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So my last post was about the things I was missing back in Barcelona because I was still trying to settle in here but what I didn’t realise was all the things I had been missing out on right here back in Johannesburg.  It’s been over a year since I’d been back, what with studying in Cape Town the whole of last year and then my exchange in Spain this year.  Now that I’m back, I’ve noticed some things that have changed and others that have stayed the same.  In Sandton, I see there are new additions to the skyline and in Rosebank there are roadworks all over the place, I assume for the Gautrain and the new public transportation network.  Then there are the friends who have gotten engaged, others who have married and then the ones with new babies (yes, the overachievers, always wanting to be ahead of the pack).  Others have moved away to work in deepest darkest Africa (seriously, this one really has gone to extremes) and another to the Far East.

Street vendor by Rosebank carrying his Zebra for sale.

Thankfully, there are some things that have stayed the same like having laughs around the table with friends and last night was exactly that.  It was a reminder of what makes Jo’burg special and feel like home for me.  Sure there are some new faces and some who are missing but the night was still full of chuckles and nonsense.  I was enjoying listening to the familiar Kaapse lingo with the Cape Town expats living up here in Jo’burg.  It was a night of talking kak with the brasse, discussing simple dinges such as Bounty bars vs Niki and why the latter is preferred by some because it sounds gham and of course, making fun of one another all in good fun.  Although the venue is no longer at 31 Bantry Oval as it was 2 years ago and this year the guys have apparently got a new rugby team going in place of their old Gypsy Tears cricket team, the overall mood was the same – to eat, drink (juice) and be merry.

The tree-lined streets of Jo’burg, on route to Greenside.

And as we walked back to the car at the end of the night, we couldn’t help but think fondly back on the days at Bantry and the nights of supporting the Gypsy Tears and their somewhat mediocre performance despite being in the F league.  There was also the seriously faded pink barley bag she used to warm up in the microwave (which she says she still has) that would make the living room smell all musty and old, Monday night TV visits watching The Amazing Race with tea and Roshan’s cookies, brought in especially from Cape Town and watching cheesy chick flicks on Thursdays nights.

But then life also happens and although people may move to new places, find new jobs, find new partners and discover new things, it’s comforting to know that good friends will always be there to make you laugh and feel at home again, no matter how long you’ve been away.  With that, I’m rediscovering Jo’burg again and retracing all the places I used to go to, not to relive the past nor to replace it but to explore and live it so that it becomes my home again – well, at least for the next 3 weeks.
Bantry Oval days – the cookie tin was clearly a big hit with the visitors as well.
Fournos Bakery in Rosebank – a good place to stop by, sit down and grab a cup of coffee and a pastry.
Hats at the Oriental Plaza, Fordsburg.
Pots – Oriental Plaza.

Indian sweets at Shalimar Delights in Central Road, Fordsburg.
Some guys stopped me outside the shop to ask for their photos to be taken so I took it for them.
Rosebank  – Where I go to get my soul food… Chicken Licken!