While I am typing these lines I am on a train to Capetown. I just left Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city and I still don't know what to think about that place. I heard so many different things about JoBurg: the most dangerous city on the African continent, ... but with an interesting history as Mandela and even Mahatma Ghandi worked here as lawyers. Also, just very recently the well known Forbes magazine put JoBurgs uprising neighbourhood Maboneng on its list of the 10 coolest and most worth to be visited neighbourhoods worldwide. So best requirements for an interesting stay in this city. Maboneng indeed is a very good example for modern urban but carefully controlled development: galleries next to pop-up bars and cafe's, food markets next to apartment houses, sculpture parks in the backyard of formerly highjacked buildings. The owners, the community and investors take care that no big brand chains take over the place and that things grow slowly, safely and that it doesn't turn into one of these anonymous gentrification areas that seem to arise. The neighbourhood boasts some quite interesting murals too. Hard to believe that not that many years prior Maboneng has been a very dangerous quarter. But I got a taste of that. Once you leave the lively and clean streets of Maboneng things roughen up. Locals warn you to walk along certain streets, you shouldn't go outside at dawn and night, better take an Uber wherever you go. One early evening I took an Uber to the supermarket and I felt that uneasy that I asked the driver to wait for me right at the entrance of the store.
I wonder whether this uneasiness derives from these constant warnings or if it really is the atmosphere of the place.
Anyway, the differences between rich and poor are huge and gangs are operating in town.
However, I wandered (better to say: 'ubered') around town and diped deeper into history and went to see the great Apartheid museum. I can't repeat offen enough how inhumane and cruel Apartheid was and how much Nelson Mandela should be (and truly worldwide is) admired for his effort of leading the country into freedom and democracy. What an incredible and inspiring human being he's been. - 2 days ago