Archive 2008 - 2019

Semester in Cape Town: Part 10

by Bella Tobin

Alma Cafe and rhythmic chairs in Cape Town...

Last weekend was a blast. Friday night we went to a little venue nearby called Alma Cafe to hear some live music.  There was a counter with random goods behind it like food staples and cigarettes, and a small room set up cafeteria style with tables and chairs, and a small stage in the front. The bands playing were The Lentil Collective and Tombstone Pete, that were displayed on a chalkboard next to the stage.
We walked in mid-set and all the seats were taken so we stood in the back. We were offered drinks and food from the waitress, and we were greeted by a man who I think was the owner's son.
 by Retha Ferguson
Lentil Collective was playing, and the genre is folk-tronica. It’s hard to imagine, but it was really good. The audience was mixed ages, from college students to senior citizens. Most people had been served dinner or wine, but no one was talking or eating as everyone was silent and respected the band that was really talented. There were three band members, all different -- one a hippy, another a hipster, and an older man singing, who slightly resembled a scarecrow (in all the best ways). They played originals, and although there wasn’t room for dancing the audience was moving in their seats to the rhythm.
Tombstone Pete followed, but I can’t describe the music. 
After the show we chatted with the band members and other music lovers outside the cafe for over an hour. We made a few friends who live on a farm in the Northern Suburbs, which I was told was beautiful.
On Saturday we had a cultural dinner with Interstudy that we started preparing at 9 am. It felt sort of like Thanksgiving. Mack, one of the R.A.’s, had a few of his friends from different cultures in South Africa help cook the dinner. We all got to pitch in and the food was incredible. I don't know the names of everything but there was a fried dough type thing that went with mince, a beef stew that went with steamed bread, Chakalak which is like a bean/carrot/curry mixed dish, chicken liver, fried chicken, a chicken stew, a spinach thing, and much more. Obviously very descriptive. For dessert there was a pudding and chocolate cake. It was heaven-like.
School is intense here and the test taking process is an experience, and not the best.