top of page

THE WAY WE LIVED. 17. The Graffiti of Apartheid. [Part 2] [9min read]

There’s the bus! Oh, sugar. You need the Bantry Bay bus.

At least it’s lekker[nice] warm so you enjoy the sun. May as well work on your tan, hey!

You finally get the B Bay bus. You just hate those downstairs signs that tell you where to sit – “Whites up front.” So you prefer to sit upstairs where the view can distract you, and it’s a graffiti-free haven. You almost want to sit there all day cos it’s the only public space in Cape Town where you can be without a single sign to tell you where to go or where to sit! You almost imagine that you are overseas, not that you can afford that. At least dreams are free!

Another interesting observation is that you never saw a White face upstairs! It’s a pleasant bus drive; you feel so relaxed that you fall asleep and wake up in Bantry Bay.

The view is exquisite .The trouble is the cold Antarctic water out there – brass monkey syndrome water! [My apologies to the ladies. The guys will know.]

It’s taken long enough to get here. Now, where’s your beach? About the only good thing about theses signs is that they keep people employed.

Thats an interesting new sign! Do they allow white dogs?

Now that’s another new sign since you were last here! An arrow in both directions. Which way to go? Where’s the “other” beach?

Oh no! All around here it’s “W only” beaches! You suddenly realise that you should be at Maiden’s Cove. That’s the only small beach you can mos go to! And it’s a few kilometres away!!

By now you are gatvol [arse-full] of it all. Maybe you’ll just take a taxi home if you can afford one, let alone find one to take you there! Probably can’t afford it either.

Why not phone Gatiepie? He’s got a car and loves driving. Hope it’s working! Now, which phone booth do I use? Damn, someone ran off with the phone in your booth! Will they fine me if I use the other one? Decisions, decisions!

But first, you need a pee. Maybe upstairs at the next building. Jesus, where’s your lift? That must be an old sign – “Europeans”. We’re all Africans, of course!

So you walk up the stairs. Ahh! There’s a toilet. Ag no man. Enough is enough! She can clean it, but, like you, she cannot use it either.

Perhaps you’ll just do it in the dark corner over there. There’s no one around. It smells like others have done the same.

Well, that was a relief. Just as well you’re male. What would a woman do?

So maybe you’ll just take the bus and train back home again! So much for your day at the beach. At least you enjoyed the ice cream shake. Pity Fatima wasn’t there! Next time, maybe.

Hmmph. Just check out those signs across the road! They just never end. NEVER!

Yes, really! That’s a Dry Cleaners! These people are something else, man.

….and there are others down the road; too many of them to count!

Okay so it’s a bit blurry, but you took this one on your way home. How many signs can you see down the length of this short station – say within fifty metres, if that? 5? 6? 7? …..more? Yes, the mind boggles!

Like I said above, it was relentless!

Boerewors, sunny skies and Chevrolet? Maybe some of the time, but not for you, not today!




bottom of page