My 2nd week in Johannesburg without my own private vehicle comes to a close and I am finding out some interesting stuff.
Firstly, all this stuff about not being able to get around JHB without a car really is white-man’s problems. You can seriously just catch a mini-bus taxi just about anywhere. Secondly, you really need to be a lot more focussed about where you need to go in a week and why.
The why is the real kicker because it DOES make you think pretty hard about how important getting somewhere to do something REALLY is to you. So If I cancelled on you this week, you now know why!
Reasons To Be Carless, part 3
But seriously, it also made me realise that we could all save a lot more petrol, have a lot less impact on the environment and still live our lives if we were
a) more circumspect about driving
b) organised our lives better
c) were more reliable to other people
My good friend Bill spent a LONG time in JHB without a car and he got to a stage where he was pretty scathing when people commented on his lack of a car. I am beginning to understand why. It really is NOT necessary!
Why does this bother YOU?!?!?!
People’s reactions continue to cover outrage, disbelief, annoyance, pity and superiority. The sight of a white male pedestrian is obviously a rarity to other white people. I get stared at. A Lot. It’s like I am letting the side down. I often expect people to basically stop and bundle me into their cars in order to keep up appearances.
I have found some wicked pedestrian-only short cuts, noticed some amazing building and gardens and chatted to some cool people. I am very much fitter than I was 2 weeks ago and I have a pretty good tan seeing as this walking has taken place during the heat-wave-like arrival on Summer in Gauteng.
So far I have managed to not get caught in an enormous down-pour, but that is surely just a matter of time!