Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cape Town - Fourth Impression - March 11, 2006

I'm too relaxed to type for too long, so here is my latest and shortest update.

The reason why I came to Cape Town was because it was way cheaper than to go to Sydney (Australia), and to forget the world existed, and where no one could find me. Mission accomplished, because if I were to be more relaxed than what I'm right away, I would be dead.

Finally I made up to the top of the Table Mountain, and I'm glad I did. You have to understand, there are 2 ways to get up there, one is walking up for two hours, and the other via the cable car, which cost R$ 115.00 (return) and only takes 6 minutes to get up to the top.

The cable car is amazing, they move up to 1000 people per hour to the top, and you know how everyone wants to get the "best spot" while inside? Well, they are for a surprise in this little cable car, once it starts to move, they let you know to move away from the edges because the floor starts to spin around. It doesn't matter where you are, you are going to do the whole circle around, at least 3 times. Unless you are standing right beside the super cute cable car driver, then you are going to stay still for the whole short trip. I did not move one inch from my position.

The view from the top is just fantastic, and the best is when you see the clouds coming from all over the place. You are literally right at the same level as the clouds. Met a lovely old couple from London, and the lady was telling me how many South African friends they have back home. You see, London is now for Cape Town what Toronto used to be for Montreal. The place where the young and educated move to get jobs. You have no idea how linked these two cities are, and there are so many Londoner that own houses in this place. If I could, even I would own a little studio in CPT.

Rikkis is my fauvorite transportation method in Cape Town, I love those yellow super min-vans - hate having to call them because it takes me sometimes 10 minutes to get thru, but it is worth it, R$ 16.00 to anywhere from anywhere cannot go wrong.

I have to say I really enjoy listening to African, this rough Dutch/German/English sounds that drive me nuts coming from the right person - have managed to learn some words here and there.

Someone asked me how is South Africa after the Apartheid. To tell you the truth, I have no idea because this is my first time in this country, and actually, CPT should not be considered as an example of South Africa, I told you before, it doesn't feel like you are in Africa. What I can tell you is what I heard from the locals, and just about Cape Town, not South Africa. I had this wonderful chat with these two black ladies the other day, one South African and the other Kenyan. They were having this wonderful discussion about the social issues of the city, and there was no way I could not listening to what they were saying. I decided to stop being a passive participant of the conversation, and became active on it as well.

Basically they say that Cape Town changed a lot in the last 10 years, life has dramatically improved, and the city has become prettier, cleaner, and way safer than what used to be. Jobs have been created to people that didn't have anything before, and may I add it has been done in such a clever way. They told me that during the Apartheid, the propaganda about "black people are dangerous" was very effective, so effective that even the black people today believe on it. The Kenyan girl told me she has no problem walking towards a group of white people sitting around chatting about life, but really feel unsafe if this group of people happens to be made up of all black people.

When she came to South Africa, and came here because she couldn't get a job back home, she thought the white people would totally discriminate against her. Instead what she found was that the black people were the most racist, or social racist as she putted, of all towards her, not just because she was black, but also because she was an outsider, from other African nation.

On the other hand, the South African girl, which grew up in Toronto, had a way different experience. When people find out she grew up in Canada, they treat her differently, like she is god. If she were go to a job interview, and the competition had the same qualifications, but without the Canadian grew up part, the Torontonian raised girl would get the job. Both ladies agreed with the fact they wished black people should help each other out, instead of pulling each other down. Once again, this is a summary of a conversation I had with these two ladies, and certainly other people probably feel different about it - nevertheless, any opinion counts eh?

What do I see? A beautiful city, full of people, and I just hope they (all Capetonians) find whatever they are looking for - let the city be whatever it suppose to be.

Long Street was closed yesterday, for an yearly festival, and what a party. The whole city came down to Long Street, it felt like Pride in Montreal if the bars participated in the celebration.

Every corner had a live band playing music, and the restaurants had move out towards the street. Music of all genres, rock, reggae, jazz, batucadas, you name it, they had.

They even had a polling station asking the famous "yes or no" question. They were inquiring, to the public, if Cape Town should become more African. As soon as I saw the YES & NO cards, I just walked away and went back to the party. Stayed until 1am when I moved myself to the village to meet up with the boys. Had a great time, and want to head down to the beach again, so I will write more later.

Oh yeah, the beach ... cold water, super cold water, but man is worth it .... beach here I come .....

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