1. Being as chill as a “Capetonian”
Wearing the “Slaapstad” nickname proudly, you made plans by saying, “I’ll be there just now,” which could have meant 20 minutes or 3 hours. And even if you never actually liked walking around barefoot, it was good to know you had the option.
2. Lions Head
There was no feeling better than summiting that 332-metre climb, after doubting whether you’d make it to the top at all. With your pulse still pounding in your ears from that demanding last stretch, it’s like you’d escaped the city without really leaving it. Confronted with panoramic views of the City Bowl, Green Point, Camps Bay, the Twelve Apostles and of course, Table Mountain, you have the mandatory Facebook proof of all the times you actually made it.
3. All of the cultural diversity
From the Cape Dutch houses to the vibrant, colourful Bo-Kaap, to the different races, cultures and religions, living in Cape Town was like experiencing several continents in one day. How many places in the world can you see synagogues, temples, mosques, churches and kramats all existing peacefully on one peninsula? You’ll always remember walking down Wale street and hearing a call to prayer. Then, when you cross Buitengracht, it’s suddenly replaced with the sound of Petite Noir spilling out of Clarke’s and the hipsters there using words like “rad,” “mainstream” and “that’s so grunge.”
4. Being able to take a long coastal drive
Driving along those long, languorous curves with the sun up, windows down and the crisp Cape Town breeze licking your face. Whether it was Chapman’s Peak, Camps Bay to Llandudno or Kalk Bay, it was meditation.
5. Hot dogs from Power and the Glory
These always had to be washed down with Devil’s Peak craft beer and a rollie.
6. The infinite number of days spent lumming on the beach
Your hair got so salty on those days when you braved the freezing cold ocean at Clifton or Llandudno, watching the surfers tear up the waves and cursing the tourists for taking all the good parking spots.
7. Racing on De Waal Drive
You pushed your little zippy car to the limits, cutting corners as you surfed those curves. It never failed to bring out your inner Schumacher and you’re not sure your car will ever forgive you.
8. Fish ‘n chips from Fish On the Rocks
Sitting amongst the seagulls at the ocean’s edge, sipping on Coke and piling vinegar on that fried hake, calamari and chips, you’ll probably never experience as much happiness as you did from that greasy something.
9. People watching at Sea Point promenade
You promised yourself you were going to jog there every day, but you were just as happy to settle for ice cream while watching the aviator-wearing, neon-gym-pants-clad, Ipod-listening fitness bunnies do their thing.
Beer in one hand, chilli popper in the other and 5 p.m. traffic crawling sluggishly below. You could see into the cars of the sweaty nine-to-fivers from Rafiki’s rickety balcony and it made that ice cold beer all the more refreshing.
11. Café Caprice
There are two types of Capetonians: those who love Caprice and those who love to hate it. You could easily find the latter on the balcony at Rafiki’s.
12. Wine tasting
With glasses clinking and corks popping, you pretended to be a wine connoisseur for the day using phrases like, “This sauvignon is drier than the last.” All while sitting in the shade with green leaves overhead, staring out at the neat monoculture of the Constantia Hills.
13. Saturday mornings at the Old Biscuit Mill
This place is the reason you were broke before month-end. With so many delicious food stalls you hardly knew where to start – “Let’s go to The Frying Dutchman for poffertjes, but first some paella… or maybe Belgian waffles? Oh look, artisan honey! Aaaargh!”
14. Navigating by the mountains
On a peninsula dominated by 1000-metre high mountains like Table Mountain and the Twelve Apostles, you were never completely lost. You also had those hill-start skills perfectly honed.
15. Feeling a summer day in the middle of winter
Lions Head missions and promenade walks were totally feasible in winter too.
Because it’s 98% fat free, which meant you could overload it with smarties and flake. You may or may not have gone at 11 p.m. in your pajamas.
17. Trying to follow the Table Cloth
You watched the torrent of clouds tumbling continuously down the face of Table Mountain, and tried to follow the trail.
18. Spotting zebras from the highway
Arriving on the N2 inbound from a weekend away was the best “Welcome home!” ever.
19. Engen pies
Whether you’d just come from Mont, Longstreet or Town, those drunken nights were incomplete without a pie from the closest Engen.
20. Summer sunsets
It didn’t matter where you were for this — as the sun dipped behind Signal Hill and started reaching for the Atlantic Ocean, the sky passed through a spectrum of colours too unique to name. There was nothing left to do but to appreciate it, with a tall cocktail in hand and saluting the sun for a job well done.