There are no others

Translation is a tricky thing. Meanings are missed. Words slip. It’s possible that King Goodwill Zwelithini said that foreign nationals are valued contributors to the economy, and the translation just came out a bit wonky. It’s even possible that you and I were asked if we wanted R148,000 of our taxes paid to Zwelithini everyContinue reading “There are no others”

Going Dutch

Once upon a time this was an almost holy week in white South Africa, for lo, ’twas on April 6, in the Year of our Dutch Lords 1652, that a certain convicted embezzler with a Spaniel-ear hairdo called Jan arrived at the Cape and claimed it for Holland (Two English sailors had previously offered itContinue reading “Going Dutch”

Accidents of history

Cape Town’s official plans for June 16 are, as always, sober. The flags at the Castle will fly at half-mast. Churches will remain open to encourage personal reflection, but all other workplaces will be shut. For those citizens who want to share in a more communal commemoration, the traditional march-past in Adderley Street will beginContinue reading “Accidents of history”

Let them drink gin

The estate agent sniffed me over and knew I wouldn’t be buying, but the rain was drifting down in sheets over the city and nobody had come in all morning. Boredom trumped disdain. He stretched his face into a reasonable facsimile of a smile and handed me a pamphlet as if he were sprinkling delousingContinue reading “Let them drink gin”