How your suburb could be nearly as nice as ours
ONE reason that my suburb remains the nicest in Joburg, despite the Hope School, is Zoo Lake. Our little green patch is dinky in relation to Delta, nine hectares to 104, but it seems to be treated as Joburg’s chief park nonetheless.
Some circles wail about weekend crowding and “swamping” but they’re out of order, turning up their noses at the humanity around them and then alleging they’re excluded.
We should be past that now. It’s paranoia. There’s indeed no promising that music selection or volume control will be to your taste. But one party in 50 irritates you and that party irritates the other 49 as much as it irritates you.
It’s also possible that you can meet crime. But it’s just as possible in Bryanston and, likely, worse crime. It’s possible anywhere this side of Iceland.
One Sunday, Betsy and Claire and I discovered we were all home alone. We each took a bit of humble lunch to Zoo Lake and found a mega-event was on. We had to hunt for space to lay a blanket. Single-handedly, we lightened the average complexion. With a few allies, we raised the average age.
We basked in warmth and welcome. We came home on an Africa-high, a magnificent antidote to the lows we are dealt by important people in suits at microphones.
A tip for a smart capitalist: do what capitalists are supposed to be good at, exploit an opportunity. Round up the wailers and despairers, confiscate their Smartphones and banish the media. Then take them by the hand and lead them to the places where Africa-highs will stun them.
You’ll have a growth industry, when the habit catches on. You’ll sent the economists into raptures.
Zoo Lake is a big tick on our local scorecard. Another is that we are a nonclosed-off suburb. We have not one rusting pile of barbed-wire fencing blockading our streets and not one tattered, fading, notice stating that great Jozi lie: “TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE”.
I admit a measure of hypocrisy here. Firstly we are thick with military looking vehicles driving around under slogans like “Tactical Unit” and “Immediate Armed Response”. Some have that poetically aggressive acronym “SWAT”, for “Special Weapons And Tactics”.
Moreover, some of us who’d get claustrophobic living in a cordoned off road smacking of old-age homes are hypocritically happy walking the conveniently cordoned off roads supplied by our larney southern neighbour, Westcliff.
Oh well, “consistency”, they say, “is the last refuge of the stationary mind”.
What I mainly wanted to tell you about is two-legged special local feature Bart Cox. I don’t much know Bart. Nothing of his career or family. Only that he has decided – I think alone, no backup, no mission statement, no funding applications – to rev our local minds.
A must-open in my email is Bart’s alert to who’s talking “at 6pm sharp” on Thursday. That “6pm sharp” is bonus. For rounding up interesting speakers, Bart’s awarded the Stoep Medal. For connecting us with our neighbours he gets the medal’s Bar. For starting when he says he’s starting; Aloe Leaf Cluster.
Why the nasty whack at Hope School? They’ve blocked our long-standing quiet answer to Table Mountain, the view from their ridge. They had cause – dog owners who save on their poop-bags when no-one’s looking – but they won’t look at other options. A place we should love greatly, for its fine work, we don’t love at all. So the Stoep grumbles a bit, now and again.
Fellow Joburgers, rig up a Bart and you could be nearly as nice a suburb as us. Cheers!