Last week, my car had issues. It died and while it was being resurrected, I had to find other means of transport… Being the dreaded January month and all, metre cabs were out of the question. So, I braved 4 days of “Taxi diaries”
The novelty wore off pretty quickly
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One day, one horrible day, I took the wrong taxi home
Realised too late, when going on William nicol from Bryanston and the driver didn’t turn onto Main Road towards Randburg – and ultimately Blairgowrie (Where I live).
In any case, the reason it was already too late is that I would have been charged full fee for the less than kilometre long ride and I figured, let’s go with the flow, might as well get my money’s worth.
Initially, I thought we would at least go to the less manic, less scary, safer feeling rank – The Bree street Taxi Rank.
No such luck.
Ended up in Noord taxi rank that goes through hillbrow.  The same one where the girl in a mini skirt was harassed and molested some time ago. Yep, the ver same messy scary place.
Being there, trying to figure out which taxi would take me back to Bram Fischer, I’m told that I actually have to go the Bree street rank to get home.
From there had to walk out of rank, into the filled busy street to catch a ‘local’ taxi to bree.
Finally found the one. At the top of Plein street in Joburg CBD.On the interesting side, I now know where The summit strip joint is.Pre nightfall Joburg CBD and surrounds isn’t really my thing – It’s busy, messy, possibly one the scariest things to experience in Johazardous

I can drive in and around the city just fine, it’s the walking that bothers me. All those people.
With the stories of people getting raped and robbed in full view of others. Panicked and worried that my knee length dress might be too ‘short’. Dealing with the cat-calling, the way men on the street act entitled to women, their time, their bodies is disgusting!. Argh.

Did I mention I had my laptop on me.
I have never mean mugged, clutched my belongings so tight,  avoided eye contact and concentrate on not looking like I didn’t know where I was going like that in my life.

So 3 taxis later, some bag clutching, mean mugging, R26 and an hour and a half of my life later, I was grateful to be alright. My mind and heart at ease, my feet sore – I made it home relieved.

Althrough my post fear and post self annoyance thoughts I realise a few things.

It’s possible to get around this city in a taxi, with some walking and absolutely sans valuables. The amenities that are on main roads are pretty easy to get to. My trip we went via Rosebank, 44 Stanley, Greenside etc.

Other thing. This traipse through a forgotten world reignited my idea of doing a Cbd shoping walkabout.

Another thing.  It’s not fucking cool to feel so unsafe in this town. Even country.  It is not fucking cool that we do not have more accessible and affordable public transport. It is not fucking cool that there aren’t enough pedestrian paths or safe places to cross the street. Yes, even when the little green man flashes for pedestrians,  there is some inconsiderate maniac on a mission to mow you down. And, It is not fucking cool the conditions black people are still forced to live in and navigate – the poor really are on their own.
Anyway, I’m going to plan on a bargain hunting CBD shopping day / walkabout / eatabout town. Could actually be a lovely Saturday afternoon date

1 comments
Noms
Noms

Quite the adventure! I feel this. But my view is that of always having used taxis and the odd bus when I was too broke or had exams... In the two years I had to commute between Rand burg and Soweto via Noord for the first year and Bree for the second there were days I felt afraid that I might get touched, cat-called or even assaulted for my baggy pants and tees. It's not cool to feel a unsafe as women do in this country. LAst year I was actually doing a short course with AAA and would have to walk from their campus to the Randurg rank and be in Noord and past 21h00. I also wish we had the kind of bus system that Durban has. I truly wish for that! And that wallets and phones didn't get taken while navigating a crowd --I've lost both. 


Good luck with that trip! Do Small street, preferably when it's not any sort of pay weekend.