June 28, 2014
Since South Africans drive on the left (as opposed to the right side of the street in the States or just about anywhere we want in Boston) I decided to get acquainted with Cape Town by taking the double-decker red tour bus. A stop is conveniently located about 1.5 blocks from the hotel on Beach Road that runs alongside the Atlantic Ocean promenade.
Since I also wasn’t sure how much walking was in me (or Rick) during our first day or two here, I figured the bus was a good option.
The bus route also provides running commentary in several languages on the different sites and that commentary does not hide the fact that apartheid left a devastating legacy.
The bus also takes you to the Imizamo Yethu township where you can get off and take a tour with community guides. This is a place where hundreds of people live and work in metal cargo shipping crates they have converted into businesses and homes. Barbershops, nail salons, coffee stands, a snack shop, and home upon home upon home. In one sense, I felt invasive, acting as a voyeur. This was an experience I felt but did not need to capture with a camera. The images of this living space will stay with me more vividly than a SD card can provide.
Seeing Imizamo Yethu reinforced my intention for going to Robben Island, another experience that brought the stories of my journalistic lifetime to tangible reality.