Nocturnal exhibitions

I had an unusual experience on Saturday night. I was heading towards the city centre when I encountered a traffic jam on the De Waal Drive*. During the day, this road can get quite busy, but in the evenings it’s normally a quiet stretch of tarmac. At the most, you might find a parked car or two containing young lovers looking at the city lights and/or engaging in a spot of recreational carnality. You might also find the occasional mugger on the lookout for young lovers in parked cars, but that’s about it.

On Saturday, however, there were cars parked along the entire length of the road. It was like I’d stumbled unwittingly on the South African Annual Cheap Date Conference or the imminent arrival of the Mother Ship. The penny dropped after I was very nearly smeared across the side of a rock cutting by a rubbernecking driver whose attention was more on the sky than the road. The hordes were there to watch a fireworks display being held at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

All I can say is that Capetonians really need to get out more often.

* for non-residents, it’s the high-level expressway that snakes around the lower slopes of Table Mountain

17 thoughts on “Nocturnal exhibitions

  1. DeWaal drive was where we used to drive down in neutral no less to say perol – how friggin’ student were we?? Sheesh its a wonder we survived at all. Hope my kids have more sense then I did.


  2. Fireworks? What was the occasion? Ooh, I know, it was a welcome party for Robbie – he’s playing there this week isn’t he? My sister-in-law and her son are going to see him, that’s how I know. I’m not a mad stalker fan who knows where he is all the time. Promise.


  3. Fireworks are fun! We see them regularly where we stay. The school my boys attend have functions and stuff there often, and most times, it includes fireworks. And plus it brings back happy memories of my dad and the first time I went to a firworks show. He just loves fireworks, and lighting them and all that. He often has those sparkly thingies for the kids.


  4. If it was the Symphony of Fire it’s much better to actually buy a ticket and go and watch it at the V & A. It is incredible! What a bunch of cheapskates.


  5. Tammy: Hope springs eternal. They have your genes, don’t they?

    Terri: If you were a mad stalker fan, you’d know the fireworks weren’t actually for Robbie.

    Spookie: They bring back childhood memories for me, too. I can still remember my dad chasing me around the garden with a flare gun after I scratched his car. Ah, good times!

    Katt: It was the Symphony of Fire. To be honest, I don’t find the prospect of sitting in traffic for two hours and then spending R160 for a half hour show outdoors in a howling gale very appealing at all.


  6. I spent Christmas eve with my dad and both brothers driving through our neighbourhood in PTA looking at all the pretty christmas lights on all the houses. So I think i have pretty much forfeited the right to call anyone a boring loser. EVEN a capetonian firework junkie.


  7. Symphony of Fire? Seeing as how the post started out, I was all set for you to enthral us with something juicy /or sleazy(?).
    Post-it to self: Get mind out of gutter.
    Seriously… I love fireworks, but I’m with you on the traffic and the gale-force winds.


  8. Katt: Hey, those are marketable attributes ๐Ÿ™‚

    scott: And of course, we missed out on YOUR fireworks – unless you made a video.

    Lyn: I suppose Capetonians are thrilled by fireworks, because we’re so used to being in the dark.

    Chitty: Juicy and/or sleazy? Moi?

    whatalotoffun: For general use, yes, but I’m pretty sure they will continue to allow ‘official’ displays like this one.

    anne: I did, but I found the lines of slack-jawed, open-mouthed people all pointing in the same direction and going “oooh” in concert just a little bit creepy.


  9. Well, I was one of those saddos watching for free. We parked up and had beers sat in the boot overlooking the city. And very nice it was too – if a little short.

    Tickets were R260 each, and I would have felt a bit ripped off after paying that twice over. Especially as, on the night of the first show, V&A watered the grass that the public were going to be sitting on 30 minutes before the gates opened.


    P.S. Avoid town on Thursday too – Robbie’s here.
    P.P.S. Then there’s the bloody 2 Oceans this weekend.
    P.P.P.S. Grrrr.


  10. You’ve reminded me of driving back home along the N2 from a friend’s farm between Somerset West and Stellenbosch many years ago.

    It was about 3 in the morning and my wife and I were both VERY stoned. Very irresponsible, yes, but we were young and we didn’t have kids with us.

    The road was virtually deserted and it was one of those nights when pockets of dense fog collect in dips along the road but in clear spots you could see kilometres ahead. We began to notice hundreds of cars and people along the road far ahead which made us a bit nervous being stoned and it being during the era of unrest along that route. As we got closer, we noticed that there were hordes of people on the walkovers spanning the road.

    We were getting more and more freaked out and I put the foot on the accelerator. As we zoomed by we noticed that the crowd was obviously Muslim by the clothes they were wearing.

    Our befuddled minds then realised that it was the last night or Ramadan and people were out trying to get the first glimpse of the moon.

    Um, nothing to do with fireworks, I know. ๐Ÿ™‚


  11. flo: Thanks for the Robbie & Two Oceans marathon warning. Talk about a serious ‘traveller advisory’.

    Reluctant Nomad: I’m glad you didn’t feel the need to drop your trousers and show them another version of the full moon. That might have caused a few fireworks.

    Ol’ Hoss: I think we should make everything illegal and then decide what should be legal on a case-by-case basis.


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