Capetonian hibernation

If you can't adapt or migrate then batten down the hatches

By Hugh Upsher

The weather is beginning to get chilly, the jerseys have already made one or two appearances and the mornings are getting gloomier. As a Capetonian, these are the key signals to baton down the hatches and enter hibernation mode. The Facebook event page might say we’re ‘interested’ in  an event, but unless the event is literally on our couch, there is zero chance of you seeing us there. Even if we do say we’re ‘going’, don’t hold your breath, especially if there are a couple of suspicious grey clouds looming above.

This phenomenon takes place each year, and each year event organisers, restaurateurs and bar owners curse at the sky for their under-attended venues. What makes the people of the south so reluctant to leave the house for six months of the year? Why can’t we be more like the jollers of Johannesburg who are up for whatever, whenever?

Seasonal spending

Unlike those living in the City of Gold, Capetonians generally don’t have the bank balances to support a never-ending jol-fest. Winter allows us to get our finances under control before next December, where they’ll burn hard and bright for a month or two and then reduce to a quiet pile of embers. Say what you want about your flaky friend, but he or she sure knows how to avoid spending R460 on a Friday night. 

Storm warning

Winter is synonymous with long stretches of rainy gloom in the Cape. Even though Capetonians have no idea what a real thunderstorm looks or sounds like, they like to assume that a little drizzle will be the death of them. Not many people know this, but Capetonians literally melt in the rain, and the invention of the umbrella has yet to reach our sandy shores. This explains why we're so against venturing outdoors come winter. Even though the parties we get invited to are held in a building with a fully functional roof and our transport is watertight, it’s just simply not worth the risk.

They never existed in the first place

Cape Town is a tourist city that sees massive influxes of visitors to all corners of the peninsular. When these tourists start to dwindle during winter, people wonder why the bars are empty. What many fail to realise is that the majority of Capetonians never went out to begin with. The thumping nightlife and vibrant social scene could never sustain itself on a 'Locals Only' basis. They don’t call it a town for nothing, you know.

These grand generalisations and reckless stereotypes are fun and all, but the fact is I’m not leaving my flat for the next six months. [Insert Club Duvet joke here] If I can’t lie on the beach for hours or enjoy late sundowners with a warm breeze then what is the point of even trying? I’ll see you suckers in November when it’s safe again.