The Western Cape:After three years i have found myself once again in the lovely and confusing city of Cape Town. I forgot so much over the years that it was indeed a shock to have it all put before me again. The beauty put into contrast with the stark and way too obvious economic gap somehow managed to take me off guard.
To begin with, it is one of the most gorgeous places i have ever seen. The biodiversity is unmatched in most of the world and with that there is never a time which the eyes become bored. No matter where you go there is something new and amazing and time with national geographic seem at the door step. We, thanks to Cavan and Chrissy, were able to drive around to some new areas as well which made me question if i was dreaming. In fact, i believe one area has been used in a lot of movies and commercials as there is no way a movie set could be set to such a level. Even the trips out to Paarl and Stellenbosch (which familiar to me) had me gasping. Also, i got to see it through the eyes of philip, a newbie to the continent, which allowed me to share in his firsts.
At the same time, however, i still found myself questioning how people could live in a world with so many bared windows and the need for that level of vigilance. Even hiking the paths up Table Mountain (a busy area) i felt insecure as my mind flooded with stories of tourists being targeted. One of the best moments was when we were driving home and got lost in the outskirts of some very sketchy townships. In my usual way I stopped talking as the nerves choked me, Chrissy started freaking out and called Cavan for the quickest route out, and Philip (remember he is new to the continent) was as cool as a cucumber and passed out for most of it. Turns out we were on 'hijack highway' and it was good that i choose not to stop at any red lights. I hate that feeling (elevated after my own robbery a few months back) and therefore remain undecided on how much i like or dislike the country. I need to feel safe (blame that on my rural upbringing) and when there are so many desperate people in such a small area then there is no way i could stay there... no matter how gorgeous it is. So, while i have never had a bad experience there and have actually gone through many months there without an incident... i can't get the stories of worse fates out of my head... So... Sorry Cape Town, but for now you will remain off the list of settlement locations.