Johannesburg. In Your Pocket.

I am Joburg’s most passionate advocate and its fiercest defender. But I am also first to admit that Joburg is not an easy city to get to know. Jozi is sprawling and overwhelming. Public transport is spotty and difficult to figure out, and getting behind the wheel is daunting. Newcomers are bombarded with warnings about things they shouldn’t do and places they can’t go. And although there are dozens of fun things to do here on any given weekend, those things can be hard to find if you don’t “know someone”.

I have good news. There’s something new floating around — a tiny, magazine-like thing, the size of a large pocket — that has just made it 100 times easier to know and love Jozi.

IYP guide smallerJoburg in your pocket. Actually it’s on my coffee table.

The In Your Pocket guides are nothing new. They’ve been around in Europe since 1991, found mostly in obscure, eastern- and central-European cities like Minsk and Gelsenkirchen and Simferopol. (Don’t ask me where those cities are. I have no clue.) The point of the In Your Pocket (IYP) guides is to help adventurous travelers find their way around cities that the rest of the world doesn’t know about or has deemed not-worth-visiting. (Sound familiar?)

The IYP guides are not guide books, but rather small, disposable magazines published every three months, which include all the travel basics for a city as well as up-to-date listings about what’s happening around town in the current quarter.

The Johannesburg In Your Pocket guide is brand-new, having hit the shelves of Joburg bookstores, shops, and hotels earlier this month. It’s the first IYP guide to be published outside Europe.

I knew the Joburg IYP guide was coming. I know the publisher and her main contributor quite well, and I’ll be contributing to the guide myself in the coming months. But even though I was prepared for the IYP’s publication, I wasn’t prepared for how excited I would feel when I flipped through it for the first time. Within five minutes, I had learned at least 10 things about Jozi that I didn’t before. The people who created this magazine love Joburg every bit as much as I do, and it shows.

If you are a Jozi addict, or suspect that you might be, don’t despair. There is help. Proceed to your nearest book shop or hotel (listings here) and purchase a copy of Johannesburg In Your Pocket for the nominal fee of R30 (less than $3).

If you are visiting Joburg or moving here in the near future, buy a copy of Johannesburg In Your Pocket the moment you arrive. Don’t ask questions. Just buy it.

You can thank me later.

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37 Comments

  • Reply moirads February 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Looking at arts, culture and entertainment in Gauteng and commented:
    I have never reblogged anything before. This is one I endorse. I got the Johannesburg In Your Pocket guide during the week and found it interesting, although I have not had an opportunity to study it in any depth yet. I am not writing for it and don’t know the publishers and still think this is worth buying.

    • Reply 2summers February 24, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks for reflagging 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Oops, stupid autocorrect. Thanks for re-BLOGGING. Especially since you’ve never reblogged anything before.

  • Reply moirads February 23, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Reblogged this on Looking at arts, culture and entertainment in Gauteng and commented:
    I have never reblogged anything before. This is one I endorse. I got the Johannesburg In Your Pocket guide during the week and found it interesting, although I have not had an opportunity to study it in any depth yet. I am not writing for it and don’t know the publishers and still think this is worth buying.

    • Reply 2summers February 24, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Oops, stupid autocorrect. Thanks for re-BLOGGING. Especially since you’ve never reblogged anything before.

  • Reply chuckv88 February 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Love it although i”m not moving out of Melville soon.

    • Reply 2summers February 23, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Me either. Who says you have to move out of Melville?

  • Reply colin February 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    When we were in Livingstone, we met several Southern Africans who shared with us some tips about Joburg. We were going to spend the night. We stayed at the airport but wanted to go into town. When we asked the hotel to arrange a taxi they flatly refused. We were to take their car service because the city was too dangerous.

    • Reply 2summers February 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      That’s so disappointing to hear, Colin. When was it and which hotel? Hopefully guides like this one will help change things.

      • Reply colin February 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        I was staying at the Intercontinental Hotel and about 6 years ago.

  • Reply colin February 23, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    When we were in Livingstone, we met several Southern Africans who shared with us some tips about Joburg. We were going to spend the night. We stayed at the airport but wanted to go into town. When we asked the hotel to arrange a taxi they flatly refused. We were to take their car service because the city was too dangerous.

    • Reply 2summers February 23, 2014 at 10:41 pm

      That’s so disappointing to hear, Colin. When was it and which hotel? Hopefully guides like this one will help change things.

      • Reply colin February 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

        I was staying at the Intercontinental Hotel and about 6 years ago.

        • Reply 2summers February 24, 2014 at 5:04 pm

          Ah. Well, fortunately things have changed since then. In fact, that hotel is now distributing the In Your Pocket guide!

  • Reply Timmee February 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Most of us who “live” in Joburg don’t actually live in Joburg.

    We live in sheltered suburbs, often forgetting that the city gave birth to these suburbs.

    Since meeting you, Heather, your zeal for Joburg has rubbed off on me.

    I still hardly know Joburg, but I love her, thanks to you. I love her people, prosperous and poor. I respect those who keep her alive by living there, by choice or otherwise. I am thankful for those who believe in her renewal.

    I find myself defending her, telling other suburbanites how cool she is.

    I hope to know her better.

    Thank you. Keep it up.

  • Reply Timmee February 23, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Most of us who “live” in Joburg don’t actually live in Joburg.

    We live in sheltered suburbs, often forgetting that the city gave birth to these suburbs.

    Since meeting you, Heather, your zeal for Joburg has rubbed off on me.

    I still hardly know Joburg, but I love her, thanks to you. I love her people, prosperous and poor. I respect those who keep her alive by living there, by choice or otherwise. I am thankful for those who believe in her renewal.

    I find myself defending her, telling other suburbanites how cool she is.

    I hope to know her better.

    Thank you. Keep it up.

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough February 24, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Ah, we had one of those for Hanoi when we lived there, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t something exclusive to that part of the world. Congrats on getting one in your pocket.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  • Reply Kathryn McCullough February 24, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Ah, we had one of those for Hanoi when we lived there, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t something exclusive to that part of the world. Congrats on getting one in your pocket.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

  • Reply Fiver Löcker February 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I’ll have you know that Gelsenkirchen is a hip and happening place in the centre of the Ruhr metropolis in Northern Germany. It has an opera house and a large student community, museums and churches and a theatre festival every few years. In fact, with its mining history it has similarities to Jozi. I was born in the Ruhr area, and we are proud people 🙂

  • Reply Fiver Löcker February 24, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I’ll have you know that Gelsenkirchen is a hip and happening place in the centre of the Ruhr metropolis in Northern Germany. It has an opera house and a large student community, museums and churches and a theatre festival every few years. In fact, with its mining history it has similarities to Jozi. I was born in the Ruhr area, and we are proud people 🙂

    • Reply 2summers February 24, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Oh no. I picked the wrong city to joke about!

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish February 25, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Doesn’t sound like they’re published in the States. Too bad, because I don’t think I’ll be crossing the Atlantic any time soon. But if I do, I’ll keep an eye out for these little beauties. I love collecting info booklets to wonderful places.

  • Reply Eugenia A Parrish February 25, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Doesn’t sound like they’re published in the States. Too bad, because I don’t think I’ll be crossing the Atlantic any time soon. But if I do, I’ll keep an eye out for these little beauties. I love collecting info booklets to wonderful places.

    • Reply 2summers February 25, 2014 at 6:30 am

      Yeah, the guys who founded In Your Pocket are Lithuanian I think, and they’re really focused on obscure European cities. There are plenty of obscure cities in North America too though. Maybe some day…

  • Reply A Cheap, Easy Way to Have Fun in Joburg – 2 Summers September 19, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    […] Piza e Vino is a big chain restaurant. Chains aren’t normally my vibe but there are a couple of South African restaurant chains that I like. Pizza e Vino is one of them. (I included Piza e Vino in a recent “best pizza in Joburg” article that I wrote for the Johannesburg In Your Pocket Guide.) […]

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