A weekend in Jozi

A lot of people complain that there is “nothing” fun to do in Jo’burg as far as extracurricular weekend activities go. It’s a metropolitan area with no mountain to climb and no sea to swim in. People seem to think that all we have to offer are blinged out malls and frustrated drivers.

Well, I hate malls but that doesn’t mean my only other option is to twiddle my thumbs at home and binge on series. I’m happy to say there is a lot to do in Jo’burg over a weekend and here are some of my favourites

  • Saturday Parkrun in Delta Park. I like Delta Park because it’s free, close enough to home, I can take my dogs and the park users are really friendly. It also helps that I get Vitality points. There are many other Parkruns in JHB and surrounds so find one that’s close to you and join the fun. It’s worth getting up early for.
  • Brunch at a cosy restaurant. So many eating places in Jo’burg have amazing food and great atmosphere and so dinning is a firm favourite past time for many Jo’burgers. Brunch is one of my favourite indulgences so of course I go out to find the perfect breakfast lunch combination out on the town. Post a Parkrun, Husband and I often end up at Craft because there food is good, their service friendly and they allow dogs. I couldn’t really ask for more. Other favourite brunch places are Salvation Café, Knead, and Grand Central. They are all slightly different but they all have a relaxed atmosphere and good food in common. These are all quite close to home so while these are my top choices I am sure there are lots of other amazing places in Jo’burg. Check out your neighbourhood and find “your” spot and do some people watching over delicious food. My mouth is watering just thinking about Brunch.
  • Visit a food market for brunch or lunch or to top up on some artisanal food products.  Maboneng has a great food market on a Sunday. Everything is stuff your face on the spot delicious. The Sheds is also a fun place to get some food and they’re open till late over weekends so you can even stop for a drink and listen to some live music. Neighbourgoods in Braamfontein is also a popular option on a Saturday but do note that it’s always very busy.
  • Sundowners is not something I do often but it’s a good option for a Friday or Saturday night. Neighbourgoods has a nice roof bar and The Factory also has a roof with a view and a craft beer bar. Churchills is a good bar to relax at on a Friday after work. They offer a cigar lounge feel while you sip expensive drinks and enjoy their free harvest table fare.
  • Maboneng is a great place to eat but also shop for local art and clothing. It’s an eclectic place in the heart of the city. There is a lot to do in the precinct. Check it out.
  • Picnics under an African Sky are a lot of fun. Packs some snacks and head out to Emmerentia or Delta Park for a relaxed afternoon. Both parks are also great to take the dogs and yourself for some exercise over the weekend.
  • The Wilds or Melville Koppies are other good places to get some walking done in the city.
  • Of course, braaing under a South African sky is the ultimate pleasure of living in Africa. So set up the braai, invite some friends over and just have a jolly good time.
  • Braais are great but dinners out are also sumptuous. Early dinners at Hundsons on a Sunday make me really happy as they play good rock music and their burgers are absolutely delicious. We went to The Supper Club at Coobs recently and that was pure indulgence. It’s pricey but worth it a 100 times over. The food is scrumptious and the service amazing. The wine fabulous. If you don’t have the budget for Supper Club pop into Coobs. I haven’t been there* but the food also looked great and I’m sure the good service spills out into there as well. Other great options for dinner are Croft & Co and Stelle , both in Parkview. There are sooooo many places to choose from – find your favourite.
  • If partying is more your thing go down to Braamfontein on a weekend evening. Here the bars and mini clubs are spilling over with fabulous people and you’re bound to have a good time.
  • The Theatres also show a variety of great shows. Check them out and choose something to your liking

So, that’s my list. Yes, I like to eat a lot, it’s totally a pastime because going to a pub or restaurant gets  you out the house and you can indulge in some sunshine, good service, great food and great company. At least I also exercise in the outdoors. What do you like doing in JHB? (If you even mention an Expo I’ll delete you

Update* I have now been to Coobs and the food and atmosphere there is also really good. The Supper Club lifts their menu off the Coobs menu and both are equally good. Go to Coobs for casual dinning, Supper Club for a special occasion.

We’re clearly in a hard place

Between the country’s youth feeling disenchanted and the president saying he will put his political party ahead of the country he swore to serve it’s a hard time to feel anything but distressed about the state of the nation. The president’s spin doctor says his speech was taken out of context. Of course he would say that. I just hope he realises what damage his speech did to his party because the disenchanted youth would have heard this. The disenchanted youth are also scary because they think disruption and violence are the answer to their problems but heck, they are currently taking power away from this self-centred president. So, let them do what they need to do for now.

In the meantime, it seems as if the rest of South Africa will sit without much recourse. We have a lot we could potentially strike about but who can afford to take time off work or risk being beaten up by police. Also, most suffering South African’s are old and simply don’t have it in them anymore. They fought a hard battle to gain “freedom” and while they technically achieved this a lot of suffering has not been alleviated. As POWER FM put it “I did not struggle to be poor”. Struggle refers to “the struggle” and I’m sure people who were part of that struggle thought that the government would be their saviours and present them with real opportunity to grow wealth. I believe a lot of poor people would work if they just had jobs to go to. 21 years later, enter a  youth who really have no options – so much for government promises – hence the disenchantment. Hence I don’t blame them for acting out – I which there was a different way for them to do it but apparently there isn’t a fast enough answer so they resort to bad behaviour.

Also, lack of options find a lot of young girls falling pregnant because at least they can get child care grants which will help their families. Never mind the child they are brining into this world who will also have no options. But if you’re hungry now and a baby will bring you money now who can really expect you to think of the future because somewhere in your teenage mind you think you’ll have a job in your adult life – your kids will be fine. But there are not enough jobs. It’s a vicious circle.

So, what is the solution? What can normal South African’s do. Us who mean well and want to work hard and want to help those around us. The vote only comes round every five years so let’s not hold our breath for a change in government or at least a better leadership within the same government.

The answer is not an easy one and I don’t think I have it in it’s entirety. All I know is that I have to try and help those closest to me and talk to them about these things. I need to be kind where I can. More importantly though is that I can not accept what it happening. I need to find ways to hold my leaders accountable. I need to tell them that a 35% pass rate is too low as it just sets children up for failure in the working world. In between universities and colleagues have to deal with 18 year old who are almost illiterate. I feel sorry for these institutions. They’re doing what they can but then student’s wonder what universities spend their money on. I should always about bad service and compliment good service. If I can offer a needy person a good word or a free English lesson I should do that. I should be part of the solution instead of just complaining. These are just some of the small things I can do. It’s a constant struggle but if I can encourage people to expect more from themselves and expect more from others then we will rise to a higher standard. We all have to strive for this together though. We all have a way we can contribute. It’s also not a quick solution but here we are – we have to do something.