As most of you know, I have just moved from Stellenbosch to Pretoria. The reason had to do with the fact that my entire family lives here [the closest family I have from the Cape is Bloemfontein!], and that this is a sound career move; there are far more opportunities here, especially considering I have something of a baby toe in certain doors. I also needed to get out of the bubble that is Stellenbosch, having grown up in one small town and having gone to highschool in another, and as much as I LOVE Cape Town it holds few opportunities for me right now.
So, here I am, living in a city which has a lot of stigma attached to it, coming mainly from Cape Town [and surrounds] people. It goes without say that everyone does [and should] love Cape Town, but it seems the second someone says they love Pretoria they must have something wrong with them.
When people think Pretoria, they think ugly, Afrikaans and conservative.
My experience is that it, like Cape Town, has beautiful areas as well as areas one would rather not inhabit for the view.
My experience is that there are racists everywhere across South Africa: black; white; Afrikaans; English; Xhosa- you name it! Except here, unlike Cape Town and especially Stellenbosch, there are actually black people! And when someone is racist in Pretoria, you know it. In Cape Town, on the other hand, 'nobody' is racist at all- they just love the natives and they EVEN invite them to parties AND let them use the same cutlery as the others. Believe it.
My experience is that Afrikaans people are African. Yes, you heard me. Some of the most truly 'African' people I have met are Afrikaans.
My experience is that a place is what you make of it. We may not have a mountain, or the ocean [which none of the Cape Tonians actually ever use, except to lie next to it and look good. Hey, I don't blame you, that ocean is effing cold!], but we have people who are genuine and down-to-earth. We have an amazing music scene [including Hip Hop], great coffee, real traffic, and a buffet of malls to choose from. We have Oppikoppi [twice], countless radio stations and Tings 'n Times.
At the end of the day, a place is what you make of it. So, I fully intend to live the holiday up here in Pretoria. Updates on the blog about gigs and such will focus largely on Pretoria and Gauteng, but of course I will not neglect Cape Town. And I will come visit y'all down under, I promise.