arbitrary stuff that comes to mind: whenever I feel like thinking aloud

Friday, January 13, 2012

A Day in the Life: a Monster Muscles in

(click image to enlarge)
 There's an old Saying that goes ~ you can take the country boy out of the farm but you can't take the farm out of the country boy.

Johannesburg is a Mining city. The City has left the mines behind now, but you'll never take the Mines out of the City. A place is being prepared for this big fellow. He's 80 tons if he's a penny weight, in fact he's so heavy that they had to build a special foundation for him to rest on.

He's arrived early, before the area has been cleaned and the sign erected ~ but what would you expect? When they found gold here, they didn't wait around for the town to form first. Oh no Sir, they just got in there and started digging. Who arrived early went away rich, who arrived late never ate.

That's about the sum of a mining town, and it hangs around for only as long as the gold can be scratched out. But this one didn't hang around and die the death of ghost towns the world over: oh no Sir.

Oh no Sir, it sprawled and bawled and went on to become the Financial bully of Africa, the biggest city not on running water: and along the way (by the way) built the largest man-made forest on the planet. It's a city now, but its still a mining brawl at heart. The mining spirit and culture will always be found here. we don't hang around and wait for the world to decide. We move on and make things happen.

So when I stumbled on this monster muscling in down at the end of Anderson, well I thought to myself, that's just about right. You have to be tough to live in Africa. You have to look out for yourself and your community, because this is not a world of soft pastels and gentle rains. When the rain comes it crashes down, and the thunder and electricity reminds you that you are alive. Even the 6 day Peach rains have that edge to them.

Its a rough and tough area that he watches over, and its a rough and tough city that welcomes him. But walk a short distance East and you will find the largest Financial institutions in Africa, and due North are the Mining Houses that kicked it all off. And just to the left: the Magistrates court. Just in case anyone gets the wrong ideas about whose the who in the zoo. Or veld.

Don't you just love this city?

All images (c) the author.

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