Paarl, the pearl of the Boland, has a glistening natural landmark that wows tourists. Shanghai, the financial capital of China, also has a pearl – the Pearl Tower – that looks more like that other Paarl attraction, the language monument, lovingly nicknamed die taalpaal by locals.
Dinner in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Pearl is a reasonable RMB 160 (which is clearly where Rand Merchant Bank got its name from, the abbreviation for Renmimbi). About R200 buys you an all-you-can-eat buffet of salmon and tuna sashimi, sea snails and various noodle dishes with hacked up chunks of meat that look like they were involved in a Welkom FNB ATM blast.
The food is fab, but in the drinks department, not a single bottle of SA wine is available. There is French and Australian aplenty. Perhaps someone should start a WOSA: Wines Of Shanghai from Africa. Funded by a reversal of the punitive 20% extra tax SA producers pay when compared to other southern hemisphere producers like New Zealand and Chile.