Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In pursuit of wacky backy at the Jah House

Smoking dope is not my strength. It either makes me fall asleep or get weird. After my first year at University I don't do it much anymore, and as the years pass, I lose The Knowledge.
So getting Frank in Chapter Nine of Confessions of a Virgin Loser to go out and score some weed is a challenge. It's the old journalist in me - I like to be accurate or as close to the truth as dammit.
Back in my University days there were a couple of streets in Woodstock where the words: “a five rand bankie, my china” scored a bank bag packed with weed. But where to in Jozi – and how to?
When in doubt, I ask my two always-up-to-something-Teens. Between them resides the Wisdom of Solomon and the wickedness of Death By Chocolate.
Thus I find myself one cold week in July with Teen2 and her two pals Nameless1 and Nameless2 on the way to the Jah House. It's a couple of streets down the road from their school - the one I have mortgaged their father and our house to pay for.
The Jah House is one of those old character houses in the eastern suburbs of Jozi with the high pressed ceilings and wooden floors. Its roof is painted an acid trip -  or perhaps the colours of the Rastafarian movement.
We reach the Jah House and I’m sweating. Should I stop? Should I park?  A green palisade fence surrounds the Jah House and people pass. Some enter. A normal day in a Jozi street. I circle the block.
No sweat, Mummy, Nameless1 says. All I have to do is walk through the front gate. It’s really safe – see there’s a cop close by, I won’t get mugged. And then they laugh at the Old Fart - that's me.

Through the front door I’ll find a couple of dreadlocked Rastas. Speak to the older looking one, Nameless2 says. It’s ten bucks for a ready to go rolled joint. Just ask for a dozen Swazi. Or how ever many I want.
I don’t ask how come they're so well informed - or if they have an account. Sometimes you just don’t want to know.

In pursuit of Babylon at The Jah House

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