Doomed Cape Town

With all the global talk being of the upcoming nuclear war between the USA (+UK, EU, South Korea) and North Korea (+China), I wondered if that was also the biggest worry on the minds of the folk all the way down here in the bottom left corner of Africa.

I chose four things which myself and my Cape Town dwelling colleagues considered particularly worrying right now and employed the most scientific method of measuring local fear that there is: a Twitter poll.

Obviously, we had to start with the whole World War Three thing. Because that’s why we got to wondering about this question in the first place.
Perhaps equally obviously, the drought is in there. Particularly as it’s a ROASTING hot day in the Mother City today and it’s basically never going to rain ever again (tomorrow’s drizzle doesn’t count).
And then, after I stumbled across this Facebook group on the weekend, the Cape Town Tsunami had to get a mention.

Just for the record, the “warnings from multiple sources” which they cite are basically a handful of people who have dreamed about a tsunami hitting Cape Town, like Debbie for example:

A truly mericaluous escape. (What happened to your son, by the way?)

…and the word of a local charlatan Pastor who wants your money “had a vision”. If you want to read more (and you do, because it’s a deep, deep rabbit hole, go and have a look at their 73 (seventy-three) page dossier, full of reasons why the tsunami will take place (not enough people being Christians, shockingly), many details of how it will occur (big wave, mostly), and what exactly will happen:

Every time I stand in Town , Milnerton God tells me and reminds me see this tall buildings they will be completely covered with water
When I stand on Sir Lowreys pass God reminds me only those who come over this pass at that given time will be safe
Snakes will be in the water and bite the people and they will die
It’s almost like those who survive water will die by shark attack or snake bites

Hectic. Milnerton God doesn’t mess around, hey?

But I digress. Often.

The fourth option was one that has plagued the province for time immemorial: the Twitter account of Lord High Empress of the Western Cape. Like here. And here. And… er… here.

Certain individuals have long believed that one of Helen Zille’s tweets would spell the end of the Western Cape… somehow. But is that something that the general public also buy into? Our poll will tell us.

The results are in:

As we can see, the religious nutcases predicting their god-driven tsunami are the least of Cape Town’s worries. Quite rightly, too. They’re not called religious nutcases for nothing.
And nuclear war – an altogether much more likely doomsday scenario – is of limited concern to Capetonians too. Could this be a geographical thing, or is it because they are actually much more panicky about one (or both, but twitter polls don’t allow for multiple voting) of the other potential apocalyptic situations?

And it’s Helen, who takes it by a head, although if I were the drought, I’d be eyeing up a coalition with that impending nuclear war to sneak top spot.

Clearly though, the two options are troubling the majority of Cape Town citizens, and I don’t really think it’s a matter of one winning through over the other. These are obviously both issues that are of huge concern to people here.

Sadly, it seems like the only thing we can do to prevent either disaster actually happening is to cut down on the amount of water we use, and cut down the amount of Twitter that Helen Zille uses. Given the numerous failed attempts by the City Council and Mmusi Maimane respectively to achieve these goals, neither seems very likely to happen any time soon.

We’re doomed, Cape Town. Doomed.

Missed connections

I was the good-looking guy in the silver car. You were the bloke who looked like a fat, sour-faced Michael Vaughan, driving a pale blue Honda Jazz and who had no clue about how traffic circles work.

I braked hard (which is the only reason that this is a missed connection), you didn’t, but I saw the conflicted look – steeped in both arrogance and guilt – that you shot me as you ploughed onto the mini-roundabout at the top end of Struben Road, blatantly ignoring my right of way.

And then there were those awkward moments all the way down Bowwood in the morning traffic, me following your nasty little car with the Bonnievale Route 62 and silver baby footprint stickers on the boot, and you constantly eyeing me in your rear view mirror, wondering whether you should apologise or get out and fight me. For the record, I don’t do road rage so I wasn’t swearing at you*, I was actually singing along to DJ Shadow’s Nobody Speak, so I was basically just swearing, full stop.

If you want to meet up for some driving lessons, get in touch and maybe together, we can arrange something which might potentially increase the safety of everyone on Cape Town’s roads.

 

* Probably just as well, given how that video progresses [achtung: much swearing].

Licenced to k… drive

I went to renew my driver’s licence today. It’s something you have to do every 5 years in South Africa, so that they can extract just a little more cash from your already hard-pressed wallet.

There’s a rather inefficient system in place to get the all important card. Firstly, you have to stand in a queue to get a DL1 form. It would be nice if you could get this online and fill it in in advance, but you can’t. So there.

Once you’ve completed DL1, you get to join queue two. That’s the eye test queue. Each eye test takes 4½ minutes, on average, so it’s not a quick queue. Still, you had nothing better to do with your Saturday morning than stand in another line, right? Right.

Only once you’ve passed your eye test with flying colours can you move on to the third queue. That’s the payment queue.

You’d think that simply handing over R140 would be a fairly speedy, uncomplicated task, but they seem to take quite a while considering the straightforward deal.

Open another payment window?

I think not.

And what do you get when you’ve paid? A piece of paper that you can hand back to them at a future date once they’ve printed your licence.

Of course, when that time comes, you will have to stand in a queue to pick it up.

Yep. If there’s something that the system to renew your driver’s licence in South Africa is trying to tell the general public, it’s definitely Four Queue.

Cape Town from space

Astronaut Randy Bresnick shared this image of Cape Town taken from the International Space Station. He says it was this morning, but there was a lot of cloud over Cape Town this morning, so I’m guessing that it was just “a morning”. Still, decent pic:

Click through here for full size.

It’s upside down in conventional cartographical terms, so here’s a quick guide to what you’re looking at:
Robben Island bottom right.
Cape Point top right.
False Bay all across the middle.
Rooi Els and Pringle Bay top left.

You may also be able to pick out Steenbras Dam, just above Gordon’s Bay down in the bottom left corner of False Bay. Hint: Look for the light coloured sand, rather than the blue coloured water. Hmm.

Quick flight

The Joburg-esque winter which has left us so critically short of water has made for some great flying conditions, with cold, clear, still days.

Sadly, life has been busy and so I haven’t really had the opportunity to make the most of it. But I found myself with a few spare minutes this morning and chucked the Mavic up for a quick scout around the neighbourhood and beyond.

I love the different perspective that the Mavic can give you – even when you’re looking at something as mundane and unattractive as Wynberg CBD.

For reference, that’s the Wynberg Girls and Wynberg Boys Junior Schools campus in the bottom right, the ‘boxy’ police station and courts just beyond them, and Maynard Mall on the left. In the distance – False Bay.

A few other views here.

Oh, and for those of you outside South Africa, I’m able to fly today because it’s a public holiday.