“It’s just that, you look so ethnic.” -Someone in Cali, May 2017
At first, I found Cali ugly, with its unfinished buildings of little ambition. But I’ve come to realize that sometimes beauty takes its time to dawn.
The first time I peeled, I thought I was dying. I had just returned from Cuba. At first I chalked it up to dry skin, but the skin – my skin! – kept rubbing off with frightening ease. I showed my mother. “Oh, you’re just peeling. From the sun,” she had said. “Huh?” “You mustContinue reading “Nostalgia, Already (Table Mountain)”
“Careful down around that area. These guys – pickpockets. And they’re not even South African, eh? They’re from other parts of Africa, but they come here . . . to con people.” -Someone in Cape Town, January 2017
Cape Town feels like an island. You can definitely feel the proximity of the water, even when you can’t see it. I went searching for South African food shortly after arriving at my hotel in the CBD (Central Business District), but all I could find were chicken livers on fancy “international” menus. So I settledContinue reading “Coloured (Cape Malay)”
“This was something that always confused me about Joburg: The fact that you could be in an affluent area one minute, and simply stumble upon a destitute one the next. In Cape Town, they were much more intentional about keeping people out.” -Someone in Johannesburg, January 2017
NYE at a place called King Kong. Think industrial space turned hipster hangout. Eric Lau and Tall Black Guy were spinning along with local DJs Just Themba, Symatics and others. Everything was going well. I felt good. Some soulful hip hop I didn’t recognize was playing, but I was dancing anyway. My friend, Thando, hadContinue reading “King Kong (No New Friends)”
For a second my mind wandered, and I thought I was on Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, down by the old industrial buildings close to the lake. But the lake was missing. Maboneng: place of light. Hipsters’ paradise. Even us social justice folks have to admit when a place looks cool. Feels cool. Oozes cool. We don’tContinue reading “Maboneng (Ossington)”
“I’ve been thinking of going to Pretoria, just to see it since it’s so close. What’s it like?” I asked. “It’s very White,” she replied. “A lot of oppressive energy.” “Oh.”
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