The streets are quiet, not a soul in sight, covered in a light filmy sea mist, it’s 23:13 on a Saturday night in Cape Town, South Africa.
This may sound like the beginning of a strange ghost story, but you would be wrong in thinking that. It’s actually the scene that passed by my car window as I drove to meet a friend for a drink in Camps bay last night.
Two new restaurants have opened in Camps bay, Kove and Bungalow, we decided to test drive Bungalow. Now the first thing we both said as we sat down was, this place better make enough money in season to survive winter. It is blue and white, and on an unusually cold summers night, it gave us a taste of what winter would be like here, plus the waitress attending to us was doing us a real favour by being there, seriously, attitude as remote as Siberia.
Amazing interior, a suspended mermaid sculpture in a hue of electric blue and pearl. I think someone finally caught on to the whole casino restaurant vibe, I’m a sucker for life size things! Except, their larger than life prices, they are charging a good 25% more on their wine list than the other restaurants on the strip. I cast an eye over their dinner menu, but we arrived too late for dinner (I was confidently informed as I asked for the menu) a couple of interesting ideas, like the pomegranate mojito, and a coconut pineapple butter-fish (I love butter-fish, just a shame about the repercussions-but that is another story) but I doubt I’ll be rushing back to sample the food any time soon.
That leaves the Kove, which was uncharacteristically dead, mildly put, for a new restaurant in Cape Town summer. Now that starts uncovering a niggley feeling that I’ve had for a while, “Where are the tourists that usually swamp our streets, restaurants and shopping malls?” I reckon… hold your breath Cape Town, the big wave is coming.
We are four days shy of Christmas, and the oracle in me has a feeling that everyone is waiting to the last minute to make a move, to get a better deal.
I can see it now, in neon colours and tinsel! Tomorrow and the day after and the day before Christmas, every day till then will bring more and more and more people, and soon the city will be upturned in chaos and season cheer, people will sweep through like a swarm of locusts leaving a trail of empty cocktail glasses and gift wrapping cutoffs in their wake!
Then suddenly, peace is forecast to come in between the seventh and fifteenth of January 2009, leaving Cape Town with a yummy economic afterglow, broken hearts the orphaned fruit of sexy summer flings with some stud from Joburg or Paris (not in the free state), and post holiday denial, which encompasses credit card payments and a string of um, questionable photo’s on thunda.com! Ah, sigh… the most glorious two weeks of every year is finally on our doorstep.
As they say in hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have, and don’t panic! Oh and keep a full four season wardrobe in the boot of your car, it is Cape town after all, you should be ready for the beeg wave!