Bookishness, Getting to know me

Adjusting to Cape Town

If you’ve wondered where I’ve gone, or why my last post was such a random shout from the dark… it’s because adjusting to a new life in Cape Town has been hard. Even though it is sort of the land of milk and honey (see previous post).

I started the year with a lot of plans (don’t we all) of having a gorgeously decorated apartment that was always neat and tidy, continuing to read a lot, writing more often, working on furthering my career, and having a lot of friends.

Tah-dah! #bulletjournal #level10life #colour #BuJo #2017 #goals #moleskine #stabilo

A post shared by Megz (@barefootmeds) on

Being a well-adjusted adult has turned out a lot less exciting and a lot harder work than I expected. And I DID expect it to be hard.

I live a stone’s throw from my new job, but I also start a whole hour earlier than I did in the Eastern Cape. I can’t go running in the mornings anymore, because then I’d have to wake up at 04h30 and that’s just ridiculous. But running in the evenings is hard because I get home and I just want to sleep!

Work is awesome. But it is exhausting. On that note, I’ve been surprised how hard it is to adjust to such a well-equipped hospital. I thought I could handle anything after surviving two years in under-resourced settings but working in a privileged setting comes with its own challenges… namely having to work with a huge amount of “protocols” and a lot of bureaucracy.

The most difficult has been adjusting in a social setting, though. I am introverted by nature, but living at home meant I was forced to socialise with whomever visited my family. Our humble little under-resourced hospital had a fantastic social committee, which meant that every weekend had something fun to do, some trip or activity to participate in. Everyone invited everyone places.

Here, as far as I can ascertain, there is no social committee. Everyone seems to have their own social circles, and Cape Town is notoriously cliquey. Because everyone works so damn hard, they don’t seem super keen to socialise with colleagues outside of work. But with working so hard, how am I supposed to meet anyone NOT related to work in some form or function?!

twelfth-night-posterAnyways, I have been trying to put myself “out there”. This past week, I invited a colleague and her husband to watch Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with my boyfriend and me at the Maynardville Open Air Theatre. It was fantastic! We only ever did Shakespeare’s tragedies at school, and I loved this comedy. The afro-punk twist the production company used was also just fabulous.

And today, this little introverted bookworm went to a bookstagram meet-up at The Book Lounge (only one of the coolest bookshops around). There were a lot of people and it was terrifying to be honest, but I did finally meet some like-minded people outside of work.

So I guess I’ll keep setting goals like these for myself. And try to adjust. Cape Town is a good place for me to be, career wise. And in many ways, I fit in here, specifically because it is so eclectic that I’m allowed to NOT fit in. But honestly, I do miss home quite often.

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13 thoughts on “Adjusting to Cape Town”

  1. Hey! When I first moved to Cape Town I did some hikes with clubs (I think I did a few with Meridian and some with the Cape Union Mart Hiking Club). It was a funny thing – most of the people in the club were a lot older than I was and whenever they heard I was from Pretoria all they could say was ‘Ya people are really friendly up there, hey.’ Anyway, I didn’t actually make any lasting friendships in the club but I did do some amazing hikes that would have been hard to just go off and do on my own, without a guide. Also after a while work just got too hectic and there wasn’t time to go hiking anymore, but I do actually still think back to those days with affection.

    I have joined two running clubs in my time here: Atlantics, which meets and mostly runs at the Sea Point Prom, and Celtics, who have a clubhouse in Harfield Village, which is just a bit further south from Rondebosch. They run the Rondebosch time trial which is at 6pm on a Wednesday, and any visitors are welcome. I was never really active in either because #work but my husband was a fairly active member of Celtics for a while, and it was just drama, drama, drama (this seems to be a common thread in running clubs, though). He ended up registering a club from the place where he works.

    It took us a long time to really make a solid group of friends, and even now I feel like they come and go depending on the season. Like, you can be besties with someone when you’re on a really tough rotation together but when you get split up three months later, it’s like you never knew each other. The people who are your constant companions through the Drinking Years – when you’re out on the town, living it up every weekend – are nowhere to be found the second you fall pregnant. There are people you will be ‘friends’ with literally only because you moved here from the same part of the country despite the fact that you have absolutely nothing in common. You make friends in funny places, but then after a while, almost without you noticing, you have a nice little group, and there’s always someone to bring you sushi when you’re down or someone to go for a walk with in the forest when you’ve had enough of your partner. It’s amazing.

    Good luck.

    1. I’m not sure why your post was sent to my spam folder – probably because wordpress isn’t used to people typing long replies to me! :’)
      The hike thing sounds fun and i think i’ll look into those groups. My apartment was robbed on Sunday and my trail shoes stolen so might not be able to do the more difficult ones but I think my normal ones should be able to cope mostly.
      Thanks for providing some much-needed perspective – I think I erroneously kind of expect a lot to happen in a really short time.
      Hope you’re studying hard 😉

  2. Unfortunately the Cliques in this city are awful – And everyone is a “film-star” i
    Found the same when I came “back” in 2010 after 30 years in GP. But I’m married so that off-set that issue to some extent.
    Tessa and I are both Musicians – Tessa is also involved in Musical Theatre – she is with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society and in a Book-club and Poetry circle [ she is busy with her anthology]. She is currently reading some stuff by Oliver Sacks. [The Man who mistook his wife for a Hat / Musicophilia [you would like that one too]
    Currently she is rehearsing for “Trial by Jury” [Artscape]
    I am teaching English over the Internet to adult corporate students around the world – so I get to meet someone new almost every half-hour.
    We would be glad to meet-up for coffee with you and maybe assist you with this adjustment. Maybe it will be a “click” !
    If you are into music [I think you are] we can introduce you to a “whole new world” out there !
    Have you visited The Book Lounge [Roeland St] ? Kalk Bay Books?
    Good coffee is to be found at : BeanThere [Whale St] / Origins [Te Waterkant- Hudson St] Truth [Buitenkant St] and Espresso Lab [The Old Biscuit Mill- Salt River]
    Have you had a chance to “do” Kalk Bay yet? If not let us take you through please!
    We would be glad to help you over this little “bump”.
    We are going to the little hamlet of Pniel [between Stellenbosch and Franschhoek] today 26/2 for a public event related to the late Adam Small –
    Where are you working? Domicile?
    Lets do that Coffee date !

  3. Did you come up with this journal idea yourself? Maybe you can write a post on it? It makes the obsessive-compulsive personality in me rejoice!

    1. hah! It’s called “Level 10 Life” and it’s definitely not my own idea. It’s all over pinterest! I actually am not sure if it’s working for me though because at this point I’m just getting a little more depressed every month with all the goals I don’t reach. Once I’ve made it work for me, I’ll certainly do a post!

    1. hah! It’s called “Level 10 Life” and it’s definitely not my own idea. It’s all over pinterest! I actually am not sure if it’s working for me though because at this point I’m just getting a little more depressed every month with all the goals I don’t reach. Once I’ve made it work for me, I’ll certainly do a post!

  4. Sent a reply earlier but it appears it did not arrive in the comments section??
    Contact Tessa and I anytime for coffee.
    Have you been to The Book Lounge? [cnr Roeland & Buitenkant St]
    Kalk Bay Books [Main Rd Kalk Bay]?
    There are lots of Book related events in the city.
    We went to the Adam Small Festival in the little village of Pniel yesterday.
    Met up with and were able to “chat” at ease with Premier Helen Zille / Breyten Breytenbach / John Matisonn [God, Spies and Lies] / Carel van der Merwe [Donkerstroom]/ Judge Albie Sachs.

    Tessa is busy with a Poetry anthology and is also part of a writers work-group – Besides that she is involved in Musical Theatre here in the city and could introduce you to some really interesting people – and theatre productions.
    When we came to CT in 2010 from GP we did discover the “clubby” cliqueyness too. It is a city of “film-stars” so it can take time to get that “in-vite”
    I have also hooked up on-line with http://WWW.INTERNATIONS.ORG who have regular local get-togethers and events in the city. You will meet people from all over the world and from a wide
    variety of professions.

    1. Not sure why your responses were sent to my spam folder, so I’ve only seen them now, but thanks a lot for the encouragement and tips. A coffee date sometime sounds great, I’ll definitely be in touch. Thanks a million 🙂

  5. Sent a reply earlier but it appears it did not arrive in the comments section??
    Contact Tessa and I anytime for coffee.
    Have you been to The Book Lounge? [cnr Roeland & Buitenkant St]
    Kalk Bay Books [Main Rd Kalk Bay]?
    There are lots of Book related events in the city.
    We went to the Adam Small Festival in the little village of Pniel yesterday.
    Met up with and were able to “chat” at ease with Premier Helen Zille / Breyten Breytenbach / John Matisonn [God, Spies and Lies] / Carel van der Merwe [Donkerstroom]/ Judge Albie Sachs.

    Tessa is busy with a Poetry anthology and is also part of a writers work-group – Besides that she is involved in Musical Theatre here in the city and could introduce you to some really interesting people – and theatre productions.
    When we came to CT in 2010 we did discover the “clubby” cliqueyness too. It is a city of”film-stars” so it can take time to get that “in-vite”
    I have also hooked up on-line with http://WWW.INTERNATIONS.ORG who have regular local get-togethers and events in the city. You will meet people from all over the world and from a wide
    variety of professions.

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