The bohemian life of Cape Town is one of its lesser known secrets.
You can find the quirky and off-beat in many places, unexpected and expected.
For example, there is this bread maker that specializes in artisan bread …
Open only from 8am to 2pm the sign says, Mondays to Saturdays.
Well I was there at 13h45 … with fifteen minutes to spare and not a sign of life!
Joburg folk (from Johannesburg) would point out that this is typical Cape Town.
Being from Durban originally, I know all about ‘Banana Fever’, that drowsiness that grows on you on hot humid afternoons.
But we do not have much humidity here compared to Durban at least so that would not be an explanation … if an explanation was justifiable.
Actually I am not so sure about generalizations in general …
There was this teenage and young adult myth that in Cape Town for every guy there are seven girls!
Now what delusional desperation ensured that this irrational meme continued for decades and maybe still does!?
Nature does not like vacuums, especially ones that would be so off equilibrium as the idea of seven girls to every single guy!
Now who on earth dreamed up such rubbish!?
The bad news for those believers of such irrational memes is that the ratio of males/females in Cape Town is pretty much the same as anywhere else …
Perhaps what Cape Town has that makes an artisan bread maker close up shop randomly is … an innate sense of freedom, to live one’s life as one chooses, without caging oneself into some unnecessary life frame or another.
Cape Town was hippy, and it remained hippy into the Anti Orange Cheese revolution when a few consumers began asking why cheese was so brightly orange!?
Does anyone remember the days when cheese was orange!?
It must have been one kiddies story book too many that had food product designers demand more orange coloring in cheeses to make them sell better!
There was this wonderful vegetarian shop/restaurant in Seapoint called the Granary, an import from the early California movements rebelling against the hierarchical and the conforming sterile.
It was a flagship that sunk on the rocks of those times, the tide it caught was too early, cheese that was not orange enough was still seen as not quite right …so vegetarianism, organic foods, preservative and additive free was lunatic.
Marching around in khaki uniforms as school kadets was another throwback of those times and more in keeping with being normal!?
Montessori education was unheard of … and unwelcome as it was under Mussolini.
In Noordhoek and other places, before The Age of Green, embryonic markets would invisibly arise.
I was banned by my wife from one when I came home with weevils in the stone ground organic rye!
The only real coffee was at Cartwright’s Corner in Adderley Street where all the desperate Mediterranean folk would congregate, Greeks, Italians, Portuguese, desperate for real coffee.
The World Of Coffees it was called.
Then the Berlin Wall came down, De Klerk unbanned the ANC, and we walked in 1989 down Adderley Street hand in hand, all colours, creeds, ages, shapes and sizes, the ANC marshals picking up any mess that we might have dropped along the way in what was more a carnival than a demonstration …
Coffee exploded into the new democracy, now to not be able to serve an espresso anywhere in South Africa, never mind Cape Town, would be shameful!
Green took root, the tree huggers and bunny lovers became mainstream, the hippies keep combing the remaining strands of long white hair they have left.
So when the Real Bread shop was closed, silent, as if it had not been worked in the whole day, and it was still only fifteen minutes to closing time, well, for me at least … why that is Cape Town Okay …
Copyright © 2015 G. Rigotti