“Oh, noooo,” you say, “another bloody blog about bloody Johannesburg. When will it end?”
You’re probably right. But this is a blog about how I see Joburg. Jozi. And how it makes me smile and wonder.
These days my life involves a lot more travel around Jozi. I was retrenched in January. Now I have to find ways to earn the proverbial rusk. I have visited more parts of the city than I ever did before…probably because I was once stuck in an office every day, five days a week – part of the engine room below decks.
I’ve tried to find work that is the same as what I did before, but Jozi also has her bitch side. There is no work. Or – if there is – then it is at a pittance, or else the purveyors of that work are in hack-and-slash mode and want to chop this tall poppy (ok, short poppie) down to size by telling me I’m too old, or overqualified.
Fuck. (Yes, I swear. Live with it.)
And then there are the closet racists. Oh. Them. As soon as they hear I am battling to find work, they sidle up to me and mutter about how I was so certainly passed over (at retrenchment) for some ‘other’ person, probably of the previously-disadvantaged hue *gag*. But I take a certain malicious pleasure in telling them that isn’t the truth, and that the person who kept the position was the same race, hue, and gender as them. That induces puzzlement. The status ain’t at all quo.
See? Jozi gots dem all.
Meantime, I reinvent myself every week. I am so used to deadlines that, if there is no visible result by Friday, I start to panic (thirty years of clock-watching will do that) because I have not produced any goods. I must produce! I must work! I am becoming unnoticed! Work! Schmooze! Network! Connect! Look! See, see, see!
The Jozi malaise.
A golden treadmill.
But this blog will attempt to ignore that aspect of what was once my treadmill – because I am seeing so many new things, visiting so many forgotten places, and no longer worrying about getting phone calls at odd times (about errors that have to be fixed before deadline) or sudden new timetables in my life due to a colleague’s indisposition!
How. Amazing. Is. That?
Jozi is now my oyster. And I’d like you to follow me as I tilt that delicacy to my mouth, laced with tabasco, and gulp it down…and then take a sip of the Cape’s finest sparkling wine.