"Jozy's cabs will never be like Durb's" said one of the young poets. My coworker saw my blank look and turned to me: "Jozy is Johannesburg and Durbs is Durban." "Jozy's cabs will never be like Durb's" he repeated. "Jozy's cabs will never be like Durb's" he said yet again, this time miming something with his hands. The crowd hooted and whistled.
My fellow interns and I had been invited to the art exhibit by a girl who had come by our office one day looking for a job. She'd just graduated from college in the US and had studied abroad in Johannesburg, so she came back looking to do some women's rights work (though her South African boyfriend might have had something to do with it). There were also two undergrads from Harvard who were working at the Special Olympics and teaching people basketball (apparently it's not very popular in SA). Meeting these young people made me realize how boring I'd been at their age.* I had always considered myself quite adventurous for studying abroad in Europe and teaching in Korea, but going all the way to South Africa was so much more interesting. After the art exhibit, we went to a karaoke bar in Greenside, a wealthy suburb of the city. This particular bar has a famous drink called the John Deere, which is a 2-liter bottle cut in half and filled with a mix of cane (like rum) and cream soda. I assume the beverage was the reason why everyone was singing terrible pop songs from the 80s.
*I was their age 2 years ago.