It had been over three years since I had last visited Cape Town, and each time prior to this visit, my travels here comprised of nothing more than a “Friday work day, and a weekend for myself”…So when I planned on coming down this time, I planned a little more, and managed to turn it into a “five working day and weekend for myself” trip
Well, the work side of it certainly took care of its self and I ended up being so busy that my devious little plan to take some time for myself during those working days, simply just didn’t happen…however, that turned to be the biggest blessing in disguise.
My trip here was always two fold.
Firstly, I quite simply needed to breathe new air for a bit. Joburg was getting the best of me in so many ways, and I felt the anxiety settling in big time, I needed to get out for a bit, for everyone’s sanity.
Secondly, I wanted to test the waters in terms of working out the Cape Town office. As part of my overall smaller dreams bigger wins strategy, I wanted to see how effectively working out the CT office would prove. And lo and behold, I got probably about three times more work done in this week than I would of done back in JHB.
Most of my closest friends are down here and I’m glad I got to see them, some people really went out their way to make me feel welcome, and that goes so far in my book, If I couldn’t make it to where people where, they came and fetched me. Gestures of friendship are not lost on me, and I ensured that while I was down here I reignited my #BurgMoments lifestyle in full force, in fact I have setup several of these moments to take place after I leave this evening, in the hope that I will have left some tiny part of Burg magic in the City that has been so good to me.
Of course, the trip was not without its typical “pulling a burg” moments, which so often define my adventures, so if you’ll indulge me for a few minutes, I’d like to share some of the highlights….
There’s nothing quite like a first day in a different city, as basic logic always seems to disappear and you seem to make the silliest of errors. Starting with my rental car…that took me 20minutes to start, because I couldn’t figure out how to switch on the damn ignition. So there I say quietly in my parking bay, trying not to look like a complete idiot, sometimes pretending to be on my phone with one hand, while the other frantically searched for some sort of switch or immobilizer that may be the trick to switching it on. Little did I realize, to start the car, it simply needed to be in gear. Pfff…technology.
That same night, I also managed to lock myself out the house, taking a walk down to KFC, and returning to the house only to realize I didn’t quite have all the keys I needed. I phoned a colleague who confirmed this to indeed be fact. As I waited calmly eating my chicken in the road, in the dark, and cold…she phoned me back with the genius idea of walking around the house and using the other door…which I had keys for.
One the Wednesday, I decided to take in preparation for my conference the next day, in order to see the venue beforehand and if it was walkable. I left with a colleague at about 5.30pm and took a breezy walk a few blocks down. Eventually spotting the conference centre from a distance, it was in fact walkable, but certainly not from the route I took, but happy with the fact that I know knew where it was, I headed back. Back where however, I’m not quite suite, as I didn’t realize I did not keep track of where I actually was. So what proceed was a looooot of walking to try and find my bearings. As the night got darker, and colder, I ended up being followed by a homeless man, swearing at me constantly for no reason. Ironically we would both make our way to the local homeless shelter, he was happy, I wasn’t. If anything, my walkabout took me to places I wouldn’t normally see, including the recent World Cup stadium . From there I made my way to the V&Waterfront shopping complex where I eventually was able to retrace my steps back to the home office. Now, ordinarily, a two hour getting lost walk is a great thing for me. However, because I had only planned on popping down the block and back, I had made the decision to wear my slip slops (sandals), the devastation caused by this decision is still being felt as I type this. I have no skin left on the top of my feet, and bubble blisters underneath them! I still walked to the conference the next day, and did several Km’s over the proceeded days, which each and every pair of socks being drenched in blood that poured out my feet. And let me tell you, there is nothing quite like having to peel a pair of socks off your feet and getting to do it all over again the next day.
There is one last story I would like to share with you…
You see, I knew coming down here I would see a lot of old friends, however, I didn’t plan on making a new one…but boy oh boy did I.
I’m pretty easy to get along with for the most part, but every now and again I find someone I connect with on the clichéd “another level”. I can generally sense these people immediately, and just know that there is something there that needs to be explored. Such was the case with the person I met purely by chance I guess. We didn’t really talk much as first, but there was something lingering there. Something that needed to be tapped into, which we did, and much like her; it was nothing short of beautiful.
We did lunch, we chatted so much, we had so many revealing conversations about things we both loved and desired in the world, however the entire time there was this cloud of finality hanging over over…I would be leaving soon and this was all going to be over way too soon. She said she wished I could stick around longer, which just made my heart jump with joy. I wished that too. But the reality of our lives could not turn this into anything more. As the days went on, in typical Burg fashion, I found myself falling for her more and more each day, but not just her, rather the way she made me feel, and believe in my own dreams and desires again. The whole scenario played out much like an extended version of Before Sunrise/Sunset.
We spent most of Saturday together, where I got to meet some people in her life, including the reality check of the husband, who is one of those seemingly nice guys who makes you immediately think “well, there’s no way I can compete with this guy”. Then you immediately think well, I was never in with a chance anyways. Not that there was a chance of anything of course, but its just the head games one tends to play with ones self.
He eventually had to pop out for a while, and finally I got to just spend some alone time with her, we walked back to her place, and as much pain as I was in from my bleeding feet, it just disappeared when I was around her. We fetched a few things from the house then headed back to the beach, quite prepared for another painful walk, I was so happy that we were just together, then of course, that feeling was quickly replaced with disappointment as the honk honk of her husband in the car shorted our trip as he arrived to give us a lift back. My heart sunk, but my fake smile and humour came to my defence…
As the universe would have it, I ended up being stuck with him for a few hours, while she went surfing…. So here we are, two men laying on beach towels getting to know each other. I realized there is never a right time to say “hey, I’m falling for your wife, so just wanted to make sure that’s cool with you”…, so I just sat there getting more and more miserable, but never showing it, and instead offering genuine conversation and polite to the bitter end.
When she did return from the surf, a ray of sunshine brighter than the day’s sun that was beating down on me, they decided to call it a day and invited me to join them for dinner. Knowing I just couldn’t possibly torture myself anymore, I made an excuse to leave, and that I had someone else to see, then headed back. I didn’t have other plans.
Selfishly, I kept hoping she would send me a message asking if I was ok, or thanking me for coming or even “apologizing” for leaving me alone for so long, but none of that came…until about 2 hours later when I got a Facebook message asking if I had perhaps taken her phone. She had lost it….of course. The universe just loves playing these jokes on me doesn’t it.
As I sit here now typing this, I can’t help but wonder, was that it? Was that all I would be allowed with her? And as thankful as I am for the unexpected friendship, I find myself consumed with thoughts of “what ifs”, if I had said something else, taken a chance, just done something out of the ordinary…would it have made a difference? Would it have made a fool of me? I just don’t know. But for someone who lives by the words “Live For The Moments”, this is one that is stapled to my heart.
I’m a romantic, i’m a dreamer, but im also a realist and I know exactly how this story ends. I don’t begrudge these feelings at all, and I know that if our paths are meant to cross again, they will, in this lifetime or the next.
The truth is, I could write about her for hours, but the rest of the memories will be for me. So all that is left to say is…
Thank you Cape Town…we will do it all again in December…