Johannesburg’s contrasts

LOCATION: Housesitting in Johannesburg, South Africa
WEATHER: Perfect. One reason for the pleasant temps is that we are at about 6000 feet in elevation

We took off in the AM, via Uber, to do another day of hop on/hop off bus. Security here is a big thing. All of the doors in our house have two sets of locking doors. Our house, like all houses, has a gate in front, and an electric fence surrounding the premises. So, it takes us awhile to get all locked up. I don’t know if all this security is necessary, or if people are just paranoid.

Once downtown, we stopped at a pharmacy to buy some ibuprofen. We went to the prescription section to select it. The clerk wrapped it up, put a price tag on the package, then locked the package in a little cage (like a bird cage) with a lock. She told us to take the cage to the cashier who would unlock the cage and we would pay for it there. We asked why the big deal, just for ibuprofen. She said it is to prevent customers from ripping open the box between the pharmacy and the cashier, then not paying. Wow!

The hop on/off bus first took us through the beautiful suburbs again. The extravagance is something else. The houses are huge with beautiful gardens, swimming pools, and tennis courts. Many have a personal guardhouse in addition to all the other security.

Then, we went through the main parts of town. The contrast is shocking.

We hopped off the bus at SAB – South African BreweriesMiller. They had been the second largest of the 4 biggest breweries in the world – after Anheuser-Busch. Just recently, Anheuser-Busch bought out SAB, so the SAB Museum was closed. We stopped anyway to have lunch at their remaining bar/restaurant. When we got off the bus, an employee of the bus company insisted on escorting us to the restaurant, for safety. Wow! We had some good ribs and a South African stout on the patio.

Once home, we got in the jeep and drove to the dog park. A police truck was there, doing paperwork with a guy whose car had just been stolen in the parking lot. I guess the parking attendant (whom we pay about $.15 each time we park) wasn’t watching close enough.

DINNER: The homeowners had left us some fresh okra so I fried it up, southern style. Main dish was sauteed shrimp, with onions and garlic.

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