Thursday, May 25, 2006

Adventures in Mommyland

This is the soaring atrium of the posh Cavendish Square multistorey mall in Cape Town's southern suburbs, otherwise known as Mommyland. Here the suburban princesses and queen bees come in their giant SUVs and Mercs to shop at designer fashion stores, handcrafted furniture joints, Body Shop and the like. Waterford/
Wedgwood's grand emporium, opened with a supernova of publicity a couple of years ago, appears to have closed its doors, but business is pretty brisk in boutiques and upmarket chain outlets alike. Vida e Caffe (which I think should be Vita e Caffe) serves the best macchiato in Cape Town. And Cinema Nouveau offers us arthouse freaks eight screens. Unlike the supersized N1 City mall sited amid a wilderness of freeways outside the city, or the vast Waterfront development, which is tourist paradise, Cavendish is an ancient Cape Town institution in a class of its own, although it has been completely rebuilt for the new century.

The teeming hordes on its three shopping levels seem to grow by the day, illustrating the fact that consumer spending is at an alltime high, driven by a boom economy and gargantuan plastic debt. Perhaps because it is vertically arranged, without wide open floorspace, it's a strangely soothing place to shop, swirling with heady scents, cellphone murmurings and discreet music. Even little kids seem too blissed out to yell. Although today I saw a five-year-old wannabe gymnast performing cartwheels in Woolworths (M&S in SA) in a pink leotard. She was jolly good too. I missed the photo opportunity, sadly.

Bagfuls of therapy for someone feeling ripped from London's bosom ...


Blogger patroclus said...

It should definitely be 'Vita e Caffè' (Life and Coffee), or possibly even 'La Vita è Caffè' (Life is Coffee).

Mmm, coffee...

10:03 PM  
Blogger Dave F said...

I can comment here under a different ID but I am afraid Blogger no longer wishes to recognise me and whatever I do I cannot access the blog. Sorry everyone, it looks like this is byebye.

4:20 PM  

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