Fri, 2/25 8:12AM • 1:07:38
south africa, namibia, america, cape town, dallas, point, day, american, silicon valley, country, good, technology, lived, university, friends, move, money, spend, rugby world cup, engineers
Johannes Terblanche, Julian Bishop
Julian Bishop 00:25
Welcome to Episode 23 an American Journey, a podcast about all things American. In this episode, we have another interview. Usually our podcasts view America from a UK perspective. However, in this episode, we will be talking to ohannes Terblanche, who came to the US from Namibia about 25 years ago. Hi, Johannes. How are you?
Johannes Terblanche 00:48
Hey, Julian, I'm good. How about yourself?
Julian Bishop 00:50
I'm excellent. So let's start at the beginning of your story. You were born in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, which I think when you were born must have been quite a small town. Tell me about your family background and early childhood.
Johannes Terblanche 01:06
Obviously family of immigrants from from Europe, Africa, during the colonial times of South Africa. My mother's family lineage immigrated to New South Africa in a Dutch colonial era. Somewhere in the late 1600s, and 1700s. I'm not exactly sure. And my dad's lineage immigrated from France run about 1822, specific part of South Africa a couple of 100 years ago by and my mum's that goes on a basically a pilgrimage to what at that point was a German colony, Deutsch West Africa, which is now Namibia, and wrote in, you know, each direction on a horse for a day to stake a claim in what is essentially just desert scrub land. In order to to claim his what became his farm, the context of that as well as it was about 66,000 hectare piece of piece of desert. So how many square miles would that be? I have no idea to think is about the size of Rhode Island, something like that. Long story short, you needed at least one hectare or four acres to keep one sheep alive for one season. And, you know, in most cases, you know, farmers didn't even didn't even try and hit that specific sweet spot, because in some years, it wouldn't rain at all. There was around about 1930 that my mum's dad moved up to Namibia. Capital at the time, Namibia was already a protectorate of the Union of South Africa, which was a British colony. So we were so I think post the First World War it transferred from Germany to South Africa via a UN resolution didn't. Yeah, we were basically a colony of a colony, South African annex, the main seaport, which is Walvis Bay, made to the South African Union Union of South Africa, but they did not annex Namibia. So essentially, from that point forward, Namibia was run as a pseudo province of South Africa, and South Africa became independent of Britain in 1961. And Namibia finally became independent of South Africa in 1990. Okay, so you were born right about 1970? Is that right? 1971
Julian Bishop 03:19
And so tell me a little bit about the Windhoek that you were born into at that time would have been a, fairly small town, I suspect at that point.
Johannes Terblanche 03:28
Yeah, I mean, Windhoek still isn't a very big city. I think you'd be hard pressed to find 250,000 people in that city at this point. So you know, it's about the size of an average American city suburb like Alpharetta, for instance. But you know what, I didn't know any different. So to me, Windhoek was just Windhoek until, until I sort of developed consciousness and different experiences, and went to visit some of my family still lived in South Africa. And so cities like Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town, in At which point, I realized that I lived in a small city, but really didn't mind it. Actually. It was a it was a very idyllic childhood as far as I'm concerned.
Julian Bishop 04:08
Yeah. And I looked online, and I found some interesting facts about Windhoek. So, the first was a once made an attempt to break the world record for the world's largest Brie. Yeah, did you know that it failed, but it did make an attempt that's its first claim to fame.
Johannes Terblanche 04:27
There's been some Harebrained Schemes to Brie or barbecue. Br is the South African or Africaans word for barbecue. It's a Dutch word, which basically means grow over an open fire. Yeah, there's been some Harebrained Schemes to brie just about any animal you can think of. So you know, I think at some point, somebody actually, you know, put an entire giraffe on a spit, which was horrendous. But, you know, entertaining I guess, to some for a long span. And then I think in 1992 Windhoek hosted the Miss Universe competition. also one night actually knew the girl at one Michelle McLean. So she was dating them one of my flatmates early in Cape Town. Yeah. And nice, nicely. Yeah. And a good ambassador for the country.
Julian Bishop 05:14
When I went to Windhoek, there was a very, an excellent little museum. And I learnt, it was a museum, I think they had an exhibition about its impending independence on like South Africa, which was obviously very clearly racially divided. And they may be or appeared to be trying to go down the route of welcoming both white and black people. Was that your experience of growing up?
Johannes Terblanche 05:41
Yeah, look, there's a lot there to unpack, you know, and it's probably going to take longer than, you know, this podcast to to dig through all the details on that, at least, at least as far as I'm concerned. But Namibia retains to this day, a very strong German influence. And I think, you know, the German pacifistic influence on Namibian society definitely had an impact on, you know, just general racial relations. Everybody was very tired of war. You know, that point of independence, we were already in a 20 something year 22 year border war on the border with Angola, funding predominantly Angolan soldiers, but backed up by Cuban and Russian money and know how also Namibia was somewhat of a proving ground for South Africa as far as how to get to anti apartheid without civil war. And of course, the United Nations played a huge role in the resolution that you mentioned, led to a number of years independence resolution 435. United Nations,
Julian Bishop 06:41
you said earlier that you didn't really have much of an idea about Pretoria and Johannesburg, or like when you were living in Namibia until you went there. But you know, when you were sort of young, tennish or so, did you have any concepts about the USA at that point?
Johannes Terblanche 06:59
I mean, all I knew about the USA, I learned from television, right? And you can probably tell I also learned to speak English over television. Yeah, my impression of the years was pretty much what I saw in movies like Back to the Future. And, you know, unfortunately, in some ways, based on what I saw in the situation, comedies sitcoms, not necessarily a balanced view of the United States, but I knew, you know, what I read in magazines, and what I saw on TV, that the United States is definitely a happening place, and you know, a place to chase some dreams. So for me, the United States was always a place that I wanted to go even from, from a very young age
Julian Bishop 07:33
And then I think you go to school, your sent away to school in South Africa, and then you subsequently go to college or university in South Africa, was that normal for someone of your background.
Johannes Terblanche 07:45
So I didn't, I finished high school in the middle, and then go to high school in South Africa. But at the time, now, maybe I didn't have any universities. I mean, we had, we had a teacher training college, which was kind of a pseudo university, but nothing in the way of technical or, you know, arts degrees or anything like that was offered a number. Right at the time number, we had about a 1 million person population. And there just wasn't any university. So as a Namibian, you either went to South Africa to go to university or you went overseas, and my family certainly didn't have a means to send me overseas. So I went to study in Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula, University of Technology. So that's that 1990, Cape Town at that point was was very relaxed, and always have been more relaxed in the rest of South Africa when it comes to racial relations and culture, etc. So it was a very good experience
Julian Bishop 08:38
was time a great change wasn't in in South Africa around that point. So describe to me what it was like as a white students at a Cape Town University.
Johannes Terblanche 08:49
So my final year of high school, we saw the Berlin Wall coming down 1989, right. And I was telling my friends on the playground a day that, you know, This Changes Everything, and that Mandela will be out of prison within one year. And I was absolutely correct. So after the Berlin Wall came down, Mandela was released from from prison in 1990, a couple of months after I got to university in Cape Town. Namibia actually gained its independence from South Africa, in, I believe, May of 1990. Racial integration at university, I went to what was already in full swing. Definitely no, no segregation, as far as you know, anything, classes, facilities, restaurants, whatnot. I mean, it was all integrated already. By the time I got there, of course, you know, that didn't mean that everybody socialized together, but it was it was certainly integrated. As far as, as far as the institution itself. How different an environment was it from the one in Namibia? Well, at the time I left high school, there was no integration yet and so now it's fully integrated. You can go to whatever high school you want. I left high school, you know, was essentially a segregated high school system and went directly into A into university program where integration was just already done. But no certainly did not, did not faze me one bit. Right. And was anything else different about South Africa from Namibia? Well, Katana is a special place. I mean, so it's difficult not to locate. Namibia is a very diverse country as a country larger than Texas, you know, so from the extreme north east to extreme south west, you go from tropical to, you know, the oldest desert in the world. But Gaytan is very special, and very different from Namibia, you know, not just in the landscape and geography and you know, all the things you can do, but also in culture, very rich culturally,
Julian Bishop 10:47
you leave university and you begin work at Vodacom, which is a mobile operator carrier in South Africa, and you begin work on installing the first mobile network in the region. Tell me about that experience as a young professional in South Africa, darting work, you know, more or less at the same time as Nelson Mandela becomes president.
Johannes Terblanche 11:11
Yeah, so Mandela became president in May of 94. And it was a peaceful transition of power, a lot of us were worried that we're going to have civil war, but somehow we managed to avert that. And at the time, I came out of college and started looking for a job, you know, it was difficult actually for, for a young white professional to get a job. Because, you know, for obvious reasons, affirmative action was in full swing, I did manage to convince one individual over Vodacom to take a take a bet on me. And they appointed me in two or three months, sort of probationary or contract role. I think it was about a month in they said, Okay, we're gonna make you permanent, we're gonna send you down to Cape Town, because I actually started in Pretoria. And they said, Well, you know, but the only condition is we got to send you got to send you to Cape Town, because that's what we need, you know, so obviously, I find exasperation, but that was the best, that was the best possible move at the time. So I got all my stuff moved back to Cape Town. And, you know, to some extent, the first job I ever heard is still the best job I've ever had. Because, you know, here you have this 20 or 25 year old kid running around, you know, the entire Cape Province and half of the orange free state, basically having carte blanche and having a $200 million budget to build cell towers wherever he felt they were needed in order to recover the country of South Africa with as much cellular coverage as possible. It really was a phenomenal transition, because most folk went from no telephone or, you know, a crank analog telephone GSM digital telephony, telephony. So it was a it was a phenomenal experience, and, you know, just being part of such a huge transition. So you were working
Julian Bishop 12:47
not just in the cities, but you're working also in the in the rural landscape across South Africa. So you would have come across the whole panoply of different types of people who live in South Africa.
Johannes Terblanche 13:02
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, if you drive up the Garden Route today, you know, you see those kind of structures, unfortunately, the guy responsible for breaking up there. But yeah, of course, I came across all walks of life, you know, on my travels within South Africa, and, you know, just packed a huge amount of experience into better, you know, one and a half year tenure at that company. And it really was a special time in technology and in the mobile industry, the mid 90s, which is the hottest time ever.
Julian Bishop 13:33
Okay. And I mean, obviously, at this point, you're starting to think about your future career and you're starting to think about you know, possibly moving to America. So whenever you move to a new country, there's always a push which is making you want to move to a new country, and a pull, which is drawing you there. So, can you describe to me the push and pull factors that influenced your decision to move to the US?
Johannes Terblanche 14:01
For me, it was mostly a pull. You know, as I told you, I was always wanted to go to America. You know, from the time I was pretty young, individual, Cape Town is a very hard place to live. I can tell you that I was certainly not pushed that much due to go to America. I know a lot of people who immigrated outright in the late 90s and early 2000s You know sided, a lot of violence and carjackings and all sort of that that stuff for for moving. But for me, it was always about being offered a phenomenal opportunity to go to America, all mobile networks, see the country potentially see the world. You know, I always intended to stay away for four years. And of course, you know, the rest is history. I'm still here. So the lure was partly professional, and what else was it about the US which lured you? Why was it that you wanted to come to the US It was and still is the bastion of technology and innovation and a land of opportunity. I didn't really even think of it in those terms at the time. For me, it was about, you know, this grand adventure, I'm going to finally get to see the country. How much better can it be that you know, somebody is actually offering you a job a high paying job in a consulting role, we get to travel the country get paid to travel the country and roll mobile networks, you know, so these are all things I loved to do. And so for me, that was a fairly easy decision to make. Of course, I had to leave behind, you know, pretty serious girlfriend. But you know, in the final analysis, that was also a good thing, because that fell apart pretty quickly after,
Julian Bishop 15:30
and if my memory serves me, well, I think you moved on a couple of days before independence day in 1996, didn't you? It was the first time that you've been to the US. So you, I think you find yourself in Dallas, is that right? Initially?
Johannes Terblanche 15:45
Yeah, the first time I actually say, Out of Africa to have not been overseas anywhere at that point. I've traveled locally in southern Africa, you know, Zimbabwe, Botswana, places like that. So yeah, get on a plane fly through Frankfurt. Of course, you got to realize that, you know, I'm leaving Cape Town in the middle of winter in Cape Town, and winter is just fabulous. You know, it's not super cold, it's rainy. It's green. It's just, and then I get off the plane in Dallas, and I walk into a wall 110 degrees, you know, Texan air, and this place is dry. It's you know, there's no green inside and there are no trees, it is drab. And I just thought to myself, I've made a huge mistake your thoughts about that? It being a mistake? Was that just the weather when you arrived there? Or was a did that feeling of mistake linger longer than that? No, the corporate culture was completely different, right? So I'll never forget, myself and my buddy, that also came over from Vodacom to do this consultancy in Dallas. We turned up at the office in suits and ties right first day, you know, everybody thought we were Mormons. And then, you know, everybody else sitting around and jeans and polo shirts and whatnot. Of course, you know, we came from a high pressure, high productivity environment and coming to sit on the bench at a consultancy in Dallas. And we thought like, you know, is this what we're going to get paid to do?
Julian Bishop 17:08
For those listeners who haven't worked at a consultancy, which presumably is most listeners. being on the bench means you're waiting for a consultancy assignment. So, initially, when you went there, they knew they wanted your skill, but they didn't have a specific role for you.
Johannes Terblanche 17:24
Yes, sorry, that the supply and demand calculations a little bit out of out of whack. And I think there had some issues with some work visas, you know, getting cleared. And so essentially, you know, consultants arrived in lumps. And they didn't always have a pipeline of projects was to go on to but you know, luckily earlier, they spent about, I think two weeks in Dallas, before my first gig came up. This gig totally saved my tenure in America because my first gig was in San Francisco, of course, I immediately fell in love with San Francisco, you know, had a California experience of first year I was over here. Once I got into projects, I realized that, you know, yeah, there's actually real work to be done and high pressure work also. So I was kind of back in my element. Okay. Did you experience any culture shock when you came to America? So describe what those elements of culture shock were it goes from the you know, the the name to the insane, I guess things like nobody walks anywhere, right? I mean, everybody always drives and, you know, there's a good story, but some of our expat friends walked to the grocery store walking back, you know, the police stopped them and asked them why they were walking. I thought they were vagrants. So they said, No, we just went to the grocery store and said, Look, why aren't you driving sleep? Because we walk in certain disconnects like that, you know, obviously, language barrier accents. These things are a bit of a challenge when you first get here, but I think food was a big adaptation. Culturally, the the flavor of the food tastes are different to me when I first got here, you know, just the portions were were enormous. Corporate culture was different, very different. The way people were doing things. Well, let's come on to some of the differences a bit later, but you definitely felt at the time. Wow, this is different. Culturally, I'm having a little bit of a shock care. Is that Is that right? Yeah. But, you know, at the same time, I was lucky enough to be with a bunch of other expats, you know, mostly from Britain, Australia, a couple of folks from South Africa, you know, so we had an expat bubble going on. You know, whenever we got together, you know, we'd hang out together and something I kind of call the lifeboat syndrome, you know, when people stick together because they don't really have a choice, but, you know, long term most of those people are still very good friends of mine. So you know, some some very strong bones.
Julian Bishop 19:42
So in terms of work, then so you're based in Dallas, but every week you go and travel to wherever your clients are, and your first client is in California, and then you have subsequent clients in in other states and other cities of the US. Ostensibly you're living in Dallas. Dallas is a city we haven't covered yet on the podcast. Tell me a little bit about Dallas.
Johannes Terblanche 20:05
Dallas, you know, is a very fast growing very vibrant metropolis, right. And these days, it's called the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. So, Dallas and Fort Worth to, you know, large cities about 50 miles apart and they have urban sprawl to become one massive Metroplex at this one. It takes some getting used to, it's a prairie community. In other words, you know, it's flat. There's not a lot of trees unless they were planted intentionally by somebody. You know, there are lakes around plenty of lakes, most of them manmade, but there's plenty of water around.
Julian Bishop 20:39
What is there for the visitor to do?
Johannes Terblanche 20:41
So depends on your taste, right? If you like shopping Dallas is probably one of the best places to go. Plenty of shopping malls. And, you know, everything from couture to to hunting and fishing. It's catered for in Dallas, you know, sightseeing is probably less
Julian Bishop 20:59
and go to the grassy knoll. Yeah,
Johannes Terblanche 21:00
you know, everybody's gonna pony out the grassy knoll, you can take a driver to the to the Southfork ranch to see where GVC Dallas was filmed at least the external shots, it's actually quite a disappointing visit, because it's a tiny little ranch as a middle of nowhere. You know, if you're into Western culture, you certainly won't get it for right. So Western country western culture, I mean, you know, so if into rodeo or country music and festivals, you know, between Dallas and Fort Worth, you'll always find a good concert to go to, in that specific genre, or go to a rodeo or you know, go and see the stockyard, you know, then there are the other American attractions like six flags, and theme parks, Water, Parks, all that sort of stuff. So I think it's worth visiting, I would recommend if you're going to visit Dallas, you should pony up, you know, a few extra dollars and then take a couple of days and go see Austin and San Antonio, also, for my money. You can you can totally skip Houston. And then if you have time, you know, go see West Texas.
Julian Bishop 21:59
Yeah, we covered West Texas, partly in Michaels proposed journey. And I agree that West Texas is fantastic. So Dallas is good for a listener who would be interested in middle America culture, high school football, lakes, drag racing, NASCAR, racing, that type of stuff.
Johannes Terblanche 22:23
Julian Bishop 22:23
And so let's say after your first year in America, what did you like about America? And what did you like less about it?
Johannes Terblanche 22:31
Well, you get used to a lot of things very quickly. So you get used to the convenience of things like being able to shop, you know, hours of the day night, if you felt like you could go to the grocery store to am I so you get used to conveniences very quickly and you get you get used to the size of the place. It really is a larger than life, just the city of San Francisco and the Bay Area, or Los Angeles or San Diego, you know, any of the large cities. It's just an experience and you can spend months exploring these places. And you know, I've been fortunate that I became a business stewardess, right. So whenever I was somewhere on project, I would take the time to after hours and on the weekends go and explore as much as I can. Because you know, I already had the hotel and the rental car. So I might as well go and see what I can see. So it's easy to fall in love with. And you know, I think if you spend time on a West Coast, it's even easier because you get into the culture. Also you get into the music scene. You're a young person, like rock music, you like pop music, you know, you can see a few concerts, you get to you know, just pick and choose, you know, do I want to see you do or do I want to see Rage Against the Machine this weekend, for instance, right? You can just pick and choose when you're in a big city like San Francisco, of course, I made a bunch of new friends. So yeah, I was I was very at ease and my tail was pretty up after the first year. I was pretty mopey in the first five, six months of being in America. But I think you want to said to me that one of the big differences between Southern Africa and an America was the lack of crime in the US. Yeah, certainly in some cities, that is the case. Yeah, if you're in Dallas, or even in Atlanta, and certain parts of Atlanta, there's pretty much no need to lock your house or your car, you know, unless you're, you know, really security conscious. And for insurance purposes, most people do, right. But that was a major difference, that you don't have to look over your shoulder all the time. But you know, of course, I think that also makes you a little bit sort of less vigilant. And so whenever you go back to visiting Africa, you kind of have to sharpen your skill set again, you know, at first these were very glaring differences. Now, as time went on, you know, you kind of switch between the two modes of operation fairly naturally. Was there a difference in the levels of patriotism between South Africa and America? I think like in most cases, patriotism is thinly veiled or thinly veiling other sort of core beliefs. Yeah, look, I think the the Rugby World Cup in 1995 really did foster a feeling of national identity. You know, some of you might have seen the movie Invictus where Mandela got behind the Rugby World Cup. And rugby at the time was the the sport of the oppressor, right? This guy was smart enough to get behind the Rugby World Cup and unite the nation. And we actually ended up winning the 1995 Rugby World Cup against New Zealand. And that was a special experience. So there was just a year before I left and the country was on, was on a sugar high on the back of that. And then there was, you know, a phenomenal amount of goodwill that came out of that specific effort. And we saw another another similar event with the the Soccer World Cup visiting South Africa in 2010. No surprise, Nelson Mandela was also very much involved in making sure that the Soccer World Cup came to South Africa in 2010. So yeah, I mean, strong sense of patriotism, I would say patriotism, for the most part at the time was getting behind a specific sports team. There was certainly, you know, strong feelings of nationalism on all sides of the equation, diametrically opposed feelings of nationalism, right. And in the states, states patriotism, you know, is is, I think, predominantly around the flag, and around the idea, you know, that people have about America, as a country and our place in the world. But I think there's been a little bit of the dilution of that. Also, in recent years, because of, you know, the same reasons patriotism is available for different feelings and feelings of nationalism, unfortunately, in some, in some instances,
Julian Bishop 26:42
so changing topics, I think you decided to buy your first house in Dallas. So how did the house that you bought compared to the accommodation that you might have had in Namibia or South Africa,
Johannes Terblanche 26:55
houses in Texas at the time were huge, very well, when you say huge, give us an indication of size, 4400 square foot. So double storey, four bedrooms, four bathrooms, game room, double garage, huge living room with 20 foot ceilings, pretty much the same as your house in Atlanta, similar to that. Although in Texas, nobody has basements. Right? It was a huge departure. You know, for many reasons. But you know, building style is completely different, of course in America has a bull run predominately with with lumber and drywall. Whereas in other parts of the world houses are built with bricks and mortar. So that that was a change. But you know, once that house is built, you really don't know the difference, because in most modern houses in the USA would put face brick on the exterior wall. So it looks like it's built with bricks, but there's just a veneer, plush carpets, wall to wall and not very expensive at the time, comparatively speaking, and the financing was also easy to get. It was an easy experience to buy a house in America.
Julian Bishop 28:05
And did you like your house?
Johannes Terblanche 28:07
Yeah, I didn't want to pay rent anymore. Because my ex wife girlfriend at the time, we were both playing rented two separate apartment, as a stupid, let's just go buy a house. And that kind of cemented me into the American American Dream American lifestyle. If you like by buying that house, I didn't realize what I was putting down roots pretty quickly
Julian Bishop 28:27
At that point, you've been in the work the American work environment, both both your own consulting environments and all the clients that you were serving. Tell me a little bit about the way in which the world of work is different in America.
Johannes Terblanche 28:40
I don't know if it's just because I've been here so long, or because things have changed some since I first came, but when I first came over here, there was definitely a very different work culture. You know, where I came from, when you went into a meeting, it was always a set agenda. That was the chairman of the meeting, people actually kept time and made sure all the agenda items were addressed properly before the end of the meeting, and that somebody took notes and distributed and all that sort of good stuff. You know, for me, when I first came to America, it was a lot less formal. In a meeting environment specifically, I'm not necessarily saying it was less effective. It was definitely less than formal or less formal, I should say, you know, the whole living in a cube concept wasn't something Do you want to explain what that means to our listeners "living in a cube." Yeah, so a cube is you know, normally about an eight by eight or a six by six box with, with walls somewhere between four, four and a half to eight feet tall depending on which company you go to. Some people prefer tall walls and they're going a little Mousehole, and suddenly all day and you know the only time you see somebody is when they walk past the door of your cube. So I guess it's like an office bog. But where I came from, I guess I was lucky in my first role I had I had my own office and that was basically sitting in a planning Map Room was my office where it was doing all the network planning and design form for the networking Cape Town. So that was a huge shock for me to go from, from having my own office with a view of Table Mountain to going and sitting in a cube. And again, you know, I think if if I did some cube anywhere other than California at the outset, I might have turned tail and gone back to Kota.
Julian Bishop 30:16
There are a lot of meetings out there in American culture. I mean, my view is that there are a lot of meetings to really counter the sort of rampant individualism which is prevalent in society, do you have a view on why there are so many meetings?
Johannes Terblanche 30:31
My first few years in corporate life and for Africa, you know, people were told what to do, they won't ask for their opinion. Also, if you had an opinion, you are allowed to share it. Right. So I think that was useful coming to the states. But yeah, there are too many meetings in American corporate culture, people use meetings as a social event, in some instances, and I guess we COVID We also saw that the more you sat on the zoom the morning feeling part of, of your organization, and you indicated that there was lower hierarchy in the US? to some extent, also just dependent on how bold you were and who you were willing to approach as an individual. Some people would sit in a cube and would never say, boo, because other people like myself would, you know, challenge the guy in the corner office to his his decisions and smart questions as far as why, why we're doing things specific ways. So you can be as hierarchical as you like, or I guess you can hide noocube. In general, it's accepted for you to reach out to senior management if, if you have something useful and intelligent to say, I don't think I'll entertain you more than once or twice. If, if you're coming forward with just idiotic statements. My us experience was also to a large degree at Nokia, which is a Scandinavian company. And Nokia, at least at the time, the corporate culture was completely on hierarchical. In other words, you could approach the CEO if you had something that you wanted to get off your chest. And in episode five of the podcast, we responded to a listener question, who wondered, you know why Americans were so supremely self confident in the workforce? Do you have a view on that? That may be just a Gen X thing. I think coming up through the 80s and 90s 70s 80s, and 90s, Gen X had to face it, you know, different psychological challenges, I'm not so sure that millennials and Gen Z are as confident, although there are exceptions to the rule, I think if you if you came through those years, you are forced as a as an American to have an identity of your own, to have a strong viewpoint on world affairs, and, you know, the Cold War and all that good stuff. And and of course, American culture is ultra competitive when it comes to sports, right. So I think a lot of that self confidence comes from sports, if you if you're successful. In college, if you get your A's in high school, and you get your good GPA in college, and you know, you do well in sports, you're bound to be confident in the workplace. You see, I put a lot of it down to superior communication skills. If I think about the American education system, yeah, yeah. Language Arts, definitely.
Julian Bishop 33:11
Yeah. I mean, from the age of five, you're doing show and tell you're presenting to the class, at high school and university course your your, you're often having to present to other people, you have to do courses and communication. They're just very used to communicating and, and so therefore, they communicate well, and people confuse I think communication and self confidence. They think if somebody communicates well, they must be supremely self confident.
Johannes Terblanche 33:40
Well, you have to be self confident to stand up in front of a crowd of people. Right. So I think that there's certainly something there. And and, yeah, that is a very good point that if you if you subjected to it from a young age, you know, hopefully you will develop some some skills and confidence in your your presentation, verbal skills. I think, unfortunately, that also led to us having too many lawyers in this country. But you know, that's, again, a very strong personal opinion. But
Julian Bishop 34:05
I think it's backed up by data Johannes. So twice as many lawyers as there are demand for their services. So, which is why we see so many billboards, bequeathing us to make a claim for, you know, some minor traffic infringement, changing subjects. I mean, I know you're a techie geek, why do you think that America is so friendly towards people of your persuasion?
Johannes Terblanche 34:30
Beyond the obvious, just none of Silicon Valley? I think America has always been an nation of innovation, because of, you know, specific historic periods, you know, specifically was also innovation was, was something that was required and needed in order for for America to bowl itself into the super parks become and to retain that position. So there's certainly a lot that can be attributed to, you know, military spending, a lot of technology is developed specifically for military uses. The NASA space program has yielded some fantastic technology and incubated some fantastic technology that you can have fun, all walks of life, you know, things like Velcro, and you know, battery powered electric tools, also the stuff like that came out of the space program, and then having capital availability and the ability for individuals to get extra hands on capital and go and build something. And if it's accessible to become, you know, quite wealthy or very well, technology certainly lends itself to Iterative optimization. So if you build something cool, you can you can spend time, you know, over the years to make it even better.
Julian Bishop 35:48
So let's just unpack that a little bit. So, you know, I think it's certainly true that this space, an arms race, is the tech transfer from those two races, if you like, has been enormously significant in the foundation of Silicon Valley, and the foundation of many large companies. Right? I mean, the US, I think, spends as much on its military, as the next 11 countries put together. While people may say, Well, why are they spending so much money on fighting? Especially as many of the 11 are their allies? The reality? Is that a lot of that essentially a subsidy into the technology industries.
Johannes Terblanche 36:29
Absolutely. Absolutely. Silicon Valley, if you work too much in Silicon Valley. Yeah, actually, on and off, I've been exposed to Silicon Valley, I think if I first landed in Silicon Valley, you know, 26 years ago, my career would have been very different. Even though my first consulting gig was in San Francisco, I didn't really know much about Silicon Valley, as far as you know, the hub of technology was I was focusing on building mobile networks, you know, which is obviously a very constituent part of the technology that makes, you know, a lot of Silicon Valley possible these days, but it's only been in recent years that have actually worked for Silicon Valley companies, you know, Cisco, from 2016 Onwards and recently joined VMware, which is a software company out of Silicon Valley. So, yeah, I've had my exposure and negotiations with Silicon Valley.
Julian Bishop 37:16
And why is Silicon Valley successful?
Johannes Terblanche 37:19
multiple reasons. But I would put at the top of that list, you know, access to sufficient capital, or cheap, cheap capital, you know, it has developed this, this gold status around the world, if you're, if you're a techie of any renown, that's where you're going to go to do try and take a shot, same way that you go to Los Angeles, to become an actor, right? So you're going to, you're going to find a way in a door somewhere in Silicon Valley, you're going to work your way out of the drain pipe to the top, you know, as far as you can get, and there are many stories of rags to riches that you can, you can find in Silicon Valley, Elon Musk being one of them. Six days younger than you and 10s of billions dollars richer, I think hundreds at this point. Yeah, yeah. But the cult following of Silicon Valley, and having individuals like Elon out there for for young people to aspire to become like, or, you know, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, you know, all these founders of these mega mega tech startups, Bill Gates, even though he is not a Silicon Valley guy, but you know, so West Coast, and Jeff Bezos, also a Seattle guy. So the West Coast of the US, certainly in Silicon Valley in Seattle, it is a very strong draw for for techies from origins of life. And then, of course, you know, the promise of the American dream, and the promise of living in one of the nicest places in the world, which is the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm very much convinced. If you ever moved to San Francisco and you managed to keep a job, you will probably never leave it.
Julian Bishop 38:48
You hinted at it with the list of names, but the importance of getting the best immigrants you know, America has been very successful, because it has encouraged go getting immigrants to come to the US and to do their thing. In the US for the benefits of America. The number of companies that are run by first or second generation immigrants is staggering. And you mentioned the American dream. Do you believe the American dream still exists?
Johannes Terblanche 39:19
Absolutely. Yeah. Having the h1 B, or the h1 visa system, the the visa system to entice foreigners to foreign techies or foreign people with skills to come to America, you know, is definitely a very strong incubation pipeline. There are a couple of other components to it. I think, you know, companies having access to this visa system, entices them to find good talent. Lack of engineers within the United States means that you find engineers from all over the world and so you're also driving cultural diversity, which is a very important thing for having a non echo chamber kind of thinking. You said that the US adversities here weren't producing enough engineers. Is that an implicit criticism of the universities here? Or do you think they're universities? No, I mean, there's this as your qualification to everything, right. But I think if you're an engineer of repute in the United States, you go to, you know, one of the Ivy League schools, or, you know, Georgia Tech, or Stanford, or, you know, Ohio State, and you're at the very top end of engineering. So it's not that we do not produce engineers in this country, it's as if you're an engineer coming out of one of those schools, you end up, you know, working for either a defense contractor, or you might end up in the banking system, Wall Street, writing our algorithms of trading, stuff like that. But we need more average engineers to be produced in America, to make sure we have a good diverse balance of foreign and local talents.
Julian Bishop 40:50
Now, some people hold the view that America is essentially stealing the talents away from other countries around the world, people like yourself, you know, maybe your talent could have helped South Africa be more successful? What's your view on those on that type of comment?
Johannes Terblanche 41:06
Probably is, you know, true to some extent, but again, you know, technology and talent flows in two directions. And most instances, you'll you'll see, folks that came to America made a little bit of money, you know, a lot of those people end up back in more senior positions back in their home countries and starting companies with the money they've made, and you know, incubating? Yeah, in a microcosm, you know, from year to year, you might see an impact. But I think over the long run, it's a good thing for people to go out and see what's possible, you know, learn capital, efficiency, capital allocation within the technology space, and then go home, or at least start a company at home, run it from America, or own it from America and be able to incubate back back in your home country.
Julian Bishop 41:50
I mean, I don't disagree with that. But I think my view is slightly different that people have free choice, you know, individuals have a free choice about whether to work in country A or country B. And if everyone in country A decides to work in Country B, then the best response from country A is to do something which makes it more enticing for those people to be that.
Johannes Terblanche 42:10
Julian Bishop 42:11
That's my view, and America has made it very enticing to come and work in America and, and maybe other countries in the world, Europe and so forth, need to do a better job, but making the case, you know, why someone should remain in their country? Yeah. Why do you think that America is so prosperous economically?
Johannes Terblanche 42:34
Well, again, that's a very big question, you just got the biggest military, we've already covered that. What that means is that, you know, America can run up an endless amount of debt, from foreign countries and sovereign wealth funds, and nobody's ever going to come ask for their money. The US the US dollar is the reserve currency of the world, you know, at least in theoretical terms, America can print as much money as they like, and pay off their debts with that, right. And I think you probably kind of seeing some of that happening at the moment. So trying to inflate their way a little bit of what they owe the rest of the world, you cannot discount, you know, again, the access to cheap capital and the spirit of innovation in the spirit of wanting to wanting to make a difference in the spirit to want to have a good life. Right. So I think all of these needs roll together into what is the American dream, and you know, wanting to get ahead, wanting to have a nice house, wanting to have two cars and a couple of kids, culturally, this is what people strive for and drive for. And I think that is a big component of it. And then of course, everybody has to spend to obtain that specific lifestyle, right. So as long as the as long as the population is growing a little bit, and you have a bunch of people that want to own a lot of stuff, there's gonna be a lot of spending and velocity in the in the monetary system. And, you know, that is, by definition, an economy.
Julian Bishop 43:54
And it's a huge population. And that population means that there's a huge market for everything, right? If you're somebody who wants to produce something, if you can crack the US market, you'll be very rich. So it's not as if you have to think about multiple markets, you can you can do it all within one country.
Johannes Terblanche 44:14
And the US economy spans the globe. The dollar circulates everywhere, I think about 70 to 80% of all USD circulates outside of the United States. And of course, you know, yet multinationals like McDonald's and whatnot, they make money all around the world at all, you know, take throw darts at a wall, you'll see a company that is not just operating in America, but the wealth that that company creates is held by shareholders in America. So that whole capitalist system of farming globally, and creating wealth locally, I think is a huge influence in American economic success. Yeah, and
Julian Bishop 44:54
I don't know whether it is because of the influence of shareholders or or maybe future shareholders. But it seems to me that American companies or individuals within American companies are always looking for a better way of doing everything.
Johannes Terblanche 45:10
Optimization is only a large part of the, of the culture. And I think that's really, to a large degree in farming or ranching, right, you want to make sure that your ranch is running as easily as possible, not necessarily as profitable, but as efficiently as possible. This is similar character traits from from other farming nations, you know, Australia, South Africa, you know, people want to make sure that things work well. And they are forced to innovate. You know, if you one day from town, and you might get to town and they may not have the part, you're looking for the end up making it. So there's a lot to be said, for that underpinnings in the culture.
Julian Bishop 45:48
Companies will transition themselves if they you know, if they make widgets, and there's not a lot of money to be made in widgets, they will transition to another type of company somewhere else in the value chain where they can make more money. And that is, is something that American companies do all the time.
Johannes Terblanche 46:06
Disruptive Innovation is certainly you know, kind of the playbook, kind of it is the playbook of most American technology companies. It's not always just disrupting your own product line, but disrupting somebody else's product line and building a better mousetrap. Attaching some cool service did generating recurring revenue of that service and using that cash flow to drive another iteration of a similar sort of technology trend so the other sides of American being good at making money is the way in which America stratifies its its people, you've lived in southern Africa, where at least in your early life, they stratified according to race, I think you've had a lot of experience in the UK as well. And you've seen the UK class system. So tell me a little bit about how the US social class system works. Think the whole class system to some degree we can we can ascribe unfortunately to your host nation or your mother nation Britain, right. So they've had they've had a toll in every corner of the world, I think the class system in the United States is superficial, certainly is delineated along lines of education, and lines of physical wealth, or emotional wealth. I think it's fairly easy to jump classes in the United States. So if you know you can make a million bucks, you could you could move into a nice country club and you can be part of the of the community before long, you know, as long as you know how to mind your P's and Q's. And you're not a complete idiot, or muppet. You know, you can find your way around, and you'd be reasonably well respected. But you'd have to tow the party line and you'd have to act like everybody else, you know, you'd have to wear the sweater, and have the necessary Christmas decorations and Halloween decorations and, you know, conform to the Housing Association. And you know, play golf and play tennis and all this good stuff. I think it's superficial and fairly easy to penetrate different classes in America, just based on your you know, if you're going to spend the time and money to get a, an Ivy League education, you immediately have a different level within American society. I think in Britain, even if you go to Oxford, but your plan, you're going to struggle to ever be invited to specific events.
Julian Bishop 48:25
I think my view is that it mainly class in America is delineated by money. Now you can get a rung or so up by going to the right type of university. But I think mainly it's money. I remember, the first time we swapped houses. When we lived in London, we swapped houses with some people in western Colorado. And so we lived in their house, and they lived in our apartment. And what was interesting to us, as we obviously met all of their friends, their friends were completely different to the ones that we had in London, their friends came from all different types of jobs. There were people who drove trucks, and there were policemen and then there were people who worked in offices. And we didn't have that depth of different types of professions that we knew personally, that were our friends. It occurred to us that actually what was happening there is they had friends who had a similar amount of earning power, or spending power to each other. So you know, if you're a truck driver, you could easily you know, almost $100,000 in the States, and then we'll put you on this same power maybe slightly above that of a teacher. So those people would socialize with each other. Whereas I suspect there aren't too many teachers who know truck drivers in Britain.
Johannes Terblanche 49:48
Yeah, yeah. Thinking about a little bit more. I think the the school system in his school I mean, in kids school also plays a huge role in you know what class you're in, right? So, but uh, and that you can draw a straight line between that and money around if you can afford a house in the right neighborhood, you can be specific schools, you're accepted within that community as a valid member of that specific class of community. I guess the other thing I would say about America that makes it less classy is everybody's from somewhere else. Right? Not just not just foreigners, but even the city of Atlanta, for instance, thing like one in four, one in five people actually from the vicinity, not only in the city of Atlanta, but the city of Georgia, that have closed it. And so a lot of transplants from others from other states. And you know, so everybody is coming in and trying to get a seat at the table. But yeah, I think fundamentally, your reasoning is on on the money, no pun intended, is that, you know, if you have the cash you can get in the club,
Julian Bishop 50:46
I remember daughter number #1's first day at school, and one of her teachers asked the 30 children in the class to put their hand up if their parents was born in Georgia. So obviously, most people have two parents. So out of 30 children, so 60 hands, I think there were only two or three hands that went up. So almost everyone in her class, although they may have been born in Georgia, almost none of their parents have been born there.
Johannes Terblanche 51:16
Yeah. So and I think if we then come up with people, you don't live in the same community, your entire existence, you don't know, a little Jimmy came from I mean, he just shows up, he's got a Porsche is a bunch of money is like, you know, this guy must be must be the right level. But of course, a lot of that's financed by debt also.
Julian Bishop 51:33
Yeah, it's I when I started off by talking about it, you know, based on income, but actually, I think it's based on spending. Okay, so Well, let's move on to schooling, then, because you've had four children who've been educated in the US school system, right? How do you view the American education system from from their perspective,
Johannes Terblanche 51:54
I think, for the most part, pretty good, pretty efficient, even, you know, what would be considered public schooling and all my kids went through through public schooling and just the neighborhoods we lived in where, you know, thankfully, have children previous conversation of good enough stature that the schools were reasonably well ranked within a state and nationally, I don't have any serious complaints. But you know, again, you got to see where my baseline comes from. As far as my experience of school is very different from your experience of school when I was a kid, but yeah, I have no complaints, I think they do spend an awful lot of time on language arts, I'd like to say, see them spend more time on you know, selfish reasons, more time on engineering, and physics, science in general, definitely, they should spend more time and actually teaching kids how to deal with money, you know, personal finance, how to not get in over your head in debt, to make sure you have a budget. These are basic life skills, I don't think you're taught truth be told most school systems around the world, your poor job of this, but
Julian Bishop 52:54
I know you, you have listened to this podcast, and you've heard daughters #1 and #2 talk about their experience, is there anything you would want to re emphasize or take issues with what and what they said?
Johannes Terblanche 53:07
No, I mean, I obviously know both of your daughters, you know, at a personal level. So I think you'd have been blessed with two very gifted children. And you know, And one of them as an engineer. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I'm very happy about that. So that's awesome. Sidebar, the trick of being an engineer in America is staying engineer, because your corporate progression very, very quickly, if you're good, goes into management. And before you know it, you're doing budgets and spreadsheets and managing people instead of engineering. So I think for the most part, the American school system is effective. The specter of violence in school is something that I wish I could wave at one like every parent in this country and make that go away. Right. I mean, kids are traumatized. And again, mostly in middle school by by the threat of violence. I think by the time they get to high school, that kind of desensitized to the, to the whole experience in the country so big, but they're still violence, it, you know, a school somewhere in this country pretty much every day of the week. So that's something I would like to see stamped out somehow. Don't ask me exactly how but that would be nice to get rid of right, but I won't ask you how to do that. Well.
Julian Bishop 54:18
I specifically didn't ask but go on.
Johannes Terblanche 54:22
School, the Army Corps of teachers, you know, same as you have the Army Corps of Engineers, right. I mean, and this is only half joking, but you know, if you have something similar to the Army Corps of Engineers and Amcor teachers, where you can pay teachers properly and educate them properly and give them the necessary tools to enforce a self defense for for their class in their facility in a given point in time, you know, then you have a potential way to defend yourself against this but that will never have... so you're advocating that teachers should carry guns? No, I'm advocating that you should make soldiers teachers, so they should know how to carry gun and they should know how to do Deal tactically with violent situations. I certainly do not want Mrs. Jones from up the street to have a handgun in a bag along with her. You know, her Xanax and Valium definitely don't want that.
Julian Bishop 55:13
Now, many expats to America find it quite challenging to make good friends in the US many expats say that most of my friends are other people who are also not from the US. Have you found that?
Johannes Terblanche 55:27
I think at the outset, that's, that's probably fairly accurate. Because you're an outsider. You know, people stick to what they know. And I'm not just talking about, you know, expats. It's easier to make friends with expats entities to make friends with locals. And you know, the other way around, it's easy for Americans to just make friends with Americans, because you know, it doesn't take them take the imagination. But I think as time went on, I certainly don't find it difficult to make friends with, with my fellow countrymen. As you know, my second wife is actually an American, I think if you're willing to embrace the culture, it's very easy to make friends. So go to a baseball game, go to a football game, talk about football, talk about baseball, talk about what's important to you people within their culture and society. And you'll find it very easy to make friends. There are other differences as far as you know, just social mechanisms. And no, maybe it's very, it's very common for people to just drop in on each other, and just show up at somebody. So that is definitely not culturally acceptable here. No, no. And to be honest, you're much more likely to meet somebody on neutral ground, I guess. Yeah. I don't think it's difficult to make friends in America, if you if you're willing to walk the bridge first. And don't expect other people to befriend you. But it's easy to befriend other people, no doubt. And I mean, truth be told, most of my friends are made to work. But then I've moved on because the transient nature of work, worked in a million different places. So I made a lot of friends, when we no longer work together. But you know, we still remain friends afterwards.
Julian Bishop 57:02
Okay, and last question. Before we go to some general questions. I know that in the recent last couple of years, you've been pining a little bit for Africa. And you want to introduce your your children and your new spouse to what relatively new spouse to the region? Apart from family reasons, why is it that you choose to stay in the US?
Johannes Terblanche 57:26
Well it's easy, I'm making a good living, I understand how to function. If you think about it, I've only really truly been, you know, professional and adults in the United States of work for a year and a half, before I came in, so I've lived in the United States longer now that I've lived, you know, anywhere else ready for? I said, Namibia until I was 19. I've been in the United States for 26 years now, almost six years. So for me, this is home. You know, I think in a lot of respects, it would take a larger leap of faith to go back to Africa to come here. Because, you know, I'd have to figure out how to, you know, for the most part, I think I'll figure it out. But you know, a lot of things are going to be different. It will be disruptive. It'll be you know, it will be painful, and I hate moving. And that's one of the other reasons I just dislike the whole act of MTV, call myself up and go somewhere else. You must not understand my lifestyle, then. Yeah, no, I'm completely confounded. That's each to his own lseg. Okay, so some general questions, football, basketball, or baseball? definitely football. It's close enough to rugby for me to enjoy. And what do you like about it? The strategy is a very strategic game. Sometimes the strategy actually backfires on teams. That part of it, I truly do enjoy because you can see the gears turning and you know, the guys making plans and how to run the clock down and how to keep the other team on the backfoot for a specific length of time, etc. So that much I enjoy and it's, you know, when the game is running, it's fast moving. I do not like the fact that it stops every two minutes or two minutes. But you know, I got used to that.
Julian Bishop 59:08
What's your favorite form of the game?
Johannes Terblanche 59:10
NFL, , although recent years, you know, with Georgia doing well, I've been getting into college ball more. But you know, honestly, there's not that much difference these days between the two flavors of the sport. There are a couple of couple of minor rule differences. But let's face facts, this one, college football is pretty much professional football, you're going to say something about Baseball? I like to go to many baseball games. I do enjoy baseball. I like going to baseball games in person. I do like watching peewee baseball or junior league baseball at the top of the park where I live. So I would go for a walk and I would just sit down on a summer night and watch a
Julian Bishop 59:46
little league baseball. It's a fantastic thing for people to do if they're in America, going to, you know a nearby park and watching a whole bunch of children. playing baseball is a fantastic way to wile away a couple of hours
Johannes Terblanche 59:59
and then love basketball, I think it's too much in a way of scoring as to back and forth my life. You know, I don't know why I need to score 120 points in order to, you know, win,
Julian Bishop 1:00:11
or 119 points to lose.
Johannes Terblanche 1:00:14
Right? I mean, so it seems super repetitive in that respect. I mean, phenomenal athletes and just amazing skills.
Julian Bishop 1:00:21
They are probably the best of the athlete something.
Johannes Terblanche 1:00:24
Yeah, yeah. And, but I do like shooting hoops for the kids. So I guess there's that. which underrated place should people visit in the US? Oh, wow. I wouldn't call unnecessarily underrated. But I would definitely recommend you within Montana. You should definitely visit New England and Maine? I think. So Well, let's take your first one, Montana, then. Well, what's so good about Montana? Believe me, I've seen a fraction of Montana. But I did appreciate when I was there. And and, you know, again, take this with a grain of salt, because there was probably more than 10 years ago, definitely more than 10 years ago, but 14 years ago in Montana. So it certainly still had a bit of a Wild West Frontier feel to it, you know, tell room decor and you know, generally the smell of those places are also kind of smell frontier, I don't know if it's because of the animal hides and what they have, you know, an environment. And as Big Sky, it really is Big Sky Country, right?
Julian Bishop 1:01:21
What do they mean by that?
Johannes Terblanche 1:01:23
Yeah, I mean, horizon to horizon, there's only blue sky above you. And you can't see any structures other than, you know, the road that you're on in any direction is just nothing, I mean grasslands, and you'll see the odd cow, and bison here and there. But just a straight road, which goes on seemingly forever. Montana also has, you know, more more hilly and mountainous regions, you know, towards the south, closer to Idaho and Yellowstone Park. So well, actually also in the north in Glacier. Right. And if you think about his name, Montana, that's where it gets its name, right? I wasn't aware of that. But I'll take your word. Yeah. And, you know, definitely, you should go see, you know, England, you should go see mine. And you should also take the time, if you go to Niagara Falls across into Canada, I think Canada has a lot to offer. And I don't know if you have a book coming up on that, but you know, that No, not yet. Interesting. But yeah, you know, it's very easy to get to Toronto from from well, in normal times. It's very easy to get there at the moment. I'm not entirely sure with the blocking every every road and bridge. I'm not sure it is quite as easy. Yeah. But you know, saying thank goodness, as far as I'm concerned with done with COVID. You know, going into another election here is going to become less and less prevalent because nobody wants to be the the wet rag there at the party. Okay, next question. What's your favorites highway eatery? I know you did a podcast on this with your with your kids. They're not that common. But I do like a good burger. So it's a Five Guys, you know, just going statistically, whenever I'm on a on a road to Florida, wherever with the kids we most often stop at Chick Fil A. Because it's consistent. We know what we're going to get. And it's quick and easy to get in and out and get what you need. Yeah, well,
Julian Bishop 1:03:13
Chick fil was definitely one of the top picks along with Panera and five guys was highly rated by Merck as well. So it does American chocolate tastes of vomit?
Johannes Terblanche 1:03:24
I would say so. I think it's an it's an acquired taste. So it's slightly different. Technically, like a lot of other things in America, it is actually more true to the original recipe for chocolate coming out of Belgium, when in milk chocolate that you buy in places like Britain and South Africa.
Julian Bishop 1:03:40
Do you support the second amendment?
Johannes Terblanche 1:03:43
With caveats? Yeah, sure.
Julian Bishop 1:03:45
So why do you support it? And then secondly, what are your caveats?
Johannes Terblanche 1:03:49
I think in general, because I'm a libertarian at heart. So I'd like to think that, you know, people can be trusted to, to do the right thing. Yeah. I mean, you should certainly make sure that people are capable of doing the right thing before you allow them to do the right thing. You know, education. I think a lot of people just want regulation, but you can achieve a lot of what they need with education rather than regulation. You know, this is something we can learn from other countries like Germany, in Germany, you have to go take a lesson to play golf for God's sake, right? I mean, instead of telling people you can't have a gun, it's like yeah, you know, same way that you got to take a driver's test you got to take a gun test your your one week of school, why it's good to have a gun wise better gun what you should do what you shouldn't do and then when you pass the test, and you can go and buy your gun and then of course regulation also right if you and I think that's already in place to be a felon, you should probably shouldn't have a gun at least for a while. And you know, if you're mentally ill, you probably also shouldn't. So that proposal, you know that everyone who has a gun has to get some training properly a good opportunity for the NRA as well to make some money. Theyare broke a f at the moment so they can probably make some money with it. Yeah, sure. East Coast, West Coast or somewhere in the middle. For personal reasons east coast for anecdotal reasons west coast. I mean, it's very easy to be romantically enamored with the West Coast, similar to being romantic, romantically enamored with Cape Town, if you want to get a more balanced lifestyle, and balance here, I mean, culturally, you're probably better off in one of these cases in American TV or Namibian TV. Same thing. I mean, other than the news, which is, which is a joke. So in Namibia
Julian Bishop 1:05:37
and in America, isn't it?
Johannes Terblanche 1:05:39
yeah, yeah. Yeah. I mean, so yeah, it's pretty much the same thing. But look in Namibia, we do get a lot of programming coming out of South Africa and also out of Britain. So it's not 100% the same, but the formula is exactly the same. Okay, very. And then final question. You find yourself stuck in an elevator with somebody? Would you prefer them to be Republican or a Democrat? No. I'm not sure.
Julian Bishop 1:06:12
stuck in an elevator, multiple hours, multiple hours,
Johannes Terblanche 1:06:16
one of them's likely to shoot me the other one's likely to talk me to death. So I'm going to go with a Democrat because I'm less likely that they will be having a handgun on a person.
Julian Bishop 1:06:32
Well, thank you very much, Johannes.
Johannes Terblanche 1:06:34
Now really appreciate you considering me for this, Julian, hopefully, it's some useful content and you know, reasonably entertaining and do you have any questions for me? You'd have one question to me. When are you coming back to Georgia? I'm coming back for daughter number one's graduation. Hope to see you then. So
Julian Bishop 1:06:56
I will see you then. If not before and obviously if you're down in Florida, please come and stay.
Johannes Terblanche 1:07:01
I appreciate the opportunity