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If you’re visiting Cape Town, please consider these DO’s and DONT’S.

  1. Tell your children not to ask out aloud ‘Dad, Mom, what’s that big dam over there?’ when pointing to the sea.  It’s embarrassing.
  2. Don’t just hang around the bars and beaches when you’re here.  Get a little sophisticated and acquire some culture.  We have excellent artistic venues.
  3. Please don’t order brandy-and-coke, spook-and-diesel etc. at our venues. We drink wine down here. And no ice please, especially not in red wine.

    Devil's Peak and Central Cape Town

    Devil’s Peak and Central Cape Town

  4. Refrain from eating braaivleis (barbecue) when down here.  Try some fine dining.  Braai is considered a low form of eating in Cape Town.
  5. Dress up.  Don’t walk down our streets in crocs and dirty shorts with your shirt hanging out the back.  You’re not walking down a street in central Johannesburg.
  6. Adopt attitude (Afrik. houding) and assume an upright posture and bearing when walking our streets.  Yes we know you’re on holiday.  That’s no excuse for slouching.  You’re in Cape Town now.

    Camps Bay Beach and Lion's Head

    Camps Bay Beach and Lion’s Head

  7. Don’t take your shabby Vaal Dam swimwear/underwear to Clifton beach.  It’s a sore sight.  You’ll probably drown in them.  Invest in passably chic swimwear.
  8. Don’t order the farmer’s breakfast at the local café in the mornings.  This is your opportunity for elegance and fine eating.  The health breakfast is perfect, or even Eggs Benedict.  You don’t want your Cape Town hosts to inwardly snigger at you.  Italian Cappuccino is fine, Ricoffy and condensed milk is not.  Neither is koffiekapital.  And no rusks to dunk into your Ricoffy please.  Order a bran muffin instead, to be eaten with decorum.
  9. Know your geography.  If you’re only visiting Bellville, you’re not in Cape Town, neither should you fib that you were in Cape Town if you only went to Bellville when you’re back home.  However, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, Constantia and the Winelands in general are part of Cape Town.
  10. Don’t barge in front of overseas tourists at the lower station of the Table Mountain cable car.  You will eventually get to the top.  Know your place and queue decently behind them .
  11. Go to Sandy Bay to sunbathe in the nude, not to gawk at the nudists.

    Rainbow over Table Mountain

    Rainbow over Table Mountain

  12. Don’t watch the latest Leon Schuster movie or other trashy movies when in Cape Town.  Culture up.  Try the Labia or other such film festival.  It’ll give you a window on the world and infinitely more kudos.  And do attend our opera, the only resident opera company in the whole continent of Africa.
  13. If you watch a rugby game at Newlands try to find out a little about the game instead of mindlessly shouting for the upcountry Lions or the Bulls.  The local team is the Cape Stormers, that’s the team.  You’ll find the crowd far more knowledgeable than you can hope to be.  The same goes for cricket.
  14. We don’t do apro down here.  Your cash is good though, very.
  15. Sedans please, not 4*4s, unless you’re visiting Bellville.  Our roads are passably good.
  16. Don’t moan and mope about the darned foreigners who have chosen to live here.  They add colour to our city.  Imbibe our multiculturalism.  Don’t complain about all the Germans in Tamboerskloof and the Tower of Babel of languages you hear around you at Giovanni’s etc.  Also, we don’t care to know that you’re going back to Durban or Sydney for your holiday next year.  Just go.  We also don’t care to know that Rio de Janeiro is more scenic than Cape Town.  Keep your travel opinions to yourself please.

    Mist over Table Bay

    Mist over Table Bay

  17. Try, I know it’s difficult, to be a little more tolerant and liberal when in Cape Town.  Reserve your conservatism for when you get back home.
  18. See what a true art gallery is like by visiting the National Art Gallery, the National Museum etc. in the Gardens.
  19. Don’t irritate the locals by mentioning your support for the petition to move parliament to Midrand.  It’s seedy.
  20. Do keep to the safe areas of the city.  The tourist areas around the mountain, central city, the beaches and Winelands are safe.  But at all costs, resist venturing unaccompanied into shanty towns and areas such as Mannenberg etc. for a fantasy ‘authentic-African-urban-reality-experience’.  This is not clever.  Gang wars abound in some of these areas.  Our beautiful city is ranked 15th in the list of cities in the world by murder rate.  Most of it is internal strife confined to well-defined areas.
  21. Don’t go around saying ‘stuff this sleepy fishing village’, we earn more than Capetonians do, therefore we can swagger more than them etc.  Desist.  Capetonians are fully aware of your bigger cities and economic superiority, but nonetheless look down on you.  You are from pitiful elsewhere after all.  Accept it as a fact of life.