I complained a lot this week because it’s Cape Town’s windy season and the Cape Doctor, as the south easterly wind is called, howled off Table Mountain, ripping the trees horizontal and making the dust swirl. There’s a tablecloth of clouds that hangs over the mountain and the wind tears the air from your lungs and makes it hard to breathe. The sky is clear and darker blue than normal but if you look at the profile of the mountain from Milnerton Beach which is about 25km away, everything looks peaceful. Some would even say that it is beautiful…
Then, one of my students mentioned that it sounds a bit like the typhoons that ravage Japan and I was immediately ashamed. Our wind is nothing like a typhoon. It does not bringlashing rain, flooding, mudslides or battering waves. Instead, it pushes the fog and pollution over Cape Town out to sea, making our air clear to breathe. For us, it’s a good thing. It makes the very hot days that follow seem like a blessing. Now that I have watched visuals of the Japanese typhoons, I will never complain about the wind in Cape Town again. Sometimes it takes someone else’s misfortune to make you realise how very lucky you really are.
Ruan Wiggett – 1 December 2017