Thursday, September 1, 2011

Jo'burg - An outsider's view

It is exactly a week since i landed here in Jo'burg. It's been slow, stoic and simple!

Johannesburg didn't sweep me off my feet. My first impressions were - a city that is a dream to many!

As one walks off the airport, it is the infrastructure of the place that first catches your attention. Jo'burg appears to be a well planned city that is considerably ready to take on development. Contrary to the perception i held that the city retires early, i saw quite some activity on the streets at around ten in the night. It wasn't desolate as i had expected :) It is true that many places shut their doors latest by eight, but still one can find vehicles. I am still wondering where they go, the days ahead might have the answer.

It was end of day two in a new city, i was staring out of the window pane as we were driving back home after dinner at a friend's place. I felt the city was missing something, i wasn't sure what.

I still haven't been able to connect with the people of Jo'burg, may be the lack of human touch makes me feel empty! I did get to speak to few people, i do not know how to word my experience. There is a mixed ethnicity to the city that would need considerable time to dissect into ;)

People in general are warm and friendly, am talking of the superficial contacts that one gets to make in the public places. I guess it is one of those things you pick up in an era of globalization.

The country's history has many incidents of crime reported. In spite of reduction in the crime rate, everyone exercises caution in their daily activities as there is quite an extent of crime that gets reported even today. As a visitor to the country it definitely puts you on the back foot.

Behind this mask there is an enduring human value.

I believe this country has a long history and an intense culture which would be absolutely interesting and engaging to learn. Before i embark on this quest, i need to find my grounding which for now seems little hard to catch sight of.

At the moment i will need to watch my back as i try to tear off the mask this city seems to be wearing!

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