A very warm welcome to the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter in a combined edition for May/June 2011.
Happy Africa Day! The 25th of May is Africa Day celebrating African Unity. Africans from all over Africa live in Cape Town and contribute to South Africa's multicultural communities.
What a May! The weather is changing rapidly and the first cold fronts have reached the Cape. Well, for most of us expats, we have experienced rainy weather much differently. Luckily here it does not take long until the next rays of sunshine bring hope for warmer days again and especially I love to see the Table Mountain raising out of dark rainclouds and enjoy watching splendid evening sunsets at the beach.
Well, if you ever have renovated a home, you know how slow social life becomes and how hectic life at home feels like. I always wonder how many things can happen at once in life and so please take my apologies and be patient with me, I am still trying to catch up with mail and adding more info. Nevertheless we still have been able to check out some great places in Cape Town and the friendly people here in Cape Town get a big thumbs up for teaching us to smile even when things get tough.
Cape Town was recently voted by Tripadvisor as the most popular tourist destination and certainly there are more and more people considering to live in Cape Town for a while.
So this edition shall give you some insights on what you should keep in mind when trying to move to Cape Town, furthermore I will give you some great events to look out for and how to keep your family happy when the days get a little more wet and cold.
So relax and enjoy this newsletter and please send me a line if you have some great suggestions. Thanks:-)
This is what you will find in this issue of the ExpatCapeTown Newsletter:
1. Hot Tips for Travelers and Expats: Cape Town moving tips
2. Event of the Month: Good Wine and Food Show
3. Inside Cape Town: Living in Rondebosch
4. Typical South African: bredie and "just now"
5. Cape Town Insider Tips: Know where to go…?
Hot Tips for Expats and Travelers: Cape Town in Autumn
• When choosing a moving company check out if they have got their own offices in Cape Town or if they source out to a partner company. Prefer a company which can give you a direct contact and get a written confirmation of the delivery date in your destination. Check out how much it would cost to use their storage facilities in case the premises you want to move into are not ready yet.
• Take out insurance and fill in details meticulously, be aware though that should your belongings get damaged, usually the damaged items will only be repaired and replaced with a locally sourced item which might be not comparable to the original quality.
• Have the movers pack and unpack all items especially the fragile ones, as the movers are usually trained on how to pack your belongings safely. All items that are not packed by movers and damaged later during the move are not insured.
• You are only allowed to import used items with your move, otherwise you have to pay import tax. If you should want to import new items like appliances, maybe because the newest models will not be available in South Africa yet, make sure you declare them for customs and preferably pack them separately or have them placed in the front of your container.
• Preferably check out the Cape Town suburbs where you plan to live before you move and plan to stay in rented accommodation for at least a month. It is very common that unfurnished rental accommodation is not ready to move in when you plan. Always plan in some contingency days or weeks
• Make sure your work/residency and study permits are physically in your hands before you start to work or want to send your kids to school. Cape Town schools, even the private ones, are renowned to send expat kids home even on their first day if the permit registration is still in process and you can not show the permit.
• Insist on checking out all appliances, underfloor heating and the alarm system in the new premises or have them checked by the agent and signed in before you move in.
• Apply for a telephone line as soon as you sign your lease especially if you need a line for your business. It can take a couple of weeks until the line is installed.
Event of the Month: Good Food and Wine Show
Do you like good food and wine and want to know what is new on the local market or want to see celebrity chefs in action?
Check out what's on offer in the Cape at the annual festival for gourmets and lovers of good food and wine. The annual Good Food and Wine Show at the CTICC takes place from the 26 - 29 of May 2011 and there is so much to taste and sample that you should schedule in your calendar a couple of hours to stay at the show.
There are always celebrity chef's talks and cooking demonstrations in the theatre, but there are also many hands-on cooking sessions which are open to the public for free and the bar and cocktails-section is always very busy so you might have to wait your turn to learn how to mix some great cocktails.
Tickets are available at the door at R85 for adults and R40 for children from 2 - 12 years.
What is on in Cape Town in May and June 2011?
More great Events in May 2011
More great Events in June 2011
Living in Rondebosch
University of Cape Town
In this section you will find every month insiders’ tips and advice about one of the many suburbs of Cape Town. So you know where to stay and where to go. This month I chose to bring you some more info about living in Rondebosch, a suburb of Cape Town close to the City Center, just a ten-minute drive away around notorious hospital bend on the N2 which was recently upgraded and now provides a smoother ride into town.
Why Rondebosch? Rondebosch is located at the bottom of the Table Mountain Range behind Devil's Peak in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. This suburb is home to some of Cape Town's most prestigious schools like Bishops Diocesan College and Rustenberg Girls school amongst other excellent schools and there are various sporting and shopping facilities nearby. Cosy restaurants and coffe shops are as well in the area. As the University of Cape Town is located in Rondebosch, the area is not only very popular with families but great for exchange students too. The Cape Town children's hospital is closeby and the huge Groote Schuur hospital is in the area.
Where to stay? There is a wide range of housing available in the area, mainly flats in the various apartment complexes. Student accomodation is popular in the area due to the Cape Town University, but you will also find beautifully renovated houses with big gardens in Rondebosch. Security is good in the area.
Where to go? Besides Main and Campground Road, there are some really nice pockets of village life in the area with little coffee shops and amenities. Visit one of the great shows in the Baxter Theatre or enjoy a relaxing afternoon looking down over Cape Town from Rhodes Memorial. In Rondebosch there is also a prestigious 18-hole golf club which celebrates its 100-year anniversary this year.
Typical South African terms
What is "bredie"? This traditional South African stew is surely one of South Africa's most popular dishes. When you are in Cape Town you must try a typical tomato bredie, like the one Cass Abraham describes in her recipe book about Cape Malay Food. Oh so delicious!
What is a "just now"? This term usually refers in South Africa to an event taking place in the near future. But if somebody tells you they will come back to you "just now", don't expect anything to be done immediately. It might take hours or even the next day. If you need something done immediately, the right term to use would be "now now".
More South African Slang words here.
Cape Town Insider Tips
What else? Have you tried these…?
Where to learn more about the stars in the Southern sky? Listen to Chris' excellent and most entertaining explanation of the main constellations in the small observatory of the South African Airforce Museum in Ysterplaat near Milnerton.
Where to go for a nice weekend break? How about exploring the Cape Overberg Region. There are lovely little towns in a stunning landscape. Enjoy the outdoors and make sure you do not miss the Greyton/Genadendal Classics for All Festival in June with lots of treat for fans of Classical Music.
More info about the Cape Country Meander here.
Where to get rice-milk in Cape Town? Try Woolworths, they will order it in for you if not in stock or try one of the little health shops who can source it for you too.
What’s coming in the Next Newsletter?
As ExpatCapeTown wants to bring you the most up to date stories and insights, please be patient and let me surprise you with more great news about the Mother City.
Just be assured, there will be lots of more great tips and advice, so be sure to subscribe my newsletter and take a look at my website which is ever expanding.
Please come back with more great tips from your site, all kinds of comments very welcome!
Contact me here.