Personal

The Mother City – Week 1

On a personal note, I’ve spent the last 7 days or so learning how to slow down. Coming from NYC, this has actually been harder than learning to look right THEN left before crossing the street.

Now, before I left the US, I was sent an advanced copy of ‘The Power of Moments. I’ll talk in depth about this book in a later post but the first chapter talked about how novelty makes time go slower. That’s why our earlier years (when everything is new) are generally more memorable and as we get older (and life becomes repetitive) our days seem to fly. On that note:

Your girl is doing things y’all!

  • I found a capoeira group down the street (more on that next week).
  • I signed up for Xhosa classes (a language known for it’s click consonants) because why not!

The Sights:

As you can see above, I’m also doing the touristy thing like heading down to Boulders Beach to see the penguins and then driving down to the Cape of Good Hope. That’s where I met some baboons. As promised, here’s the story:

If you know me you know I love animals. Preferably the warm-blooded type but I’ve seen some cayute baby reptiles. This weekend it seems my animal of choice was the Chacma or Cape baboon. Here’s an interesting documentary from 2013 on the baboon vs human dynamic:

 

So here’s what happened:

I placed my sandwhich down to talk to some people. I did not walk away from said sandwhich. I stood in front of it since I was planning on moving to another location to eat (there were indeed baboons all around).

Duuude. In seconds I saw two extended brown furry hands creep up in the corner of my eye. The people around me screamed and by the time I did the same (I honestly thought we were getting car jacked)…my sandwhich was gone. The kicker? Bob the baboon actually looked back at me as he left with my sandwhich in his mouth – twice! A reenactment for your convenience:

Fast forward to the walk to Cape of Good Hope and we encounter two guys power walking towards us:

“There’s a momma baboon with her babies on the trail and she’s aggressive!”

For those wondering, this is what they looked like:

I definitely started wondering if we’d just spend all night on the cliff…or (less dramatically) have to wait until a guide came and handled the situation. Fortunately my travel partner had nature experience and simply took us off the path. I turned around to find the two guys rapidly following us down the new trail.

[For those of you laughing at my lack of nature experience, I’d like to see you encounter an aggressive mother baboon on the edge of a cliff. That’s a hard pass.]

The Sounds:

I came home the first day to find a musical bow (below) hanging from the wall. I’ll write a post on those soon since I’ve been invited to (attempt to) play it!

 

The Nomz:

I’ve been eating a metric ton of fish. What I mean is that I ate seafood for every meal for the first 5 days. I’ve got a list of dishes to try out before I leave though. So, once I get the sea out of my system, I’ll be sharing all sorts of delicious food findings because the food here is absurdly good. Also known as the Rainbow Nation, traditional African cuisine (Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana) was influenced by the Dutch, French, Indian, German, Malaysian and Portuguese (did you know Nando’s originated in South Africa?) resulting in some exquisite tastes.

The Reads:

I haven’t gotten through the entire book but the stories have been excellent and the writing well…raw. Here’s an excerpt:

“That he was an ordinary colonial child of parents who’d come out from Europe to find a better life where it was warm and there were opportunities. That it was warm and there was the sea and tropical fruit, blacks to dig and haul, but the opportunity was nothing grander than the assured tenure of a white man in the lower ranks of the civil service. His parents were not interested in politics, never. They were not interested in the blacks. They didn’t think the blacks would ever affect their lives and his.” ~ Jump by Nadine Gordimer

On my last trip here I was told that ‘racism in the US is covert, whereas in South Africa it’s overt.’ This was in 2015. I’m not entirely sure the former part of that statement even applies anymore nor have I spent enough time here to comment on the latter but I will say…

I love it here. 

I highly recommend picking up Nadine Gordimer’s book or any of the many works listed here.

With that said I’ll leave you with an interesting (and relevant) article on a new South African play on its way to London:

Written around the time the statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes came down, The Fall goes to the heart of how race, class, gender, power and history’s voices intersect. via The South African

 


Also published on Medium.

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