My friend, The Ameezing Jacqui, recently moved back to London after spending two years in Joburg. In the short time she spent here she became one of the best and truest Joburgers I know. I miss her every day. She has written a letter to Joburg about her time here. I am honoured to share it with you:
I left your shores just over a month ago and now that I’ve had a little time to reflect I think maybe it’s time to share my feelings with you. After all I spent two crazy roller coaster years in your presence.
I arrived on your shores as a token Australian who had endured most people she knew questioning why in hell she would want to move ‘there’. That place where people get murdered all the time and apparently cars have flame throwers built into their wheels to ward off the thieves.
But I like to think I have changed those people’s perceptions because you’re actually a pretty amazing place. You’ve taught me to find beauty in the most simple things. Sunsets like I’ve never seen before. Gorgeous farms just a short drive away. A city centre that shows the promise of a new era. And a community spirit that goes beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.
Yes it wasn’t always pretty and I had a fair few days where I really hated what you showed me. But you taught me that there are a lot of people in the world who don’t have anything at all. And as much as I might want that new copy of Vanity Fair it’s really not the end of the world if I can’t afford it. Because it’s nothing in the scheme of things. And I think there’s a lot of people in this crazy world who need that lesson.
Most of all you taught me that, maybe because of how you are, you breed some of the most incredibly loving, giving people I have ever met in my life. People who will go out of their way to make you feel welcome, show you the best bits of the city, and save you when you’ve broken down for the third time in two weeks. Without complaint. They are people who will buy you coffee and pretty earrings and share Ameezing photos with you. Just because they want to.
These people changed the way I see life in more ways than I can mention and that’s pretty damn cool.
I may not live on your fair shores forever but you’ll always be in my heart. And I hope more people get to know you like I did.
Lots of Love
(Ameezing: Thank you Ryan for the beautiful photo)