Cape Town Stories 5

I’m parking the car in town, I get out the car, my afro jiggling and bouncing and all, the parking attendant says to me „yoh, white people have a lot of hair!“. I’m thoroughly confused, like „am I white?“. She’s like „Are you not white?“. I’m like, „uhm, no, I don’t think so. I’m black…?“ She’s like „You look white“ she takes another glance and reconsiders: „but your teeth look Zulu.“ Yoh, Mzansi, you confuse me on the daily!

Cape Town Stories 4

I went to the public swimming pool with a friend and his little nephew. A day filled with sun and fun but also a valuable life lesson. I learned that day from the nine-year-old how to make new friends. Pretty simple really. Just walk up to (or jump into pool next to) a person whose face you like and ask: „can I play with you?“. The answer, I was assured, is always yes.

Cape Town Stories 3

I’m at a fish shop at the harbour, want to order some slap chips and deep fried fish. But before I get a chance to order, one of the ladies working there walks up to me to tell me that I am not allowed to be in there looking „like that“. I look down at my basic black jeans and black top and back up at the scene; tables covered in plastic table cloths, dirty floor tiles and people eating their food off of colourful plastic plates. I ask her if she is joking. She points at a sign on the wall that reads that guns are not tolerated inside the fish shop, which I get, and that men may not be barechested. I point out that I am neither a man, nor is my chest bare, it is my back that is uncovered. She says it’s the same.

Cape Town Stories 1

I’m in a cute little Berlin-looking cafe in the more gentrified upper part of Woodstock. In comes a (white) woman with her dog; while she orders her latte, the pug (is it a pug? small, face not made to breath) runs around the cafe frantically, as though feeling nervous or out of place in this cafe made for human hipsters. The pug comes to a stop underneath my chair, I pull up my legs out of reflex, when it leaves this position to find another one, another patron points out the dog poep it has left behind: placed neatly underneath my chair. Next, the (black) waiter is cleaning up the dog poep while the lady is too busy calming down her „sweety“, telling it not to feel embarrassed about its little mishap, as it „happens to everyone sometimes“. I feel like she should stop lying at her dog.