A Return to iKapa and Back Yet Again [retroactive-dispatch no.VIII]


One of the best things about our stay in the Tavern of the Seas was walking, walking, walking our behinds off. We did jump the cabs a lot, yeahy, but we also trooped around like it were an endangered species of locomotion. Perhaps as much or even more than we did in SPQR last year. You get a nice, little thigh work-out climbing the slopes of Tamboerskloof, up to The Colony, up to Bergzicht. And there were the paradoxies of one’s intuitive geography that did not jive with reality, namely that Milner, Carstens and Burnside are three parallel roads, not far apart, which despite eventually arriving at the same elevation, have completely different inclines – Burnside is a cakewalk, Milner is killer. It is as in one of those Escher paintings but for real.

Irregardless, I liked the precipitous slopes, one day even deciding to do a little run up KloofNek Road and then Tafelberg Rd, to the final bend before the cable way base station. I much regretted my free-roaming spontaneity on my way down, the blasted pruritoceptive over-stimulation, as well as the insta-gellification of my knee joints.


Plus, to mention the most unpleasant incident of the whole stay, on my stagger down KloofNek something suddenly whistled past me, then made a rattling, tinny sound behind me across the grass and into the bushes. What the bloodclot? There was some liquid on my arm and there were exclamatory noises from the away-rushing bakkie, disappearing up the hill. Two or three seconds later my brain had pieced together the info: somebody, from out of the moving van, had tried to throw a can or bottle of drink at me but missed. I was perplexed rather than angry, trying to figure out what could be the motive for such a misguided, malevolent assault. Couldn’t figure it out though other than in the general terms of SA’s total depreciation of health, human life and social justice against which the Rand’s weakness is a mere re-iteration, an economic doppelgaenger.

The longest&nicest&most-tanning walk was from Clifton Beach #4, all the way along the Ocean-foam-fringed rocks [including intermittent wafts of rotting algae] to past Mouille Point Light House along Beach Road. The cabs kept horning at us, ununderstanding why on earth we would walk it. A couple of hundred meters past Mouille Point, dazed and acutely aware of our lower backs, we took a taxi and let ourselves be whisked to the cool, amnesic, vacation-adequate bliss&bluster of the V&A Waterfront.


All in all, we undertook quite a few activities. The most common danger of holidays is that being a tourist and taking pictures and going places becomes a job: the more you achieve within the given time, the better. You have proven your holiday-worthiness by dint of your extra-professional productivity, by making the most out of the time in another [gasp, exotic] place. The touristic production schedule must be followed rigidly. You’ll be able to enjoy your holidays once you get home and look at the pictures on iPhoto… – What is not quite as permissible/acceptable/prevalent is the concept of just not doing jack-mierda: sleep, eat, read a book, walk a bit, drink, eat, sleep, da capo. We attempted precisely this. And it is in this vein that I felt fine as a fiddle about buying and reading books, a pleasure totally severed from any locational/physical necessities other than light and air and time.

More importantly, time became the passage from one formless event to another. Concerning days, I was only aware of the vaguest outlines: morning, afternoon, night-time. I sincerely did not know what day of the week it was, simply because the question did not arise. I made no effort to contact the people I vaguely remembered from my previous sojourn in 2008, either because I didn’t care enough or because I attempted to totalize my sense of driftage, flotation, fluidity.


she walking too

But you can’t keep the record perfect because, ultimately, you still want to see some stuff, prove to yourself that this is the location you imagine it is, enjoy its benefits: we went wine-tasting, we did the blue tour-bus [which crept along at an unimaginably slow pace and skirted the ocean road at its extreme edge, as if intent on plunging down onto the cliffs], went up the Lion’s head [partially], visited the National Gallery [Peter Clarke’s stunning], lolled on Camp’s Bay and Cliffton and flounced up&down Long Street. It is nearly impossible not to do anything, to be only oneself, breathing, there is a point along the continuum where relaxation fades into pointless sloth and during holidays one can find out where that point might lie. I think of it as the difficulty of not doing anything, while doing a little something.

A further pleasant side-effect was that I was disconnected from both cell-phones and the Internet. Both of which I used a grand total of six or seven times or so: two messages, 2×10 minutes on the net and two or three brief calls. I stopped checking all the useless sites I frequent: yahoo [for movies], ESPN [for tennis], NBA [for high-lights], The Guardian [for world news], etc. Fortunately, I’ve been able to keep this up almost perfectly since my return and hope to keep this abstention from a useless barrage of information up. Disconnected is mayhap the wrong word, unchained is more like it. As I’ve suspected for a long time, all of the above can be classed under the heading of bad habit. Instead I’ve been attempting to replaced them, click for click, by less bad habit, notably The Quarterly Conversation, Edge.org, tad lectures [thanks to Chris], hopefully much more regular jaunts to DW’s luminous litegrinations [blogject in the name of ark codex, a creature freshly born] and serious consideration of engaging in Lumosity[1] [practice…which in spots does sound a bit like the Dharma project, not lol but inch, insiderial chuckle]. This last would seem to be the perfect, cognito-rational, North-Atlantic complement to Zen practice, the long path of B. Alas, they want to see the lucre and I’m afraid in that respect I’m still much the Invisible Man.

iKapa as a grand reboot, a highly selective tabula rasa. The work is cut out and all I have to do is what? Suture it back in? This idiom, upon closer inspection, is patently weird. Bethaim[2], much work is to be done. What else on the eternally autopoietic to-do? To find out about this strange new heartbeat of mine!


[…there were moments in time and they happened, they were all real… and now there is only memory, only anticipation, moving forwards while looking back…

…maybe we’ll love life when we fade to black.]



[1] As a part of the Human Cognition Project, Lumos Labs works with researchers from the top universities across the globe to test and improve the cognitive training exercises on Lumosity. This research is presented at scientific conferences and in peer-reviewed publications; we also communicate the results directly to our members via blog posts and e-mail newsletters. Several prominent research studies using Lumosity cognitive training are described below. In each of these studies, participants were tested before and after training on measures of cognitive performance, including tests of speed of processing, attention, memory, and fluid intelligence, among others.

[2] be that as it may





About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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