Us Capetonians are a weird, if not colourful and otherwise lot. Construct a footbridge over a freeway, and we’ll inevitably play Russian roulette in the traffic. Nothing like dancing amongst the pantechnicons.
In summer, when the mornings are wind free, we’ll sleep until the south-easter comes up gale force – and only then go to the beach. Nothing like shell-encrusted watermelon, sand-blasted chicken and cartwheeling umbrellas taking out old ladies in purple hair to make the day.
And outside the gym. Sea Point kugels in flourescent excercise tights clashing in the carpark. Walk to the gym door: oh my gawd, no. Or hugely overweight titties asking for Diet Coke and coleslaw with their fried chicken and French fries.
But perhaps where I find us the weirdest is when the weather gets hot.
Travel through those heat-stricken west coast dorps like Baardskeerdersbos on a summer’s day, and you’ll see the houses all closed up, with curtains drawn. No, it’s not because the family is away. It’s because it’s hot, and the best way to keep the house from becoming an indoor furnace is to keep the cool air inside.
Back in Cape Town, when the sun begins to beat down on the boardwalk, everybody starts flinging open windows, doors and anything that opens – and guess what, in rushes the hot air like flies after manure.
I’ve never been able to understand this. Normal people open the house in the cool of evening and morning, and then close up. But no, in Slaapstad we do things the other way round – come nightfall and everything closes, trapping the hot air inside.
And so the cycle continues, back-to-front…(or should I say front-to-back ?)because in Cape Town we’re really different.