Bel Air, Durban: Exactly the opposite of Bel Air, California, where The Fresh Prince lived. Wave to the the guy smoking crack behind the changerooms at the School of Hard Knocks. Howzit, china. Please don't stab me.
Florida: This is my personal favourite. Located literally centimetres from it's similarly-reputed sister, Krugersdorp. The name is inappropriate on so many levels, but mainly because the balmy, seaside humidity of the real Florida, fraught with palm trees and Daytona Beach, leaves our Florida at a serious disadvantage. The only common factor is the caravans.
Denver:. I mean, wtf? Denver, Colorado – backdrop of snow-capped mountain ranges. Denver, Gauteng – backdrop of minedumps. Is neatly sliced in half by the M2 highway. An oil painting by definition; industria by reputation.
Primrose: Ah isn't this a treat. A beautiful English flower. On the arss end of Bedfordview. The bad side. There are lots of cars on bricks there.
Winchester Hills: Another little knee slapper. Shady Pines Retirement Village has nothing on this shit. Joburg South. Flanked by dry, sandy hills. Not of the the tea and crumpets variety.
Salt River: Not quite. Haven't found the river, and the Liesbeeck isn't salty. There actually is a rough side to Obs: it's called Salt River. Crack houses, panelbeaters and tow truck depots. I know. I got stuck there one night.
Let's put the grave back in Belgravia: Oh how thee verbosity does mislead! Sandwiched between Jeppe and Joburg CBD.
Pinetown: No words can really explain. Or maybe they can. “Jesus fuck.” There are no pine trees in sight. Conifers simply don't grow here, at least not as prolifically as mullets. People from Westville get uptight when people say, “Oh that's near Pinetown, right?”
Centurion: A centurion is a Roman guard. I'm not even jerking your chain. Gareth Cliff is from there, Vincent Maher is from there – isn't that grand? Besides the fact that Centurion is a blight on any radar, try not to crash your private jet here. It used to be called Verwoerdburg, and then they changed it to “A Roman Guard.” That's thinking out the box if I ever saw it.
Sunnyside: Hail ye, thine grand light doth shine upon ye scourge of Tshwane city. Sunnyside and Hillbrow (the toilet on the brow of the latter) are pretty similar these days. Except, Hillbrow has an apt name and Sunnyside does not.
Mayfair: Mayfair in London is a posh place. Mayfair in Johannesburg has some of the highest statistics in white poverty, incest, Transnet workers and people who buy Abflex's from Verimark. “Mayunfair” would be far more appropriate. Brixton Joburg and Brixton London are more on par with each other.
Kew: This is superb. A botanical garden on the edge of Alexandra township. Is Irony your middle name, The Dickwipe Who Named It? I see a trend developing here. If a suburb has a posh British-derived name; it's a shithole.
Grassy Park: Love this guy. This one deserves infinite recognition. Since the only grass one might find in the aforementioned place is stuffed and packed into a Rizla paper. No rolling green hills of freshly sprung Kikuyu, only a few dry moth-eaten tufts here and there. Being the gateway to the Cape Flats, the least of Grassy Park's problems are to do with turf.
Barcelona: Oh this is great. This is just fantastic. Barcelona is practically in Gugulethu. I prefer to imagine that Freddie Mercury's song was about this place, not it's lesser-known counterpart in Spain.
Montague's Gift: What a generous dude this Montague guy was. Well blow me away 'Gu, you were one of those guys who got pissed if you didn't receive a thank you note, weren't you? Giving a piece of the Cape Flats to the unfortunate. (Wasn't the Flats free to start with?) Cunningly situated next to Ottery (“If God ever took a crap...”).
King William's Town: King Bill was such a card, he thought, “Fuckit. Who wants all the hoity toity upmarket fluff, when I can have this little gem wedged in between the [then] Transkei and Ciskei?” He probably married a commoner and holidayed in Kenton.
Belfast, Mpumalanga: Love this place. For it's very Irish feel -
Bethlehem, Free State: Shoulda saved this one for last. Should also win an award for most Deceptively Named Place Of All Time. Birthplace of Jesus Christ. Except really, really not. Birthplace of the Rubikon more like. I needn't go on. And I won't.
Merrivale: Nothing merri going on here. Near Howick. Dad bought a second hand car from here once. But Dad was never very astute with cars on a general scale. It was a bad mistake. Could've been because it was yellow; but most likely because it came from Merrivale.
Orlando: Orlando, Florida – pimps, trust fund babies and Disneyland. Orlando, Soweto – pimps, soccer players and two gargantuan smoke stacks. With paintings on them. (A nice touch).
Honeydew: Sounds nice. Isn't. Joburg True North. No dew, no honey.
Appropriate names on the other hand:
Saxonwold: Drips with oppulence, Anglo-Saxons. And a 'wold' is the English derivative of 'wald,' the German word for woods or forest. Apt, for the tree-lined streets.
Mitchell's Plain: Don't know who the fuck Mitchell was, but he was right on the button with the 'plain' part. (In both descriptions of the word.)
Observatory: There is a stargazing observatory in Observatory. There by The River Club. Which is on a river. One can't get more frank than that.
Point, Durban: It is, in fact a point. Women there also make a point in showing prospective clients their vajayjays.
Germiston: It just sounds basic. Amongst other things.
See, life can be simply fascinating, perusing my library of mapbooks over Oros with Third Roommate.