Bohemian Cape Town is exploding … !

Go to the Old Biscuit Mill or whatever it is called in the Salt River/Woodstock area at nine on a Saturday morning and you struggle to find parking.

Everywhere there are organic markets, selling a variety of healthy goodies, from artisan bread to craft beer.

Go to Hout Bay and there is bohemian stuff happening there, never mind Kalk Bay that seems to be accelerating in its variety of new Green & Gentle dreams etc.

It is as if the whole urban-scape of bohemia is exploding in all directions, this universe is inflating faster and faster omni-directionally …

The crazy thing is that it is not really marketed in any corporate, board of executives, ‘we will make money out of this’ way, with the 1% elite of the world frothing in frenzy at the new shares opportunities.

It just blossoms, organically …

You almost have to know about it to know about it …

Or is it where I am at, that nobody is showing me their Fair Trade sandals from Papua New Guinea nor the latest organic mattress from a rain forest nook of one of the last little tribes of the fast disappearing Amazon … buy before the Brazilian government has allowed the ‘lungs of the world’, accountable for the regeneration of 20% or something like that of our global oxygen, to have ended up in yet more useless trappings of wealth power displays among the 1% Elite.

How does 99% of the world get owned by 1%WTF!?

Definitely not via free markets for sure … these economic mechanisms tend to flatten disproportionate wealth individual skyscrapers. Now if you can pretend to have a free market, and fake it just enough, of course, you can get away with it …

But where was I … oh, yes, Brazil, my maternal grandfather grew up in Brazil, outside Sao Paolo somewhere, and there must have been one helluva fight back in Italy among my paternal relatives because Brazil is also full of that surname!

We are the only ones of that paternal surname in Africa so we must have caused the fight in the first place and been banished to live out our lives in anguish and torment here in Cape Town.

Bad choice of hell though, like who needs Paradise if one is in the Hell that is Cape Town!?

So now when my non-drinking son, J, who is skeptical of hippies, tree hugging and bunny loving, and who sees drugs as endemic in anything bohemian tells me, hey, he tasted some awesome craft beer in this little known place in Muizenberg, shall we go – of course I was interested!

Despite his contempt for almost all abuse substances (tobacco and coffee aside)  he wears ear-rings occasionally, and one of the most extraordinary tattoos to grace the human skin is on his forearm. His total outlook is maverick, cut to the chase without the b&s*t, and very non-corporate, remote location software solutionism. Never mind his virtual burning of the pandemic of bloatware frameworks and the insistence of programmers of C derivatives (just about everything is raw C beneath the software surface) to hide the first opening ‘{‘ at the end of the first line of a code sequence instead of creating visual symmetry as the only character on the second line; the last of the sequence being the closing  ‘}’.

All that classical Greek geometry based on symmetry and congruency out the 21st century software window because … !? Who knows why the ‘because’ of bloatware frameworks, the disappearance of in line commenting, and the persistence of the opening ‘{‘ at the end of the first line of the code sequence?

I like the bohemian in J who insists he is not being bohemian … !?

So we go, there by the Surf shop in Muizenberg, across from the park, which is just below the police station, we turn left (left if you are facing Simonstown of course), down this almost-alley-once-a-road, which ends at the rail road tracks, with a pedestrian crossing to get you across there down to the surf and beach.

On the left is the Empire Café and in there, the two craft beers that are served as draft – or is it draught!? I can never remember which one it is, like for some reason I have never been able to spell rythmn or is it rhythnm or is it rhythmn or … you see!

One is a cloudy awesome one (the draft or draught) that I cannot recall its name – and the other one is a pale ale sort of called India something, which is absurd as in … why India, we are in Africa!?

Longbeach craft brewers, from the other side of this glorious peninsula, cool guys according to the owner of the cafe – a just fifty fella who started the café thirteen years ago before he was forty, with the idea of running it only for three, but never did, and became fiftyish still there.

We had first gone inside, there is that edge in the Spring breeze even if ever so slight, in the urban shadows of Muizenberg, always.

No, let’s sit outside J insists.

In the debacle this cheerful patron (whom we discover to be the owner) tries to help with options, downstairs by the window view, upstairs by the window view, but I say to him that J thinks I am a little girl because I do not want to sit outside.

The irony of it all is that I used to push him (J) around in a pram back in the old days when we lived in Church Road as Muizenberg was going through its nth urban revival, Chelsea-fying itself as we used to call that – we are new world out here, so we do not have old world things like little chelseas that evolved over centuries as in England.

But we also want them hence the fantasies that we come up with … Chelsea-fying!

Oh yes, inland we have had a sprawl of Tuscan villa developments too, like little fortresses, walled villages on hilltops, in golden Renaissance glory as the sun sets.

J wins so we sit outside although not before the owner smilingly hopes out aloud that he does not throw his toys out of his pram!

The pale ale arrives in the chill edge of the ever so light breeze, being Friday noon the little shop that sells the cigarettes that J now needs is closed as the management is at mosque.

Where are your rizzlas and your Golden Virginia, I ask him?

Finished he says, after all he can roll a rizzla in under ten seconds flat, even whilst driving, only kidding, hypothetically speaking.

Up from where we are is Farmer Peck’s valley, where I took Ziggie and his Troupe up before he sang the blues back down again:

The Muizenberg beach sand is white, white, always white, and the sea which is supposed to be the Green that I always go on about, is blue like it almost always is, excepting on the rare occasion when it is that beautiful, magical, translucent Green, it then remains Green in my head forever.

J has settled for an espresso, he has found some ciggies, so he is content.

Before us is Mystic Rose, a shop selling an assortment of goodness knows what combos  of antique/boutique/alternative costume clothing – from Cos Play to Halloween.

I can find my little girl’s dress there, the café owner says as he comes out to talk to us, he seems to like the opportunity to drag this on a little.

Alongside is Carla’s Hot Prawns, and next to that Rattlesnake Comics!

Wow, am I getting bohemian in my face, it does not matter that I never made it to Venice Beach in LA, nor San Francisco either.

For that matter neither New York, nor Vancouver, nor Wellington, nor Sydney, Australia – or even Perth, a Cape Town look alike but without a table mountain, only one ocean, flat as a pancake, but okay surely some vineyards in that Med climate?

When a woman like Cape Town gets you when you are still young you will grow old with her, there is no escape from her!

It has been mostly to and fro to ‘Terra Madre’, and yes, this last time even to Dubai – the airport, that is; ‘Il Sabbione’, the ‘Great Sands’ as an Italian airline pilot friend of mine  calls it – a dry 40 degrees even at midnight or five in the morning desert.

The old tattoo shop, where J almost got his ‘work of art’ tattoo messed up for good with a silly ‘improvement’, is now gone, so no loss there. Not sure what was staring out from it as we sipped our drinks …

And further along, Empire Comics … or is it Empire Books?

A female tourist approaches us, where can she find samoosas like in Durban … hey we are from Durban I say (actually J is a Cape Town baby) … no bunny chows (hot curry in half a loaf of bread – the inside of the loaf scooped out to make place for the curry) here but J thinks there are samoosas in Kalk Bay  - the owner though points her to the Bombay something across the railway tracks. Maybe that was the India connection, the pale ale prophesy, after all Durban is the largest Indian city outside India …

I like this little sporty eco car parked alongside us, though, with its fifth wheel encased in an external shiny white fibre glass holder. Am not much of a car fella but every now and again, every couple of years, a car stirs interest in me – once upon a time, 4×2 or 4×4 bakkies, now only modest cars that seem to be highly useful and as low on fuel as possible.

This is a damn nice little car but I am sure it will nonetheless be pricey.

J is still going on about how society has gone to the dogs, almost everyone drinks as much as they can at night clubs, corporate Friday afternoons, discos, etc.

No morality … the young have gone to SH$T and there is no moral backbone in much of anything … like this young girl, he says, walking down from the surf shop, clutching can you believe it a skate board in her tattoo arms, why she has a tattoo on her neck too showing just above her Justin Bieber T-Shirt, just urban hippie-like lost stuff in the clothes she wears, probably lacking intellect – although attractive, well actually very attractive …

What can I say to him, even as she beeps the sporty eco car next to us, climbs in and drives away …

Ja, bru, boet, my china, I think as I sip the pale ale India something, and watch his bewildered face, enjoying every second of it, you cannot escape karma … !

Copyright G. Rigotti (2015)




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