Tuesday, 22 January 2008

10 brilliant reasons to live in Johannesburg

I've had my whinge, now I'm putting my big-girl panties on and acting all mature and philosophical. Here's why I love living in Jozi (really!):

1. The climate. Okay, it hasn't been sunshine all round this summer, but where else in the world is there a balmier climate? Where else in the world, at our latitude, can you bask in deep hot golden rays of sunshine in the depths of winter?
2. The Sky. Have you ever seen anything as deep and true and blue as the skies over Jo'burg? Have you ever stepped out of a stuffy aeroplane after a long time in the Northern Hemisphere, and felt your heart pop out of your chest at the sight of a Highveld sky?
3. The People. Noisy, warm, gregarious, pushy, energetic, resourceful, hospitable, energetic, patient, clever, aggressive, tough, sweet, busy, focused, resilient, sociable: that's how I see this city's good people. People from all over Africa and the world pour into Jo'burg, and for good reason. It's the Ellis Island of Africa.
4. The Friends. If you live here, you get friends. Lots of them. TONS of them. Everyone you meet knows ten people YOU know. And if you visit Jozi and don't know a soul: don't worry. Find a friend of a friend, tell them you're coming to the city, and they'll do the rest: within two weeks everyone will be your best friend.
5. The Jorls. Don't care if you've jorled in Durbs, Cape Town, PE or Bloem: there's nothing to beat a fat Jo'burg jorl (that's a party, or a night out on the town). The bars, clubs and restaurants, the brilliant coffee bars, the hotels... the seedy dives in Melville, Yeoville, Norwood, Westdene, Kensington....
6. The Energy. It's difficult to describe this: it's a sense of excitement, of perching on a cutting edge. It's the go-gettingness, the derring-do, the fuck-you ballsiness... The entrepreneurship, the cheek, the sheer brassiness....
7. The Forest and the animals. People who haven't been here think that Jo'burg is a blasted heath. Think again: it's the biggest man-made forest in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 10 million trees, and it's teeming with birds and wildlife: eagles, owls, jackals, snakes, genets...
8. 702 Talk Radio. The definitive voice of Johannesburg, boasting what are arguably the best local-radio news broadcasts in the world. Edgy, aggressive and fiercely independent. Morning host John Robbie has a huge cult following, for good reason.
9. First-world facilities. Got a tumour? Need a facelift? Financial advice? Legal help? Dental care? A good degree?
10. Other. Okay, I've run out of reasons. Anyone?

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11 comments:

meggie said...

2 contrasting views of the same city. Nicely done.

Pilgrim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pilgrim said...

You. You, Miss Juno, are the tenth reason to live in Johannesburg.
(I recently had to spend a week in England; my girls had a holiday in Madagascar at the same time. I found the UK, as usual, stultifyingly over-engineered, small and grey. The loved part of Madagascar, but despaired at how very basic it was. Our conclusion: South Africa is just right -- not too far up itself in an industrialised-nation way, not so lacking in the amenities as to be a daily trial. Somewhere in the middle, and just right. (All together now, nkosi sikilele iAfrika))

Audrey said...

11th reason - 10 brilliant restaurants within any given 10 km radius. More than can be said for elsewhere in SA - even in CT (yes it's true Capetonians you know it is)you pays yo money an you takes your chances.
12th reason - one might get an invite to dinner at Juno's! Well you never know.

Love this post!!! It's all true.

tonypark said...

...And exclusive books, OR Tambo International Airport. And not just because they sell lots of my books (Ok, in fact just becuase they sell lots of my books).

Joburg's also the only place I've been to where you can experience 120kph bumber-to-bumber traffic. This is extremem commuting. There's no way you'll fall asleep at the wheel in this city.

tonypark said...

Oops. That should have been bumper-to-bumper. I am recovering from an all-night bender at someone's house last night/this morning and am falling asleep at the keyboard. You know who you are.

Juno said...

Thanks all for the luverly comments. Meggie...would love to meet you. Pilgrim, will you marry me? Audrey, come to dinner any time. And as for you, Tony Park, I have it on good authority that the person with whom you and your dearest were carousing, and the person who is directly responsible for your hangover, is a co-author on this blog.

Question is, when do we get to see the pictures?

If you had asked me, I would of warned you not go go anywhere near Muriel's house. She is terrible, TERRIBLE, and not to be trusted.

Audrey said...

Oh how very terrible! This website is getting more delicious by the day. Starting to feel like a small town around here…

Tati Capelli said...

Hello,

I’m so sorry to disturb you, sir/miss. I was browsing through the net searching information on Johhanesburg and I bumped into your blog. Would you be willing to give me a little help?
My husband and I (along with our two kids) are considering moving from Brazil to Johannesburg and I was wondering how this place is. Is it a beautiful city? Is it safe? What are the best places to live? And what about schools, are they good? Sorry to throw so many questions on you, but any information you could give would help.
Or maybe you could forward this mail to some of your friends and ask them to answer, too?

I’d be very pleased if you could help me. Thank you very much for your time,

Tatiana

Audrey said...

Tatiana -

I would be glad to answer questions for you, and give you some idea of what to expect should you decide to come to SA. You can email your questions and concerns to me at this address: amailinfo at yebo dot co dot za. You should use the "@" sign in place of "at", and "." in place of "dot".

Regards,

Audrey

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