And people who live in glass books should really get their proverbs in check.
I’ve been looking for a place to stay while in Joburg, and have essentially been homeless. I was SO grateful to have a few excellent hosts who put me up out of the goodness of their hearts. But while searching, it seems that perceptions and assumptions are what define us.
I’ve always said that a little assumption is good. It keeps us on our toes, and as long as you are aware that people may not be the way you initially thought they were. Keeping an open heart and mind when we live in a world filled with so much evil and darkness is really hard.
A few years ago in a volunteer training session, we were asked to discuss our own prejudices. Mine was that black men are homophobic. This admittance was important because it forces it out of the mind and consciousness and we then have two choices: realise that our prejudices are based on our experiences (duh!), but also that they may not always be correct. I have been pleasantly surprised that my prejudice has been mostly incorrect. And it’s also important to not confuse being wary with being overly paranoid.
This idea of prejudice came to the fore while looking for a place, both from and in Joburg. I spent a lot of time in a suburb called Observatory in Cape Town. I loved it there – hipster does not begin to describe it. There’s a lot of peace and love types walking around, which is great. But it also has its dark side, like most other places. Well Melville is apparently the Observatory (or Obs) of Joburg. Everyone from Cape town told me this and said it’s a good option. It turns out that quite a few reputable people who I know live there. Funny enough, I also got the “but certain parts of it…” and “it can be dodgy, watch out”. Driving through it, I really pondered on this “don’t judge a book by its cover”, because it looked great! I didn’t find a place there, but it looked like somewhere id live…. Like Obs. Then again, two of my friends had cars stolen in Obs, so it seems the outside does not always dictate the behaviour of others.
On that, i was told by two new friends here in Joburg how much they love Cape Town because it’s so friendly and open. I happen to think the reverse, and jokingly call it Clique Town, because the up-and-down stares one gets when you walk into a club is quite obvious. Parties seem to be divided into high school-like groups. Yet the Joburgers saw it in the complete opposite way.
Seems like there may have been some truth in the proverb.
Just as a bonus, check this road sign for the area in Jozi called “Observatory”. Oy vey!
<p>Author <a href=”https://plus.google.com/102128103971030481396” target=”blank” rel=”author”>Jerome Cornelius</a></p>