One and half months in Johannesburg. Observations and myths dispelled.
I was on the record for years for saying that while South Africa was nothing close to the violence infested war zone certain extremists liked to pretend it was, that Johannesburg was perhaps closer to this reality.
How wrong and ignorant I was. Johannesburg was a place I used to fly in and out of. Spending at best a day or two with friends in the Northern suburbs.I considered the place to be neurotic, unfriendly, aggressive, ugly and a basket case. After a month and a half of living here I can put to bed some myths about Johannesburg that even I once myself believed.
1) Johannesburg is ugly
This is simply not true. In fact with it's leafy suburbs and fantastic infrastructure, Johannesburg is really a world class city. Like anywhere in the developing world Johannesburg obviously has some very impoverished areas but I have found absolutely no reason to travel to such an area.
2) Johannesburg is dangerous
I have yet to feel even the slightest tinge of worry about my safety in Johannesburg. In fact surprisingly to me most people I speak to report to be carefree and not drowning in neurosis about violent crime.