(Continued from last post) Johannesburg is infamous for its violence, but under Tom’s protective wing I had a great time and never felt threatened.
He introduced me to the Jolly Roger, his local drinking haunt where we got as drunk as parched pirates returned from epic voyages across the never-ending seven seas.
The only hint of violence I encountered occurred during one night of merriment at the Jolly Roger, while sitting at a table next to a window that opened onto the street: a man suddenly appeared out of the darkness beside the window sill with eyes wide and startled and bleeding profusely from his head having been attacked.
Jo’Burg stakes a claim–still unsurpassed–to the biggest and best sushi of my life, something like a 70-piece meal between the two of us, washed down with copious amounts of Saki and Japanese beers.
I’d always known that a trip to see Tom wouldn’t be one which the temperance movement would approve of. When we’d first met in Greece, I’d taken to calling him “Frank” due to certain similarities between him and Frank the Tank of the film “Old School.”
My occasional cigarillo habit began through Tom, who liked to contemplate the universe while smoking one over a couple of glasses of Amarula over ice.
He proved the sort of friend through whom though one’s actually physical health might not always improve after time spent together, one’s mental well being was always better off afterwards.
South Africa as a whole has a similar effect on my mental state, especially coming to it from the situation in Iraq, proving uplifting and emboldening.