Walking is very unJoburg

15 Dec





This is what the suburbs look like when you have to walk everywhere.

Walking is about the most unJoburg thing a middle class Joburger with a K53 license can do. I don’t mean walking to reduce the size of your bum – lots of people in LSM 10 do that. I mean walking to get somewhere. Many Joburgers do walk to get from one point to another, of course. Just before I took this photo, a matronly woman creakily making her way up the hill climbed into that taxi, while I paused to record the moment and then strode ¬†determinedly on. (If you want to burn calories, you have to push hard up hills.)

I was on my way back from the Bryanston Organic Market. I’ve lived around the corner from it for donkey’s years, and yet I’ve never actually walked there. Madness, really. It was a hot day this morning, and I invested in a new hat to reduce the likelihood of requiring Botox in the near future. (The hazards of being incredibly pale.) But I really did enjoy the walk; it ensured that my experience was truly, well, organic.

I could have borrowed a car to get to the market (my mother’s or, if I were feeling very brave, my grandmother’s). But that would have been too easy. If I’m going to learn anything from this time without a free luxury car to tool around town in, I need to make sacrifices. Get a little uncomfortable.

Comfortable is the enemy progress, after all.


2 Responses to “Walking is very unJoburg”

  1. Sean December 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Great that you walked, but the problem with Joburg is that many of the streets are not very pedestrian friendly. Look at the picture took for example. The curb where you can walk is very narrow. So is the street which means cars and taxis have to drive very close to the curb. Some streets have no paved curb at all. I would love to see a project in Joburg to make ALL the roads pedestrian friendly.

  2. PM December 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Or even better, bike friendly. Johburg has a great climate for biking, Why not a biking culture?

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