Tuesday, October 13, 2009
An interesting... rewarding culture shock in CPT
Cape Town is so far removed from the other places I have been in South Africa that I can’t quite believe I am in the same country. As far as I can tell, the whiteys fled the highveld for Perth, London and the Western Cape: I find that the colour spectrum here is much paler than it is in Johannesburg, Durban or, most notably, Pretoria. I have had some interesting conversations with Cape locals and they tell me that it is due to the places I have frequented, which is a fair enough point of view, but I don’t find that the spread of people in the other three cities is selective to any particular establishments.
That being said, I don’t think that there is a more beautiful place to live in the world. I can understand completely why people who live here obsess over the mountain – I do and I have only been here for a week. Just driving around is a treat, and one can gaze from mountain to mountain to valley to wine farm – the only problem is the come-down when you smack the car in front of you.
I also find that this myth that CPT people drive badly is completely untrue. I have an KZN numberplate which basically means I have a licence to drive as slowly as I want, and people here don’t vloek me like they do in Johannesburg, nor do they drive up my arse, nor do they overtake when they shouldn’t. I am actually impressed. I don’t think people here drive exceptionally slowly either – in fact, people here drive as fast and break the speed limit as often as other cities in which I have lived.
Capetonians, on the other hand, are their own people. They differ greatly from Johannesburg and Durban people and I find that they subscribe to British social etiquette: basically, don’t speak unless you are spoken to, say nice things like “come over sometime” without meaning it, but be very polite. I don’t mean this observation to come over rudely, nor do I think Capetonians are unfriendly, but I think there is a different set of social manners down here, not a wrong set.
I think the beaches in this city are quite splendid too. Good god, Camps Bay and Clifton look as if they have been bleached. And the people on them look as if they have been designed by Dolce and Gabbana. I feel like a giant pale pig when I am within 250m of other people adoring the sun. Gym motivation extraordinaire... The fact that a portion of the population of this have their heads wedged firmly up their arse is kind of deserved with the beauty that walks around. I think that if I was that beautiful and rich I would do the same.
Oh well, I am off to go try and find some black people now. Chat soon.