Thursday, 20 December 2012

Lamingtons. A double funeral. Paper beads. Highlights of my visit to The Mother City, Cape Town.

I'm getting off the topic of stylish bodas in this post (there's another one coming up soon on a Muslim driver from Gulu, though) as I'm in Cape Town and, well, I haven't found any bodas here. Although they do have a lot of good taxis here (which are quite orderly compared to Kampala's matatus) and this morning I got to be the co-conductor of one, sitting up the front next to the driver and helping collect the money (oddly enough, they came up ten cents short). I can now nearly count on both hands (yes despite coming up 10 cents short) the number of trips I've had to South Africa since I was 17. Although I've spent most of my visits in KwaZulu-Natal, my favorite place is probably Cape Town, which I've been to three times. It's one of my favorite cities, if not my number one (yes, even despite having most of my holiday savings swindled at the cash machine here in 2005, but we won't go into that). I always love rediscovering old places here and laughing at things I'd forgotten about, and finding new things to do. I always make sure to leave something for next time, as I know it's the one place I'll be back to. This is the first time I've visited South Africa around Christmas. Below, in pics, are the highlights of this trip.
JELLY TOTS. For as long as I can remember (or for about the past 15 years) following my first visit to SA I've had a saying, "Miss you lots and lots like jelly tots." Can't remember exactly who I picked this up from, but it definitely originates from SA. This pic of these jelly tots were taken on Robben Island. Only ZAR 9.50 each ($1.12 USD).
The view of Table Mountain from Robben Island. Breathtaking. Did I mention too that I wore a penguin dress (un-intentionally) to the island? I only realised this when I was sitting on the ferry. How topical. I decided to do an evening tour this time to get some different shots. According to one  tour I went on, if you want to annoy a South African you should say to them, "So when are you going to build a hotel on Table Mountain?"
If we go a bit closer it looks like...LAMINGTONS. In Cape Town. On my first day, too. Found in a supermarket at Woodstock, not far from where I was staying. Very impressed that the woman behind the counter knew what they were called. Lamington drive, South Africans?
LIKE ME THEY LOVE UGANDA, TOO, ESP ITS FASION. Or at least seem too. No sooner had I announced on Twitter to Ugandans that I was walking out the door wearing their paper beads to promote the country, when I was walking down Long Street and in the window of trendy boutique Mungo and Jemima, co-incidentally next to a Seafolly Australia bag, what do I see? PAPER BEADS.  Well South Africans are only human, aren't they?

With headlines like "Death at the Funeral! I'll die at husband's burial, she said - and did!" the South African Daily Sun is my new favorite newspaper. Hope they love a good funeral, that family. I particularly admire the paper's use of exclamation marks in every story e.g. "Mum's Last Supper! Woman Gunned Down in Kitchen." Makes the UK Sun and Take a Break etc look dull.
Forget lamingtons. The Sunday Times and Conde Nast Europe voted The Mount Nelson Hotel, or Nellie as it's affectionately known, as boasting the best high tea in the world, and after sampling it in 2009 I have to say they're right. (Oh, and their loos aren't bad, either). Didn't go for tea this time, but did have a sneaky G&T instead one evening. Hands up who knows why the hotel was painted pink? Here's a story I wrote after my first visit to the hotel. I love the seats in the Planet Bar, which Admiral Lord Nelson's portrait emblazoned on the back of them.
 I thought I'd miss seeing shoes on the side of the road, considering I can find them there anytime in Uganda... until I spotted his pile at the taxi station near Woodstock, not far from where I was staying. Dig the view, too.

Tomorrow I'm off to Mr Zuma's home province and although I don't know if I'll find any bodas there either, I'm sure it will be just as entertaining as CT.

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