Monday, October 18, 2010

Africa Part 8

Up and down Cape Town: Highlights 10-9 to 10-16

-Within an hour of arriving in CT, I felt more irie, heard more shouts of "Ja!" and "RASTAFARI!!" than in all of my life combined. First amazing experience of the trip? A reggae cd release party in Khayelitsha, the largest township in the Western Cape area. Since we were operating not only on African time, but also musician time, and stoner time, (the whole place was overwhelmingly and quite tastily cannabis-ed), the projected start time was more of a joke than anything. So there we were, in Peter Tosh Hall (how apt) with a dirt floor, red, yellow, green, and a roof that was more of an idea than a protective covering, jamming it. By the end I was delirious. (The end was around 3AM), and could not wait for the rest of the week to unfold, telling myself it was anything like this, I'd be thrilled beyond words.

-CT reminds me of a number of cities have I loved. The V&A Waterfront likened itself to Long Beach, the area surrounding Observatory was quite like Brooklyn, and San Francisco for the hills, houses, and weather. Although I've never been to Chicago-- the wind.. enough said.

-Finally, I got my milonga. After weeks and weeks of teaching tango in the schools, I finally found myself in a dimly lit hall with DiSarli playing. You learn quite a large deal about people from dancing with them: their sense of rhythm, how they listen to your momentum, weight, and the music. I felt sanity crawling back into my body. So far, every time I've tried to dance in a foreign country (all two times now) it rained. Shame. But I went on, on both occasions. Milongas here are from R20-R30, which means roughly between just under $3 to a little over $4. A much less obsession to have than in LA. But then again, both are cheaper than cocaine, so I should consider myslf lucky and thrifty.

-Wine tasting for the first time! Stellenbosch is a charming place, that which reminds me a bit of Santa Barbara, (the State Street portion), and I learned so so much about the poetry of reds, whites, roses.

-Kalk Bay and Simon's Town were some kind of beautiful- seeing the ocean after so long was invigorating to say the least. And the penguins!!

-Raced the sun in order to watch it rise as we schlepped up Table Mountain-- Shame however, that our moves were a little slow. Still, it greeted us as we sprinted through Kirstenbosch early in the morning. Went up Nursery Ravine trail, and down Skeleton Gorge, clambering through rain soaked terrain. Dangerous? Maybe. Fun? Absolutely. Breathtaking was the view from the top, where I could see Robben Island, and about seven shades of blue in the sea. Thereafter, time on the beach. Sand here is white, and gorgeous.

-Since some of my favorite places are museums, I made it a point to visit a couple. Spent the morning in the District 6 Museum, a place of immense healing and affirmation for the folks who were forcibly removed to crappy areas of the cape, (read: ghetto) and I found it beautiful to see the interviews, photos. The South African National Gallery was also gorgeous, with its sculpture, photography, paintings.

-Robben Island was amazing. And sobering. And inspiring.

I think I ought to have more to say, and I do, but this game of blog-catch up is over. For this entry, at least. Pictures will come... eventually, if you behave!

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