Friday, December 3, 2010

Southern Hemisphere

I just arrived back in Cape Town, just as winter was shooting a warning shot across the bow of the U.S. Northeast. Being in the other hemisphere, means being in the other season, so shorts and flip flops have been dug out from their brief hibernation.

I left this country a few months, where it and I were enjoying a post World Cup high. My return however, has been under a cloud of consternation over a South Africa that has reverted to its old reputed ways. I have asked my self how can this be, since I am not even there to know. The very simple answer I think is that stories in the news or reflections of people who are there or have been there, have all painted a negative picture.

Here is the list:
- my Aunt and Uncle were burgled twice in 1 week, not only do they live in one of the more secure neighborhoods I have seen, but at least one of intrusions was in the early morning daylight while everyone was still in the house... the audacity is disturbing
-I met someone 2 weeks ago who is hesitant to come to South Africa because their South African friend says its very dangerous.
- I met someone else who recently returned from vacation in Cape Town and Zimbabwe. She said that she didn't really enjoy Cape Town, because they were advised not to leave their hotel after dark - which is understandably constricting - especially on vacation! She loved Vic Falls.
- I just finished reading Peter Godwin's new book which details some horrific stories of government brutality in Zimbabwe over the last couple of years. Yes that's not South Africa and thats a different story - but thats next door and has prompted a mass attempted exodus to South Africa...but thats not the end of the story. Stories a few month ago told of anti-immigrant violence by South Africans - specifically against Zimbabweans (because they are taking jobs).

And list sort of goes on.

As I sit in the safety of a coffee shop in a ritzy Cape Town neighborhood, sipping a macchiato, I have decided that for the next 2 months I'm going to search for that Ubuntu that was the source of that world cup high from a few months ago. I know its here somewhere, its has to be...right?