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I miss Cape Town

November 2, 2005

Main Rd Kalk Bay

It’s getting cold and dark in Scotland, and more and more I find myself missing the glories of Cape Town, most wondrous city on Earth. I am enjoying living in Edinburgh, but I find myself having anti-UK days from time to time, days when I want nothing more than to get off this cold,miserable, unfriendly wet island.


But there’s a problem with Cape Town: it’s in South Africa, a country who’s issues I am thoroughly sick of.

When I read about Brett Kebble’s murder, or the council evicting people from shacks, or the unemployment rate, crime and corruption, I am really glad I don’t need to deal with that every day.

And then there’s the company we all love to hate, Hellkom, the nasty monopoly parastatal that has the country by the short and curlies. It’s a perfect example of what privatisation brings: formerly owned by the State and run as a public service, Telkom is now a private company – but the government is the majority shareholder, meaning their 1500% profit is indirect taxation. Talk about corruption, only in this case it’s legal.

When I read about Telkom’s recent hikes on the cost of broadband, I realise that it’s a good thing I am not back home: I would find it very hard not to petrol bomb the company.

I spent the past 10 years or so in South Africa being politically and socially active, and I am tired now. So – as much as I get sick of this urbanised, consumerist nightmare, I am staying away until some of these things get sorted out.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Dylan permalink
    November 9, 2005 7:57 am

    Hello Walton
    We have never met, but you’d recognize me if we ever did. I also miss Cape Town, and Kalk Bay, and I’m also on a cold, wet, island in the Northern Hemisphere: Japan. And yes, I’m sick of South Africa’s issues too, but I’ll definitely be back one day to do my little bit to fix them, which I’m sure you will too.
    My name is Dylan. You may have seen me in Olympia or on Dangers from time to time. I also know Heidi and Spaz. I lived in the commune on Harris st. I’m tall and have longish blonde hair and blue eyes. No photo on my blog yet but I’ll get around to it eventually.
    I stumbled across your blog doing an image search on Kalk Bay, and it prompted me to set up my own. A previous resident of 6 Harris is also in Scotland at the Goethean Science Institute and I could name several more participants in the recent exodus from the village but it would take too long. Anyway, check out my Fractal MindsCape blog
    (maybe you can give me some tips on my Latin).

  2. Anonymous permalink
    November 10, 2005 10:06 pm

    Aieesh you guys… but I agree with the Telkom thing. When I leave it will be with a Tshirt that loudly proclaims REFUGEE FROM HELLKOM.

    But I’ll only stay away 6 months of the year…
    Sav who forgot password again..

  3. wikidknickers permalink
    February 22, 2006 12:12 pm

    Hey Walton

    Niki here..remember me from crazy Mowbray days when you and the weird Flemmish guy were living in Sarah’s house? Had no idea you were overseas (but it probably explains why I haven’t seen you lurking around bookshops in a while!)

    Stumbled onto your blog through Neverness – what a mindF**K! I’ve just started jumping from blog to blog, and I’ve found so many amazing people. I’m thinking of starting one myself…

    You’re right about SA though, and the things that piss you off. I’m working in Parliament, and I get to see it first hand all the time – really depressing.

    I tried living overseas (london) but life was just too grey there, so I came back, and planted myself stubbornly. I’ve decided despite the shite, I’m not giving in. Cape Town is the most beautiful place in the world, and no-one’s gonna stop me enjoying it!

    Anyway, enough ranting – good to see you’re still on the planet.

    Enjoy the green and blessed be.


  4. Walton permalink
    February 22, 2006 12:56 pm

    Hey Nikki, it’s great to hear from you, and to keep up a connection with people over the years, That’s one of the things I like about blogs – do start one yourself, especially since you like to write.
    The Flemish guy, by the way was Braam – I wonder what happened to him (Braam, if you’re reading this, drop us an email).
    I was always a loyal Capetonian, and initially I was stubbornly resistant to enjoying myself overseas. But I have now accepted that there are a lot of things that are really shit about SA, and it’s very hard to change them, and I don’t have to put up with them if I don’t want to.
    Cape Town is the greatest city on Earth, and I owe it a lot – the city made me, all those drink-fuelled and dagga dof days in old Obs, the bohemian splendour of Gothic Court and Danger Beach in St James. I will be back.
    “But I have promises to keep
    and miles to go before I sleep”.

    Keep in touch.

  5. Nico permalink
    August 30, 2009 11:22 pm

    Ahhh guys! I miss Cape Town too! Living in grey UK. My heart bleeds for beautiful Cape Town!

    I went back 3 years ago and though I wanted to go & change things, I couldn’t fix everything myself. I was sadly disillusioned!

    I guess I will always miss Kalk bay, heck the entire Western Cape! DOn’t know if I am brave enough to go back!

    Keep well!

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