Monday, January 22, 2007

Downtown

Apparently the South Africa-Pakistan cricket match has just ended. Did you know cricket matches last five days?!? Of course, being an English game, they break for lunch and tea, so it’s all very civilized for the players. Thank goodness we can’t find cricket on tv at home. I think it would drive me nuts.

Today, another very very hot one, we went downtown. We got dropped off midmorning in the Bo Kaap, the original muslim area, which is full of colourful architecture. It’s positively lurid. Just wait till you see my photos then you’ll see what I mean. Looking over them on the tiny camera screen, I think there are some great ones, if I do say so myself. I’m dying to go back there because we didn’t spend much time there. Sadly, it’s not very stroller friendly. Most of the streets are still paved with very uneven, bumpy cobblestones, and there are not many sidewalks. What sidewalks there are, stop suddenly, or are interrupted by someone’s front steps, and have very high curbs. Because it’s at the base of Signal Hill, many streets are also very steep. Sugar Daddy was pushing and he overheated navigating all these obstacles, so he insisted we go down to a café for a drink. I could have wandered for hours, although I was a touch wary because in most streets there weren’t many people about.

Nevertheless, I think I got some great shots in only about half an hour or 45 minutes. Swee’pea was also getting a bit fussy, and he enjoyed the break at the little café. After our break, we reapplied his sunscreen and proceeded down Long Street, which is full of backpackers and all manner of businesses catering to young (and not so young) travellers. It was very busy with pedestrians, and not just tourists. I took lots of pictures of people and architecture, both together wherever possible, if someone came onto their balcony to look down. We had lunch at a café there, which took considerably longer than we expected, but it was fine. Swee’pea fell asleep as soon as we set off again, this time in the other direction down Long Street to Greenmarket Square.

I’m so glad I practiced shooting in front of people back in Guelph. Either that or brazenness comes naturally to me. I didn’t feel self-conscious at all, and figured that people could see me holding the camera up to my eye so if they didn't like it, they could move. A few people darted out of the frame as quickly as possible, but I think that was more out of a mistaken sense of courtesy than to avoid being photographed. And lots of peole just don’t even notice the camera, which is a treat. My camera made it obvious we're tourists, but I don't mind being labelled a tourist.

I remember last time walking around Greenmarket Square seeing all kinds of things and people I wanted to photograph, but I was too chicken. I felt like I had ants in my pants. Finally, I screwed up my courage and quickly took one shot, and I felt hugely nervous and silly and uncomfortable. This time I shot fairly indescriminately, although it was so hot in the square that people looked kinda grumpy when the camera was near them. So I tried to be respectful.

We walked through a pedestrian mall, and then down the Company Gardens, and took another break. It seems that the Company Gardens is a coveted spot for an informal siesta. People were sprawled in shady spots all over the place. Of course I took their pictures. Then we met Grandpa Cape Town around 3. We were hot and sticky and tired, but I really enjoyed the day. Wandering around, stopping in outdoor cafes, and snapping pics is really my kind of day. I hope we get at least one more like it before we leave the country.

We have one more day in Cape Town, then we’re going to Joburg for six days with a two-day outing to Pilanesberg Game Reserve, then we’ll be back in Cape Town for the rest of our stay.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know you are hot and it's buggy, but I'm sufficently jealous. It's freezing here and I'm in my work cubicle!! I'll try to keep reading to follow along with your trip- Nicole

mamatuliup said...

I'm closing my eyes and imagining myself with you, even though it's hot and I hate hot. ;)

Mad Hatter said...

What a fabulous experience you're having.

NotSoSage said...

I can't wait to see the photos!

Mimi said...

sounds like a wonderful day. very warm and happy and loving and intellectual stimulating. perfect. me too, i can't wait for the pics!

Beck said...

You should be a travel writer - this is seriously so vivid!

Oh, The Joys said...

Cricket kind of LOOKS like mental patients having a day out.

Aliki2006 said...

I'm so drooling with anticipation over those photos--I can't wait to see your experiences captured...

Em said...

I never tolerated cricket until I married and was forced to learn the rules/watch etc. due to my cricket crazy husband and (later) son. Now I genuinely enjoy the game - all 5 days of it - I especially how civilised it is... (I vastly prefer my son playing cricket for school, than football!)

ewe are here said...

Sounds like you've been having a great trip so far!

I have to admit, I'm not at all impressed with cricket. I think they all look rather silly. ;-)

Denguy said...

Hot eh, it's only -8 here right now.
I have a new camera and I will start posting my shots. I would like to see yours, so get on with it!

Alpha Dogma said...

Oh, I love watching cricket. Some Sundays it is on the Punjabi language channel that comes with our satellite package. I don't get the rules at all and find it confusing at the best of times, but the whole language barrier really complicates things. Still I'd rather watch cricket over hockey, and if I ever learn the blasted rules, I'm gonna get the boys interested.

I'm living vicariously through you on this adventure. Thanks for sharing.