Having recently returned from a short work trip to Cape Town two major differences between KZN and Western Province have become very apparent to me.
The first is that the men there dress better than us lot by a long way. This is not up for debate as although I don’t pretend to understand the first thing about fashion (if anything I am proud of my ignorance in this regard) I do know what good fashion is not and on this trip I was clearly the Poster Boy for what fashion isn’t comparatively speaking. Now I don’t care much about what is trendy and thankfully I have never suffered more than 90 seconds of exposure to those Kardashian catastrophes so it really doesn’t bother me. If anything I find it a little bit peculiar that any man would go to the trouble of co-ordinating themselves so meticulously but each to their own I guess. The fact remains, male Capetonians give a lot more thought into what they cover themselves with than we do further up the coast.
The second thing that really struck me was how friendly everybody was and no before you ask I am not just talking about the highly fashionable men. This friendliness crossed both genders and was notably non-colour specific. Simple things like asking for directions allowed the showcasing of just plain good old humanity that I have sadly not experienced enough of in Durban. People seem genuinely caring and will go out of their way to help you there as was my experience on a number of occasions. This included simple things like drawing maps on paper napkins, allowing you a gap in the traffic and flashing you a courteous smile without reason (ok perhaps I looked more out of place than I thought). Hands down though, the best example I have of friendly, common courtesy is when I was walking in the inner city one evening (unarmed too!) and literally bumped into a man walking towards me in the opposite direction. You know that accidental shoulder to shoulder barge? The type that would send a footballer into a grand mal seizure but to a non sissy is really more thud than anything. Anyway this has happened to me before at the cost of my wallet and bank cards so instinctively I pawed my back pocket to make sure my debt was secure which it was. Whilst doing this the man who had walked into me shouted an apology in a voice deep enough to indicate that if this guy really wanted my wallet he could have just taken without needing any special pick-pocketing skills. Nonetheless, not glancing back I raised my hand in acceptance of his apology only for this gesture to be misconstrued as a greeting by another two rather well dressed men across the street who both acted as if we were all long lost friends.
Yes, Cape Town certainly has more going for it than a just pretty mountain and proactive local government that actually well; governs. Truth is if it were not for the actuality that their rugby team is about as weak as my dress sense and that I am hopelessly addicted to Durban Bunny Chows I’d be looking to move there.