on March 8th, customs released the parcel. On March 10th, I was contacted by AGS customer support requesting payment for the shipping charges and the customs duties. There were NO duties, what luck! Payment was made, and the parcel arrived at my door on the morning of March 11th.

Let’s talk about the costs. I paid R339.16 for Loot Crate (including shipping to New York) and R274.00 for AGS to ship and courier the 0.7 KG parcel to me in Cape Town. There were no customs duties to be paid, so the total was R613.16. Bear in mind that using AGS is obviously more expensive than just having Loot Crate ship the parcel to me, and in this case I paid approximately R150.50 extra to use AGS. Personally, that is a price that I would happily pay for peace of mind in knowing where my parcel is at any time, having the customs process sorted on my behalf, and having it personally couriered to my home.

Aramex Global Shopper

If you’re looking for a reliable shipping service that gives you 14 18 personalised shipping addresses across the world, I would recommend Aramex Global Shopper. You’ll need to register once for a lifetime membership, which costs USD 45.00 (about R690 at the current exchange rate; just be aware that this figure will obviously fluctuate). If you’re interested, here’s a code that will net you the lifetime membership for just USD 10.00 — AGS10OLP (it expires on 31 October 2017).

For more info, check out www.aramexglobalshopper.com.

The Car Guard Song

Last year Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues set the country alight with their anthem for Braai Day. Yesterday they released a song about yet another South African insitution—the ubiquitous car guard.

Filmed near parking spaces next to the local Spar in Vredehoek and sung in the same style as “Love The Way You Lie” by Eminem, Watts tells us about the life and often thankless job of a car guard. Some people give R2 while others give excuses, and Watts is about to hang up his high visibility vest when the car guard king arrives, dropping R5 coins and a whole lot of sage advice. Check out The Car Guard Song below.

People have polarized opinions about car guards. What are your thoughts—do you pay them for the protecting your car or do you leg it before they get there?

[via @GrantHinds]

Black Sheep: The Tale of Wind-up Jim

Black Sheep is a locally produced short film directed by Miklas Manneke. The style of the film is reminiscent of Pushing Daisies, and tells the story of Jim, who is born with a wind up key on his back. The key controls his life, and if it were to stop turning, Jim would cease to be living.

Jim is a pariah and is picked on at school for being different, and on a few occasions, he tries to get rid of the very thing that makes him so special. After the unfortunate death of his bubblegum obsessed mother (played by Karin van der Laag of Isidingo fame), Jim decides to leave home and explore the world. Find out what happens in this endearing, albeit slow-going, short film.

It’s wonderful to see South African films getting recognition and Miklas posted on this Twitter page that his short has been selected to take part in RADAR HAMBURG, an international festival for small and independent filmmakers. Congratulations Miklas, and good luck!

[via +Pieterjan Grobler]

Grab Your Tongs for the “Braaiday” Song

In a tribute to a South Africa institution, Derick Watts & The Sunday Blues have created a song all about the merits of National Heritage Day Braai Day.

In a parody of Rebecca Black’s infamous Friday song, Watts and his hipster friends wax lyrical about the shopping for the right meat, applying the right amount of marinade, and the proper beverages to be consumed. An obligatory black rapper makes an appearance for no reason whatsoever and he likes his women like he does his steak — with meat on the bone.

Check out Braaiday below.

If you’d like the MP3, you can download it from this link.

[via +Demitri Baroutsos]

Capoeira Mei Lua

Embarrassing as it is, I have to say that the main reason I know of the existence of capoeira is Eddy Gordo and his pretty granddaughter, Christie Monteiro. You may recognize them as fictional characters from the virtual fighting game, Tekken.Of course, very real people practice the art form that has its roots in 16th century Brazil. Some people regard it as a martial art and some think it a sort of dance. Others call it their religion.

Onelargeprawn reader and lazy gamer Nick de Bruyne sent in this video of local capoeiristas in Pretoria, South Africa as they go about performing some of the graceful, flowing actions in their Capoeria Mei Lua (Half-moon Capoeira) class. Check it out below.

What struck me most about the video is the wonderful musical accompaniment. The song is entitled Pedir o Axé, and as I’m told by Nick, the twangy sounds are created from a rudimentary instrument called a Berimbau. It looks a bow with a calabash tacked on, and you play it using and a stick and a stone (or coin).

[via Nick de Bruyne]

The Layman’s Guide to Braaing

I must tell you, writing this article has just made me incredibly hungry. I mean, just look at the header image and you’ll understand why.

The topic of discussion today is the South African pastime known as The Braai. If you’re an international reader, you’re probably wondering “What the heck is a Braai?” Well never fear, I’m here to not only tell you what a Braai is, but also shed some more light on the whole phenomenon.

Find out more after the jump.

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The Springleap T-shirt Winners!

A week has come and gone and with it brings the close of our latest t-shirt giveaway. To stand a chance of winning a t-shirt from the Springleap shop, we asked you to visit the Springleap shop and choose the t-shirt you’d like to win. As we mentioned before, nothing makes us happier than the sight of you having your cake and eating it too.

We had a great amount of interest in this competition. Our sponsors Springleap and its owner Eran Eyal helped to spread it on Twitter, as did a couple of our friends and their friends, so a big thanks to all for getting the word out. And of course, thanks to all of the entrants for sending in their choices. The Randomizer has done its thing and we’re hoping to make Monday a little happier for five lucky people. Could you be one of the winners? Find out after the jump.

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Win Funky-Fresh T-shirts From Springleap!

NOTE: This competition has ended.

It’s been an absolute age since we last had a competition here on the blog. Summer is just around the corner and we know the importance of looking crispy. T-shirts are a warm-weather basic that can take your image from zero to hero. In the last 150 years t-shirts have undergone an impressive metamorphosis from utilitarian mens undergarments to one of the most popular, fashionable items of clothing in your wardrobe.

From 19th-century stevedores working on the docks to rugged cowboys out on the range to armed forces in the heat of battle, t-shirts saw their first use as practical undergarments but it wasn’t until the early 50s when actors like Marlon Brando and James Dean turned them into something that every man and woman wanted to be seen in. We here at Onelargeprawn want to fulfill your earthly desires to look cool and are giving you the chance to win t-shirts from funky-fresh online apparel retailer, Springleap.

Springleap is not just an online purveyor of superb t-shirts, it also provides a platform where passionate designers can showcase their work – in the form of t-shirt designs. It’s a win-win situation for everyone including you because…

…we’ve got FIVE Springleap t-shirts to give away, one for each of the five lucky entrants that we’ll pick at the end of the competition. In a “have your cake and eat it” kind of fashion, we’d like you to choose your favourite t-shirt available in the Springleap shop and if you’re one of the winners you’ll get the t-shirt you wanted. Sounds pretty simple no? It is, and if you’re keen to be on winning ways, find the full competition details after the jump.

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Top 5 Places in SA to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse

When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, I will be prepared. You should be too, my friend Stephen is an expert in these things having watched every zombie flick ever made and he reckons it’s definitely coming. I believe him, although he also told me there’s no such thing as a left and a right sock… That aside we should all be prepared. Personally I keep all my gardening implements sharp and close to hand, I also have a supply of canned beans. But for most of you, huddling in a basement clutching a sharpened spade and eating baked beans isn’t the definition of surviving. It’s a confined space after all with very little air… my digestion is sensitive to beans ok, lay-off already.

So I put together a handy list of places you might try to get to in order to survive the mindless brain-feasting hordes. Grab a Urban Bone Machete Mark II from Zombie Tools and hit the jump to head to The Winchester one of my recommended safe spots.

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We “Bubble” Some Local Models

I don’t know much about the doctrines of Mormonism but the Internet revealed that a Mormon on a bodybuilding forum wasn’t too happy that the terms and conditions of his religion prohibited the viewing of naked bodies. In his earnest desire to see nudity that wasn’t there, this horny lad said he created a radical technique called bubbling. In all likelihood, it originated from the bowels of the Internet, 4chan, however I’m not going to investigate further – every time I go there, I see something I really wish I hadn’t…

Bubbling involves loading a photo of one or more bikini-clad ladies in a graphics editor and applying a set of circular cutouts in strategic locations. This gives the illusion that said ladies are completely naked. The young Mormon’s results were quite convincing so we thought we’d give it a go too. Armed with a tutorial (see here), we set about bubbling, not just anyone mind you, but some home-grown models. Have a look at our creations after the jump.

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