From Joburg to Bern: Vol. 8

Milena Krstic am Mittwoch den 23. Dezember 2015

KSB präsentiert Ihnen heute zum letzten Mal einen Gastbeitrag von Milton Milaras. Acht Wochen lang berichtete der Johannesburger von seinen Erlebnissen in Bern. Zurück in seiner Heimat, hat er für Ausgabe Nummer acht von «From Joburg to Bern» einen Städtevergleich gewagt.

Having been back in Jo´burg less than five days now, I´m still landing. And yet the differences to Bern are immediate and marked.

There are gladly many many more trees here, but sadly Joeies is also the world´s largest city not located next to a body of water. There hasn´t been an inch of snow here in the last five years; nor more importantly, much rain this summer either, leaving the city dry and haggard with water shortages and restrictions.

Poverty is ubiquitous, blatant and devastating. As per the definition of surviving on less than $5/day, almost 54% of South Africa´s 55 million population are considered poor. In comparison, Switzerland´s poverty line, set at approximately $82/day, accounts for 7.7% of an 8 million population. Crime is another oft drawn comparison, and cannot be avoided; but don´t let statistics fool you into thinking Jozi is not wildly warm, friendly, beautiful and dynamic.

Experiencing these two cities, both of which I have called home, is like watching two very different movies. And to be honest, I am torn; and the jury remains out, as to if I could prefer one over the other. So I shall simply sojourn between the two as opportunity provides.

But for now I´ll sign off from this lovely little Bernese Blog till we catch each other on the flip side. Thanks for reading as I drift along in my own observations.

Milton Milaras lebte ein paar Monate lang in Bern und kennt die Hauptstadt fast so gut wie seine Heimat Johannesburg. Er ist Autor, Geograph und Tänzer.

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