It’s around 6am on Saturday, I can barely hear the muffled voices of some poor souls in the dark, cold street 16 floors below. The lift motor upstairs growls softly, sending the night guard on his way home or bringing all night party goers in. The cat gives an irritated meow as I try to reclaim a piece of the bed. The patio door is rattled by the angry wind.
By 830am the streets have come alive with the sound of cars, buses, taxis, pedestrians and the high pitched whistles of the garbage collectors. The rain is knocking on the windows and I’m listening to BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly give his thoughts on Microsoft’s Surface.
By 10 I’m at Neighbourgood’s Market to buy some tasty treats for tea with my family tomorrow. There is a hum of happy voices. A young man who looks like he hasn’t brushed his hair for a year, blocks my way as he shouts to his friends that he’s off to look for beer. This is met with jeers and cheers and raucous laughter. I’m on a mission to find the cupcake lady and no man and his head of red restless hair is getting in my way.
Mission unaccomplished, but armed with savoury pies and sweet tarts, I stop at DoubleShot on the corner of Melle and Juta for a coffee to go. The espresso machine hisses and breathes life into a magnificent cappuccino. A pair of love birds whisper sweet nothings in the corner, the friendly staff make small talk and we all share a laugh. A car guard outside shouts out angrily at a moving car.
I’m walking to my car and I hear a soft voice behind me ‘Sorry ma’am, can you please help me…’ The change I give clinks down into the palm of a skinny, sketch of a woman. I mutter to myself when I realise that I didnt keep any change for the car guard. Fearful of being a victim of his verbal abuse, I apologise and explain to him what happened and surprisingly he gives me a toothless smile and tells me I can give it to him next time.
It’s lunchtime at Adega in Bedfordview, I’m catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a while. A lot of laughing and chattering. We shriek like school girls when one of our party confesses to going out on a blind date last week. More cheerful banter and a bit of reminiscing, an aaaah and condolences when someone gets a text about the death of the father of a friend.
In the Adega car park, the security guard waxes lyrical in a deep, West African accent – something about winter being winter and ‘ders nutting we candoboutit’. We wish each other well and warm and I’m on my way again – 702’s Solid Gold Saturday playing on the radio, and me singing along.
The skies have cleared and I’m on Constitution Hill, getting a photo of the sun going down, and I stop for a minute to hear the sounds of my city.