Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Tourists At Nobel Square, Waterfront, Cape Town, 24/7/365(ish)

Two years ago "Nobel Square" didn't exist - it was just an underutilised open space outside what was once Planet Hollywood before it was bombed, which then became a semi-decent independent CD store, which then disappeared into the night to be replaced by a Musica Megastore (which should be bombed ... oops, can I say that without being arrested or, at the very least, put on some corporate watchlist?).

Sometime in 2005 someone had the bright idea of creating a little tribute to South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize winners, so up sprung an instant tourist attraction in December 2005, and it's been attracting tourists ever since.

(And inconveniencing locals ever since, too, because it's right in the middle of a pedestrian thoroughfare.)

At any time of the day, and possibly even at night*, this is the scene to be beheld in the square (which, by the way, is actually more a figurative square because both the slab housing the statues and the larger area of the "Square" are both rectangular). Tourists contemplate with reverence, and cameras, while the locals pass through, most unaware that there's actually now a tourist attraction here.

*I'm not entirely sure because, like, I don't stalk this place, or anything. I have other things to stalk**.

**Seriously, I was talking about this (or this). You are too paranoid.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pick 'n Pay, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town: 20 October 2007

Christmas in October

Above: Pick 'n Pay apparently has it in for my psyche and general mental well-being.

It used to be that on 25 October every year the first ads for Christmas would appear on TV. You could set your watch by it. My first ad experience of each season is a horrible moment that starts me on a two-month rant about consumerism, advertising, marketing, and meaninglessness, as you can imagine. The TV ads are soon followed by flyers and marketing materials in our mailboxes and newspapers, decorations in stores, and finally the installation of the Christmas lights in the city, down Adderley Street, that may eventually be removed in about April, if you're lucky.

To my horror, this year, I was absentmindedly standing in a queue at my local Pick 'n Pay last Saturday afternoon and as I got to the till I looked up and saw this garish display, five days early! Up rose the nausea, out came the camera, and herewith is the shot. Gah!

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