Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cape Town: the Mother City

There are many reasons why one loves a place - and for the City of Cape Town (because it is a city and no longer a town) here in South Africa, I have my own reasons. I can imagine staying in Paris or Texas or Perth or Maputo, but I think I will always return to Cape Town when I look for home, or Port Elizabeth and the small coastal town of Tergniet on the Garden Route when I look for memories. 

But it has been Cape Town that embraced me as a child, and our trips from the country to Town were big events of dressing up, packing warm clothes and going to special mysterious places. My aunt reminded me yesterday of our extended family meeting on Table Mountain for picnic in the late 60s, with all the cousins wearing home-knitted matching jerseys. I remember. I love this city - even though I have always hated its cruel disparities between the wealthy and the poor, defining the everyday lives of people.

This new video clip is absolutely brilliant, and it reminded me how much Cape Town has to offer to visitors and to its residents blessed to stay here - it IS our play ground indeed:

For me, Cape Town is really the Mother City for personal reasons as well. It reminds me of the times I spend here with my parents - when they visited, and when we were younger and visited the Golden Acre with wide-eyed wonder. Or came to watch the lights being switched on for Christmas. I remember my mom coming in to bargain for the best prices on the Grand Parade to make clothes for us on her sewing machine at the dining table in the parsonage. Cape Town, with its fascinating history and wonderful corners of experience, you have my heart. It is said that there are more indigenous plant species on Table Mountain than on the entire British Isles. But it is the people of Cape Town that make the place - so diverse in opinion and lifestyle and when I think of the place I choose to call home, I think of my friends that have made this home as well. We should go play more...


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