The Danish flag consists of two colours – red and white. Mix red with white and you get very close to the skin colour of the danish people when summer starts.
If you combine the colours of the South African flag, you are able to create all the colours and nuances the human being is capable of naming. Cape Town truly is a diverse and coloured city – but also a city of contradictions.
It is a city hosting the third biggest bike event in the world while on a daily basis only having one bike lane. The first capetonian I had a conversation with, told me that it is hard to make friends in Cape Town. The day after, this same capetonian asked me to join on a market trip.
Cape Town colours your mind in a way I have not experienced before. On a weekend stroll around with two friends, we once again noticed the tall walls and the fierce barbed wire, and we talked about why we thought the capetonians seemed so afraid. While walking and talking we passed the third unlocked bike, which really made us wonder. How come there is a need for electric fence and three locks to your front door is necessary, when a simple lock on your bike isn’t?
We looked at each other, and decided to figure out by simulating stealing the bike. It took a few seconds before a panicking guy jumped towards us to rescue his transportation, and then we asked him. He answered ”… well, no one steals bikes…”
We tried to puzzle together the fragments we had collected through our short time in Cape Town. Biking culture is a fairly new thing to south africans, – that must mean that it would melt together with the present culture, while locking up your doors was something we thought had roots to apartheid, and was still present due to old culture. So once again we found this beautiful city peculiar, but once again we turned out to be wrong.
No one steals bikes, because no one rides them, which means if you steal it, the person you possibly could sell it to, is likely to be the person you stole it from….
Locking up your doors and being afraid did not exist during apartheid. People became afraid, when they became free.
Dear Cape Town, dear South Africa – every day we realize how big a puzzle you are, and every day we realize, that all the impressions we get of you, is only a glimpse of your many colours.