I spent the night before last in a hotel in Cape Town. I don’t mean the ‘Cape Town’ that is the answer to the question ‘where are you from?’ while you’re abroad and you can’t be bothered to explain where Durbanville is. I mean, the real Cape Town. The small pocket of buzz just below the mountain. That Cape Town.
I was in the hotel, not for some weird staycation experiment, but rather as a result of an event for work, and a VIP cancellation which meant an open hotel room. We can’t be letting these things go to waste after all! (Although I’d highly recommend a staycation in Cape Town to anyone actually given my thoughts on it).
When we moved out to the Burbs 2 and a half years ago, it was with great reason. We’d been in London in a teeny tiny breathless 1 bedroom flat (granted it had a garden, so it wasn’t as breathless as some others) and straight into a 2 bed, stadium views green point apartment. The block had a pool and ample parking, but after our offer to purchase it was declined (huge regret now that we didn’t offer the asking price) and the fact that we had big intentions to start a family then – a 4 bedroom, large gardened house in the Deep (Diep) South of the Burbs seemed like the perfect next step. Far enough to be out of the shadow of the mountain and get the sunshine I need, and with intention that I’d only sit in traffic for another year and then I’d be living the half day dream, cradling bundles of joy (or screams) at home in the afternoon.
Besides the fact that life doesn’t go as expected, or as planned and all the lessons that go with that – our home in the Burbs is a beautiful tranquil, piece of us. Slowly, and mostly due to lack of sufficient funds as we keep going overseas (oh the first world problems we have), it’s becoming the extension of our personal style and the luxury hotel replica I need it to be. “Make it as nice as the hotels you like to stay in,” my mom said “so that you stop wanting to go on holiday, and stay at home instead”.
But, even with this slice of peace and all this space – I crave to live in the city again. And before we assume this is just a blog post about Kim wanting to escape life – it’s not. Its about Cape Town.
Cape Town feels like the smallest city in the world. One night in Cape Town, and I’ve been given a taste of what living there is like again. To me, its like mainlining lucozade while feeling the early morning sun on your face and smelling freshly cut grass (with no allergies). It’s quite simply: energetically, excitably and awe-inspiringly amazing (ok, that’s not simply put at all).
Uber rides from point a to b that cost R20. Bree Street Bars in renovated and daringly painted buildings and that sell only one type of liquor, spill out into warm streets. There are restaurants designed with diets in mind, of paleo, banting, vegan, vegetarian or organic. Pop up this, pop up that. Craft beer bars that exchange ownerships with bakeries. Wine bars that serve wine in a tumbler making it a thing (that the members of Constantia would likely scoff at). First Thursdays, breakfasts at a place with a skate park in the back, Asian Street Food, a Mexican food truck, a flat white plus a vinyl to go and laundry with dimsum all within a 3km radius.
There is never a dull moment. There are a thousand things to do. With people, or alone. And all things are beautiful. Do the people who live in the city realise how lucky they are? To call this vibrant place their home, but mostly to be anywhere within 15minutes. Beach, mountain, shops, restaurants. Cape Town beneath the mountain has everything.
I want to move back there so badly. Because, yes – the traffic is nightmarish, and also, my recent water bill made me choke (costs a lot to keep this much lawn green) but mostly because Cape Town makes me buzz. It makes me feel so alive I can barely contain it. It makes me want to be a part of it, and everything happening in it, instead of living vicariously through those that live in Green Point, Oranjezicht or Tamboerskloof and instagram their lives.
A personal mission is to live in the city again! Even if temporarily, or one weekend a month. I just need to work out how now. And maybe convince the other half of the ‘our’ mentioned above.