HAVE CAMEL, WILL TRAVEL: In the desert with the Bedouin.
HAVE CAMEL, WILL TRAVEL: In the desert with the Bedouin.
BIG TIME: Outside the studio of David Letterman.
BIG TIME: Outside the studio of David Letterman.

Shaleen Surtie-Richards is an actress who took the part of Nenna in Egoli, and Fiela in Fiela se Kind. She’s also appeared in 7de Laan and Generations. She is appearing at the Baxter in the title role of Shirley Valentyn.

How many places have you visited?

As a result of my work I have been fortunate to have seen most of our country. In the ’80s we had a programme called TIE (Theatre in Education) which took us to high schools all over the country while dramatising all the matric setwork books. What an amazing experience.

Countries I’ve been to in Africa are Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Namibia, Egypt and then, further afield, England, Scotland, America where I visited New York, Brazil, where I stayed in Rio de Janeiro in the Copa Cabana.

Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?

Egypt. I’ve been to Egypt three times and had the time of my life. Then the “Big Apple”, and my voyage on the QE2. I was offered a 14-day trip from Cape Town to Brazil, all expenses paid.

Your worst experience on a holiday?

It was in Egypt where we went to Sharm-el-Sheikh from Hurghada by ferry. This little Egyptian (with his moer-my gesiggie) pulled us such a dirty. He booked us on a ferry that took 900 years to the destination. I had a pee like a police horse, and I tried to go to the loo. OMG – I didn’t pee on the ferry that took 900 years to get to Hurghada. The moer-my gesiggie man was fired, but on the bright side, Sharm-el-Sheikh was heaven.

Your funniest experience?

When an Egyptian wanted to buy me for 10 000 camels. I told him that I was married, after which he offered my husband 20 000 camels, all I had to say was: “are you offering cigarettes or the real thing....” (which he didn’t understand anyway).

On the QE2 I was permanently lost. Whenever the staff saw me, they directed me to my cabin whether I was going there or not. Jeez, die skip is groot.

What do you avoid during a holiday?

People who know who I am, because they talk to me as one of the characters that I portrayed. Be it Fiela, Mattie, in fact ALL the characters I’ve played. But if you want to bitch and moan about the country then it is good to speak to other South Africans.

Your favourite restaurant and food during your travels?

I’m not a big restaurant person. I prefer to stay at home and if there is any wining and dining, I do it at home. If I can help it, I try to stay out of the public eye in my free time and rather spend ME time and quality time with my mom and my two puppies Pokkels and Tatiana.

Your favourite place to drink a glass of wine or to have sundowners?

Believe it or not, at home again. I have become a rather boring person because of my busy lifestyle. All I want to do when I'm not working is to be at home and to sleep in my own bed.

As a seasoned traveller and flyer can you share some tips?

Your luggage: stick to the limit. You will pay or unpack. If your bag is as big as mine, put your travel documents in a bright-coloured purse. Limit your hand luggage. And be polite, people, be polite. - Weekend Argus