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Day 1 in Cape Town saw me visiting the V & A Waterfront, going to the brew pub there and then aimlessly wandering the streets of the central business area to get my bearings (and maybe sober up). As this is the ‘legislative capital’ (SA has 3 capitals) I found the Parliament building, another boring Greek-inspired English thing, so no photos will be shown. Parts are certainly sketchy, and I did see one fist fight. I think it’s sad that when adults throw punches their friends don’t stand around chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!”

Day 2 and I plotted a course and captained my ship, the Corolla, to the southern end of Table Mountain National Park: the eponymous cape in Cape Town. This includes the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Neither of these are actually the southern most point of Africa (Cape Agulhas is) but they are historically significant as once they were rounded by the Portuguese in the late 1400s European influence could spread to India and beyond. While officious, petty administrators would like to draw a line at Agulhas and claim the Atlantic and Southern Oceans meet there, the different temperature currents meet dynamically between Cape Point and Agulhas. There are many Portuguese, British and Dutch historical curios across the cape (including a few rude Afrikaners who don’t know how to say “thankyou” or even their own “dankie”), as well as many natural gems, and while I drove or hiked to many, and several walked past me, I lacked the time to see many others, unfortunately including several ship wrecks. I also failed to spy the damned Flying Dutchman in its eternal efforts to round the cape. Unless, of course, it is a pissy little yacht, in which case I did see it.

A return to travelism (I ehn’t a tourist; tourists are idiots who push prams along hike trails) having lifted my spirits and blown fresh hot air into my lungs, it feels a pertinent time to again deal with a topic of gravity. The omnipresent racial tensions are more evident in Cape Town than Grahamstown. I feel it could be isolating to live in this country, because while the blacks and whites obviously don’t get along, the whites are also fractious, with tensions between the English and Afrikaners. Indeed, someone told me to ‘never trust an Afrikaner’. The ‘coloured’, anyone who doesn’t fit into the previous buckets, be they mixed-race or another race entirely, based on those I’ve spoken to seem significantly more relaxed but will seemingly more happily mix with the whates than the blicks. There is certainly still voluntary segregation, and it is extremely common to find restaurants and bars where all the clientele are European and the only Africans are serving. I have been told that a certain beer ‘is for the blacks’ and it seems cigarette companies pitch to the \textit{cringe} black market. All that said, I haven’t been hassled on the streets of Cape Town when I’ve walked through clearly black-only areas, and there are some very comfortable restaurants where people mix happily, including the fine B&B I stayed at in Grahamstown.

This lunar cycle

April 2015
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