Today was a weird day. We hired Cape Fusion Tours to take us on a half day trip that culminated in a cooking class at the Eziko Cooking School. Our guide was Anine and I found her very insightful. She took us to the District 6 museum and let us explore it on her own. District 6 is a part of Cape Town where all of the black people were forcibly removed during Apartheid so white people could move in. After Apartheid people could not return, because much of the land had already been bought by others. The local university had bought a bunch of land and let it sit abandon. When the post-apartheid government said unused land in district 6 should be returned, the university quickly started to develop it, preventing people from district 6 a return home.
The District 6 museum is small museum and it is worth the time to visit it. You read a lot of personal stories and anecdotes while you are there. One story that struck me was of a man who raised pigeons in district 6. He was forced from his home and his home was destroyed. Some time later in his new home he let his pigeons out and they all returned to the plot of land that was his home in district 6. The poem Shosholoza by Sarah Kay beautifully recounts this story.
After an hour in the museum we stopped by Truth Coffee Roasting. It is huge steampunk themed coffee shop with excellent coffee. I was worried they had spent more detail to the theme, than the coffee, but that is not the case. The coffee is wonderful. It’s a very cool place to hang out.
Now let’s get to the Eziko Cooking School and Professor Mama Lindy. The cooking schools helps get high schoolers into the trade of culinary arts, so they teach them everything from barbeque to French cuisine. Mama Lindy’s specialty is Xhosa cuisine. When she is not teaching the students of the school she does one off classes with tourists. She taught us how to make samp & beans, pap, and chakalaka. We tried umqombothi and a smiley (a roasted sheep’s head). When the class was over we got to eat the food we made. Mama Lindy is a character and she instilled the mantra of “never soak your beans.” It’s a lazy chef’s short cut that sacrifices flavor.
Our guide left us at a craft store called Streetwires Artist Collective. The artists are doing a lot of interesting sculpture with wire and beads. We bought a lot of different trinkets for friends and family at this place. Even if you are not interested in shopping, it is neat to stop in and see how some of these life size wires sculptures are made.
We did a little bit of shopping in Bo-Kaap. I thought the Greenmarket Square Market was full of a bunch of junk trinkets. None of it seemed very interesting to me. I bought a few prints, but one could skip it with ease. We bought a piece of art from a shop called Avoova, checked out SAM (South African Market), and found a great piece of art at a gallery called StateOfTheArt, but left without buying it.
For our last dinner in Cape Town we ended up at Reverie Social Table. This is fixed price multi course restaurant with one seating a night. They specialize in pairing their cuisine with local wines, and I thought every one of their pairings was excellent. It’s a nice restaurant and it gives you an opportunity to meet other people. We ended up dining with a few retired couples from Alberta, Canada. They were all in the oil business, so we made sure not to discuss politics. The chef, Julia Hattingh, enjoys a glass of wine with you near the end of the dinner and it provides a very nice insight into the work she is trying to do in her kitchen.