JOBURG FOR INTROVERTS – Ferguson’s 5th Floor, Illovo

Introducing JOBURG FOR INTROVERTS, a guide for those of us who hate crowds, and who just want to find a quiet spot and be left alone (if you’re looking for a ‘vaaibe’, you won’t find it here). This is a guide dedicated to My People, the introverts of Joburg. Next to feature is rooftop venue Ferguson’s Fifth Floor in Illovo… introverts, enjoy!

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JOBURG FOR INTROVERTS – Vargas Cafe, Parkwood

Like the first spot to feature in the JOBURG FOR INTROVERTS series, Vargas Cafe is fairly unknown. It used to be located in a corner at the Military Museum in Saxonwold, but it moved to Bolton Road in Parkwood about 18 months ago. It’s a bit of an ethically problematic place, though – it has a shop attached to it that specialises in war and military memorabilia, called The War Store – and I’ll need to give a disclaimer right upfront: if you decide to go into The War Store, you’re going to come across things like original Nazi insignia and old South African flags, which are both highly offensive things to see. Admittedly, I was a little morbidly fascinated by the Nazi ‘memorabilia’ (I feel like that’s completely the wrong word for it?), as I’d never seen Nazi regalia in real life, BUT, I did feel a bit ill looking at some of it – especially an SS officer’s hat. Complete with totenkopf skull and crossbones insignia; the thought that this artefact of pain was actually worn by an actual SS guard, who most likely, inflicted untold horror on all sorts of people.
So yes, it’s ethically questionable, but I’ve decided to still feature Vargas Cafe – and the attached War Store – as it really is introvert friendly; despite it being a place that focuses on death and destruction it really is very peaceful. And if you like history, it’ll blow your mind. But venture into The War Store with caution, is all I’m saying (it’s also possible to just visit the outdoor section of the cafe and not set foot in the store).

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JOBURG FOR INTROVERTS – Issy’s Coffee and Gift Shop, Forest Town

Not many people know about Issy’s, and that’s one of the reasons why I like it. Its location is also pretty unusual: it’s on the ground floor of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre in Forest Town. I love how peaceful it is – the coffee shop looks out onto a little courtyard: it’s a place where you can take a deep breath, have some (very strong) Rwandan coffee, and just be…

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