Cosmopolitan Cape Town

Cosmopolitan Cape Town

Early in January 1999 my husband realized he wanted to have his right shoulder replaced. He was 45 years old, and arthritis meant he'd already undergone two hip replacements. The bad news was there was no surgeon in Zimbabwe qualified to tackle this process, so we had to journey outside the country for the operation. The great news was that one of many world's high shoulder specialists lived in Cape Town, a city we might heard a lot about from individuals who'd been there. At the moment Zimbabwe was still six months away from it is descent into the tragedy it is at the moment, so it was straightforward to make the appointment with the surgeon, arrange the bills with our medical support company, book the air tickets and contact a pal who'd been transferred there a few years earlier to request accommodation. It took six weeks to get everything arranged, and early in March we boarded the flight from Harare to Johannesburg, after which on to Cape Town.

Our buddy Pete was waiting for us at the airport. After we would collected our luggage we drove to his house. The drive along the highway from the Airport to Cape Town was our introduction to town we'd be calling home for the subsequent ten days. The highway was in wonderful condition, and ran through areas of scrub that flowed away the verges of the road towards distant mountains. Nevertheless ten minutes later we got here across shanty cities that had been erected next to the highway.

They have been a shabby reminder than ten years after gaining independence the distinction between the rich and poor has maybe worsened. The shacks making up the shanty towns have been made of every kind of material known to man - corrugated iron sheets and rusty metal sheets combined with wood, cardboard and wire to kind an especially uncomfortable shelter than a family called home. Even more appalling was the truth that most of the shanty houses had run wires to the overhead energy lines. This dangerous link was apparently sanctioned by the electrical energy board - Pete told us that the municipality and the federal government were failing to keep tempo with the demand for houses for the poorer members of society, and preferred to depart the shanty towns intact! A refuse collection service run by the local authority was working to assist maintain the shanty towns habitable. We saw a number of shanty cities alongside the main highways throughout our keep in Cape Town.

Pete lives in a suburb called Somerset West, and his home was a practical and intensely modern cluster dwelling in a compound of about 30 residences. This type of dwelling is very standard hotels in Cape Town South Africa, because of security and reduced overheads. The complexes are very well maintained because every owner contributes towards the maintenance and upkeep of the complex. Some complexes offer communal playgrounds for all the resident children, tennis courts and swimming pools. House owners are usually able to keep pets too, because every house has its personal private garden. It's also an ideal way to live in Africa if one needs to journey or go on holiday - neighbours will control the house while you might be away. My husband and I have been so impressed with this way of living that the following year we bought right into a cluster complex my then employers had been advertising in Harare. When we sold our house in 2003 we reinvested the cash in a second cluster home. If one wants to live in Africa security is very important, and a cluster home complicated affords the most effective stage of security for residences.

Pete's a bachelor, so that night time he prepared a barbecue in his Weber braai unit. His girlfriend Pat came spherical to help with the cooking, and we had a beautiful evening. The view from Pete's house was superb. Somerset West is constructed on a hill overlooking town, and the view from his verandah offered the basic Cape Town view - the sprawling city on the foot of majestic Table Mountain, the lighthouse and the Atlantic Ocean. His house had three bedrooms, bogs, a big front room, state-of-the-art kitchen and outside laundry/storeroom. He told us he spends most of his time on his verandah or in his garden.

The next morning we had our appointment with the surgeon, who was a Greek Zimbabwean - Basil Vrettos. After his examination and x-rays he booked us into a private clinic, scheduling the operation for 8.00 the next morning. Once we asked husband should go to hospital that evening, Mr Vrettos told us to relatively book in at 6.00 the next morning, urging us to spend the day relaxing and strolling round Cape Town. He told the operation would take 4 hours, and that the hospital stay would be just three days! We had been delighted. Pete had taken depart to be with us throughout our stay, so the three of us headed into the city.