Write a blog about your first month in Cape Town? It may sound simple, but trust me, it’s easier said than done. Where do I start? What do I talk about? How can I fit this into a few hundred words. Well I thought I’d give it a try.
Twentieth of February saw me leaving my comfortable home in Rotterdam, taking two planes, and 20 hours later I arrived in Cape Town. Here I was, on a continent, in a country and having touched down in a a city I had never been to. Daunted? Not really. I was ready for this adventure and to explore a different part of the world, and anyway, it’s not like I hadn’t done something like this before.
To be frank, the city is still growing on me. There is a lot I have to get used to and working full-time didn’t make that easier on me. But that said, I have had a chance to experience some pretty great events so far like the Love and Light party at Nelsons Creek and the Holi One at the Grand Parade. Great music, great people and compared to back home, cheap beer, what more could I ask for?
Back home, everything moves fast; you have to walk fast, bike fast and if a train or bus is even a minute late, people are already getting upset. But what I’ve noticed in Cape Town is that everything is easy going, particularly when I’ve been to places like the Waterfront, Old Biscuit Mill and walking around Green Point. They’re all relaxing, there’s good food and a great vibe that tells you to slow down and enjoy the here and now. It feels like no one is in a rush here, which makes it is way more inviting and gives you a sense of calm.
The Infestation Internship Experience
But let’s get to why I’m here: my Infestation internship. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked in on my first day, but it’s all been very exciting. Being around a great bunch of people who are open and willing to teach me anything is a great feeling. The work is varied, and Infestation jobs do not go on for too long, which keeps it fresh and challenging. I have enjoyed every minute of my time at the agency so far, and am looking forward to the next four months of learning, laughing and making!
If anyone has any tips for things I should do in Cape Town, they are always welcome!
Written by Anna Sinnige
For those that have seen crowds of people walking the city streets on guided Cape Town walking tours and always wondered what was going on, every First Thursday of the month, Future Cape Town organises walking tours through various part of the city as one of their World Design Capital projects. Along with a group of other curious individuals, this is your chance to explore galleries, stores, architect, city design, public spaces and much more. Of course it’s not all on the one evening, otherwise we would’ve been going until midnight.
Each of the Cape Town walking tours is themed with a planned route of some of the cities iconic – and not so well-known – landmarks and buildings, with a bit of history lesson thrown in. This month the tour focused on city design and architecture.
What makes a livable and sane city? What is the function of public spaces and how do we get people to engage in the use of public spaces? These are just some of the questions that came up during our meander through the city.
Our experience of one of the Cape Town walking tours
Starting at Green Market Square, the first public square in Cape Town, our guide gave us some background into this historical square, such as the square itself was originally used as a slave market and as a market for fruit and vegetables and that at one point it was the location of the well that was the town’s main water supply during summer months when streams from Table Mountain dried up. Although there was a lot happening on the square around us, everyone huddled together listening eagerly. We learned about the architecture, the history and the buildings; I never realized so many styles and types of buildings existed in such close proximity of each other.
Each of the guided Cape Town walking tours is different because there’s just so much to see – so don’t worry about getting bored by seeing the same things. Everything from the theme to the route – and even the group changes. But there are the few die heart fans that you can meet up with each week and enjoy a nice walk through the city and catch up.
Check out their website and save the next date – be adventurous and explore the city.
Written by Anna Sinnige
To be honest, I had never heard of Creative Mornings until someone in the office told me about it – and as a student in the creative industry, I can’t believe I’d never been while back home in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, I finally found myself at my first Creative Mornings in Cape Town. The theme was Rebel and the speaker was Drew Madacsi, one of the three owners of The House of Machines.
Drew was born in Australia, lived in America and has been living in Cape Town for five years. While Drew manages and owns the bike shop at the back of The House of Machines, his co-founders Brad Armitage preside over the coffee shop, and Paul van der Spuy, of bluecollorwhitecollar fame, manages the fashion.
The bike shop makes custom-made bikes, as well as sells bikes they make themselves. You can pretty much choose anything you want for your bike, as long as it’s safe to ride. You drop by and tell them what your dream bike looks like, and they bring in the best people and products to build it for you from scratch. That’s what makes this work. While it might not be cheap, they are always bringing in the best ensuring a perfect bike each time.
Amongst the booming coffee industry, the coffee shop has managed to get itself ahead of the pack if the booming morning trade is anything to go by. Their 100% organic coffee beans are imported from Honduras after they are roasted in Spain. What a trip! Take this and the fact that they are the only company who has a license for selling these beans, and you can understand what makes them special. In the evenings, you can transition from coffee to the best bourbon from America. You may pay a little extra, but you’re getting the best bourbon experience in Cape Town.
And last but not least, the fashion. Here you can buy t-shirts made from the best cotton imported from Japan. The cool thing is that, in true bluecollarwhitecollar tradition, you can design them yourself. Come by, show them your design and if they like it, they will print it and split the profit 50-50 with you. I think that is a great way to get your designs on the market.
The shop is in evolution, Drew says. They look at what is happening around them, what the market is asking for and see how they can provide it. Because of this, they company will continue to change, which means you’ll never know what to expect and what they’re selling this time round!
It’s really cool to see somebody’s dream become a reality. The questions I have though are more about the financial aspect. They don’t want to overprice themselves, so they don’t make a lot of profit, so how do they ensure they can pay their overheads? Nevertheless, I have a lot of respect for somebody who just goes out and does it regardless of what people are telling him.