South African Culture


Here is another post from one of the new contributors to the site, Mr. Shawn Muller. Shawn is proudly South African dad of 2 and never takes himself too seriously. Read Shawns take on the mother city of Slaapstad and how they preparing themselves for the World Cup in a couple of days time

Look, I love Cape Town.  It’s my second favourite city in the world.  Not that I’ve lived much elsewhere, but ja – just roll with it.  I even voted for it 387 times when we went monopoly crazy and fell crucially short – losing to that metropolitan marvel that is Istanbul.  Never been there either… but from where I’m sitting… meh.

But something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Okay, maybe not rotten… maybe just asleep. You know, taking one of those afterSundaylunchnaps on a sunny spot in the house. Ahhhh, but look it’s Tuesday, the guests have gone and Cape Town is still taking slumbered walks to the fridge to get a spoonful of something tasty.

I must admit I’ve been hearing the faint snore in the background for some time but came face to face with it a few months ago when I finally got gatvol of the old carpet (there were doggie stains on top of wine stains on top of kiddywipedhandsoncarpet stains on top of maidsgoodbyepresent stains – another post) and decided to replace it.  Let the hunt for laminate flooring begin.  I scouted around and finally found the one we liked most.  But heck, it’s way over budget.  So I scrounge around… Get a few more quotes and all of it is expensive. Eventually, I track down a company in Joburg that stocks the floor, hoping to find some other leads in Cape Town.  But no, not enough for that Joburg folk – “Why don’t you buy from us and we’ll ship it down – it’ll be cheaper and faster.  Let us send you a quote”  Within minutes I had a quote.  Yikes these okes are jacked.  I bought the floor from them and when I wanted to know approximate delivery time (again… time… not date) I popped of an email and wait for it… they called me back… and the couriers called.  I was impressed. Not only was it cheaper and faster to order from Joburg, the service throughout was superb.

Even now, with SA getting into that FIFA vibe, mirror sox are all the rage.  But not in Cape Town.  Ja, you see the odd sock here and there but I never saw any at the robots.  I suppose the cellphone chargers and bulls shirts (yes – in Cape Town) and Portugal flags was all they can hold. So, I gummed a tree and sent off a few emails. I even requested via @bobskinstad to find out where in Cape Town I could find some. The first concrete lead came via email from Joburg. Again, none of the R85 rip-off quotes I got on via twitter, R 35 plus posting.  And it’ll take a few days. Then, I heard the silence, the snoring stopped, something stirred, Cape Town was waking up.  National Flag got back to me and they had the socks at R 45!  Yay!  But alas… They’ll only get stock next Friday.  Turns out what I mistook for Cape Town jumping out of bed was just the city turning over to find out if Beckham has been spotted at the waterfront yet.

Is doing business in Cape Town really that difficult? Is the service that bad? We’ve all heard people fly to Joburg, buy a car and drive it down. Has anyone else had such an experience?  Is Cape Town really Slaapstad?