The other day I was told that Capetonians are hard to get to know. This mini-mob of wanna-be ‘tonians even said that we are cliquey.
It seems the only friends they have made since semi-grating here were other Vaalies. She said Capetonians had this thing, where at the end of an evening we get all mushy and say something like, “We must get together for a braai sometime”--only for her to sit by the telephone waiting for an invitation that never comes.
She basically insinuated that we are false.
I have thought about it, and I suppose its true that we are a little insincere at times, but that is only because we worry about your feelings and don’t want you to get hurt. We lie to protect you and it is proof that we are caring and sensitive by nature.
The thing is that we in the Cape are terribly fussy about who we mix with, and if we mentioned straight off the bat that We are just not that into you, it may cause an inferiority complex greater than what we would like you to have. Unfortunately we don’t go around sommer befriending anything that comes our way. We are not to be confused with Port Elizabethians in any way; or that Pretorian woman who fell in love with her labrador.
Of course the oldest and most distinguished families in South Africa all reside down South. There is a rich history here that Johnny-come-lately’s will never fully grasp (and it is noted that it has caused a not small amount of envy, if we are going to be frank with each other).
And how can I explain it? It is really just a sense of . . . of . . . what is the word . . . Breeding? Am I being too blunt? I’ll be more subtle: Capetonians possess an inherent ‘Je ne sais quoi’ and that ‘certain something’ cannot be taught or picked up by simply semi-grating. You need to be born here to acquire it.
Apologies if your feelings are hurt (which would prove my point exactly). If you don’t get that magical call to one of our braai’s I suggest you spend more time studying and observing Capetonians. Copy our body language and adopt our viewpoints. With any luck, some of that Je ne sais quoi may just rub off on you, and one day . . . one day, that telephone may just start to ring. Never give up hope.
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