Johannesburg, South Africa
So despite a bit of an eventful start of the flight (literally running to the express train to Heathrow and making it to the bag drop one minute before closing) the flight itself was rather uneventful; sat on the window next to Alan from Detroit who has made a new and exciting life for himself as a business man in Pretoria. Alan and I seemed to find the rare perfect balance; we spoke just enough to seem friendly to each other but not so much that I was not able to catch a bit of modern family whilst eating my ragatoile uninterrupted and happily sleeping almost the entire flight. Yay!
Johannesburg is treating me well thus far. Customs and Border Security were a pleasure with staff cheerfully greeting me and welcoming me to their country, ensuring I had packed warm clothing as it is “freezing at the moment.” Picked up and taken to my (verging on unpolitically correctly named) hostel, Brown Sugar.
Visited a local shopping centre this afternoon, stopped by China Town on the way to buy some fruit. A local young guy saw me with three mandarins and cheekily yelled out “Hey Sista!!” Sista!!!” and motioned for one. Not sure whether it was his audacity or the momentary feeling of being a “Sista” but something worked and he scored some of it. The walk was about forty minutes and whilst pleasant enough, not too interesting apart from the iron oxide-esque ground.
The shopping centre is lovely, it’s set on a lake and rather picturesque. Sat outside by the lake for lunch, watching these two black African guys in beaten up old canoes. For a while I thought they were just having a leisurely row, but after a while realized those rakes they were using were not makeshift oars; they were cleaning the lake of leaves. It was a decent sized, tree-lined lake, so they had their work cut out for them. Dare say they may feel the same way about trees around the river as does my father does around the swimming pool.
The basement of the shopping centre featured brand new “world market” which opened three weeks ago. Stall after stall of African paraphernalia. I was pretty close to being in my element. The second I stepped in, an elderly lady (I think?) grabbed me by the arm and dragged me inside, telling me she had something amazing to show me. A table cloth. “Ohhh you not like these? We have masks, bangles, earrings, cardigans”…am I that transparent?!? Each step I took however, someone else wanted me in their stall, asking that I “show [my] support”
So yes, all very exciting. Think I’m going to like this place.