Believe it or not, that is the name of our
neighborhood. After about a week, we were finally able to pronounce
it well enough that locals could understand us, but we never did
figure out exactly what it meant. A“boer” is a descendent
of a Dutch colonist and a “kloof” is a cliff or a
gorge (South Africans sometimes go kloofing, which simply means
tromping about a mountainous region). [Update!
Our guess was half right and half wrong; the real meaning is "drummers'
ravine" - see the comment sent in below.]
the view of
Table Mountain from our balcony
To get to our apartment, which is in a 12 unit
(or there abouts) building, we have to hike up a pretty severe
hill (and remember, we’re San Franciscans so we’re
not kidding). But when we finally arrive home at the end of the
day, we are rewarded with the most amazing view of Table Mountain,
so it’s worth it.
As with most cities, there is a wide variety
of neighborhoods. Ours is usually quiet, which suits us just fine.
The two notable exceptions to this are wind and dogs. Amazingly,
the wind in Cape Town can be crazy. They call it, for some reason,
“The Doctor.” There are nights (and less often days)
when the wind is so strong that it seems that all the windows
in the apartment will break, but thankfully they never do. (During
these times, “The Doctor is IN.”) At first this freaked
us out a bit, but we got used to it. Apparently, it’s somewhat
of a local black art to find the beaches that are least windy
at various times of the year. Fortunately, we got some tips from
our neighbors/landlords and managed quite well.
Now, on to the dogs. In the neighboring building
(fortunately *not* in the neighboring apartment), there lives
a pair of dogs (partly for security). They bark. A lot. And of
course, when one dog barks, all other dogs in earshot take up
the call. So once in a while, we endure an hour or two straight
of dog opera. In the States, somebody would lose their temper
and either brandish a firearm or sue the owners. Note that we’re
not condoning either of these courses of action, but merely pointing
out a societal difference. But dang – these dogs are loud
sometimes, not to mention a bit scary when you walk by. (For more
about the South Africans’ penchant for security, see the
sidebar in the cape town:
10 years of freedom entry).
There is a small shopping area about 6 blocks
away from our apartment. This is where we go to buy groceries,
use the internet, watch movies, inquire about shipping things
home (which, by the way, is way too expensive, takes way too long,
and seems to come with very little guarantee that it’ll
ever make it), and all other mundane daily things. We also are
lucky enough to be about a block away from a cute little café.
We have had several leisurely breakfast/brunches there, and often
bought bottled water, juice, and “health bread” to
take away. So far, however, they never have gotten an order correct.
There is always bacon instead of sausage, tea instead of coffee,
the wrong number of eggs, or something. Prices seem to vary depending
on the person who happens to be working, too, but not enough to
worry about. Nonetheless, we love our little local café
and our neighborhood in general.