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henrike and james

Remembering Henrike

Warning: This post contains graphic language. Three days ago there was a terrorist attack in Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), in a resort town called Grand Bassam not far from the capital city of Abidjan. About 16 people were killed, plus the six gunmen who were reportedly affiliated with Al-Qaeda. My friend Henrike Grohs was one of the people killed. Henrike boxing with James Ike, one of our coaches at the Hillbrow Boxing Club, in March 2013. I hadn’t spoken with Henrike in several months, which I regret. Henrike moved from Johannesburg to Abidjan in January 2014, and during that time I only […]

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Heather by Nico

Something I’m Afraid Of

A few weeks ago, 2Summers was featured in a post called “Top 10 African Travel Blog Posts” in the Where Lions Roam blog. It was a nice feature and I was pleased to be included. But the description of my blog surprised me. “On an altogether more cheerful note this blog from an American-turned-Jozi-fan is great light reading and will educate you about many fun and quirky things to do in Johannesburg that most residents will not have encountered!” Seeing my blog described as “light reading” brought up an interesting mix of emotions. My homepage proves this description accurate: The most […]

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Black Forest-1607

Johannesburg’s Best German Bakery

I feel that I’ve done Joburg’s German expats a disservice. I’d known about the Black Forest Bakery for years. I’d bought their rye bread from the Melville Spar, where it is sometimes (but not always) for sale in the bakery section. (I’m not a huge fan of rye bread, to be honest, but I still buy the Black Forest rye from time to time because it’s so much better than that bland, packaged Sasko bread favored by mega-grocery chains like Spar.) I’d even been into the Black Forest Bakery shop in Braamfontein — 102 Juta Street, about three blocks up […]

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Walking on the Roof of Johannesburg

On a tour with Dlala Nje last weekend, I visited some high-rise rooftops in Berea. Pigeons enjoy a view of Ponte City from the roof of the Metropolitan building in Berea. I’ve written about Jozi’s rooftops before (read here and here and here). And here’s the thing about these rooftops: They’re the greatest places in town to enjoy the city, and yet a huge proportion of the city’s population never visits them. Because the best rooftops tend to be in the parts of town where people are scared to go to. Berea is one of those parts of town. It’s adjacent to Hillbrow, and most Joburgers consider Hillbrow a […]

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Who Even Are You, Cappadocia?

Cappadocia. Seriously. Who even ARE you?* Cappadocia. Cappadocia is too strange and eerie and spectacular to describe in words. More than two weeks after my visit, I’m still almost too overwhelmed to try. I’ll leave it to Wikipedia and Lonely Planet to provide more detailed descriptions of this otherworldly place. But briefly, Cappadocia is an area in the central Anatolian region of Turkey known for its crazy sandstone rock formations — called fairy chimneys — and its colourful history involving ancient underground cities, cave dwellings, and rock-hewn churches. Meruschka and I went there for three days on the tail end of our weeklong stay in […]

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Westdene Dekor2

I Love Westdene Graffiti

Several months ago a bunch of residents in Westdene, a quirky Joburg suburb just west of my own quirky suburb of Melville, decided to beautify their neighborhood with graffiti. With help from some passionate graffiti champions, Westdene homeowners who were keen to have their exterior walls decorated were paired with graffiti artists keen to decorate said walls. Hence, the Westdene Graffiti Project was born. There are several things I like about this project. First, it works perfectly in Johannesburg, a city in which at least 70% of residential homes are surrounded by walls. Second, the project is a win-win for both the residents […]

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Istanbul food-9507

Five Things I Ate in Istanbul

My biggest regret about my week in Istanbul is that I didn’t eat enough. Seriously. I spent so much time running around trying to see things in Istanbul that I actually didn’t have time to eat all the Turkish food I wanted to try. This is almost unthinkable for a food-loving person like me. But there you have it. I didn’t eat İskender kebap, which is my favorite dish at the Turkish restaurant back home in Melville. İskender, along with shawarma, is only served between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. at most Istanbul restaurants, and we rarely found time for lunch until about 5:00. I never ate the […]

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Istanbul sunset

Istanbul: A Travel Blogger’s Dream (and Nightmare)

When I was invited to attend the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul, I decided to stay on for an extra week. I bought a guidebook, consulted with friends, and made plans with Meruschka, who was also traveling to Istanbul for the forum. A week should be plenty of time to explore the city, I thought — visit all the best tourist attractions and maybe fit in some locals-only activities. Right? A man sells Turkish flags outside the Spice Bazaar. Ha! Wrong. One week in Istanbul is nothing. We didn’t scratch the surface…In fact we didn’t even touch the surface. Meruschka and I spent a […]

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Istanbul cats-9624

Cats of Istanbul

I’ve just returned from two weeks in Turkey, most of which I spent in Istanbul. The main reason I went to Istanbul was to attend a travel conference called the World Tourism Forum, where I listened to speeches and panels with leading tourism professionals and met other travel bloggers from around the world. I also wanted to explore Istanbul (I’d been once before, but only for eight hours) and check out at least one other destination in Turkey. And there is one other big reason why I went to Istanbul: the cats. This might be the cutest cat in Istanbul. Or it might not […]

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#TheGodProject: Johannesburg’s Home of Scientology

A few months ago, my friend Ang at JOZI.REDISCOVERED and I started #TheGodProject. The point of the project is to visit and document different places of worship in Johannesburg. For the first installment, we started relatively simply with the one of Joburg’s Catholic churches. For the second installment we’re really going for it, investigating the Church of Scientology in Joburg. When I say “we”, I really mean Ang. This project was her idea, and I’m just the girl trailing along behind her with a camera. My job in this project is to post a few pictures and refer you over to Ang’s […]

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Five Things I Can’t Wait to Experience When I’m Back in Istanbul

Three months ago, I flew to the United States via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines. It was the best deal I could find and I decided it would be fun to visit Istanbul during my layover, even if it was just for eight hours. In the blog post I wrote about that eight-hour layover, I finished by saying, “Next time, Istanbul, I’m coming for a week.” Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. I meant what I said; eight hours in Istanbul is certainly not enough and I wanted to come back for a longer stay. But let’s face it: Istanbul is a long way […]

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Book selling-8070

Cruising Jozi’s Streets, Selling Books From a Suitcase

A few weeks ago I came across a News24 article called The cut-throat world of the Joburg street book trade. I clicked on it immediately because: 1) I did realize Joburg had a cut-throat street book trade; and 2) The article was written by a friend of mine — an American journalist-turned-entrepreneur named Griffin. Griffin’s article was about guys who make a living selling books at outdoor markets and informal shops in Joburg’s chaotic central business district (CBD). Apparently there is a huge market for both new and used books in downtown Joburg, where there is not a single retail bookstore. If […]

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