Wednesday, April 20, 2011

More About Prices

More About Prices

What a fabulous day I had it Cape Town today! Annika, it was a real pleasure to have lunch with you and catch up. Yes, you should definitely go for the 21km on Saturday!!!

I went to the Two Oceans Marathon Expo today at the Good Hope Center. Loved, loved, loved it! Fortunately, I had not exchanged money before going to pick up my running kits, so I could not succumb to temptation... No matter how much I wanted to. With prices beyond me current budget, I could only afford a chocochino today, but come Friday (when I return with Robyn), I might be reporting an entirely different story.

Annika picked me up from the Expo (it was raining cats and dogs at one point) and took me to a nearby bakery for lunch and a delicious gossip session. Charly's Bakery is like one of those bakeries you see on a TLC or FoodNetwork reality TV show. It's quite funky and colourful, and the food items deserve their reputation in Cape Town. Charly's quickly became my favourite place in town. With it's tasty baked goods and prestige, the prices are still very reasonable: cupcakes cost less than those of a Kampala joint I can think of whose quality just does not compare. I wonder if a couple of boxes of goodies from Charly's would survive a trip back to KLA???

Practically around the corner from the bakery is the District 6 Museum. Prior to this trip, I was not aware of District 6. I am so ignorant about so many topics. But I guess that's why I love to travel--to improve my awareness, knowledge, experience with, and understanding of topics, issues and circumstances in the world we live in. My, my, my, the visit to this museum really stressed my out and set my stomach acids a churning. And I believe that is a good thing.

District 6 is an example of the price that some people have been willing to pay for 'development'. District 6 is an example of a price that should never be paid for 'development'. I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to be displaced in such a way--a refugee in one's own country, not fleeing war or natural disaster--to make space for 'developments' you were never intended to enjoy. Sobering.

From the museum, I wondered to the National Art Gallery. On my way there, I stopped by a fantastic independent bookshop that inspired and helped clarify an ambition I carry around with me.

Besides some of the permanent pieces on display, the gallery was showcasing photographs by Ernest Cole. Cole, from Pretoria, was South Africa's first black freelance photographer who moved to New York in the 1960s--exile, a price he paid to express what he needed. Cole published the controversial House of Bondage (which is a book I'd love to have if you're looking for gift ideas), a stark look at Apartheid in black and white, in 1967.

This was my favourite photo of the exhibition. The look in his eyes and sweat; he's determined to learn and get the hell out of his current situation.

Humiliation: at times the price of survival.

I found this photo to be the most disturbing of the exhibition.

Art is often considered a luxury, and having the luxury of a national gallery in which to treasure and exhibit art for the benefit of others now and in the future can only be done when a country:
a) values art;

Tomorrow's priority is penguins.

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