On our first train journey through South Africa, from Johannesburg to Kimberley, we had a comfortable four-sleeper, just for the two of us. Now, from Kimberley to Cape Town, we had to do with a two-sleeper.
Still, the ride was fairly comfortable and also took us through the vast and arid Karoo, covering almost one third of South Africa’s total area. It’s rather empty and, because of that, quite impressive. Later, we rented a car in Cape Town to drive to Nelspruit, partially covering the Karoo so that we could take a more leisurely look up close.
Arriving at the Cape Town train station, we were almost immediately overwhelmed by numerous taxi drivers offering their services. In the end, we went for a friendly looking guy who stuttered half the time. Friendly indeed, he even gave us a discount on the (very reasonable) metered fare when he couldn’t find our lodgings immediately. We agreed that, whenever we needed a cab, we would call him first. Although we bumped into him, by chance, the next day, we called him twice for a ride, but twice he had to turn us down.
In the evening, we watched Holland reach the Euro 2004 quarter finals, leaving Germany behind, just. We were staying close to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, a huge mall, right inside and across Cape Town’s harbor and we watched the match in a big, big, big sports bar, together with Germans, Czechs and Latvians and started talking to a mixed Dutch/South African couple who invited us over for curry some days later, when Holland was set to play the quarter finals.
The girl was South African, mixed Indian and black although she looked more black than anything else; the guy was Dutch. Interestingly, they told us that, when they strolled around town, it was her who got racist remarks flung at her, by the black population, saying she should stick to her own kind and not mix with whities.
Later, when we had that curry at their place, Serge got totally drunk and passed out on the whiskey I had brought with me and Gen got reasonably drunk but only had to tell us her whole life story from start to finish. After both had fallen asleep we quietly made our getaway.