Bo-Kaap, Birds, Braai and an ice-cold Beer

Day nine: We do not know what day it is anymore and that’s okay. Okay, one of us will always know what day, time and…whatever…but he has settled in very nicely to the laid-back and now-now-just-now culture of South Africa. Time? Punctuality? Hmmm…What’s that? Hahaha! As we say in Afrikaans, “môre is nog ‘n dag”. In other words, life goes on, OR tomorrow is another day. Sister-in-law dearest was taking us out and about, and the first stop was the colourful Bo-Kaap.

Bo-Kaap

This is one of the the most picturesque suburbs of Cape Town which lies on the slopes of Signal Hill, is near to the city centre and, depending on where you stand, has amazing views of the very famous Table Mountain. The first thing that hits you while looking for a rare parking space are the brightly painted and quaint little houses. A beautiful sight for inquisitive eyes👀 We walked mainly along the Chiappini Street which to us was the most colourful street. Each house has it’s own little charm and the residents are probably “tourist numb” by now. Imagine having all these camera clicking people day in and day out staring at your cute little house…hee-hee. We were also stopped by an elderly man who warned Mr. Click-Click (he has one of those big fancy ones) to be careful and watch his camera as he had seen too many tourists been robbed in the area. We thanked him graciously but could not get our heads around it as the streets were almost void of people. He meant well though, but our fingers were cramped and our knuckles white from holding on too tightly onto our possessions. Jokes aside, this area is a major tourist attraction not just for their colours, but also for the history of the people. Most residents have ancestors who were slaves brought to the Cape by the Dutch from as early as the 16th century. They hailed from other parts of Africa, as well as Asia, Indonesia, Java and Malaysia. The Bo-Kaap was formely known as the Malay Quarter and the people as Cape Malays (probably now too, but it’s not politically correct anymore). As mentioned before, not all are descendents from Malaysia, but the name stuck. They’re also very famous for presenting one of the best and oldest carnivals in South Africa every year since the mid 1800’s. It’s called the “Kaapse Klopse” or just “Klopse” or once again, the politically incorrect version, the “Coon Carnival”. The Dutch gave their slaves only one day off per year, on the 2nd of January, and allowed them to celebrate however they wished. They would thus dress up as minstrels, sing and dance, always accompanied by drums, whistles, banjos and other instruments. This tradition has survived both slavery and apartheid and is one of the best and biggest highlights in Cape Town. Think Rio de Janeiro, but only think, because it’s better in Cape Town. Yes, someone is biased 😇 They spend most of the year preparing this colourful event and we had a little taste of it while we were sitting and enjoying some delicious roti and curry at one of their traditional restaurants. A marching brass band came to practice in a park opposite to where we were sitting and the music was really enjoyable. With a dripping and sticky sugar syrupy koeksister in one hand and toes that could not stop tapping, we ended off our jaunt in the Bo-Kaap. By the way, a “koeksister” is a lovely South African dessert or just a nibble-at-any-time pastry thingy made from dough plaited and fried in hot oil. It is then dipped into a sugar syrup mixture while still hot, then left to cool. Some roll it in coconut too. For most of us in the family, it was our Sunday breakfast, dessert after lunch, tea and coffee snack and the last bite before bed. After all, the dreaded Monday was looming 😬 Enjoy the pics! Don’t forget, click on them for more information.

 

Green Point

Green Point is a very trendy and hip suburb of Cape Town, with a gay-friendly culture and buzzing nightlife, which is also set at the foot of Signal Hill, quasi around the corner from Bo-Kaap. There’s this big square, red and white striped lighthouse squatting on a green lawn between the busy main road and the ocean. The Green Point Lighthouse, initiated by an English Sir, was built by a German immigrant and started operating in 1824 for the first time. Other than new lighting, the lighthouse has remained in its original form since then. After jay-walking across the main road (zebra crossings are decorations – it’s Africa) we entered a lovely park which seems to be quite popular. The Urban Park is big and includes an outdoor fitness area, play area, adventure area and areas for all sorts of events like art, exhibitions and markets. There’s also a Biodiversity Garden where we saw various birds and swimming thingies in the water. Next to the Urban Park is a golf course and next to that a large stadium. The “new” and famous Cape Town Stadium (with its own jail if you get naughty while in there) was built especially for the Football World Cup 2010 and can also be viewed from the inside. We were too pooped to do a tour, but we had just enough energy to walk along the very long and interesting promenade. Next time, maybe 😉

 

Braai … and the Beer Drinker

It was a very hot and enjoyable day. Someone was also quite thirsty…glug-glug-glug…😋 A braai (barbie or barbeque for the ill-informed 😛)  is what South Africans do. Always!!! Anywhere and everywhere in the world. Weather is irrelevant. It’s the event of all events. It’s the gathering of men around the fire and the women in the kitchen hahaha! It’s a man with a beer in one hand (he throws some over the braai) and a braai-fork in the other sort of thing. The braai boss. Seriously, women are just not allowed to braai! As if we want to, so there! A braai is about food, people and fun! And the right fire lol…There’s always a lot of everything: boerewors (South African sausage), meat (all kinds) and chicken. These are served with freshly cooked hot pap/mieliepap (maize meal stiff porridge), a tomato/onion gravy or relish, salads and other lekker stuff. Drink a refreshing beer, or a glass of wine, before, during and after…YUM! Oh, and to South Africans a barbie is a plastic doll and a barbeque is a spice flavour. Just saying 😜

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