8 reasons I miss London (and 8 reasons I love Cape Town)

I am grateful to be living near to so many of the friends and family who love me. Every now and then, however, I miss the vibrant energy of London. These lists of things I love about London and Cape Town are by no means exhaustive, but the top-of-mind items right now are as follows.

I miss London when…

East End of London and Canary Wharf

View of the East End and Canary Wharf from my window at the Royal London Hospital

  • The shop assistants in a Cape Town music store don’t know who Sophie Ellis-Bextor is (let alone when the album she released almost eight months ago is going to reach South Africa).
  • I can’t find a WiFi hotspot.
  • I spend two hours at the bus station waiting for a bus whose driver has decided he doesn’t feel like going back to work after his lunch break.
  • It rains.
  • South African politics seem to be a lost cause. I loved the open discourse between the UK government and its public, facilitated by organised protests and shows like Question Time.
  • I watch a British film/series.
  • I listen to dance music. Or maybe I just miss dancing in general.
  • I can’t find clothes I like in my size. The H&M launch in Cape Town could not happen soon enough.

I love being in Cape Town when…

Table Mountain and Cape Town

View of Table Mountain and Cape Town from Blouberg

  • I drink good wine and eat good food. Thank heavens for bobotie, potjiekos, melktert, koeksisters, droëwors, Ghost Pops, biltong, Bakers Eet-Sum-Mors, Bakers Romany Creams, Bakers Nuttikrusts, Bakers Zoo … ah, you get the idea: Bakers biscuits are awesome.
  • I can hear the ocean while lying in my bed at night.
  • The sun shines.
  • I have at least one friend in common with every new person I meet.
  • Elephants wander into my backyard … just kidding!
  • I watch the sun set over the ocean.
  • The cost of living is relatively manageable.
  • Random strangers on the street offer to help me get my wheelchair up a hill.
  • I see all the open space around me and the plants that remind me Cape Town has more endemic biodiversity than anywhere else on earth.

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