Cape Town, SA.
Thu 29 Mar 2012 - Sun 6 May 2012
My Amma says that she may have lived in Cape Town in a previous life...the city felt familiar, it made her happy, and she felt at ease. Now that's what a city should make you feel. After seeing a bit of South Africa, you realize how Cape Town is not South Africa. It's San Francisco - cool, hip, pretty, good food, odd people.
Table Mountain dominates the mind, the eye and the heart in CPT. You can practically see it from everywhere, the weather report specifically covers Top of Table Mountain, the best pictures are of the mountain, from the mountain, with the mountain. And it is truly spectacular...imagine Nelson Mandela on Robben Island looking out at the Mountain covered in a thick tablecloth of clouds. Uff.
And then there is the other side of South Africa - not urban, but ancient. The Cradle of Mankind, where man began to evolve. There is a truly eye opening, interactive exhibit at the site of one of oldest human fossils found. Intriguing display that gets us to think about who we are in the context of others and what our role in the larger human community is. Made for good car talk on the way to Kruger National Park.
We also went to Durban, actually North of there to a sea side town of Umhalanga. Aside for the usual comparison of beaches around the world, also had interesting chat about Indians. A white South African told me that her view of Indians is that we are scheming, and up to no good! Surprised me, because the view that a Swiss friend shared is that in Switzerland, Indians are an educated class, well-respected, but often confused for Sri Lankan refugees. Indians are smart and respected, in Botswana. And they are the immigrant workers at construction sites in Singapore. So who are Americans? Does the world have just one stereotype, that of a loud Texan? Or are there more variations to this? and I happen to like Texans!