With Mike on the big silver bird to the USA, I am the lone standard-bearer of all things American. Barry and I headed downtown for a documentary film at a great old-time film venue. The story, fairly well done, talked about the consequences of globalization. It featured a village of people in Tibet, who were just as happy and healthy as you and me, BEFORE globalization. Now, they are miserable, unhappy, caught in our web of ‘progress’ for progress sake. But on the plus side, it featured many of the things that are being done to promote localization, sourcing food locally, and perhaps returning to some of our more agrarian roots.
One of the more interesting parts of Cape Town is Long Street, full of shops and nightclubs, reminding me of Union Street in SF, Soho and Greenwich in NYC, Wicker Park in Chicago, Belltown in Seattle. Plus the area is full of English and French architecture, making it most charming.
I forgot to tell you about the local police. The police station in each town is guarded by a private armed security detail. When the police are called to duty out in the field, they are accompanied by the armed guards, while several stay behind to guard the station. Is that not a riot!!!! Totally hectic!
The kicker, however, was heading to the Western Cape High Court, where some of Barry’s old barrister friends still practice. We drew a great deal of attention at a trial, they must have thought I was a yakuza lord, and Barry my local attorney. No fewer than NINETEEN defendants were on trial for the murder of a local ‘colored’ person. Every defendant turned around and looked at us as we entered the balcony above the courtroom. About twenty armed police and guards were there too. One of about 200 witnesses took the stand, obviously against his better judgement. Turns out several other witnesses have been shot during the now three-month trial. These gang bangers looked like choir boys compared to ours in the U.S. What an experience! Hectic!
Moving on to more genteel venues, we hit the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the way home. It was a peaceful and quiet ending to my escapades on the Cape. I doubt if Mike and I can ever ‘repay’ Barry and Chrissie for this vacation. Funny how a six-hour dinner in Santiago can lead to a lifelong friendship. I AM MOST FORTUNATE. Certainly it was the high point of this trip, and among the top 5 places I have ever experienced. My top five are Angkor Wat, Amazonia, Machu Picchu, the Berlin Wall, and my ancestors home of Nagoya, Japan.
I am tired and ready to head homeward bound. Helluva hectic and Bonzai!!!!!