Okay. You can stop laughing now.
It really does happen. We Port Elizabeth creatures, despite living in the shadow of the seventh wonder, miss our home town. So what to do, girls of the Eastern Cape, when the oaks and the vineyards, the mountains and the Atlantic are just not cutting it?
1. Have coffee at Vovo telo. (Steenberg/Waterfront/Kloof Street, whichever floats your boat.) Yes, take a sip and bask in the limelight of a Port Elizabethan grown coffee shop’s franchising glory. Of course you have been to the original one in Richmond Hill, where it all started. When history was first made. Pat yourself on the back and feel better.
2. Take a walk along the Sea Point Promenade. Its like a Super Sized version of the promenade at Humewood. You can wallow in your nostalgia over and over. (And over. Its vast, and it has the same fishy smell.)
3. Scoot on down to that patch of real estate between Muizenberg and Sunrise Beach. You know, next to the Pavilion. Where the sharks bite. There you will find water slides and miniature golf, side by side, just like at Kings Beach, P.E. Supertubes and Putt Putt. Where you used to hang out with your friends in AD1989.
4. Go for dinner at Louis on the Block in Bergvliet. (Or is it on the Constantia Fringe?) If you go early, that is, order by 6.45, everything is 85 bucks. Plus, your wine-by-the-glass is filled to the absolute brim (hard to lift to the lips) and, here’s the winner,…there isn’t a hipster in sight! The bargain price factor is so overwhelming that you will feel like you are back in P.E. at Angelo’s. http://www.portelizabethrestaurants.co.za/restaurants/suburbs/summerstrand/angelos/
5. Head over to Cape Point on the windiest day Wind Guru can predict. (Look for Purple Squares on http://www.windguru.com) Take the Flying Dutchman Funicular to the very top and stand at the edgiest edge. As you pluck grit and strands of hair out of your lip gloss, recall that this is how it feels most times in whatever garden/parking lot/kitesurfing spot you find yourself in Port Elizabeth.
6. Have sundowners at Llandudno. It will seem a lot like Sardinia Bay, only you will need an extra thirty minutes for parking and a valium for the resultant stress . But it’s all good, once you’re there. The waves crash against the rocks, there are acres of (mostly) unspoiled sand and the sun does indeed slip over the horizon. Just like Sards.
And here’s one final thing, my little Cape Elizabethans. No matter how often you have sipped your Sav amidst its mother-vines, how many times you’ve pimped your vibe to fit in at The Old Biscuit Mill/Cavendish Square/Aces&Spades, or worn your horse riding kit to Pick’nPay Constantia, you will always have your friendly city roots. Hang onto them. Be nice. Stay kind. Show interest. And when you get a chance, go back to Port Elizabeth, chill on the beach, wear your slops and drink that stir coffee at your Mum’s.(You know,the kind that you have to dissolve in hot water.) You might even want to do the Standard Bank Iron Man African Championship.
(Although, not likely, after all those Sav Blancs.)
But, once back in the shade of the seventh wonder, don’t forget the spirit of community you learned in P.E. That sticking togetherness, that resilience in good times and in bad. It’s more useful in this crazy, angry, mixed up world than you might think.