Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Blaxi(ing)

Taxing a Blaxi into Cape Town town.



I got a visit from my father, who was here working. He invited me over to spend a night in a good hotel and have supper with him at the V&A waterfront. As opposed to taking a metered taxi, I did the South African thing; I took a blaxi (A taxi taken mostly by black people, not always the case in Cape Town. I see white folks here and there now and again). I’ve blaxied before in Johannesburg with my mother and I distinctly remember it not being fun. But in Cape Town should I need to go somewhere, I tend not to mind, I am always entertained by the interactions between the sliding door operator (Ganshi is no longer a politically correct term), the people on the street and the very annoyed Xhosa and coloured women. This occasion was extraordinary as my trip in blaxi took me all the way to the town taxi rank! I jumped into a taxi (with the sliding door operator shouting “Caype towyn”) near cocoa wah-wah, Rondebosch and away I went on an adventure like none other than one a Capetonian (or a Capetonianish) can experience.
The driver was unforgettable. He had kind green eyes. Not playing at all into the stereotypes about blaxi drivers. He was so sweet, docile even. Just driving his taxi along and offering the occasional slice of well received humour. The sliding door operator on the other hand was thuggish, having many backstreet tattoos on is arms (I remember a lion with a full stylised mane) and obviously wearing false teeth. Out of his mouth came the fast beats of the Cape Afrikaans dialect. But he was entertaining! Chuckling at jokes he made himself every now and again and speaking to customers, he knew the occasional person and engaged them in conversations about themselves. Very charming. These guys are talented, jumping out of moving taxi’s and shouting their destination loud and far enough to have people running. I wish I could say I sat there in my element but I was shrinking back into my seat trying to avoid being noticed (and also because I was squashed due to the overload), looking everywhere but into people’s eyes. I was taking it all in, looking at everything as though with new-childlike eyes.
Arriving at Cape Town station was something else. The station was a mess, litter and puddles of dirty water everywhere.  Concrete chipping off the ground and the smell of piss heavily clouding the air. The sound of reggae. But while I was feeling sorry for myself, the taxi had reached its destination and every passenger was disembarking. Every passenger but me. I grabbed my backpack quick and acted like I knew where I was going, too proud to ask. Outside the taxi, life was buzzing with the activities of people too busy to notice my awe stRuck face and awkward stares. MaNy stores had been set up in prefabs built by the City of Cape Town. I noticed some All-Stars. I’m looking for a pair, in white. 

video
A video to guide others into similar Capetonian(ish) adventure




Wednesday, 21 September 2011

UrbanOutfitters

While trolling the net I encountered this video and soon found myself searching for it on Vimeo (which is like the indie-project version of Youtube & more jazzing in my opinion). Urban outfitters is an amazing brand which I've only encountered on the net treks I often undertake. I find it a great pity that as South Africans the only way for us to access it is through e-shopping. Unless of course maxing out credit card is not a problem for you as it is for my student self. Also, this is a season ahead and the cinematography is amaze and makes me want to eat my pants. Urban Outfitters catalog is successful because they directly sell a lifestyle and not  the items of clothing. Do your good deed for the day. Watch the video and fall in love. Please.

video

Monday, 12 September 2011

Joburg

Cape Town International Airport
I took an early flight to Joburg. Woke up almost late and almost missed my flight on a cramped airline. I really dislike airports and I really dislike flying. I didn’t always used to. Airports were a mystical place. Where the tin birds of the sky came to roost. They always brought my father back from wherever he had been and held greasy suppers. Now that I’m all grown up (or more grown up than I used to be) I see how really sad they are, I feel uneasy in airports. Airports are nowhere. They hold temporary comings and permanent goings. Smiles are stuck on the face while the tears are etched there.
 Jazz on the Lake (Arts Alive festival)
Zoo Lake
I’m not a jazz fan at all. I know some numbers because my daddy used to play his favourite in our home when he was younger and more passionate. He even used to frequent the jazz fest in its establishing years but doesn’t go anymore because it’s filled with “young boys”. I decided to go this year because my all time (and I mean all time) favourite band, 340ml, was playing. Also, the international act Asa (pronounced Asha to be technical) was playing. And I had no regrets. The sun in Joburg was shining in the way I think is only possible in South Africa, too hot but too delightful to hate. The crowd was a true reflection of a metropolitan and cosmopolitan society; mixed race children dominated the scene. Never have I seen so many of them and their curly hair in one place. I was very disappointed as a gate and neon orange security men were barring me from touching the lead vocalists, Pedro, feet as I usually do at gigs. Asa was really surprising in her red and white polka dot dress. She is an excellent performer, always moving always engaging. As I walked home (into an orange and coral sunset ) slighty happy from drinking a glass of peach schnapps I felt really happy. Even the smell of dirty lake and duck shit couldn’t put me under. Sigh 


Motherland                                                                                                    
Rosebank
My sister suggested I come here to max out on the wireless internet. But she neglected to mention how amazing the place is. It has that amazing metropolitan feel most Joburg places attempt to achieve and cling on to once they have it.  Selected people walk in here filled with the hush of a well-kept secret. Straight to the counter they go to receive their well-blended caffeine brews. The creative in their nerd glasses pull out their various mac products (the creative pill) and away they go in their interesting vocations. The mix tape on the surround sound is some African blend and it stirs those weird ancestral roots in me. I fell like an absolute fit in this place and promise to frequent it when I come back to my mothercity.




Bob rocks café
Greenside          
I have some friends going away on travels to the Western world and so to say half-hearted good byes we went to bob rocks café. The place is quaint. Broom cupboard sized with a bar catering to different cocktails. The angled mirrors on the walls create a false sense of depth in the place. I love greenside because it hosts the indie-hipster kids of Johannesburg. Men with hair far too long and arms too tattooed up. Sometimes even too stoned to care. I love it. Thank you Jesus for warm spring nights. Please send the memo to the mother city.