Lost in Johannesburg

Traveling is great when you travel on alone, at least for me, and that you get to visit places you have never visited before. However, there’s nothing annoying and scary than getting lost while at it. Worse, being lost in a funny and overcrowded place, Johannesburg.

For those who have not been to Johannesburg or Jo’burg if you will – a metropolitan understood to be the biggest in Africa and one said to be the continent’s economic hub – the has the most beautiful places and quite a many places to be visited. But, for me, it is the overcrowding of its Central Business District that turns me off and makes me want to hate the City with all its beauty here and there.

This Saturday, while heading to a friend’s 40th Birthday Party just out side the CBD coming from Rustenburg, I got lost. It was even worse because it was cloudy and looked like it had rained and it was still going to rain.

I was not completely lost per se but just lost direction to the taxi rank. Strangely, as I moved around, I ended up where I had started my lost journey, back at the taxi rank. On my arrival there I asked a guy where the taxi rank I was looking for was and he managed to help me. But just less than 500 meters away from that taxi rank, I realised which way I had to go. So, I gave him R5.00 as a ‘thank you’ and not the R10.00 he initially wanted. And he accepted it, and we parted way.

As I was heading to the ‘correct’ taxi rank, I was reminded on the time when I would lose directions to where home was especially when it was raining, going to, or had just rained. This only happened when I was in the bush looking after livestock (Yes, I did that until university and people do not believe me because I do not a scar to show for it). But it was a scary thing because I would often imagine where I would ended going if I lost complete directions to home.

In the Jo’burg case, I was thankful and glad that unlike the many people who work in the taxi ranks often accused of stealing from travellers and tourists, none of that had happened to me. I was helped and am thank full for that.

Maybe I got lost when I did so that I could learn a thing or two. Plus, I never liked Jo’burg CBD to begin with. I still hate it now. In fact, just so you know, I do not like Johannesburg/Gauteng itself. I used to go past the area from home when visiting my mom when she worked inPretoriamore than 5 or so year ago: she’s late now. This because not only was it messy, but that it looked overcrowded too.

My friend tried calling me while I was still searching for the ‘correct’ taxi rank and I did not answer his call to avoid that him even getting worried about my whereabouts in Jo’burg.

That same Saturday, after getting into the right taxi to where I was heading, as we passed the Anglican/Cathedral church in the CBD, I saw a big pile of rubbish lying next to the church. The dirt was unbearable for me as a passer-by.

Of all metropolitan cities I have been to, Jo’burg is the worst to get lost in because it is not only complicated with too many streets, but that it looks big too.


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