Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cape Town - Dawn

6am Cape Town. 9pm Seattle. It is dawn on the morning after the big family/reunion aka meet-my-brother’s-friends party. I am lying on a foam mattress on the floor under the dark yellow chandelier listening to the distant song of the muezzin calling the devout to prayer. It quavers, rises and falls from the loudspeaker on the mosque a few blocks away in the Malay Quarter. Somewhere, 60 dirty glasses and 20 bottles of bubbly are waiting to be cleaned up but I can’t even make tea because the sound echoes and amplifies in this house of stone and tiel where a snorer, some runners, the children and Mum are sleeping.

Last night we received a text that my luggage has been found and should arrive at CPT from LHR on a 9.55am flight. This is great news as its possible that I will have some clothing choices other than the kundalini harem pants which I have slept in and worn for the past 24 hours (at least until a brief and expensive visit to a local boutique 1 hour before the party. I hope to pass on that bill to British Air).

Frost is complaining because the turquoise skinny jeans I bought him have buttons at the fly and that is not his kind of thing. He is sleeping in them too because he has no underwear or alternatives.

My brother lives like a happy bachelor. His condo (not a condo really but a 100+ year old terrace house overlooking Cape Town) has no washing utilities - no machine, line or anything. There is a kitchen which is minimally equipped (he has just moved in). He takes the laundry out to a service which launders and folds. The stay-down feature on toaster does not work - so you have to stand by it holding down button until it reaches the desired level of toastedness.

Staying here, we have to negotiate three bunches of keys to various doors, gates and grilles. The garage door has a metal security gate as well and the rear has gates and doors as well. As I listen to the sounds of the pre-dawn dark, there are car sounds interspersed with metal clangs as people leave by their metal gates talking loudly on their cells. These are not the kind of gates and keys we have in Seattle - which are mostly to Yales and deadbolts. They are big chrome keys which go into keyholes you can see through. They turn locks with a satisfying clunk.