Cape Town, South Africa: epicenter of the Fifa 2010 World Cup. We all heard about it maybe we saw it on TV. Somehow, through good fortune, God’s blessing, connections made, and determination, I got to go there. If you’ve heard that it’s dangerous and scary and there are bad people around every corner, you’ve heard right. But so are cities in the states if you’re not street smart. I never actually felt the sense of danger to the degree that people made it out to be. People seemed uncommonly friendly and helpful. The street parking guards particularly so. Honestly though, I have to say my experience of Cape Town wasn’t as a tourist. Noel and I aren’t good at being tourists anyway.
Maybe you’re looking for a story where I was mugged and beaten all for the 3 Rand in my pocket (roughly 50 cents) or a story where a creepy taxi driver takes us all over town to run up our fare… maybe you’re looking for a story as simple as us getting lost for hours in unfamiliar territory. If so, be prepared to be bored. We had an awesome time full of friendly, helpful people. We even got kissed on the cheek by a South African soldier (okay so that was borderline creepy).
The credit for my amazing experience can only be given to the families that took us under their wings and showed us how the locals enjoy their city. They taught us how to walk the streets like we owned the place, how to successfully squish into a minibus taxi, how to speak the lingo and how to play cricket. Our lessons were so successful that we became famous not one day into our visit.
I always knew (and by always I mean in the last few years) that I wanted to live in South Africa. I didn’t know what it was that was drawing me there, but after I got even the smallest taste of Cape Town, I could give a nod and a “yep… I could do this”.
You know, I think people use positive, excited adjectives too much. All the best ones have been watered down on things like fantastic wonderful cake, or an incredible awesome voicemail. I can say that Cape Town was fantastic and wonderful and comfortable and accommodating and cool and picturesque and and and… But I don’t think that really paints a good picture. So I suppose I’ll suffice it to say, I wish with all my heart to return someday.
To order a roasted veg sandwich from the corner store by our hostel, to sit on the rocks at Boulder’s Beach and watch the penguins waddle by, to take a drive around the Cape Peninsula and order some hake and chips at Fish on the Rocks. To climb another path up Table Mountain and feel the rush of cloud swirl around my face again. To have a braai with the Van Der Merwes and play ball with Took(Tuk? Tooke? not sure how you spell it) and Becca, the cutest dogs on earth. And to laugh hysterically around the kitchen counter and the Jones’ while eating a brekki of oatmeal, mango, coffee, pizza, rooibos tea, and chocolate cake.
Yes, I hope with all my heart to return to this place.