This week I took a bus all by myself to downtown Johannesburg. Mobility. Mobility in someways is independence, it’s freedom. I have been so afraid of taking public transport in South Africa to the point where it has almost disabled me. So after a week of sitting around in a comfortable house in a suburb outside of the city, I decided it was time to gain my independence and find my way around.
Before I moved to South Africa, this was one of the things about living in this city that scared me the most. I will try to explain this fear. I like to describe the transport system in Johannesburg as organized chaos. There are small mini buses going every which way but which way they are going and how they will get there is a mystery. There is no schedule that is published on the internet or an iphone app that you can download or even a city route map that you can find to show you when, where and how much. The mini buses themselves change routes and have no signs to signify their destination. Everybody seems to know whats going on but doesn’t know how to explain it. Luckily there are a few buses with specified routes and a somewhat predictable timetable. So I’m not completely lost all the time.
With this new skill of successfully riding a bus, I feel a lot more confident about living in this wild city. That if I can ride a bus, I could potentially do much more and come out alive. It really is the little things