A gastronomical and cultural adventure
Bo Kaap was our first stop of the day. Now, you may know Bo Kaap from all those 50 places to visit before you die list. I’m not sure why but for some reason those photos never had cars in any of them. Reality:
Despite the stationary traffic, it was beautiful nonetheless. Perhaps its because we went early in the morning and people still haven’t left their houses yet. Urgh. Bo Kaap is also home to many immigrants from Indoensia and Malaysia during the apartheid. Imagine our surprise when we spotted the familiar curry scents along the streets. Ah, muticulturalism.
Our next stop was MonkeyBiz(http://www.monkeybiz.co.za/), a social entrepreneurship designed to help those low income families in South Africa. Basically, women from these low-income households are given the opportunity to sell their bead artwork. The twist is that despite living in “safari-land”, many of these women have not seen a giraffe or a zebra or a rhino, so they use their imagination to craft these animals in their head. The result is Monkeybiz:
You can find “animals” of all shapes and sizes here. The backstory is a little depressing but the beaded animals make for a cute companion! Super quirky!
Monkeybiz also assures you that the artists behind these animals are paid on the same day when they are sold.
Our next stop was streetwire, another beading(?) art collective dedicated to the preservation of African bead craft art. What I really liked from the visit was that these artists recognised that hunting was cruel and uneccessary and thought of a way to dissuade rch people from hanging animal heads in their living rooms as trophies.
They could offer them something that is cruelty-free and more beuatiful, an animal head made of beads.
If I had a fireplace I know what I’d hang up there.
We also visited the company gardens but as usual, I was more preoccupied taking photos of animals because I am a weirdo.
Our last and most amazing stop was Kaapstad train station. No, not the trains itself but the street food located above the train station. These were like the hawker center equivalent of South Africa. Food stalls were set up in shipping containers and cheap meals were sold. Albeit cheap, the food served in these shipping containers were as good or even better than food served in restaurants.
Again, because I am a glutton, I did not take any photos of the food I had heartily consumed. We tried umngqusho (A maize dish and reportedly, Nelson Mandela’s favorite food) and this curry-like dish whose name I cannot pronounce nor remember. But for all the off-the-beaten-track enthusiasts, this is certainly an experience for you.
All smiles with David the chef who runs one of these shiping container eateries.
Certainly, a walking tour is a great way to see South Africa but you may also decide to wander off to these locations yourself. Bottom line, PLEASE go venture above the train station in South Africa. Not only can you #livelikealocal, you can also get some delicious food while at it!