Joburg goes by a lot of nicknames. I think that’s because of all the uniquely intimate experiences people draw from her. I’ve come to know her best as Josie, the manic depressive girlfriend I never had, but always wanted. One minute, Josie can be kind and forgiving, opening her arms to all those brave enough to bear her embrace. Other times, she can be a heartless bitch. Her promises prove hollow; her back turns quickly. Her inconsistencies intrigue me. Her venomous grip intoxicates me. There’s no letting go with this one, and quite frankly, I don’t want her to.
I think everyone went to the Pilanesburg game reserve today. I stayed back. I don’t think Josie would ever forgive me for cheating on her with a tourist destination. Sure, P-Burg’s got lions, tigers and rhinos (oh my!), but I find myself too consumed by the lust after Josie’s supple poverty issues, her enchanting corruptions, and devistating disappointments that just won’t quit. She’s quite a knockout.
But Josie’s got quite a darkside. Buks Burger’s witnessed the aftermath of one of Josie’s most notorious hissy fits firsthand. He’s the camp manager at Riffle Range Road refugee camp and is in charge of juggling some of Josie’s darkest secrets — her unwanted, abused, neglected children. He seems jaded by the whole task. Maybe that’s why he thought I was joking when I asked him to spend the night with the bastards. After all, if Josie and the SA government have turned their backs on them, what could a measly journalist want with her mistakes?
Reluctantly, he granted my odd wish to spend my Friday evening and Saturday morning at the camp. It’s going to be cold, Burger warned, and when the gates close, there’s no turning back.