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JAW does Jozi

Just a quick post to inform all 5 of my loyal readers that I am still alive.

And yes, still alive. For those wondering.

I am in Jozi. Some of you might be asking who that is. No, calm down , girlfriend. That’s Egoli to some of you, or the place of gold (like the soap opera for those South Africans feeling nostalgic for the 90s) and Johannesburg for the rest of you. JAW has taken this writing thing seriously and is now a trainee journalist, and has survived the first week.

So a few details from my time to Cape Town to here. I am told that I am insane. The 13 hour drive was done in one day. Apparently most people stop over on the way to Jozi, but the feeling of accomplishing such a feat in one go inspired me. I did not feel tired, nor did I get a headache or feel in any way demotivated. Every province I drove through (four in total) made me cheer when I saw the sign announcing each one. A note on that – Northern Cape, your sign says “Welcome to NOTHEN Cape Province”. I see you. I am judging you.

My only regret thus far is not taking photos. I do not know how this escaped me, but I get the feeling it’s because I have driven through all these places before over many years and have seen a lot of this country. Don’t get me wrong, it is still the most beautiful country in the world, but at hour ten and sweating like crazy through the Free State, photos of the scenery is the last thing on one’s mind.

Joburg itself was quite a trip. One is told lots of things about the city. Cape Town, often referred to as Slaap Stad (the sleepy city), is often just that – very chilled and laid back. Having never lived in another city in South Africa in this way, I had nothing to compare it to. So Cape Town to me was just that.

One thing that stood out was the highways. At one point my GPS deceived me and I was still in the Free State, whereas I could have been at my destination much sooner. (I was trying to avoid the toll gates. I still ended up going through many of them. Dammit Janet). On many roads in the city of Cape Town, there are bridges where you can turn around on the highway. Not so on my time in the Free State when I ended up on a fuel-consuming deviation. It was good prep for my entry into the Big City. So back to those Joburg perceptions – big and bad, like I said, but also rude, dangerous, fast, materialistic and business-driven.

All of these are probably true, but it sounds like a lot of the world. Think about it; it’s not exactly a unique description. These perceptions have actually now, after my first week, annoyed me, because I’ve realised that it is not that bad. People just want places to be  a certain type. The roads were, in all fairness, very busy for a Saturday night. That was new to me. But after the fifth car lets you pass, you realise that people are still people, and kindness is never far away.

So that’s that, for now. I’m looking forward to many adventures in Jozi.

<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>


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