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Impressions of CT from a Reluctant Traveler


MrsMupersan

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Hi all

As you know, I wasn't exactly overjoyed about visiting Cape Town. I've been here for 4 days now and these are my impressions.

Make no mistake, I am loving spending time with my mom, grandparents and seeing a couple of old aquaintances. Skype has made this whole immigration thing so much easier, but it just can't replace a real hug! :-)

Everyone raves about Cape Town's beauty. The moooooowntain and all that.... ;-) It is pretty. But none of it is taking my breath away. Whereas in Canberra, just driving to work I'm left breathless at the beauty of the place. In Sydney there are too many spectacular sights to list. Perth looks like an airbrushed postcard. The scenery when driving from Sydney to the Gold Coast is nothing short of spectacular. After 4 years, I am blown away every day by Australia's beauty - yip, I'm completely in love with my home!

I grew up in Cape Town, lived here all my life and swore blind that it was the most beautiful place on earth (only ever having lived away from CT in London and Glasgow in 1995). But it kinda leaves me cold now. My mom's balcony here in Pinelands has a lovely view of the moooowntain. It's pretty. But it doesn't move me in any way. My heart doesn't flutter when I gaze upon it.

Visiting family in Fresnaye, I went High Level road and had a great view down over Sea Point. Sorry, but that stadium is an eyesore which completely dominates the landscape. It's just fuggly! No one is going to change my mind on that. No need to argue your love for it, it's just my opinion.

Canal Walk. I did some shopping there. It,s still a fabulous mall and I was very happily surprised by the very helpful and friendly service I got from most stores. But my mom made an interesting observation. She said that she doesn't get the same, but watching me, she realises why. She'll go into a shop and ignore or fob the shop assistant off because she just wants to look and make her own decision. Whereas I engage the shop assistants which elicits a much friendlier attitude. I think I've got so used to saying G'day and having a little chat in Aus, that I didn't even think about how this would change my experience in SA. Definitely a massive point to Aus for the positive change in me. :-) But then I walked into Spar and was met with one of those surly African 'ladies' - lose the hatred chick! There's probably nothing anyone could do to make her smile at/with a white person (just before serving me, she'd been laughing and joking with her black colleague).

Driving. Jeez, what is with all this aggressive driving people? Chill the f**k out! If you didn't weave in and out of traffic (probably travelling twice the distance at the end of the day!), you'd get to your destination at the same time, in one piece and you won't have a mini aneurism every time you get behind the wheel. Seatbelts? Have these people got a deathwish? In these road conditions, why would you even consider NOT bucking up? Can't wrap my head around it.

Safety. I have to keep reminding myself that I should be more vigilant. Driving with the window down, doors unlocked. I don't look around me at traffic lights after dark. It didn't occur to me until I'd driven off that I should. From being this person who was constantly vigilant and for whom it was just part of my DNA to be subconciously looking over my shoulder. I guess Australia has changed my DNA. Gosh, how I love the change in me! I have had a couple of moments where I didn't feel safe. One at the Spar where a gang of street kids was hanging out. I just stood taller, more confident and walked past them. They left me alone, but I'm pretty sure they were up to no good and someone else wasn't so lucky that night. Then I was walking (yes, I walked! I was getting withdrawls from taking long strides in the fresh air!), back from a friend's place in Pinelands yesterday. There was an African man cutting a hedge on the opposite side of the road who started saying some rather rude stuff and gesturing to me. I ignored him and just kept walking. It's the firsr time that I've literally looked over my shoulder. Needless to say, it spoiled my walk. I guess in SA terms I should count myself lucky that I wasn't mugged or raped... BS! The bastard ruined my walk! Grrrr!

Watching TV with my mom last night there was a program on the History channel about Aus. Boy, did it make me homesick!!! Also saw a promo for The Hunger Games movie and the part of Gale is played by an Aussie. My first thought was that he was one of 'ours'.

*sigh* I may not be a citizen yet, but my heart, body and mind are as Aussie as.

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Great post, Mrs M, thanks for the up-date!

I feel exactly the same way about CT and the whole mountain thing; I am glad to see that I am not the only one! The shops and restaurants are great, but I wouldn't put up with all other crap that one has to just for that. Ozz offers a MUCH MORE balanced liefstyle overall.

Have a great time and be careful!

Cheers,

Saffer Blue

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Sounds like Aus is home for you now!! Enjoy your holiday though!

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Thanks for the chuckles - I felt exactly the same as you except in Durban.

I remember seeing the Opera house on telly and my eyes misted over and I just wanted to go home ! I love South Africa, but I never thought I would love Australia more, but this country grows on you - the people are definately more friendly and happy to exchange a few words.

Today we've had rain and the wind is blowing down the Snowies and we are freezing to death. It must be 5degrees out there. The streets are covered in beautiful orange and red leaves - I love Canberra. We are all so spoilt to be able to live here.

Enjoy the rest of your trip.

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Missed you at the coffee club yesterday, there were not to many people but there were some new faces which was nice. You can see the snow on the top of the Brindies.

Enjoy the rest of the trip!

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Great post, haven't been back to Rsa since we landed but can safely say we feel very at home here. I miss the game reserves but that's it!!

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thanks for the post, now I don't feel so bad about going back (or not wanting to go back) either.

Keep safe and get back here soon, you are missed!!!!!

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I am also from Cape Town....or rather Stellenbosch. And now live in Melbourne. I have been back.

The mountain never really wowed me. But the Boland and surrounding areas did and still does. I have not seen something yet to compare it with in Melbourne and surrounds. I really miss that beauty

Having said that. I also love Melbourne

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Missed you at the coffee club yesterday, there were not to many people but there were some new faces which was nice. You can see the snow on the top of the Brindies.

Enjoy the rest of the trip!

I'm SO homesick! I missed you all too.

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Aaaah, Mrs Mupersan ! Love, love your post !! Yes, 11 years ago we bought our plot to overlook Stellenbosch mountain and not Table Mooooowntain :P . My husband once said Table Mountain is a cliché, to the utter dismay of one newly arrived, romanticly in love-with-the-mountain-and-a-man friend of mine :D . We don't like the CT city at all, but oh the view over the wine farms towards Stellenbosch mountain is something to behold, especially at sunset, when the mountain turns purple against a pink sky and white clouds. [cough cough] ... let met gather myself now ... heehee :blush-anim-cl: .

Anyways, all our neighbours between us and Stellenbosch mountain boxed us in with double storey homes since we built (and spoiled someone elses view), so we only catch a glimpse from our own top storey once in a while. Feel already as if we're missing out, not going to loose too much selling here and moving ...

So if you want to see a bit beauty, come and visit the Boland. Go to Hillcrest berry farm on Helshoogte pass and have a nice Springbok shank on their outside. porch. Then stay in the surrounds, eat tea in Stellenbosch and return to CT at night, to not be dragged down again with the sight of squatter camps, pollution and such ...

(Edited spelling mistakes made due to an overworked brain...)

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Aaaah, Mrs Mupersan ! Love, love your post !! Yes, 11 years ago we bought our plot to overlook Stellenbosch mountain and not Table Mooooowntain :P . My husband once said Table Mountain is a cliché, to the utter dismay of one newly arrived, romanticly in love-with-the-mountain-and-a-man friend of mine :D . We don't like the CT city at all, but oh the view over the wine farms towards Stellenbosch mountain is something to behold, especially at sunset, when the mountain turns purple against a pink sky and white clouds. [cough cough] ... let met gather myself now ... heehee :blush-anim-cl: .

Anyways, all our neighbours between us and Stellenbosch mountain boxed us in with double storey homes since we built (and spoiled someone elses view), so we only catch a glimpse from our own top storey once in a while. Feel already as if we're missing out, not going to loose too much selling here and moving ...

So if you want to see a bit beauty, come and visit the Boland. Go to Hillcrest berry farm on Helshoogte pass and have a nice Springbok shank on their outside. porch. Then stay in the surrounds, eat tea in Stellenbosch and return to CT at night, to not be dragged down again with the sight of squatter camps, pollution and such ...

(Edited spelling mistakes made due to an overworked brain...)

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Go and park at Sunset Beach and look out over an endless horizon with the mountain sitting there. Nature at its best. Not THE best maybe, but still one of the planet's most enjoyable views.

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LOL loved the post. I am not and never have been a fan of CT..but that's me. My SIL lives in Rondebosch and had an argument with someone the other week about the "mooouuuntain". They were not impressed..She turned around and said Kilamanjaro is a mountain, that's just a friggin hill. Needless to say she's not in too many cape townians good books hehe.

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I dunno. I LOVE Perth. Have also travelled around Brissie, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Melbourne. Although each is fantastic in its own way, I still think that the Cape landscape is unparalleled. There are very few cities in the world that have a mountain rising so steeply out of a peninsula - never mind the shape - that in itself is pretty unique. Also, the entire world has 7 floral kingdoms, most span entire continents, except one. The Western Cape forms one of the floral kingdoms on its own! Chapman's Peak drive alone is so outstanding that it continually gets used in movies and adverts (eg the Ford advert in Aus). The landscape is spectacular.... but, the rest they can keep! We won't be going back.

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Only ever been to Cape Town twice and have spent a total of 3 weeks there, went up the mountain in 1995 but hated it, sat on the floor of the cable car in the middle. My fear of splatting!!! Still I find it very beautiful. Love CT!

Australia just as beautiful but when I still did wedding photography I had the pleasure of meeting some well know Capetonians at a wedding in a misty and very green Hilton and being from the Cape at the time, they were commenting on how beautiful it was in the KZN midlands. The locals said how beautiful the Cape was. Made me think at the time how we take what is around us for granted and forget to see it in its beauty. So when we look at Australia we must not take it for granted, lest we forget the beauty that has adopted us :ilikeit:

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