If Cape Town is the only South African and/or African city you’ve visited, then you haven’t exactly “roughed it”. The parts of Cape Town most travellers experience are straight up cushy.
There is a disproportionate number of hipsters.
You’ll get thighs of steel. Between the countless hikes, yoga studios, bike races, marathons and simply having to trek up Cape Town’s hills everyday, this city will make you fitter whether you like it or not.
Poo flinging is a trend. Ever since people dumped human waste onto the polished floors of the Cape Town International airport to raise awareness around the lack of functional and safe sanitation in the townships, people have started tossing faeces on statues and government buildings the minute things get political.
Some places in South Africa are all about their rugby men and their cricketers. Cape Town is all about its surfers and while that conjures up an entirely different mental image, the vast majority are still total jocks
You will find yourself at a bar or a venue where there are only two non-white people in the room.
You could also find yourself at some of the most racially and ethnically diverse events in the whole of South Africa–you’ve just got to find them.
Along with Cape Town’s Mediterranean climate, comes a fairly Mediterranean attitude towards life… and customer service. Leave your American-style standards and expectations behind and just go with it.
You will get slapped in the face by flying litter when Cape Town’s infamous winds are blowing.
Most Cape Town drivers treat the rules of the road as mere suggestions; so don’t put your faith in the little green man when crossing the road. Eyes and ears are what will get you safely to the other side.
Since Cape Town is basically the LA of Africa, you’ll inadvertently wander onto more than a couple of movie sets.
Pronunciation is a slippery eel in these parts. Capetownians will try to convince you that the name of their independent cinema house, The Labia, is pronounced the Lahbia, while they insist that, “It’s not Buitenkant Street, it’s Buitenkunt”.
You will eat more pizzas with fresh slices of avocado on top than you’ll care to admit.
You will eat those pizzas in front of more homeless, hungry people than you’ll care to remember.
It’s actually possible to start taking Table Mountain for granted–so take a minute every now and then to really see it.
As someone here told me, Cape Town is unbelievably beautiful and unbelievably ugly. That’s what makes it so interesting.