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Pack Light Walk Slow Calvin: "It's a magical world out there Hobbes, ol' buddy.

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Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA | Saturday, 9 November 2002 | Views [486]

11/9/02

I love Cape Town!  The first day, Katie and I just wandered around the city for a while trying to set up a couple hiking trips.  The best part of the day was when we went to Lola’s, this cute little gay/lesbian veggie restaurant on a corner with metal tables and chairs from the 70’s on the sidewalk.  They had the best food! (it might have been great, or it might have just tasted good after living on the ship’s food for so long J)  I just got a sandwich w/ roasted vegetables, cheese and mustard/mayo.  The really funny part, though, was a group of people sitting behind us would shoot at passing cars w/ water guns.  People at home would get so angry if that happened to them, but here, people just smiled and waved.  They were also passing around a joint right there in public.  Very crazy.  Helped make the day more entertaining though. 

            Cape Town is a very liberal, hippie, European-inspired city.  It’s a relatively clean city, the majority of people on the street are white and just about everybody can speak English.  The native language for the whites is Afriaanz which is a mix between Dutch and the local African languages, and whites make up the majority of Cape Town’s population.  The native Africans and “colored” or mixed races still live in the townships on the outskirts of town like they have since Apartheid. South Africa is still considered a third world country even though many whites live there and the cities are nice. 

            Then today (day 2), Geoff and I went back to the tourism place to pay for a trip and ended up staying a while after closing time talking to our guides.  They were great guys and they knew a lot about the area.  We also got to talking about America vs. the rest of the world (partially Geoff’s doing – he always has to get into political discussions).

            Then Geoff and I took the ferry to Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner.  When we got to the prison, a former prisoner showed us around and told his story.  Apparently, the prisoners brought to Robben Island during Apartheid were mostly political prisoners – people who the whites feared would lead revolts among the native Africans.  While on Robben Island, the prisoners were beaten and tortured in so many gruesome ways.  Our guide said they tied wires around his private parts and sent electric shocks through the wires.  The men also had to work in a lime mine on the island and the sun’s reflection blazing off the shiny lime caused many men (including our guide) to have permanent eye problems and sensitivity and even blindness for some.  This tour was definitely something Dad would have liked.

Tags: sightseeing, south africa

 

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