The Untouchable Solitude of a Foreigner

Decided to take a break today from all things Swimming Upstream the passed two days. I just spent it with my family and friends while hanging around in Cape Town. It was lovely. Had lunch at Caveau or in Camps Bay somewhere, had supper at Beluga and the Savoy Cabbage, and sat on the roof of Jamaica Me Crazy with my brother and some friends. Now that they have gone back to the NL  I can safely say that “Die fetten Jahren sind vorbei”, ok maybe not Jahren exactly but Wochen to say the least. Die Fetten Jahren sind vorbei is a German movie from 2004 and is known as The Edukators in English-speaking countries but hey, the original title is simply so much better, don’t you think?

It features Daniel Bruhl who previously starred in the awesome ‘Goodbye Lenin’ and Julia Jentsch who protrayed Sophie Scholl in the movie of the same name. There are so many cool German movies out there and “Das Leben der Anderen” is a total must see.

We didn’t just have food but also visited some  Cape Town museums. The other day, we started at the Slave Lodge which I’ve visited twice before but still find it interesting and touching. The Lodge also hosted an exhibition on Nelson Mandela which was very interesting but, I’m sorry to say, the design/lay out was terrible. Too chaotic with big displays, odd turns and corners and a claustrophobic feel to add. The content was good though. From there on we made our way to St Georges Cathedral followed by The SA Jewish Museum and Holocaust Centre. I last visited the SAJM in 2007 and found it quite dull then but today I totally changed my mind. There  were interesting displays and videos, I liked the set up of Remembering, Reality and Dreams and enjoyed the David Goldblatt exhibit.

When I was a kid there were many people at our dinner table who lived through the war, had numbers tattooed on their arm, or spent time in Japanese prison camps in Indonesia. It was good visiting the Holocaust Centre with my family as they were also all afflicted by the war, as was anybody, but that’s for a different day. All I want to say is that it was a topic… with discussions, emotions, books, photography, music and documentaries filmed or memoirs written by friends. 

After all that wining and dining it is time to buckle down and work, work , work. The exhibition is frighteningly close and there is still some work left to do. Photos to edit, people to talk to, stuff to write, quotes to choose and gather in a nice presentation. And to get my visa stuff sorted out. I got my extension months ago but my passport is still in Pretoria. Which is a bit of a drag as I need it to apply for a new one. Yet I can’t really think of it right now as I need to do the other stuff first. I am pleased to see though, that several blogs and online publications have picked up on the press release and the upcoming event. One Small Seed, Cape Town Magazine and Audrey Magazine amongst others have all picked up on it and  I hope it will help get everyone to the Grand Daddy Hotel next week.

In the mean time I have moved from Fresnaye to Woodstock and already missing the space around me and the ocean views. But yay, there’s music. In this case, Asa’s  Beautiful Imperfections (available on Naive/PIAS). I love it. Pop, soul, beauty and coolness from Nigeria. Just what I needed:-)

The title btw comes from a Milan Kundera essay in his new book of essays called ‘The encounter’. According to him, an encounter is not a social relation, not in friendship not even an alliance but rather a “spark, a lightning flash; random chance”. I kind of like that:-) 


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