Not so safe in Johannesburg

LOCATION: Housesitting in Johannesburg, South Africa
WEATHER: Sunny in AM; Thunderstorms in PM. High 75

We did a little housekeeping – The ridgeback sheds a lot and we vacuumed up a lot of dog hair. We put all dog mats out in the sun to air out.

Just when we were thinking that all this security is paranoia hype, and that we are quite safe in Johannesburg, we read this news brief about a shooting in the lovely village where we went the other day to a wine bar. This happened just a few feet from where we sat….

“Two people were killed and six injured in a suspected drive-by shooting at a bar in the Johannesburg suburb of Melville. The attack at the popular Poppy’s restaurant and bar on 7th Street, happened shortly after 1am on January 1, according to the South African Police Service. The street was crowded with revellers ringing in the new year. It is reported that a BMW SUV approached…and suddenly, multiple shots were allegedly fired from the BMW at patrons who were sitting outside the restaurant. Eight people were shot, two of whom were declared dead at the scene, while six were rushed to nearby hospitals with two of the six in critical condition. Both the deceased were women aged between 30 and 40,” police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in a statement”

Yikes! About a half mile from our house!

We took the dogs for an early walk so that they could get in a romp before the predicted (correctly) thunderstorm. On our way, we watched two guys get in this already-full minivan. These vans zip around the streets honking to attract potential passengers’ attention. People get on and off randomly. It is an alternative to the bus system and is much cheaper than an uber or tuk-tuk. They are tricky to drive around, as they dart through the traffic. We have heard that the drivers get mad at each other for “stealing” passengers and shoot each other!

We had an outing to another cute neighborhood – Parktown North – that the homeowners had recommended. It is a chic area with one street boasting cute shops and restaurants. We went to a Latin-themed bar/restaurant for drinks. (We can only drink, but not eat out as we have too many leftovers!!!) This mural of a female bullfighter dominates the room

It is an indoor/outdoor very nice place. I was happy to see it was about 50/50 black/white customers (although all black wait staff)

Back home, after the thunderstorms, we enjoyed a pleasant evening around the pool. George made another one of his yummy smoothies – with pineapple, mango, and passion fruit. To it, this time he added some gin. Even yummier!

DINNER: Baked cheesy polenta with a hamburger/veg pasta sauce. We had previously made grits (polenta) for George’s breakfast. I let them dry out a bit, then added an egg and some cheese to them. I spread them in a pan to bake. They crisped up a bit. I served it with the pasta sauce. Very good!

BOOK: “And Justice There is None”. New British detective author for me – Deborah Crombie. 4 stars out of 5

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