I was really looking forward to JoBurg
. My friend Mike, who I grew up with in Pennsylvania, moved there a few years ago. We’d chatted about my trip and he had been waxing lyrical about the “super awesome” time we were going to have. He’d show me the sights, take me out to the best bars, bring me to an amazing restaurant with the “biggest portions ever, seriously”.
Unfortunately, this guided tour of Johannesburg was not to be. I called him from Nelson Mandela Square when he was half an hour late, and he casually informed me that he had to go out of town that morning but he was sure I would “find something to do”. At this point I remembered that Mike had always been a huge flake and silently cursed myself for having not having taken this into account when I based my plans around him. Now I was in South Africa’s largest city, young, free and with absolutely nothing to do.
This is the kind of situation where the internet is awesome. I’d heard good things about www.mydestination.com/Johannesburg
, so I logged on to see what it had to offer, praying that there was a section entitled “23 year old Americans who have been abandoned and need fun ASAP”. Sadly, no such section existed, but there was an events guide with a handy calendar and an impressively detailed “Things to Do” page.
I ended up heading to the Montecasino Bird Gardens just in time to catch the 3pm show and fed some adorable lorikeets. Then it was dinner at Moyo, an African-themed restaurant at Melrose Arch and on to the Manhattan Club on Riviera where I tried, and failed, to make my way through all eight bars. The shooters bar was my downfall.
Despite Mike’s total abandonment of our friendship, it turns out JoBurg is still “super awesome”, even when you have to navigate it on your own.