David Moseley

In Cape Town, we don’t see colour

2015-12-07 07:00

David Moseley

You know, we take a lot of flak in the Mother City because we’re still allegedly operating along colour lines in the country’s only semi-functioning city. Not a day goes by without Cape Town being dragged into some discussion over colour, and how suburbs are divided by it.

In reality, though, Capetonians don’t see colour. In fact, you could say we are colour-blind…

We absolutely have to be, because that’s the only possible explanation behind Western Cape drivers’ inability to comprehend the quite straightforward process when approaching traffic lights.

Let me just give Western Cape readers a quick refresher: red means stop. Green is for go. Once more for luck: red means stop. Green means go.

If you’re still puzzled, the light on top is the red one, which means stop. The middle light is orange, which means “don’t speed up, you prick”.

The light at the bottom, drum roll please, is the green one and that generally indicates go, although some see it as an invitation to drive at maximum speed to hit all the greens in a sequence.

From this debilitating local malady I can only conclude that the captain of the Titanic was a Capetonian who didn’t know his port from his starboard, and that local winemakers don’t actually know what type of wine they’re making.

When you buy your favourite Western Cape wine of origin, what you’re getting is a complete and utter mystery to the actual winemaker.

It could possibly also explain the Stormers new red change kit. Some Cape Town marketing genius probably thought the design was a lighter shade of blue and triumphantly approved the away jersey before whizzing through 16 red lights on his way home to drink some delicious red sauvignon blanc.

It also explains why so many Cape Town residents have Manchester United and Liverpool stickers on their cars; unable to tell red from green they’ve just placed the colours of first sport’s team they can find on their bumper, thinking they’re actually supporting the Springboks. The infamous Crusaders fans of Newlands also probably think they’re cheering on the Boks.

With Christmas holidays just around the corner, I write this as a public service announcement to our visiting guests. If you’re walking around the CBD, either push a dustbin into the road to make sure it’s safe to cross, or wait until the nearest car is 500m away before stepping into the road. And even then, let the Germans go first – those fools actually believe the little green man in the traffic light is for pedestrians.

The driving in the city is truly abysmal, and while in general Cape Town is a nice place to be, it’s a terrible place to drive (and walk, or cycle).

So to survive your holiday in the Western Cape, I propose three strategies:
1 Stay in Joburg, we don’t really want you here anyway.
2 Park at the Waterfront, don’t leave until your flight home.
3 Close your eyes while driving, it’s how everyone else in Cape Town drives anyway.
4 Just kidding about number one, come visit us please. But seriously, be careful out there. While we definitely don’t judge on colour down here, we are actually all assholes behind the wheel.

Merry Christmas! Hope you live to see the New Year’s Test at Newlands.

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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