The thing about living in a reputedly warm climate is that winter is cold because we never properly prepare for it.
We realise this every year and swear to insulate our houses and wear wool instead of cotton. Yet we still live in houses with single pane windows and gaps between the doors; we buy useless cotton jumpers (ironically big sellers at Woolies) and shiver in blankies around the damp glow of tellies.
So, on the first warm day in Cape Town, I found it a little strange that people were queuing for something cold at the Earth Fair Market on St Georges Mall. Being a Zimbo I naturally joined the queue. This chilly experience was well worth the wait.
We were queuing for hand made ice cream from The Creamery. This is the best thing since Christmas and I eventually found myself wandering St. Georges Mall in a peanut butter and jasmine daze.
Another strange thing about living in a warm climate is our love of the great indoors. On sunny days, particularly weekends, we spend a considerable amount of time in shopping malls. But out here along this roofless mall you can enjoy the sun, get what you need and take in the wonderful parade of people, most of whom look happier for being outside or avoiding their heavily made up 14 year old at the Cineplex.
It is the diversity of this strip of Cape Town that I love – mall rats simply can’t survive the reality of it. Here, hipsters throw it down with Somalian traders, Xhosa is spoken in the same sentence as Shona, Victorian architecture flanks Art Deco and bright bankers slide notes into blind busker’s tins.
Alleys shoot off the mall onto Africa’s diaspora of traders on Green Market square, and flowers, that have travelled oceans in refrigerators, breath again for a couple of days at the flower market on Adderly.
It’s always changing. It’s always the same, and as the weather changes from cold to warm, it’s not just the ice cream that’ll warm your heart.
Short flik by Bauke Brouwer
Earth Fair Market
The Earth Fair Market is held every Thursday on the St. Georges Cathedral side of the mall in Cape Town’s CBD.