Rondebosch (2012): Quiet Suburb of Cape Town

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Where I stayed
Carmichael Guesthouse Cape Town
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
Rhodes Memorial Cape Town
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of South Africa  , Western Cape,
Saturday, November 10, 2012

I scratch my head with a puzzled look: I can't pinpoint a source and tell you what it is about South Africa that has attracted my attention since childhood.  Perhaps, it's because the country is at the bottom of an ancient continent or hearing the haunting stories of the Flying Dutchman that had been cursed to sail forever around the Cape Peninsula and of the brave European explorers who captivated my imagination to be somewhere else other than the Present Moment. Maybe it's because of the weird word, "Apartheid", which was my 7th grade vocabulary.  Life's routines eventually took over and S. Africa remained in my subconscious thought until 1993 when a tragic incident in the Guguletu Township re-ignited my least for a summer.  It simmered for eight years and culminated with the publication of my graduate thesis that I dedicated to two influential women: my sage Grandmother, Kim Boy Chan, who had lived through the colonial years in Cambodia and survived with her pride fully intact and to the beautiful Amy Biehl, a Stanford University student whose unfortunate death in 1993 caused me to re-examine the origins of the apartheid regime's corrosive policies.  With so much history behind me, I had to travel to the Homeland that I wrote about and see for myself the people who unknowingly have influenced my very existence.  In June, I bought the tickets for a 23-hr. plane ride to Kaapstad / Cape Town, "The Mother City".   

It was a moment of realization as I conducted my research and I clearly remember writing this to describe what would become the trigger of "Vryheidsoorloe" / the "War of National Liberation": 

What happened in the arid countryside west of Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State in 1867 would forever change South Africa; the change would cover virtually all aspects of life affecting the nation's culture, economics, labor, politics, science, and social relations.  It would be so dramatic that its effect on the relationship between the white minority & the black majority and between the Kleurevolke & the Community of Nations would prevail until the final decade of the twentieth century with the release of Nelson Mandela from his insular confinement.  Near the confluence of the Vaal and the Harts Rivers, the small-time prospectors discovered alluvial diamonds.  

With this discovery, life suddenly became extraordinarily better for some and exhaustive for the many who worked for the De Beer Consolidated Mines.  One of the individuals behind this massive operation was Cecil John Rhodes, the architect of the apartheid policy. Interestingly, before he met his Maker, he devoted some of his fortune to the Rhodes Scholarship where everyone regardless of race, color, or national origin could apply.  The Rhodes Memorial and the University of Cape Town are the first places I've visited.  One of the best places to eat is The Hussar Grill.  The owner and pretty waitresses were nice and suggestive after they found out that this was my first time visiting South Africa.  Here, you can order Africa's game meat including, kudu, springbok, gemsbok, and eland.  They were delicious and we came back for more the next day during lunch. Before leaving Rondebosch, I had the opportunity to jog along the steep trail and enjoy the fresh air.

At the Rhodes Memorial

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