Style scouting in Jozi

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Today Gus Silber (a joburg-based journalist) tweeted about how much style the people he saw at Arts on Main today had. I feel the same about a lot of the people I saw yesterday at the Melville Music Fête – stylish, beautiful and exuding confidence. Here are just a few of them…

More pics from the music fest tomorrow before I leave for Nairobi

This is the city for making friends


I always go on and on that the one thing that really sets Johannesburg apart from other South African cities (and from what I hear global too) is how easy it is to make friends here.

One of the things you quickly learn when you leave University is that making new friends – especially of the same sex as you – is not easy. Men have sport which creates the perfect bonding opportunity – women don’t really have an equivalent. I sometimes joke that you have to go on friend-dates, just like you would with a girl or guy you like.

But living in Johannesburg I have made more friends than ever before in my life – warm, genuine, open, intelligent and interesting people. This week I was invited to two dinner parties – where most of the other guests I either didn’t know or have known less than 6 months…you would imagine there might be a bit of stiffness and lots of dull conversation about “what you do” – as there often is at these kinds of things. Instead there was laughter and the joy of feeling like you belong in this world, that there are plenty of other people who see the world as you do.

Thank you Jozi for making me feel like I have a home for my soul.

Who runs this town?

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Today was the opening of the City of Gold graffiti festival in Johannesburg. I attended one of the city tours about graffiti designed for the festival by Past Experiences and then went to the gallery opening in Smit Street, Braamfontein. Do yourself a favour and book a tour or attended some of the other City of Gold events. The city was really rocking this afternoon, makes me love it so much more.

I will have one of everything please

French toast at the Birdcage - to die for.

This week has been incredibly busy and I have done nothing other than work, commute, study and sleep so I don’t have anything life-changingly exciting to blog about. But I am feeling very peckish this morning so I thought I’d blog about breakfast.

An omlette from Salvation Cafe.
Everything on the Salvation menu sounds so good you could sit there all day having breakfast.

I have a couple of favourite spots for breakfast in Joburg:
– The Service Station at the Bamboo Centre in Meliville
Salvation Café at 44 Stanley
The Birdcage in Jan Smuts Avenue

Eggs benedict from Birdcage.
Rose cordial yummy stuff from Birdcage.

In fact I really wish I was sitting at any of these right now, sipping on a latter, reading a magazine….

But what I think Johannesburg really lacks is great outdoors places to have breakfast – somewhere where you’re not surrounded by concrete or worse, staring in to a parking lot. Somewhere with a view AND really amazing food – because there are plenty of places with a view just outside Joburg, where I have had some very average food.

I have very high standards for food quality when it comes to eating out, but even more so for breakfast. You can always tell whether the eggs are fresh and organic or if they came in a carton with 300 others and have been sitting in a bowl for hours on end. Buffets are always a let down – the food is always on the cold and tired side and you end up paying for about double of what you will end up eating.

The alternative is to have breakfast at home. I love cooking elaborate breakfasts, but my balcony is usually in direct sunlight and it isn’t quite the space that inspires. Also, if I have stood in the kitchen for 30 minutes preparing, I am usually famished, so I wolf down my food and start tidying up (nothing worse than dried scrambled egg on a pan).

What are your favourite spots to have breakfast in Jozi (and beyond)?

Croissants with scrambled eggs, bacon and chives made by yours truly this weekend.

Mind over matter

To anyone who may be wondering if I survived yesterday’s suicide run Nike Jozi Run Free 10km run, I did. And I even did it in a decent time considering the searing pain in my knees after the 5km mark.
Some reflections:
– I wish I had been able to join in the pre-race fun instead of having to work.
– I ran the entire Nike race looking like an Adidas brand ambassador (shoes, pants and my jacket with a giant Adidas logo on my back).
– I am a compulsive song-changer. I must have listened to only about 2 songs start-to-finish.
– It is bizarre that I managed to spot Martina 5 minutes into the race among 10,000 neon t-shirts.
– I kept wanting to yell at people taking photos without a tripod that their photos would come out rubbish (no matter how high their ISO).
– Men and their need to urinate in street corners and not in the porta-loos is really gross (5 minutes into the race guys were taking a leak)
– I need to go back to some of the parts of town that we ran through and take some day photos.

Oh, and you can run 10 kms without any training and bad knees. Just takes a bit of willpower. And a great partner like Mandy.

If you want to read in more detail about the run, read 2Summers and Martina in Jozi – they also have some nice photos.

Autumn comes to Johannesburg

The best thing about Durban is that it is always warm. The downside of that is that you don’t really have seasons…and while I am no fan of winter, I really do enjoy autumn/fall (depending where you come from). You still have warm sunny days, but no unbearable heat (who am I kidding, I love unbearable heat) and the leaves turn such beautiful colours. On Thursday and Friday this week the weather in Jozi cooled down and it rained, making it the perfect cuddle weather – even though I had no one to cuddle.