Things I do since living in Cape Town – an expat’s view

Cape Town is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city where people value quality of life over how much wealth you can acquire. For that reason, if you want to make money, you go to Jozi and if you enjoy being outdoors, a glass of wine, good cheese, great company and lots of laughter and creativity, you settle in Cape Town, also known fondly as the Mother City.


Coming from a tropical island, it wasn’t such a shock for me to join in the relaxed way of living. I have enjoyed it and became even more laid-back ever since I live here. (A good thing but perhaps don’t go and live in Switzerland after this. I missed a lot of trains strangely enough!).

I’ve compiled a list of things I do since living in Cape Town for your reading pleasure but mostly to entertain you. After all, slow down… It’s Cape Town!

1. Use mountains as landmarks for giving directions.

2. Immediately assume that these noisy crowds of tourists invading our beautiful Clifton beach in summer is most definitely people from Joburg and give them the ugly stare as if I’m better than them because hey I live in Cape Town.

3. Wait until the last minute to RSVP to an event. I mean there’s just so much going on in and around Cape Town from ballet to art exhibitions, vintage markets, night cycles, full moon hike, naked bicycle run, colour festival, surf fest, food festival, music gigs and themed parties…how can one choose?!

4. Have friends who surf.

5. Enjoy a relaxed Sunday on a wine farm and savour some cheese, local olive oil or tapenades.

6. Go to the beach to suntan but not dare to dip my toes in the icy Atlantic Ocean.

7. Silently forgive the people who tell me how beautiful the beaches are in other countries. Surely, they have not been to Llandudno, Clifton, Camps Bay or Boulders Beach.

8. Never carry an umbrella with me when it rains. (Everyone here knows how windy it is, so it actually rains diagonally…).

9. Refrain from wearing mini skirts or summer dresses in summer. (Everyone knows jumpsuits and shorts are the preferred choice, especially if you don’t want the whole town to see your bum. ‘Cos it’s super windy, don’t you know?)

10. Use ‘hectic’ in every single sentence when I want to say that something is awesome or painful or intense or sad or hilarious or cute or endearing or romantic or extraordinary or harrowing or stressful or *insert any adjective here*.

11. Finish a sentence with ‘dude’ after hanging out too much on Kloof street.

12. Avoid going to Kloof and Bree street unless am wearing something sensible. (Hipsters be judging me, non?)

13. Paradoxically, I can go anywhere in Cape Town without caring what I’m wearing because nobody is fazed or blinks twice if you’re dressed as a Parisian woman in the 1950s, a zombie with blood dripping from your forehead or a sailor. With so many themed parties, zombie walks, the MCQP, gay pride, J&B Met, you’re actually going to fit in regardless. Besides, there are many fashionistas as well as surfers, hippies, hipsters, vintage-lovers and funky arty people who bring in their own quirky style.

14. Respect coffee culture and want to protest when it’s announced that Starbucks will soon be among us. Coffee in Cape Town is serious, guys. Don’t mess with this.

15. Have no desire for fast food or junk food when the cream of the crop of restaurants and talented Chefs have graced our side of the country.

16. Eat raw this and raw that. (Chocolate, honey, etc…)

17. Have great affinity for art and anything creative.

18. Add superfoods to my diet. Maca for that time of the month, mesquite in smoothies and chia seeds for breakfast, bee pollen in my yoghurt…

19. Start work not earlier than 9am.

20. Party the night away on a Thursday. Never on a Friday, why would you, the clubs are empty then.

21. Avoid driving to Newlands when there’s rugby match live. Avoid driving anywhere, period.

22. Shop second- hand, vintage, antique stores.

23. Ditch products from a commercial shop in favour of cushions from Skinny La Minx, clothes from Mungo & Jemima and rather support other local designers or artisans, such as chocolate bonbons from Honest Chocolate, nougats from Ma Mère Maison, chocolate truffles from Sazali Chocolates and loose leaf teas from Lady Bonin – because you also know you’ll get far superior quality and it’s made with love, dude.

24. Leave Cape Town only to relocate a while later. Planning my next exit but also how I could re-settle for a 3rd time. Hectic I tell you.

25. Follow all updates about a fire. RT the images and support the Fire dept and volunteers and call them heroes.

Have you been to Cape Town? Do you live in Cape Town? Do you have Cape Town on your travel bucket list? 

Well, you should. (To all the above).

14 Discussions on
“Things I do since living in Cape Town – an expat’s view”
  • My pupils heute in Seither Land recently asked why I use “dude” that offen. Now I know. Three years Cape Town legt bis marks in me ☺

  • This makes me miss home so much!! So true every little thing, but you haven’t seen Brazilian beaches yet. Sometimes you have to hike through a rain forest to get to the beach 😉 Just kidding Llandudno is my all-time favourite (even though Brazilian beaches are amazing).

  • All of these are awesome but No 8 had me laughing! Awesome article Beatrice. I DIG your blog! So clean 🙂 So now that we’re back in Cape Town and you’re in Cape Town – we should definitely meet up!?

    • Good to hear, Vaughan! It was meant to make people smile and take it with humour. Yeah that sounds fun if we could meet up. Have popped you a mail. Big fan of what you & Lauren do. Let’s make it happen!

  • Cape Town seems like such a cool place and I hope I’ll get there one day. Not sure I’d enjoy the wind too much but the rest sounds great!! Love the part about giving directions w/the mountains as landmarks. Cool post!

    • Thank you 🙂 Cape Town is indeed such a lovely place and I do hope you get to visit soon. Haha, I think the only people who like the wind here are surfers and kite surfers (and even then, it has to be in a specific direction I guess!).

  • My move to CT was short lived just over 2 months and I had to move to JHB. I never had a chance to experience the beautiful city but I can say that I gave directions in the proximity of the mountain and I took the train passed Newlands when the ruby was on so I know how packed it was!

    • So lovely to hear you lived in Cape Town (even for a short while). Let me know if you do visit sometime. Would be great to meet you in person :). Hahaha yes traffic is insane whenever rugby is on!

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