Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Identities in birth and travel

Testing the areas

Reflecting on times we were in Cape Town; we did not get around as much apart from spending just over a week of the last part of our stay at Mouille Point not too far from the Green Point Lighthouse after four weeks in the Oranjezicht area near the Parliament precinct and Company Gardens.

On the evening of our move, we found a restaurant where we settled into steaks rather than seafood along with my first helping of Malva pudding. Whilst I usually have my steak medium rare, mine was closer to rare than medium, the fat became a bit off-putting that it became a discarded script of Murder, She Wrote unworthy of any edition to be progressed for auditioning.

We returned to the restaurant on our last night together before my departure but could not sit outside as we did before because of the wet weather. Wary of sitting inside, we found a table at the highest of cascading levels to the very back of the restaurant, not that crowded, though with a couple at a table already tucking into their meal.

Stake upon steak

As we were putting in our order, we could not help but notice the frenetic activity at the other table, the man who we soon learnt was the husband was constantly genuflecting for the waiter modifying their order and trying to engage in conversation with the staff as a regular customer who might have been slighted for not being recognised. He ordered a second steak even though for his appetite he seemed to have found a means of not allowing it show on his physique, and that is commendable.

Soon, he engaged us in conversation telling us that the restaurant had the best steaks as it transpired that they were regular visitors to Cape Town and this restaurant did take their fancy any time they were in town. A flutter of introductions ensued, he was Indian born in Nigeria with no religious pretensions to vegetarianism, his family having lived there for at least two generations, he knew the Chellarams, his wife was Scottish born in Hong Kong, Brian is Zimbabwean with distant Scottish and English ancestry and I am English born of Nigerian parentage.

Partners in blush

It made for interesting conversation even as they were UK-based but had escaped the lockdown to Cape Town via Addis Ababa only to find it uninteresting because of the restrictions and the alcohol ban that they were going to jet off to Dubai and stay there until things eased off. I did not get his line of business, but he appeared to have made a fortune selling his company in the UK having learnt he was not suited for the cutthroat business environment in Nigeria that his father prospered in.

We were soon through our two courses and were ready to leave, his sometimes-inquisitive talkativeness had a Nigerian influence that at times made me uncomfortable as he insisted on knowing what kind of partners were. Whether he missed the passing comment that we were too like his, partners in bed, I could not tell. We parted friendly and jocularly enough and surprisingly loose-tongued without the aid of alcohol. Even with strangers, encounters can be not so strange at all.

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