Category Archives: Cape Town

Audi MVP Day: Why the ‘A’ in A5 stands for ‘Amanda’

I got to drive a half-a-million rand car on Friday. Of course, I didn’t know how much it cost before I hit the 200km/h mark.

The gasps of surprise (and perhaps fear) from the male passengers was most enjoyable, especially since one of the guys had taken it for a spin before me – an experience so stomach-churning that I had to close my eyes.

What elicited such a heady response? The Audi A5 3.0 Diesel Sportback. As Cape Town Girl said, “It’s the iPhone of cars.”

New love of my life (photo by Joe Botha)

I got to drive this baby thanks to Chris Rawlinson, an ardent Audi fan, organising an MVP day out for us advertising and blogging types.

I’ve never really got the whole car thing. I’ve never understood why some men weep at the thought of driving a Maserati. And now I know why – I’ve never driven a car like the Audi A5.

I tend to race around in my nifty Toyota Yaris, pushing the little 1.3-VVTi engine for all it’s worth. But now I know that I am a driver who is made for greater things.

Me, Joe & Therese before my life-changing experience. (photo by Chris Rawlinson)

As the Audi dealer who accompanied us said, “You don’t drive like other women. I mean, they’re a bit too cautious. You’re not afraid to take the corners at speed.”

Only because this car was made for taking corners at speed. And for overtaking. And for cruising. Anyway, you get the picture (see below).

Better than sex? Possibly. (photo by Joe Botha)

Although the Audi A5 – or as I now call it, the Audi Amanda5 – was obviously my favourite, it wasn’t the only one we got to drive. We actually took four Audis out on the road, cruising along the coastal road to Betty’s Bay where we stopped for tea and scones.

Swapping the cars at various checkpoints, everyone got a turn to take a spin in the A5 3.0 Diesel Sportsback, the A5 Petrol 3.2 Sportsback, the sporty little A3, and the four-wheel drive Q5.

Hot pink for the hot Q5 (photo by Joe Botha)

The Q5 was pretty spectacular for an SUV because it actually feels like a car, but my (fast-beating) heart belongs to the A5 Diesel. This irrational lust has already made me nag my mother to take it for a test drive. After all, I drive just like her so she’s bound to fall in love with it too.

Thanks Chris Rawlinson and the awesome guys from the Audi Cape Town dealership for such a superb MVP day out and the delicious post-drive lunch (follow them on twitter). You’ve converted me into “a chick who digs cars”.

Oh yes, my husband has been informed that his next car will be an Audi.

The Jaws of Life

Some of us take to the sea like a duck to honey-glaze sauce. Some even profess that “hey, shoo, wow, I’m just so at one with the ocean man”.

Unfortunately this means we feel entitled to do whatever we like without being hindered by other creatures who live there. So what if they have fins, gills and a swim bladder, I can hold my breath for one minute and do breaststroke!

Every time I take my board out into the waves I know I might never touch dry land again, but I don’t let that stop me. Just like I know everytime I get in my car I might get hit by a truck with smooth tyres and dodgy brakes. Life is risky, that’s what makes it interesting.

It’s tragic that a man died in the water, but this overblown and melodramatic response to it is simply moronic. It creates unfounded hysteria and causes Terminator-style attacks on sharks, most of whom are never going to attack anyone. And when they (very very) rarely do, that’s the chance you take.

Remember the ocean belongs to them, not us.

Things that made me smile this week

•    Writing a short story, even though it was for a client.

•    Seeing the new Hospital Bend freeway take shape.

•    Seeing Cape Town Stadium all the way from De Waal Drive.

•    A smiling old lady with a floral umbrella and matching raincoat.

•    My mother chatting to me on facebook (she couldn’t even turn on a computer a year ago).

•    The Aussie army dog found in Afghanistan after being MIA for 14 months.

•    Planning our 3-month trip to America in 2010.

•    My crystal necklace sparkling reflections on the dashboard.

•    Waking up with the Boo cat at my feet.

•    Goldfish, live.

•    Sticky mango chicken.

•    The opera singer who performs in our street.

•    Hugs from Annabel.

•    Red wine with Kate.

•    The sound of my husband making coffee in the morning.

•    ‘Prominent Author’ by Philip K. Dick

•    Finding out it’s going to be warm in Joburg this weekend.

•    Being told “I love you. X.” when most needed.

In defence of the Mother****ing City

A woman named Anne Stevens recently proved that not all Durbanites are peace-loving, banana-eating hippies, when she lambasted Cape Town (“Cape Town, you can keep your mountain”) for its many flaws.

Hey, she’s got a few points. My hometown is far from perfect. It irritates the shit out of me that we’re such crappy drivers for example. But I think she was a little harsh and deluded, especially in her Durban comparisons. So here’s my argument for the defence.

Charge 1: The “bloody mountain” is everywhere.
Defence: Yes… it is… Seriously?

Charge 2: The traffic is a nightmare.
Defence: Dude, have you been to Joburg? The Cape’s hour-long drive home is a friggin’ nature walk compared to the Ben Schoeman highway. And Durban’s got its entire population travelling along one damn freeway every day because they’re too cheap to pay the new toll road. However, I do concede that CY drivers are pushy. You would be too if you lived in Belville.

Charge 3: Cold and rain make for a hellish winter.
Defence: This might come as a shock Anne, but that’s what winter is supposed to be like. You’re from a city where 21 degrees is considered a cold snap. Besides, there is a cosy pleasure in sitting by a fireplace with lamb curry and red wine while the rain lashes the windows. Try doing that in La Lucia.

Charge 4: “I would venture that [the restaurants] are not only characterised by indifferent service, but overpriced and over-hyped grub.”
Defence: First of all, it sounds like you haven’t even tried a Cape Town restaurant. What the hell does “I would venture” mean? I’ve sampled a few ‘good’ restaurants in Umhlanga and I’m sorry to burst your bubble but they were priced the same as Cape Town. I found this exorbitant because the food was terribly average. Not bad, just not as good as when you have to cater to a bunch of fussy, fickle Capetonians who would never refer to food as ‘grub’.

Charge 5: The people are rude and irritating.
Defence: Now, now, play nice Ms Stevens. Every city has its fair share of tribes and snobs. I take the mickey out of Cape Town cliques all the time, but they’re no better or worse than anywhere else. There are “Sloane Rangers” in 4x4s in Ballito and Parkhurst too. As for Capetonians being rude, you’ve obviously never been to Paris. We’re really just straight-talking. Suck it up already.

In mitigation of sentence:

  • People live and work in the city centre. We have not relocated all our business and residential areas to outlying suburbs.
  • Muizenberg’s water is pretty warm.
  • The mountain really is spectacular and we’ll keep it, thank you.

Table Mountain