Cape Town Rocks !

This is my often declared opinion of the Mother City.. It Rocks ! but this has been taken to a totally new level with the U2 Concert at Green Point Stadium. It was a perfect evening, with a giant full moon shining over the mountain as we queued up to enter the stadium then rising over the stadium.

I went there with my best friend and we soaked in the atmosphere of the Fan Walk complete with carnival performers, big dolls representing the band members. We had Bockwurst Rolls from a kiosk and queued for a long time to get drinks, but it was all part of the fun.

At the stadium we first listened to Springbok Nude Girls led by Arno Carstens and then there was some wait until U2 graced the stage. The visuals were fantastic and the atmosphere electric. The best moments for me were when Bono shared the stage with Yvonne Chaka Chaka and they sang I Still Haven’t Found What I am Looking For and then Stand By Me.  There were many visuals of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and a tribute to Suu Kyi the leader of opposition in Burma (Myanmar). In all it was a dazzling show that left me in awe. My ears suffered somewhat and in most songs I recognized the beat but not the words, I wouldn’t know whether this was the norm for all rock concerts because it was my very attendance of a live rock concert.

It is great that many other sites and blogs, including the Cape Town Travel Blog had an extensive post about the concert, with videos and great photos. This was especially welcomed since my own photos have fallen victims to a technical bug. My camera was ready, with spare batteries and all, but instead of taking pictures it winked at me with the message : NO DATA CARD. Sure enough I had forgotten my data card in the laptop the last time I downloaded photos. What can I say but, there is a good reason to own a good camera phone.

Here are some of the better pictures:

I was trying to catch the moon in this one, it is the “searchlight” on the far right corner.

It is not easy to see on my camera, but the stage has bridges and walkways that wrapped around parts of the audience (The Golden Circle crowd) who got the best position in the show. Later I heard that they had a bar right there in their midst and free sushi – for a ticket price of about 400 USD, it figures.

Depending on the lighting the setup of the stage looked like a spaceship, a giant arachnid or a cathedral. The whole screen setup was also very innovative.

Final number, gone are the days of lighters. It is now “turn on the screen of your cell phone” and we were all part of a galaxy of stars.

Long Street

I know I am supposed to feel thrilled and happy with the developments in my life. Most people would do anything to have a bite of the Big Apple, but I am just a small town girl who learned to love the Mother City.

The sights and sounds I experience of Cape Town in these days and weeks have great poignancy because I know that I am going to be without them soon. My eyes have learned to appreciate and take in all the color and vibrancy I took for granted for the past five years, and I know deep in my heart that even the greatest city in the world cannot replace Cape Town from my heart.

My son’s pre-school is at the top of Long Street, attached to the St. Martini German Lutheran Church. I walked this street many times before but in the last weeks I started to note and take in almost every building and shop-front. This post is my tribute to a Cape Town landmark.

Long street is Cape Town at its best. Its Victorian buildings are tourist favourites, its shops, restaurants, and coffee shops well-frequented by foreigners and locals alike, and it comes to life at night with its selection of bars and party haunts. The shopping possibilities on Long are endless: Books, lingerie, antiques, African inspired and designed clothes, accessories, and the obligatory African art are only some of the offering.

The street features a couple of mosques rubbing shoulders with coffee shops or bars, and there is a Turkish bath at its end. Each of its Victorian buildings is distinct in its style and most are not shy of making a bold statement with colour and design. To my mind Long Street best expresses the irreverence of this city and its bohemian nature. It is happy with its quirks and flaunts them instead of hiding them.

I love Long Street, I love Cape Town, and I love South Africa and all its warm people. Nowhere else in the world can be warmer. No other place can have a stronger pull on my heart.


This matter of relocation is definitely not for the fainthearted. I am already intimidated, and I am mostly doing this alone. The entity employing me only gives me phone numbers and contacts, and it is left to me to sift through the mountains of information out there, and verify them if possible on the internet.

I realize now that I haven’t actually spilled the beans yet on what or where this is about. I am going to be employed by an international organization based in New York as an Associate Arabic Translator. This is of course a wonderful opportunity for me and for Robert but there are many challenges involved, and I am trying to overcome them one at a time.

The biggest obstacle so far is finding a proper pre-school for Robert, somewhere where he will be happy and looked after. He is doing so well at his pre-school here in Cape Town, and I am only going to enroll him at a pre-school in New York that is on the same level or better.

A few days ago I was so happy that one particular Child Care center in Midtown Manhattan had space for him. I thought that I had this figured, until on closer examination it turned out that the pre-school was in a basement of an office building and the children had only limited access to natural light. I had the disturbing image of child-prisoners going out for fresh air once or twice a day. I cannot do this to my son after living in the sunshine of South Africa and having access to open air playgrounds during school hours.  Of course South Africa has more sunny days than most places on earth but still, can you imagine having a child deprived of daylight ? The woman working at the centre said their working hours were from about seven in the morning until six in the evening, so it is conceivable that during winter some kids will arrive in the dark and leave in the dark, I cannot think of anything more depressing, even for an adult let alone a child.

My ex husband said that there are so many people competing on very little resources in Manhattan, so I am expanding now my search to residential areas with good transit access to town and wherever I find a good pre-school it will be where we will live. As this is my main focus now I haven’t even thought about shipping my few things, the logistics of moving my cat (if at all conceivable) and many other little problems that will surely present themselves as time moves on closer to the d-date.  I haven’t committed myself yet to the employer but I already gave notice on my rental flat and I have to be out of here by April 1st, so I hope I will manage to solve my problems until then.

If all else fails, there is help from family. My mother generously offered to be with me for the initial relocation period in New York, and thanks to this lifesaving gesture my fear has not reached the point of panic (yet).

When I first applied and attended the exams required for the job, I desperately wanted to be based in New York. Now I am not so sure, it seems it is awfully crowded busy and noisy and I have always been a small town girl. Cape Town to me is just big enough, and I cannot imagine living in a city where I have to compete with millions. I have to dig deep and keep my faith that things always work out in the end.