on finding usable public transportation in joburg (really!)

when you move to a new city (let alone country) it always takes some time to get your life ‘going.’ this includes taming your home, finding your favorite markets, your routines, figuring out some of the cities ‘secrets,’ and eventually instead of feeling like a newcomer in a city, you feel that the city has become yours. every time one of these things happens or something clicks you feel like it is a small miracle and then you are intangibly closer to calling the city your own. for example, i recently found out where i can find endless baking supplies in jozi. victory! in berlin this was a real problem for me, and i was constantly lugging back proper baking supplies from the states. our visitors got stopped in airport security to answer what the white powder (baking soda) was in their suitcases. (i didn’t figure out until the end was sold in pharmacies and not grocery stores). 

we have had one victory this week that can’t be overvalued. first of all in this huge, controversial, beautiful city it is was a fact that you cannot easily or safely use public transportation. everyone knows the only reliable, safe public transportation is the gautrain which takes you to Pretoria or the airport. but! the gautrain also has a safe, reliable network of buses that take people from their neighborhoods to the train stations. now, if you live across the street from a big shopping center and work across the street from a gautrain station…..it may be that you have nothing short of a miracle: public transportation to get you to work. in johannesburg. really. do you live and work reasonably close to a gautrain bus or train stop? find out, (make sure to click on the station closest to you physically and then look at their surrounding bus schedule) and tap into cheap public transportation. you can take a bus to a train station, or more likely just take one of the gautrain buses from your neighborhood stop to another. so go ahead, check out on your commute…read a book, zone out! it doesn’t matter because you won’t be driving (swoon!). normally, we are self righteous about take pride in not owning cars but living here forces you to buy one for each person. this really opens up the doors for us…if in our two person family one person can use public transport to get to work maybe we only need one? at least until I get a job. we’ll see, a girl can dream…

13th october, 2011 (happy birthday dad!)

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