The Agricultural Risk Management Conference was in Johannesburg, which meant that I got to visit South Africa for the first time. Admittedly, I didn’t have a chance to see a lot as I was there for work, but the parts that I saw, I really liked. People, food, and the climate make Johannesburg a very pleasant place and from what I’ve heard, the rest of the country is similar or better! Because of the conference, we stayed out in Sandton, which is a very glossy part of Johannesburg and perhaps not the most representative for the city, but a colleague and I snuck out for a few hours during the weekend and took a guided tour around central Johannesburg and visited the Apartheid Museum. It is difficult to describe the feeling of walking around the museum; it is somehow so unreal to think about how people were doomed just because of their skin color through a system that society supported up until some 25 years ago. And how any attempts to change the system, whether through protest, attempts to be neighbors, or even through love across race was met with violent resistance. On the other hand, this isn’t very different from how some countries have their systems today, though instead of skin color, it depends on the sex a person is born into. As for Johannesburg, I hope to go back sometime and to also have a chance to see more of South Africa! Here are some pics (though not so many unfortunately, as I spent most of my time there in conference rooms…):
We went on this hop-on-hop-off tour and I can actually recommend it because it was the best one I’ve been on for a while. At least for people like me who actually are interested in learning something substantive about history and architecture, and not just nonsense anecdotes and about all the movie stars that have visited.