People think I’m mad. I’m lucky enough to live in Cape Town where there are beaches, mountains, wine-farms and a laid-back way of life. Other people grumble on about Jozi, the powerhouse of South Africa, for being dangerous, polluted, frantic and not very scenic. The reason people think I’m mad is because every chance I get, I fly to Jozi for a break and a holiday as the ‘laid-back way of life’ frustrates me and often drains me. A trip to Jozi recharges my batteries. Here’s a couple of reasons why I love it there so much:-
- People are exceptionally friendly and sociable. They have to be. Unlike CT, they can’t go scuttle and hide behind a mountain or say ‘let’s have a drink sometime’ (which means anytime from next week till your 75th birthday, or never sometimes). In Jozi, meeting people is what it is about, and people have a genuine hospitality and interest in other people. They look out for eachother. Don’t be surprised if you make new friends each time you visit. That’s what happens there, and that’s why I love it.
- The speed, especially in terms of work-ethic is at the pace I enjoy. In CT, a simple decision on a meeting date and time feels like it takes 6 weeks, and then a further 6 years to make a decision about what was discussed, after which the person has left the company / gone mad / retired / hidden behind the mountain. In Jozi, decisions are made fast, words are kept and conversations are followed-up on.
- The visual appeal for me is totally sensory and absorbing. Jozi has the most breathtaking city-scape by night, without a doubt. Add tangerine-fireball-sunsets and booming and crackling electric storms into the mix and you will never need to pay to watch a fancy light-show ever again.
- The visual appeal OF me is somehow always better when I get there. Some people from the coast struggle with the higher altitude, but for some reason I wake up. Literally. I no longer feel the need to languish in bed and sleep late, my skin gets some colour, my hair stays straight, and I look younger, and well… well, actually.
- There is actually loads to see and do and explore. This was my latest favourite spot from the weekend http://44stanley.co.za/ (the old gas-works converted into a trendy shopping and eating space.)
- Dinner-parties are an almost daily occurrence No-one eats alone, and no-one dusts out the coveted recipe or pretty side-plates just for a birthday.
- The code is work hard, play hard. Life is balanced. People are rewarded.
- There is a splash of CT in places – the hipsters are around, the theatre is alive, food-markets feed, and artists create.
- And lastly, because I don’t want to do a ‘ten things about’ post, I am stopping at 9… some of my best friends are there who mentor me, inspire me, support me and make me laugh. I love them even more than I love Jozi.
And, let’s see…. how many more sleeps till my next visit in May…?