Back in the zone


The last time I left my comfort zone it ended in disaster.

When I was asked yesterday to venture forth once more I regarded my fate with ill-disguised revulsion.

I have to admit that the reason things go belly-up is usually my fault (except for the last time, which really had nothing to do with me at all).

The inner city of Johannesburg was once my teenage stamping ground.

I love that term, my mother always uses it and it describes just beautifully how I felt in my 16-hole steel-capped Docs. Maybe more of a stomping ground?

Well, when the directions I had carefully drawn from Google Maps and my colleagues let me down by being the site of an enormous pile-up, I veered off across the Queen Elizabeth bridge into Joburg Central.

With NO idea of how I was going find my way through the myriad random one-ways to my destination.

All I knew of my destination is that it was on the other side of town.

While I was fretting over my lack of direction and the fact that Google Maps on my mobile had no signal, I found myself driving directly into the parking lot of my destination.

It must have been subconscious muscle memory from all those late nights and early mornings between Alcatraz and The Doors. They stood me good stead.

My concern then peaked again as I realised I had to find my out of the labyrinth and the one-ways made it impossible to retrace my route.

A colleague very kindly explained the following: “Go straight down this road, okay? Through the robot (a traffic light), then there’s this lank dodgy slip road to the right.”

Armed with this knowledge I got in my little rental and made a mad dash down the road.

I almost missed the slip road.

Dodgy doesn’t describe this unmarked, potholed, dismal ramp that suddenly appeared between two derelict buildings and disappeared into nowhere.

I placed my trust in the hands of my somewhat vague colleague and prayed.

I got out in 10 minutes.

Turns out the rest of my party didn’t pay attention and ended up spending the next hour and a half of their lives in the late afternoon rush hour clomp pomp. (That’s Afrikaans for a cluster-f#$%).

Trust in your gut. That’s the lesson. That and sometimes leaving your comfort zone can be exhilarating.

So, I’m thinking about doing this now…

Past Experiences is Johannesburg’s Original Walking Tour Company and leading experts in all things Joburg Inner City. The City of Jozi is our passion and we want to share it with you through our exciting walking and public transport tours, corporate events, pub crawls and bespoke experiences.


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