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- Travel to Southern Africa
Johannesburg - This is my world. The City in within which I spent the first 22 Years of my life.
Johannesburg - Yes, This is My City
This is the city in which I grew up in, although not born here, My formative years and earliest memories are of this city. My schooling and vast periods of my working life was within in this city, I have lived within this city and also a nearby town, for 54 years.
My formative years, were here, my foundations and who I grew up into, are unbeknown to me at the time, had its roots there.
This is may well become an outline and adding of other Hubs that could or would link up and flesh out other pertinant points.
Then this would be what I hope to see it grow as my over the years as The Just_Rodney actual Hub Site.
Where is it
Johannesburg, South Africa - Time zone is GMT +2 hours - 1753m above sea level - Southern Hemisphere. We do not change our watches for daylight savings.
An idyllic climate most of the year, late Autumn, Winter and early Spring has the night time temperatures of below 5 degrees centigrade and highs within mid-teen to early twenties as highs during the days. The summer period , the balance of the year early teen lows and mid to high twenties as the its high, it's rainfall is predominantly in the Summer months.
We do not have those long summer days as do parts of the Northern hemisphere.
This was the centre of my life from age 3 - 8 years old.
The still calm in the early morning
General Personal Safety Statement
As a tourist to our country and our city, remember for starters this an urban jungle like any other major City in the world, we do have crime, only the crime in our country is worse because it is ours. It affects us and our opinions of what we see also what we think we see about what is happening, as this to us has become a social and political issue.
Therefore check it out with your embassies for any travel advisories that they might have.
As a general rule of self protection, behave as if you were in any major town/city and do not take chances.
Shopping Malls - a nation of mall rats in the making
We have a vast number of shopping malls, these are in every suburb and then even several within a few blocks of each other. They all have a basic similarity to each other though, they all contain outlets of the major retailers, all competing for a share of the walking past trade.
There are a few independent stores that do also trade within the malls, however there are relatively few of these.
Smoking in Buildings
South Africa conforms to international standards as regards smoking, and unless there is a demarcated public area within a building you do not smoke inside, hence the vast numbers of restaurants having an outside area to accommodate smoking.
This applies to hotels as well, so reserve your smoking rooms, if available.
South Africa is a very young country
When I was born, in 1950, we were a part of the British Commonwealth, we broke away and re-asserted ourselves as a Republic in 1961, 31st of May.
This was a confusing time for me as it was my earliest exposure to politics, the run up to the declaration of us as a republic, was that a referendum was held by the government to establish the will of the people. This meant every enfranchised person over the age 18 could have their opinion on the issue.
The street lamps, robots (traffic light's we were not that technologically involved) and were festooned with placards, calling for our opinion.
English placards The Question Republic Yes or No with a bold cross for No
Afrikaans placards Die Vraag Republik Ja of Nee with a bold cross for Ja
To my random count there were more placards proclaiming no, however the end result was for the Republic. The lesson derived is that the visible majority is not always the actual majority.
Wild South Africa - 45 kms from Johannesburg
South African Television and Others
Our television service was only broadcast for the first time, wait for it 30 years ago. Yes 30 old, we are a little behind the times, as far as a lot things go. We did have radio and listened to the first moon landing, the broadcast on JFK's assassination.
Overseas Performers and Artists
In the past, we only saw artists like, Cliff Richard, Percy Sledge and many others long after the they dropped off the top twenties, or so it was seen by us over here.
This did not seem to be the case with Ballet, Opera and other classical musicians and conducters, as the performing arts council spent vast sums of money to keep us cultuarely alive.
PC and other digital technology
This too, until only recently, since about 1992, was way behind the rest of the Northern Hemisphere's.
Surfing and Using the Web
Broadband is only about three years old, and not all service providers can give all of access, I have only one wireless broadband provider that can services me.
There is a majority of SA users that still only use dail-up and have call-more service packages so that they can surf and interact in cyberspace, else it then becomes costly.
In and around Johannesburg
If you enjoy that form of amusement, in and around the greater Johannesburg area we have quite a few.
Gold Reef City in the Southern part.
Emperors Palace on the near east - close to the airport
Monte Casino in the Northwest close to the Sandton Area
Carnival City which is quite a bit further east than Emperors Palace
All of these Casino Resorts have Hotel Accomodation and many Restaurants within the complex, theatres and reveue bars.
Always changing the live theatre scene is hive of activity with numerous, small intimate theatres within Newtown, city centre.
The Civic Theatre
Always a big draw currently doing an pruduction of Queen, another tribute.
Every from African through to anything you like. These are mostly in the local malls, as I have said we tend to be Mall Rats, again only recently, about 10 years behind the rest of the world.
We are a sport made nation, and with the exception of some of the wintersport activities we are well represented for all afficondos of most sports.
Just a bit of a giggle
Things That Got You Into Trouble 1961 - 1996
Banned in public beaches and swimming pools until after the late 1970's. Also they were publicly condemned in the churches (Afrikaans), for the major drought that we experienced during that time.
Female Bare Breasts
If your were Caucasian, and exposed them in public, this would have you charged for public indecency. If other race groups did this it was OK, as they were like that culturally, in any case, as decreed, by the then powers that be.
All magazines and motion pictures would have to go through the censorship board for approval before releasing. The number of times Der Spiegel and other foreign language magazines were banned because of nudity was ridiculous.
Illegal and Public Gatherings
Outright ban on all unauthorised gatherings, this caused havoc in having test emergency evacuations of buildings, as a part of emergency procedures. As we now had a group of people massed together, as we did not want our staff members to be aprehended. So we worked with the Police so that they knew, in writing, a few days before, hand delivered, and then still phoned local station Commander an hour before, theactual test evacution.
Actual Emergency, real live evacuations, we had to notify the Police as part of the procudures.
Sunday Observance Act
No public performance, sports event entertainment was permitted between 00h00 and 24h00 on Sundays and declared religious public holidays.
Private house parties were closed by the Police, if a neighbour complained.
Many people were arrested and fined in Hillbrow coffee bars on Sundays for listening to folk singers, owners fined or closed down.
Cricket Internationals often would have an enforced days break on the Sunday, and resume stumps on the Monday.
Critism of certain aspects and practises of the ruling party would result in their either being baned, arrested, deported or tagged as suspect.
Being suspect is one of those things where, Big Brother is watching you, your activities, and each and every aspect your life is being scrutinesed. Your file, permanent record, is never closed, you are constantly stalked, until, who knows.