I stumbled into an avoidant Capetonian. It turned out to be a ...

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I stumbled into an avoidant Capetonian. It turned out to be a void

I am on good terms with all my exes except this one I saw in Cape Town

When I walked into the Gardens Centre yesterday, my life flashed before my eyes.

If you’ve ever lived in Cape Town and had to visit the Gardens Centre, you’ll know that it’s a place fraught with peril. I don’t just mean on Saturday mornings, when it seems to function as some sort of indoor arena where all those who have recently awoken from a decades-long muscle-wasting coma gather to practise their walking. At the best of times Capetonians don’t know how to walk in the presence of other people, but Saturday at the Gardens Centre is a lurching, halting, hesitating, zigzagging, slack-jawed, solipsistic jamboree of the Walking Dead. But that’s not the peril I mean. The real problem with the Gardens Centre is you always run into someone you know.

Now, I’ve just arrived in Cape Town from Johannesburg, where almost everywhere I went I bumped into someone I knew or who knew me, and that’s a different prospect entirely. In Joburg, you’re bumping into Joburgers, and that’s always pleasant and offers an opportunity to refresh or reinforce fundamental human connections. In Cape Town you’re bumping into Capetonians, and no one wants that, including other Capetonians...

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