Tag Archives: Joburg

King Kong (No New Friends)

NYE at a place called King Kong. Think industrial space turned hipster hangout.

Eric Lau and Tall Black Guy were spinning along with local DJs Just Themba, Symatics and others. Everything was going well. I felt good.

Some soulful hip hop I didn’t recognize was playing, but I was dancing anyway. My friend, Thando, had just walked away to get a drink, and that’s when the hype man of the night approached me.

“Hey, if any guys are bothering you, you can pretend I’m your boyfriend,” he said.

“Ok thanks,” I said, chuckling in the most friendly way I could muster. I had seen Hype Man talk to a number of people throughout the night, but he seemed to be there alone.

He continued to hover while I danced and avoided eye contact. Seconds later, he approached me again, and asked if I wanted to be a spy.

“Sorry?” I asked, thinking I had misunderstood.

“Are you interested in being a spy? We could use someone like you.”

“Uh, no thanks, I’m good.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

“Okay, can I just have a hug?”

I laughed, shook my head no, and danced back a few steps. He moved forward, insisting that I give him a hug. “C’mon, there are people watching me. I need to make it look like–”

“You okay?” It was Thando. I told him what was happening, all while Hype Man kept asking for this hug.

Thando stepped between us and I walked away. He kept Thando occupied for a good minute before Thando could finally break free and head over to where I was standing.

“Weird,” was all he said before lifting the Savanna cider to his lips for a drink.

A.

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Maboneng (Ossington)

For a second my mind wandered, and I thought I was on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, down by the old industrial buildings close to the lake. But the lake was missing.

Maboneng: place of light. Hipsters’ paradise. Even us social justice folks have to admit when a place looks cool. Feels cool. Oozes cool. We don’t want to acknowledge that we’re complicit in the gentrification. That we patronize the very establishments that push (poor) people out. But we do. And we enjoy it.

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