Saturday, August 15, 2009

A tale of two cities

South Africans love to bark on about how pretensious Capetonians are. And yet, when you're here, the disdain is pointed Jozi-way. "Ah, I don't like that club, it's too Jozi." Meaning, roughly, that the patrons are too flashy, too materialistic, too groomed. Ha! Perhaps my Jo'burg roots are just asserting their ego, but isn't it better to be open about the fact that you're making an effort with how you look? The Capetonian look is just as crafted, just as intentional and just as expensive as its highveld cousin. The fact that it's slightly less neat and fastidious doesn't make it any less label-conscious and materialistic - it just adds a pouty heap of deluded transcendence. Someone who was genuinely not fussed about the way he looks, and more interested in the mountains and the sea (as Capetonians claim) wouldn't fit the look at all.

So, for once, it seems the rest of the country is right. Jozi might be the home of flashy and bling, but true pretensiousness has found its place at the foot of the mountain.

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