Where Does One Meet People In Cape Town?
My experiment worked, as a few people interacted with my character while she was in the park (and she also fell victim to a mugger who stole a book she was carrying - who knew such a thing would happen?), but it got me thinking about Cape Town and how lacking it is in places to meet people. In New York you have, for example, Central Park, and London has, for example, Hyde Park and St James's Park, but Cape Town doesn't really have anything equivalent to that - well, certainly not on the same grand scale. Here, we have many beaches, but each has an unwritten identity and I've never found most of those near to the city to be that friendly to "outsiders", although, to be fair, I haven't ventured to the beaches for a few years so perhaps I should do some research during the upcoming holidays.
Other than that you have clubs, which each have their own very particular identity, of course, and Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, which is a wonderful place to wander around in or visit on a Sunday afternoon during summer to attend for one of its Summer Sunset Concerts (highly recommended!). There's also the mountain and surrounds, but it's not very safe there at the moment, so where do you go? I have no idea.
I think living here, in some ways, makes it harder because many of us become bogged down in our jobs and lives and end up commuting back and forth between office, home, and the malls (*ack!*) without really interacting with people in any meaningful way. There isn't really a culture of "communal commuting" here, except for the truly unlucky who have to rely on public transport, which is not safe anymore and therefore not recommended for those who can afford not to use it (or, well, technically, anyone..). And not that "communal commuting" necessarily equates "meaningful commuting" [quick shoutout to London ::wave::], but at least you have an opportunity that you can choose to take advantage of, should you wish.
As for the rest of us in Cape Town - what's the answer? I don't know. Between the hecticness of life and general Capetonian apathy, it's very hard to meet people, even in a city of over three million individuals.
Labels: Cape Town