Life in Southern Suburbia is, well, pretty odd. It’s certainly not like the South Africa I experienced in 2010. I have carpets, always a bonus, and there is bountiful array of shops, restaurants, and bars. In fact, anything you could ever need in order to spend the money that I don’t really have. Sure there are still people shouting at me on the street. The daily cry from taxi men; ‘Hey Lady, Capetown?’ ‘Town Girl?!’. The checkout tellers who call me Maam, making me feel at least ten years older than I actually am. But I very rarely feel like I’m in South Africa, well, except when I have to unlock the four locks with three keys just to get into my apartment.
Capetonions, despite, or perhaps because of, living in one of the world’s most attractive cities are not the friendliest of people, and I have been feeling more than slightly trapped since I got here. When you work until 6pm and it’s unsafe for to go out on your own at night, it makes ‘creating’ a social life quite difficult. I’ve never really been any good at enforced frivolity, especially when it involves making small talk with strangers.
So, essentially at the moment my life revolves around the unholy trinity of home – work – gym. Good for my waistline, not so good for my intellectual or social stimulation. Every month I bequeath a hearty percentage of my measly paycheck to the good people at Virgin Active. In return for this I am bombarded on an almost daily basis with a superfluity of naked old(er) women. The South Africans are really into keeping fit, which I can understand; however, they are also perturbingly happy to wander around the changing rooms butt naked, which I cannot. Yes, I know, I am being absurdly English, prude, judgemental, buttoned up, etc etc. But you really do have to see it to believe it.
Walking to and from the shower I can almost understand, although why you would feel the need to casually hold your towel rather than wrapping it around you is beyond me. I would even go so far as to say that some post-shower ‘lotioning’ is acceptable. However, the people who baffle me, are the ones that sit there for what feels like hours, with no obvious plan of action except to sit around in the buff making the rest of us feel uncomfortable. Well ok, making me feel uncomfortable. In fact, the other day, I came in, post-workout, stripped, showered, got dressed and made my self look almost presentable, all in the time that one lady took to moisturise her elbows. I even washed my hair!
But enough about naked old women, that’s not the kind of blog I was intending to go for…