Cape Town: Un Weider?!
Exactly one year ago I made my first trip to Cape Town. I stayed there for three month as part of an internship. I had never been to South Africa before and didn’t really know what to expect. According to friends that had allready visited Cape Town, it had to be paradisiacal. Unfortunately, by the time I went there, it was winter in the southern hemisphere. Meanwhile a massive heat wave hit Germany and all of Europe, and thus Cape Town felt rather windy and fresh. Obviously winter in Cape Town is not as cold as it is in Frankfurt; it’s 8 degrees Celsius at night, the sun goes down at 6 p.m. Resulting, I started to get lazy and I began to fall in a little comfort zone. In this case that means, I started living at this bar. I think really every day I was enjoying a couple Zamas (Black Label beer, the premium Lager and number one choice. Or maybe just the cheapest beer.) with Khulu at Yours Truly – „YT“. Khulu has been living there his whole life. And YT is the „Skate Bar“.
It is connected to a hostel right on Kloofstreet. Kloofstreet in turn is known for cool pubs and hot food. Even though many skaters hang out at YT and also work there, the rest of Cape Town’s society do not seem to be distracted by this fact. Rather, it’s known as a „cool“ or „hip“ place. It’s not a dirty dive bar, it’s actually just a really nice spot. This comfort, which I hadn’t experienced so far, made it obvious to take care of the situation and start the vacation engine. Luckily I didn’t have to work that much and so I adapted the easygoing Cape Townian lifestyle real quick. Also, seeing I was injured, propably didn’t use my skateboard as much as I could have. But man, in this area there are so many beautiful places to visit that you don’t really need your skateboard anyways. Most importantly, though is the fact that, besides the great nature the Cape area has to offer, it is also home to great people. The Skate scene is not huge and the spots are quite rough, but the choms (homies) are killing it nonetheless.
Everybody is super welcoming and caring, in an authentic way. It feels just natural being part of the clique. With this little family in the back, we were heavily joling (partying), exploring nature, cruising around and actually skating. Yet, it is difficult to capture South African society from time to time. Monetary injustice and corruption still have strong impact on everyday life. Cape Town is the “Europe” of South Africa, but it’s still not Europe. So get used to stolen phones, bribes and a knife in your face. But remember, with a good sense for communication (shoutout to Bongie), you get your phone back, you pay no bribe and you don’t get stabbed. Show some respect and you’ll be fine.
Like I said winter isn’t that bad in Cape Town. During the day it might be 20 degrees in the sun; with time passing by spring started to shine. Even some friends from back in Frankfurt kept visiting and we managed to atleast get some footage. Also Ryder was filming last tricks for his full length video called „Chakalakka“ (Check it out right now HERE. I mean NOW!!!) and I had the honor to film some second angle clips for it aswell. Ryder was one of the first persons I met and we instantly became BVXB’s (Best VX Buddies). Fast forward, and the three month were over. Surviving the German Winter again, I found myself back in Cape Town in March this year, staying here for another three weeks at Casa del dirty D. and steezy B.. This time it was really hot. Almost too hot to go skate. I rather felt like having some Zamas at YT or swimming in the sea. I didn’t do any sightseeing or felt the need of getting the most out of the day. Not in a sense that I wasn’t interested in exploring new stuff. More in a way that I didn’t feel the well known pressure that can appear on vacation. The pressure that makes you feel forced to see and do stuff just because you’re at a different place for a limited time.
So I finally started realizing that in Cape Town I develop this very special attitude. An attitude that is best defined by the words „Un Weider“! A German slang referring to not playing that much attention to stuff; a meaning that is pretty familiar to me and that I use a lot elsewhere as well. Oh yeah I, remember, “elsehwere” is called home. Next time you want to escape Northern Europe’s winter, maybe think about visiting Cape Town and say hello at Base Line Skateshop on Kloof. The choms will show you around and in case you don’t do much at all during your visit.. Un weider?!
Words & Edit: Matthias Ellinger
Photography: Johannes Maisinger
Artwork: Philipp Schäfer