03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
Yes yes y'all
Foreign Correspondent WhiteBox is in Johannesburg, the City of Gold.
The 12 hour bus ride was through the middle of the night so I couldn't even watch the scenery. The driver and co-driver played some pirated 'Race Collection' DVD with all three F&F, some cheap (like film student cheap)Aussie knock off and a movie that from the beginning looked like a street racing themed porn. They stopped that one in the second scene when things got steamy. It was called 'Thrust', who could have guessed?
There was some interesting people watching at the Jo'burg bus terminal. The dissstrict where I have been working is pretty homogeneous, about 95% black, so arriving in Jo'burg which is called the first non-racial city in SA was something new. It was the first time I got to actually see the 'Rainbow Nation'. A lot of the white people I saw we would probably label as 'white trash'. I think they were mostly Afrikaan and possibly the result of decades of inbreeding.
Some guy(?) with a soft effeminate voice and startlingly long eye lashes came and started talking to me.I thought he was some sort of grotty man hooker, but all he wanted was money for cab fare.
I took a taxi out to Rosebank one of the affluent northern suburbs where anyone with money lives. Driving around there is very intimidating. Every single house is surrounded by a wall that is at least 8 feet tall and topped with spikes or electrified wire. These people don't fool around. Linda and Patrick (the people I am staying with) were out in front to meet. They had to reopen the automated steel gate before we could actually go inside.
Linda and Patrick are very talkative and friendly but, boy are they captivated by racial stereotypes. She is a Honk Kong Chinese who believes it British superiority and he is Belgian rheumatologist and medical researcher. They know my dad through the Journal of Rheumatology.
We talked about South African society. Linda lowers her voice to say "Africans" and chides her husband for saying "blacks". There is the fear of the 'great black menace' which transcends colour. Rosebank seems to be relatively mixed racially but it's hard to tell becuase everyone lives in their private fortress. Linda told me that if they are driving home late they won't open the gate and pull into the drive way if there is another car approaching from behind, they will drive around the block. Apparently several friends have been robbed when they open the gate and the assailants rush in.
We're not in Toronto anymore, Toto.
Next post from Portugal.