Living in Cape Town

Cape Town is one awesome city.. this was a recurring though as I ran along the cable car contour road this afternoon just before sunset.

A friend has this theory that Cape Town is the new New York. A coastal city and a gateway to Africa. He predicts the same rapid growth which NY experienced in the early 20th century.

Everybody seems to agree that Cape Town is a great place to live. I often talk to people who really want to live here. Usually people from Joburg or London. The snag seems to be that they believe it’s not easy creating a sustainable life and career here. I wonder if it really is “too small”, as they usually say or if it’s just hard and takes time finding some momentum in the business/career world (community) here.

Makes you wonder what percentage of the people you see driving those big expensive cars created their wealth here and can make a sustainable living here. Maybe Cape Town is the SA summertime capital of middle aged retired tourists. Could be.

What’s my point?

Well, I believe that especially in Cape Town “assets” of social capital, like friendship and business networks are of more value than traditional assets like the fancy house and car.

In some ways they are more sustainable and it’s just more fun being part of a community and having an impact on a time and place around you than being a tourist. History and familiarity, like knowing the coolest little cocktail bar that’s perfect for a Monday afternoon.

Maybe Dr. HST said it best..

“San Fransisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run… There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda… You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning… And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”
— Hunter S. Thompson

2 thoughts on “Living in Cape Town

  1. I’ve been in Jo’burg for the last 6 months or so (on-and-off at times), and I completely agree with you. The quality of life in Cape Town is just so much higher. It would kill me if I’ve had to stay here forever (which is why I never would). My current employer insists that I stay here though, but I hope to fix that by early next year.

    I also like how Cape Town is turning into a free culture hub. I miss geekdinner, clug, ctpug, etc.

    People often point out that Jo’burg is where all the money is, but I don’t really think there is all that money there. I can’t really say that I’ve met even 1 rich person here. Maybe I’m talking to the wrong people :)

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