I arrived safely on Tuesday morning at 7:25 in Johannesburg. I was waiting
about 5-6 hours for being picked up from Augustas and could hardly stay awake. I
was so tired after 5 days kind of NO SLEEP that I was happy to find a bench and
had no more wish then to sleep.
I did not feel at all like arriving in South Africa. It was not just because
of the lack of sleep, it was more that if living in Berlin, Germany, I am kind
of used to have an international environment. People of all colours, and it was
not different to Johannesburg airport. I felt save, but when being picked up,
going with a crazy driver to the hostel, I was starting to get confused.
Arriving in the hostel, I was still happy, even that we were told no to go out
by foot. We rested a bit and then went shopping. But not as you are imagining,
with walking relaxed around the streets, watching what offers they have got
in the windows...not at all. We had to wait for being brought to a nearby
shopping center, about 3 km from the hostel. After shopping we planned to go by
taxi, but it was with 40 Rand (5 Euro) for 3 km a bit too expensive. Thus we
called to the hostel and they - after a very while - came, picked us up and
brought us home safe. We could not believe what is happening and believe me, you
get really confused that this is possible out in the world.
The next day, we still could not believe it is so dangerous just to go out on
street and to have a walk, we decided to go outside for buying something. We
went to the nearby supermarket and went back. Everything was allright, no
negative encounter with nobody, just very few people on the street. When being
back in the hostel two Spanish guys arrived and planned to go out buying a bus
ticket to Maputo. They were already warnt and were waiting for a ride from the
hostel owner. As they were waiting already for a very long time, they decided
to go outside and give it a try to go by foot. When they were coming back we got
to know they were ROBBED. Eight guys were surrounding them, and asking for their
money. They searched their body for having guns, took the money and then
walked away very fast...imagine that. It happily did not happen to us, but
now we were sure it is not a good idea to go out. The hostel staff was
strange, too, but we think it is because of the difficult way of living in
The next day we went by bus to Klerksdorp, a little city near Joburg. It was
very expensive, with about 115 Rand (16,4 Euro) but definitely safe. We
stayed with an artist family what was very interesting. They are great
people here, we got fantastic food and learned a lot about the history of
Southern Africa. Imagine the Grandfather, Father and Son talking at the same
time with all their heart about the difficulties they had to face in history -
and they are still facing.
Today we will leave to Krugersdorp, a city near Joburg, too. We will stay
with a woman we found through www.couchsurfing.com.