Glenn Thomas One Month in Johannesburg...

I find time quite interesting. I´ve been in South Africa for over four weeks now. It has been a long time in this foreign country. Yet at the same time I feel like I just arrived. Every day is exciting, and it seems like I always see, hear or experience something new. I do enjoy it so very much. The vibrant city that seems to live with a strict schedule. Six in the morning, everyone is up. The traffic flows, the taxis make sure you know that they are coming around the corner. But then, come ten in the evening. Silence. It´s like everyone agrees that it has been a long day and we are done now. At least around Wits. We all get eight hours of silence before the taxis and birds informs us of their presence again.  This is how it goes and here I am, a Norwegian who feels like he just arrived in this place. I feel like an alien some time. But that being said the people in this country always welcomes us with open arms. The walk from my room to the classroom is a journey where I again and again have to tell people that I am fine because they asked. How much they really care I don’t know, but I do enjoy the habit of asking people how they are. It gives a sense of security.

 Speaking of security, don’t Google Johannesburg before you travel here. The Internet will let you know every aspect of this city that isn’t good. At least when googling from a Norwegian IP address Google will nail home the point of crime. It really isn’t that bad, there isn’t an armed robber around every corner waiting to snatch your bag. I think the thing I’ve heard most here is that you have to be street smart. When I try to figure out what that even means they often have a hard time explaining. So, I had to translate it a bit for myself. Don’t be stupid and don’t be afraid. Trying to meet every day like that have taken me far. People here are open and welcoming. They all live in this city as I do now, when we talk and meet each other we have a better time. 

 When it comes to learning it is a bit hard to describe. I think that the most important things I´ve learned here by now relates to being human. The way drama is taught here is an embodied experience. This makes it difficult to put down in writing when I can´t relate it to a specific author or genre of drama. But I´ve learned so much. Also, outside the school. Traveling to a different country is helpful. But, there is a but here. Just traveling to another country is not good enough. I could have arrived here as a tourist or something and isolated myself from every issue and quirk this nation has. I could have slept in a hotel and taken one of those red double-deckers every time I wanted to experience something. That would never be a learning experience. This has been so rewarding and I look forward to the next weeks. 

 Because I feel like a get to be a part of this place.