South Africa remains one of the best places in the world to see rhinos. In fact, nearly all of the white rhinos in South Africa are direct descendants of a small herd that was discovered in KwaZulu Natal in the late 19th century when they were believed to have been hunted to extinction. Rhinos are under threat again. In late January the South African government announced that 1,215 rhinos had been poached in 2014, a 21% increase over 2013.
Nostalgia for home hits me at unexpected moments, but what has surprised me about living in Johannesburg is that I don’t miss home as much as I expected I would. I throughly expected to have the same reaction when I moved to Johannesburg. I girded myself to miss the U.S. and I waited for it to happen.
A few months ago I was in Parkhurst and a bustling corner restaurant called Craft caught my eye. Last night, accompanied by two work colleagues, I finally made my way back to 4th Avenue to try Craft. When we arrived, every table was occupied and we squeezed into a small space at the bar and ordered some beers while we waited to be seated.
Normally I wouldn’t make the 45 minute trek to Pretoria, especially when the country is load shedding and the robots (traffic lights) aren’t working, but an old friend from grad school was in town so I braved the snarled traffic to meet her at Salt Eatery. If Salt were in Joburg, it would be on heavy rotation as a spot to meet friends for an after work drink and some food. I loved everything about this tiny eatery in Hazelwood from the lantern-lit tables on a secluded patio to the make your own charcuterie platter.
For having lived here a year and half, I know remarkably little about the Joburg restaurant scene. In Washington, DC I knew which restaurants were opening and closing and most of my socializing involved sampling new restaurants and returning to old favorites. I even prided myself of keeping up with the goings on in New York City and San Francisco. So when I say that Katy’s Palace Bar is one of the more vibey (as they say here) places I have been to, it might simply be because I have nothing to compare it to.