Armed response in Cape Town

This is the blog of a 25-year-old bookmark. I proudly boast my own Hallmark serial number, 95 HBM 80-1. You’ll probably want to read all about me and my Travelling Companion (the TC) .

Today’s travel notes

Me and the TC are in Cape Town, South Africa. This worm is feeling a tad jaded today.  As a result, you may find yourself exposed to some purple prose. Here it comes.

Table Mountain looms with imposing and impervious beauty. Birds soar with ancient elegance across a huge sky over a pounding sea. Under the mountain and the sky, next to the sea, lies a city that is at times impressive too.

At other times, it’s not.

Nothing bad has happened to this worm, I hasten to assure you. But coming back to the land of my printing, I am struck again by how careful everyone is at every step they take, how many layers of steel and locks they put between themselves and the outside world before they can relax, and the edge of excitement this puts on every day life. By the way, the TC is fine too.

Armed response outside the window

Cape Town, 2am. The burglar alarm blares next door. The TC has already been awake for an hour, because in Sydney it’s now 10am. She’s a bit sad because coffee is a long time away. She perks up at the prospect of some excitement.

Armed response arrives fast. Two big men with guns. From the way the TC was reading, or rather not reading, her book, this worm could feel her excitement levels rise.

Big-man-with-gun number 1 phones the absent owner of the blaring house. We hear the entire conversation on his walkie-talkie. Including the part where the absent owner asks him for the secret code to confirm his identity and he tells it to her. Now the TC knows it, I know it, and any would-be assassin lurking in a nearby bush knows it too.

Absent owner wants big-man-with-gun to leap over her wall and check her house for intruders. Armed response control centre asks big-man to comply with the request. “Negative, control, negative. Wall is too high and is covered in spikes. Negative. I can’t get over it.”

So, would-be rescuers cannot get in. That’s bright huh.

At this point, the TC and her mum meander outside to offer assistance. That’s probably not too bright either. This worm stays snugly inside a book on the window sill.

TC’s mum shows the armed response guys how to get onto the vlei so that they can check the back of the neighbour’s property for any baddies.

TC’s mum to big-man-with-gun: “Be careful hey, they hunt in packs.”

Big-man-with-gun number 2: “Ja, but we shoot in packs.”

Wrapping it up: They did a thorough check. An hour later, the SA Police drove round too. And at 4am the absent owner arrived, escorted once more by armed response. A false alarm, yet another big man with gun announced, but there were two robberies in the area yesterday. At this point, the TC gave up on any prospect of sleep and brewed that first cup of the day.

Travel tip

Double lock everything. Look around you always. Don’t trust anyone who approaches you. Ever.

The book I’m in

World without End, by Ken Follett.

This is the sequel to The Pillars of the Earth. Both are marvellous. Even if you’re not a Ken Follett fan, this worm highly recommends that you give these books a try. Especially when travelling through a part of the world where much seems chaotic and the course of events arbitrary, it’s good to dive into a book where people make do and live their lives despite having little control over them.

The photos

Me not quite under lock and key in Table View near Cape Town:

Armed response in Cape Town

Armed response in Cape Town

Table Mountain lurking behind a veil of rushes at Flamingo Vlei, Table View:

Armed response in Cape Town

Armed response in Cape Town

Table Mountain lurking behind a sign post in Table View:

Armed response in Cape Town

Armed response in Cape Town

“Beware. This may be a high risk area.” And so on.

Ag man, what a shame hey.

That’s all for today dudes.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Stay safe, little worm! And watch out for TC — methinks she’s too inquisitive for her own good at times. And it doesn’t sound as though this is a place for that. Is Peg OK too? (don’t get jealous now, I’m just asking!)

  2. Hey there Rhonda,

    Peg is her usual attention-seeking self. She got close and personal with a puffer fish on Blaauwbergstrand yesterday. She would insist on appearing in the same photograph as me, you see. I agree with you that the TC can be silly at times. There’s no telling her, though. She wanders along the beach, waving her iPhone around and snapping pictures with her Canon, looking like a typical tourist (read, “victim”). However, I have a can of mace with me in the pouch around the TC’s waist. As they say in your part of the world :”She’ll be right, mate”.

    This worm hopes you and the sandgroper are staying safe too.

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