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Rudi Massyn
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Temporary semigration

17 December 2013, 22:19

Like the tablecloth rolls unannounced over our beloved mountain and into the city similarly the Vaalies swoop not-so-unannounced onto our shores.

Driving to work this morning, traffic free mind you, I heard the most god-awful sound. It was coming from the robots ahead. A stomach turning screech. Terrible. Horrid. Familiar. Oh yes, I remembered. A hooter.

I couldn’t believe my ears until my eyes revealed the truth. The dreaded GP number plate hooting at a pedestrian crossing the road too slowly. Ah no, not already. I had just escaped the madness three months ago when I semigrated to the mother city. Is this a conspiracy? Are they following me?

I lived in Johannesburg for eight years until my girlfriend and I recently decided to pack up and make a bee-line to the land of wine and tranquillity.

This past weekend saw an influx of visitors settling in for the festive season. I’ve only been here three months but my territorial behaviour over the weekend resembled a cast away leopard stalking the vlaktes. “No, please, don’t go to that restaurant. It’s my restaurant. It’s my favourite. Capetonians only", “No, no, please cover that speedo man” and “seriously, ice cream and poodles on the promenade?”

Like a jealous teenager I want Cape Town all to myself.

Festive season visitors have an interesting relationship with this city. Meeting an inland buddy for drinks in Long Street this came to the fore when I made a joke about his tipping issues.

 “Never mind him. He’s from Joburg,” I said to the waiter.

“No man, why did you say that? Don’t. People think I’m from Cape Town. The way I dress, the way I speak. So come on dude, please?”

“No, anybody with two pips to press together can identify your Melrose arch hot potato accent all the way from Saldanha bay.”

“Whatever, I blend in.”

Taking a moment to introspect and reflect I analysed my inequities. Perhaps I haven’t transitioned as much as I thought I had. Is there a shamed kindred connection with the angry impatient tribe I left behind? My number plate still reads GP. (I need to get that fixed, BTW) If I had to be completely honest I bet I still stick out on the beach like a hairy back and flip-flops.

My folks are coming this week and adding to the misery of the Capetonians. There has already been talk of lilos and boogie boards. Fishing rods and cooler bags. Camping chairs and umbrellas.

I doubt any of us will merge into the haze of the background, all I know is; it’s gonna be awesome…and we’re avoiding Camps Bay. 

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