Being my adopted home town, Cape Town has always felt like a bit of a holiday from reality anyway. But after a while ? like any new place ? the novelty wears off and you become complacent about the fact that you live in a city with a massive rock in the middle.
But when you have two wide-eyed Brits in tow you might just find yourself pulled over to the side of the (pretty unspectacular) airport road so they can stand in awe of Table Mountain and it's monstrous hold over the city, I realised there and then I had forgotten... hey, there's a massive rock in the middle of the city! How awesome is that!
So after arriving home and sharing the delights of a standard issue South African braai and a few brews to welcome my weary friends, I got to thinking how was I going to show off the best that Cape Town has to offer and make it interesting for myself too?
Of course our first destination was Table Mountain and it was here ? while being herded along like cattle ? that I began to notice the strange behaviours of tourists. The way they dress, they way display their expensive camera equipment around their necks and how they make it known that they are, beyond the shadow of a doubt, not from these shores. Pasty-white faces liberally covered with sun-block every five minutes. Conversations of disappointment that no-one had been seen riding an elephant or that there were no lions wandering the streets. 'Do they know they're in Africa?' I thought to myself.
After discovering my friend tempting the Gods of Mugging on a city centre pavement ? wallet open and counting a thick wad of blue R100 notes ? I realised it was time to escape and go wild. Little did I know it would nearly prove to be the undoing of the entire trip.
We were staying in a cottage near Cape Point, and on arrival the owner warned us of a troop of baboons that wander through every night and had been known to attack people for food. Warning #1.
After spending the day in the Cape Point Nature Reserve (which by the way is money very well spent), which is awash with signs warning of food-thieving baboons (waring #2) we returned to the cottage to find the place over run with these impolite primates. I relay the next series of events the best I can as it all happened incredibly quickly.
The back passenger car door opens, and he?s out; camera in hand. No more than two metres from us is a huge male baboon. The flash goes off and the baboon launches himself and hits the passenger side door. There were crazed screams and an entire pack of baboons racing toward us. Managing to get back into the car unharmed we reverse back out the drive way and hightail it out of there.
In a fit of rage and complete shock I turn around and shout "What the hell were you thinking? Did you not see the signs?" to which I received the meek reply: "I was just trying to get a better photo."
We can laugh about it now but entertaining foreign friends can be a stress. The biggest shock I got (apart from a baboon colliding with the side of my car) is just how expensive it can be to holiday at home.
The tourist traps are just that, traps, but despite the cost staying at home is a great alternative to spending your holidays overseas. It makes you think outside the box and if nothing else: it made me fall in love with Cape Town all over again.
Have you fallen in love with your city on a home-town holiday? Tell us about it in the comments below?