Kalk Bay on a Good Friday

There’s an onshore wind blowing over Muizenberg and from Boyes Drive we can only make out about 10 surfers keen to paddle out in these conditions. The shark spotter is having a conversation with a passerby and I can see Kalk Bay harbour and its colourful boats moored in the sun below. The Jbay local and us two Capetonians find a lucky parking beside the old bakery and walk past the men cleverly crafting large wire animals. He is creating what looks like a big dog or a sheep and filling it in with black and white beads.

Olympia’s stools are filled with customers looking out the glass windows out over the sea. Under the stop sign, a man rests from his cycle and more beautiful wire creatures decorate the corner’s floor. The Wild Olive’s palm trees act like shutters for the sun and we decide to go no further without a stop at The Annex. We enter through the stony archway, past the manicured lollipop trees, past a cozy courtyard and up the wooden steps to our table. The lunch menu reads in chalk and the red umbrellas stand to the side of the giant tree with its fairy lights that have to wait until the night. There is a heart swirled in my cappuccino and lemon in my ice water. The Cuban flag tosses about in front of us and the road below never ceases to quiet from traffic.

I pass antique furniture stores, Mythology boutique with its unique dresses, pretty pumps and anything else that will persuade me to spend all my money. There’s a congregation of people outside the ice-cream parlor and we squeeze through past the bohemian store, past an alleyway and sign saying ‘Tarot’ and duck into an art gallery. My favourite pieces are always magical photographs that are fused somewhere between a painting and a shot. There’s a tall piece of art that resembles elegant wallpaper which I’d love to use in my future bedroom. I want to run my hands over its bumpy texture, but have to hold back. Another narrow lane catches my eye. We take a walk down Memory Lane and find an antique store at its end. There are chipped photo frames, iron hangers, old Kodak cameras and furniture my ma had in her house. We look behind the wrought iron gate at the Kalk Bay Trading post and through to the Blue train restaurant which is closed. A man sells feathered dusters and large wooden spoons outside Indian Jane and the renowned car guard is still commandeering the mini parking lot and taking people’s car keys as they park each other in to save space. Cape to Cuba’s music drifts up to the road and little boys run past us in their underwear after a swim in the ocean. When I ask them if they’re cold, they say no and run away together in childlike abandon.

Down in the harbour, people gathered in every corner happy to not have to work on this Good Friday. I ducked beneath dried snoek hanging up on string. Crowds gathered and watched the plump seals waddle up the stairs to grab the fish. The fishing boats assumed their same positions. There was only one purple boat which didn’t conform. The rest were varieties of blue, red, and green, black and white. Families fished off the right side of the concrete jetty and closer we got to the red and white lighthouse, the icier it became.

A seal floated about, enjoying the maneuvering from the waves. White water splashed over the rocks outside Polana’s windows and artists sold their work beneath Harbour house. The sun played hide and seek behind the mountain and more curious people gathered to have a look at the blubbery, black seadogs. The railway tracks are deserted and the last sunbathers are leaving the cold beach before the sun disappears completely. What a lovely thought, it’s only Saturday tomorrow.