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.