what I’ve heard in Johannesburg…

That Afrikaners like to kiss but they’re bad kissers. That power-cuts are damaging our reputation for business, & now what with Kenya, my Africa is going wrong. That you should never walk after four in the afternoon, it’s too dangerous. That the newspapers here are racist. That this isn’t Africa. That this is not like the rest of Africa. That there’s a really funny show on television called Coconuts. That there’s a really good show on television called The Born Freers. That things are going to get a lot worse here when Zuma gets in. That things are going to get a lot better for us when Zuma gets in. That the power-cuts are unacceptable. That six trains were burned by angry commuters and now the poorer people can’t get to work. That six trains were burned by taxi owners and bus companies so that poorer people will have to switch to road, as opposed to rail, travel. That a pilates class was cancelled because of a power-cut. That the British who come here think they understand their old colony, but they don’t. That it’s possible to marry someone of another colour and not notice their colour. That the young people aren’t racist any more. That the young people are just as racist as their parents. That 98% of South Africans are racist. That it’s a great relief to know we can go to Britain if everything here goes pear-shaped. That lots of white South Africans are so accustomed to luxurious levels of living, many of them came back shortly after they’d left because England was too cold, too much like hard work & the properties were too small. That lots (more) white South Africans will put their money offshore when Zuma gets in. That Mike Tyson is coming to town. That it’s safer to walk in the road than on the pavement. That electricity is too cheap in this country. That I should stay and have kids here because labour is so cheap. That South Africans maids are very good with kids. That Peter Hain has always been an opportunist and a liar. That middle-class gay men in their forties go bare-backing in Johannesburg clubs. That bare-backing is unprotected buggery from behind. That it’s not that. That I look like I’m 47 years old. That crime is getting worse here. I’ve also heard some very good jazz, & some excellent comedy, & some appalling radio programmes. I’ve not heard a single gunshot. I’ve not heard a single scream of terror. And I’ve not heard anyone say anything good about the non-South African Africans who live in Johannesburg. I’ve not heard it all. I’ve not heard the half… I’ve not heard Johannesburg.

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