Within a converted warehouse in what used to be one of the most dangerous parts of Johannesburg, you can eat gelato made by an Italian who had the machines shipped over from his family’s store in Rome. You can taste golden fish from Mozambique cooked in the Congolese style, with rice and plantains, sample corn cakes with four kinds of sauce made by a Zulu bohemian who describes his style of dress as “funky Amish,” or try ginger roti made by Rastafarians who, when you ask where they hail from, will tell you they are citizens of the “celestial paradise of the fifth dimension.”
Nearby, on a rooftop, you can dance to salsa music. On the street below, you can watch a drunken Frenchman wave his hands like a rhythmically challenged conductor while musicians play marimbas made from wooden pallets. Around the block, as techno from Zimbabwe rattles the speakers of a car parked nearby, you can meet a jeweler from one of the townships who used to get the brass for his rings by melting down discarded kerosene stoves, but now makes pieces out of silver and gold for the affluent shoppers who roam the neighborhood.
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