You Can’t Get Lost in Cape Town. The title of Zoe Wicomb’s novel confused me in my first year of studying in Cape Town. How could one not get lost in the Mother City where highways fly over more highways, cul de sacs lurk around so many neighbourhoods and the roads are so steep you feel like you’re always hiking up the mountain, furthering yourself from civilisation?
I had exactly five minutes to walk from the post office to the bus stop in order to catch the next bus scheduled to leave at 15:15. I walked briskly in the manner that I was accustomed to. 'Power walking' was a characteristic that most people I knew who used public transport had. It even … Continue reading City Diaries: Fast, Faster, Fasting
There is a hospital in Longmarket Street. It was renamed after Christiaan Barnard – the man who performed the world’s first heart transplant. Of course names can be deceiving. He had performed the transplant at a hospital kilometres away, named Groote Schuur. When I was born there (at Christiaan Barnaard, not Groote Schuur), it had … Continue reading City Diaries: The Man with the Red Backpack
District Six is mostly desolate. There’s a pop of colour in the form of a Nelson Mandela mural on the wall of an abandoned house. Was it not him that said: “Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world”? He said a lot of things. I had memorised parts … Continue reading City Diaries: Education and Other Imaginary Weapons
I haven't written a City Diaries post in a while and boy, have I missed it! These posts are about my travels in and around my hometown, Cape Town, South Africa.
There are roads named after Queen Victoria in almost every suburb of the Western Cape. A trip to a fabric store in Woodstock is a reminder of how places change as do the gazes of the people who inhabit them.
It was another morning and another bus journey. She looked out of the window, taking in the same sites she saw everyday. Today a shop window caught her eye. It had Arabic writing frosted on the glass wall of the shop window. It wasn’t the ‘حلال' sign carried by stores indicated that they didn’t serve … Continue reading City Diaries: Americano at a Lebanese Cafe
In the second installment of City Diaries, based on my experiences as a commuter in and around Cape Town, a routine bus trip takes an unexpected turn.