Here come a couple of my thoughts after my first day in Cape Town.
As Ed was giving me a small tour of Cape Town, it didn’t take me long before I realized the immense possibilities for various activities that exist here. Although it is a big metropolitan city, it is very easy to forget that you’re in such a big city as you’re surrounded by the picturesque Table Mountain, an amazing coast line and people have a much more ‘chilled’ way of being as they walk around the city centre. The city is also filled with hundreds of activities you can do, just look at this wall at Ashanti Lodge!
Sea kayaking, whale watching, shark cage diving, paragliding, hiking up to Table Mountain, to Devil’s Peak to see the sunset (or sunrise), wine tasting, walks in botanical gardens – it’s just a matter of time!
When I went for a small walk I got the impression that, overall, Cape Town is a very modern and ‘western’ city. I could easily forget that I was in Africa as I walked through the city. My impression of something being ‘Africa’ was when I went on a school trip to Tanzania and in the city of Moshi, I truly felt I was in ‘Africa’. The smell was a smell of smoke as most people used fire as their main source of heat and light. It was probably this that enabled me to forget that I was still in Africa as I walked around Cape Town; it smelt just like it does at home.
Cape Town has:
- Normal gas stations
- Normal fast-food brands
I mean, I could practically be in New York …
The point I want to get through is that it’s a city just like any other big city I’ve been to in Europe or America, but there are some differences that make you remember that you are quite far away from home.
- Around in the area where Ashanti Lodge is situated, all the houses are fenced in with wires.
- There are men who help people park and stand around to watch the cars while the owners are gone for a small tip
- It has funny looking cars
I’ve actually only seen one of these so far, but Africa style eh
There were also a couple of episodes I encountered, which made me realize that the culture has its differences from the one I’ve grown up in.
- You ignore red man/green man signs at pedestrian crossings. I was waiting for the light to turn green for about 5 minutes before I realized that the man would never turn green, so instead you quickly jog across the street hoping for the best 🙂
- Even though I was walking with my camera safely over my shoulder, there was a girl who came up to me and told me it would be better if I hid the camera.
- There were a lot of people who came up to me asking for money or food. When I was eating dinner with Jon, the norwegian guy I met, we decided to sit outside to get some fresh air. However, we quickly realized that it wasn’t such a great idea. Two young children came up to us after we had been served our food asking if they could have some. It was heart breaking to have to say no, but it wouldn’t have been the right thing to do at that moment. They wouldn’t leave our table and stayed there until we had left. They kept looking at us and asking us for some food. It was horrible to have to sit there and constantly say no to the two young boys.
A couple of other things I stumbled across included:
- A sweet greeting sign
It was the name of a store…
- A Beer House…
- And funny signs on trash cans
ZAPPIT in the ZIBI BIN!
It’s a place that looks very similar to back home, but at the same time has its big differences. Slowly but surely I will get to know their culture and their city! But until then I have a lot of learning and experiencing to do!
Yesterday I did a sightseeing tour on a Hop-on Hop-off bus, so pictures from that later today!