Storytown

Second to last day in Cape Town, so in our attempt to see the city’s more social and political landmarks, we ventured to the District 6 museum this morning. In short, the museum captures the effect of apartheid on “ordinary people” as the museum guide suggests. The museum is literally filled with personal stories and photos, which has a different effect on each person who comes thru; e.g. There were sections of the museum dedicated to different neighborhoods and streets, and former residents had an opportunity to embellish those parts of the exhibit. There was a clear sense of spatial ownership for those who lived there, much like driving past an old favorite home and feeling the rush of memories.

For those of us tourists who didn’t have the spatial nostalgia, the museum is a powerful, personal insight into a trying time in south African history. What is yet unclear to Michelle and me, as we later noted, is how the city is approaching reintegration. The process is apparently underway, but is not very successful yet. A talk with the manager of the museum’s cafe shed some insight on potential reasons, which turned into a fascinating social commentary/diatribe. Have I mentioned that I have loved listening to everyone’s stories this week?

The afternoon was spent bargaining at the green market. I am admittedly awful at it. I am able to negotiate down a bit on prices, but I get to a point when I realize that it’s probably 6 dollars for me, but these sales are a primary source of income for the women. I have a weird guilt complex in the bartering process.

A light tapas dinner of vegetables, cheese, and fish and a glass of wine were welcome after a long day of walking. I joined Philip and David for their dinner after, though just nibbled on some calamari myself and was treated to another fascinating international development storyfest. I’m getting spoiled.

Tomorrow I check out, then Michelle and I head for cape point for one last adventure before I depart.

Advertisements