Day 1 – Friday: Chaos at the airport. Power failures and jetlag.
Day 2 – Saturday: More power failures, this time in Sandton City (one of the biggest mall complexes in Joburg). Wandering through the shops feels like the dimly lit opening scenes from a post-apocalyptic epic where only the large chains have managed to stay alive. Also, the clothes are ridiculously expensive. G-Star jeans, admittedly not the cheapest in the world, are double the price. Started the drinks off at Schwabing, that great old German ale house, which makes edible pizza. The Bowling Club at Zoo Lake is more popular than ever, having graduated to serving something called Pimpjuice along with the usual complement of cheap beers. Bombay Blues has lethargic service, fantastic food and difficulty calculating money from various sources. Ran into many old friends at Fuel Cafe & Carfax.
Day 3 – Sunday: Breakfast at the Melrose Arch Hotel was spectacular. Crumpets and pancakes made to order, a surfeit of fresh fruit and enough cheese to kill a small pony made me very happy. Capping it all off with a shot of tequila was a completely unexpected, but not unpleasant end. The wedding was fantastic, down to the last speech, it was a wonderful celebration with friends, family and last minute dates that was perfectly pitched and paced. Pics forthcoming.
Day 4 – Monday: Ugh. Too much happy vibes at the wedding made me very hungover. Missed breakfast. Almost lost our car keys. Made it back to the city in time to meet David Frankel at JB’s Corner. Spent the afternoon exploring Muti shops on Diagonal St. Bought a pair of sandals made out of car tires. Green factor – high. Comfort – low. Also bought some awesome material for future projects. Watch this space.
Day 5 – Tuesday: Met Matt Buckland, Jason, Kim & Ethan Norwood-Young for lunch in Rosebank. ‘Twas tramezzinicious. Snuck into Kesh’s offices before being picked up by Mignonne for a reunion with Ruth. Dinner at Bottega with Brother Mike, Melinda, Tyrone, Noo and Emilio.
Day 6 – Wednesday: Frances picked me up from Alba’s place, transported all my baggage to Kesh’s place, then we spent a lovely morning checking out David’s new gallery and driving around Craighall Park. Lunch at Corner Cafe, coffee at Vida e Caffe in Parktown North. Dinner was at Fino with loads of friends.
Day 7 – Thursday: Met up with the amazing Claudine and Emma, her wonderful daughter. Claudine took me to a great little curio shop in Parkview, where we met Johan Schepers who whisked me off to 44 Stanley for lunch. Frances’ car packed it in that afternoon, but luckily, Wouter came along and took me to Norwood for a stroll and a chat.
Day 8 – Friday: Sam and James took me for one last lunch at Trattoria Renato in Emmarentia – probably my favourite Italian restaurant in Johannesburg. I worked here in my last year of high school – until I was asked to leave for putting in hair extensions which “terrified” the patrons. The menu has been unchanged since the 80’s and the food is as fantastic as I remembered it. Highly recommended.