City from Above and Below
Today we took a cable car to the top of Table Mountain. It's common for pretty pictures of mountains to be used as screen savers or stock images, but it's so much more exquisite seeing it in person. Stock images don't include crisp mountain air, exhilaration of looking down off of a cliff, or the motion of the ocean and city so far below. Looking down on the clouds made us feel like we were in heaven, although heaven isn't ideally so cold; luckily, there was a cafe to warm us up. After a scenic descent from the mountain and a delicious lunch at The Waterfront, we had the opportunity to go on a bike tour around Woodstock.
The funny thing about cities is that you can look at the whole thing from above and still not truly understand it, yet once you tour a just few blocks you suddenly become immersed in it completely. Seeing graffiti portraying the struggles and values of South Africa tells a tremendous amount about the community; these pictures about the apartheid, integration, and zebras were not framed in museums but painted on the streets of the community by artists who did it not for money, but for the sole purpose of expression. We also observed the gentrification in the community such as the 12th highest rated restaurant in the world located across the street from eight-people families living off very little. In fact, one meal at said restaurant costs as much as the impoverished family's monthly income. If one was to enter the restaurant, it would be observable that the vast majority of the customers are white. This sheds light on the "financial apartheid" that the South African constitution failed to dismantle. Although Nelson Mandela empowered South Africans to free themselves from all legal aspects of the apartheid, the socio- economic effects of it are still present today. Overall today we saw Cape Town as a tourist and as a resident and ended the day with some amazing Ethiopian food.