and Johannesburg didn’t make the list. A few years ago we were in Seminyak, Bali and we commented on the “quality” of the sidewalks – see below
Here’s the thing though – Seminyak HAS sidewalks. We were out exploring yesterday and many parts of where we were just didn’t have them. Jan Smuts Road – a four lane, major arterial route with homes along it – no sidewalks. In residential areas sometimes yes, sometimes no. It was almost as if the homeowners (more on them in a minute) had put them in themselves. We find it fascinating, given that walking seems to be the most prevalent method of transportation for many many people. Crosswalks are also at a premium.
Now about those scallywag homeowners. We are staying in a reasonably upscale, affluent area where 99.9% of the homes have walls in front of them and either barbed wire or an electrified fence running along the top.
What is particularly heart warming are the frequent signs on the walls.
I’m thinking safe means behind those walls and not a sense of security due to a high sense of community.
Bur even the beautiful door is behind bars.
Many of the homes have an interesting way of announcing the address
Oh, did I mention the gates?
Now, to be fair, there may very well be a reason for this security. Liz, our lovely hostess, has been very clear that if we are out after dark we are to take Uber home. Last night we decided to go up the street to Dolci for dinner. It is a 5 minute walk, 400 yards away. When Liz heard we were going she said that Tagala, her assistant could run us up and the restaurant would likely run us home. When we mentioned that we were staying at Liz’s, the restaurant owner said that when we were ready to leave, to wait and he would have someone walk us home. This is a level of security/possible danger or whatever we have never felt anywhere. (Let’s be honest here. Geoff tends not to worry about even these clear and definite warnings. It’s Terry who pays attention and insists that we ask for an escort.)
Ah yes, the restaurant. It was interesting. When we walked in and said we didn’t have reservations we were given a choice of two tables. Ours looked very much like this one:
Other than ours and this one, every other chair looked like this one.
We were given four (4) 1 inch cubes of bread for dipping in the oil and vinegar. The couple next to us had a plate piled high with them. Just as our server was about to chat with us, the owner came over and sent her away and took our order. Clearly, he was doing everything to make sure we were in and out quickly, while other tables who were there before us hadn’t even had their orders taken. (On the other hand he did provide us an escort home.) From the time we walked in the door until we were finished our starters was 35 minutes. Luckily we had not yet ordered our mains. Then Mama from Ravenna came out. Picture the prototypical Italian Mama and that’s who she was. A lovely woman who informed us that at 9 months of age she either: 1) stopped taking her mother’s milk and started eating Tagliatelle al Ragu or 2) stopped taking her mother’s milk and started making Tagliatelle al Ragu. We weren’t sure which one it was. When I asked what I should have to eat she said “Me” and wandered away. Thank goodness because I had no idea how I would have responded. (My spicy chicken livers and Terry’s salad were fabulous, the entrees a 7.5 and the ginger buttercream torte with ginger ice cream fantastic.)
Side note observation from Terry – the only people of colour in the restaurant were the servers. An interesting observation given that the urban population of Johannesburg of 7.8 million is 78% Black African or Coloured and only 14% White. BTW Wikipedia terminology, not mine)
At one point all you could see was his head peeking out from under the plug on the left hand side.
Liz has a serious bird feeder in her yard. Yesterday there had to be 40-50 birds at different times come to eat. Terry is quite jealous – but then Liz has a veritable forest on her property.
Terry here. About the art in the galleries we visited–very often dark themes, as one might expect with the history of South Africa. Mostly, it was discouraging to view. Then we came upon some light-hearted ones–larger than life size sculptures of hares, foxes and dogs; ‘paintings of giant flower heads made by stretching various tones of pantyhose artfully over canvas. I could have put to use some of those old Cameleon multi-coloured stockings to good use! ( Note: you had to be there.)
Today we are off on a tour of Soweto which should be interesting.