Danger

via my Dad, a link to this site.

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities In The World For Travelers

And yep, there’s Cape Town, in at number five, brushing shoulders (and soldiers?) with war zones across the Middle East and drug cartel hotspots in Central and South America. ¡Ay, caramba!

Heady company indeed.

One of the other major issues in Cape Town which isn’t mentioned above (although which is actually clearly visible in the shot) is the fact that the horizon slopes wildly from right to left here, and there’s a very real danger of falling off the side of the world. This is an concern of which the local residents are well aware – that’s why a lot of us drive 4x4s for the extra grip – and not one that affects any other city on the planet.

For the record, I did travel through the city alone and at night just yesterday, and I’m still here, but it’s clear that this was solely down to good luck, much like every other time I’ve done it.
Incidentally, the photo above, of Sea Point was clearly taken by a very tall person under safe, controlled conditions: in a group and during the day.

No-0ne is denying that crime is a problem in SA, although the statistics certainly don’t back up this alleged “spike” in the crime rate. You’ll miss out on an awful lot by avoiding Cape Town (although not so much by just avoiding it at night and alone), and I’m happy to report that both official numbers and anecdotal evidence suggests that very few people have taken notice of this silly list.

Long way from home

Spotted on the M3 going north through Constantia this morning:

That’s a Manx-registered Hyundai i30, for the uninitiated.

It’s only the second Manx-registered car I’ve seen in Cape Town during my 15-year sentence. Little bit disappointed with the lack of a GBM sticker, but otherwise, top marks for giving me a smile today.

Thanks.

Morten and me

We go back a fair distance…

10th December 1986: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

11th December 1987: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

26th April 1991: City Hall, Sheffield, UK

25th June 2002: Royal Albert Hall, London, UK

12th October 2002: Wembley Arena, London, UK

2nd December 2010: Spektrum, Oslo, Norway – MISSION FAILED (link)

7th May 2016: Festning, Bergen, Norway – (togs)

And now:

14th February 2020: Green Point A Track, Cape Town, South Africa.

Cannot. Wait.

DD

Great day out. Loads of photos. No time to edit and share this evening. More on that tomorrow and in the meantime, please enjoy this bittersweet tale from the City of Cape Town Facebook page.

A drunk driving suspect’s attempt to flee turned into a nightmare on Sunday 23 June 2019.

The suspect was stopped during a Ghost Squad operation in Eerste River, but tried to make a run for it.

He jumped over a wall, but in doing so, sustained cuts to his ribcage on the spiked wall. After landing in the backyard, the property owner thought he was trying to break into his house and proceeded to sjambok him.

Fortunately, the arresting officer intervened and the suspect was taken to the local day hospital where he received seven stitches to the wound caused by the wall spikes.

‘This is not the first suspect who attempted to make a run for it, but it is certainly one of the first who came off so badly as a result. What would have been a straightforward drunk driving case has now turned into resisting arrest, but also a possible trespassing charge, if the property owner decides to pursue the matter. This is not to mention the physical impact of the attempted getaway. I commend the officer who didn’t give up and saved the suspect from the potential consequences of being mistaken for an intruder,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

All very amusing, and then the bit where they remind you who you’re sharing the road with:

The 27-year-old suspect from Bellville was one of 11 arrests for driving under the influence during the operation. The highest breathalyzer reading was 2.0 mg/L, which is more than eight times over the legal limit.

The tide is turning on the practice of drink driving in SA, but it’s painfully slow and we’re still years and years away from the watershed moment when it becomes unacceptable to get behind the wheel of a car when you’re pissed. (Or even a bit tipsy.)

Until that time, you just have to hope that no-one being an utter twat after seventeen beers wipes you and your family out while you’re behaving responsibly.

Don’t joke

Don’t joke about crazy journeys.

I once did that once (it was yesterday) and it almost backfired.

But I don’t have editing time right now: I’ll get to that should I survive my flight back into severely stormy Cape Town this evening.
It could be a crazy journey.
But it would take a bit to beat this one…

Now I don’t believe in tempting fate and all that nonsense, but if I were to believe in it, I’d consider that those lines above would be a really good way of doing it.

The descent into Cape Town last night was distinctly unpretty. In fact, it was a horror show. Bumpy, shaky, loud: wholly unpleasant. There were regular gasps and screams from the length of the cabin as we were chucked around over the Winelands. A member of the cabin crew was knocked clean off her feet. Another was throwing up near the back of the plane. The elderly Muslim gentleman sitting next to me grabbed my arm out of sheer terror. Twice.

Now, I have complete faith in the tolerances and the engineering that go into building passenger aircraft, and also in the tensile strength of the materials involved, but even I had to continually remind myself of these things as we bounced our way down into the Mother City.

When we did make it down onto the runway, it was with a big bang. And when we finally made it to a full stop, my neighbour gently whispered “Thank Allah” under his breath, which I thought was a little unkind given the best efforts of the well-trained pilots. But then I vaguely recalled that the First Officer had introduced himself as Allah van Zyl prior to departure, so I guess that’s maybe what he was thinking.

Even when we were sitting safely on the tarmac awaiting the stairs to take us out into the cold evening, the plane was still bumping around, being buffeted by the wind which was gusting to 100kph.

The dash to the terminal was fun, with horizontal rain, lost hats, mild swearing and relieved laughter filling the air.

Nastiest 15 minutes of my flying life? Probably. I really didn’t enjoy it.

Props (no pun intended) then to Captain Jesus Schoeman* and Big A the First Officer for getting us down safely.

I have no air travel planned for the foreseeable future.

 

* possibly a made-up name.