Cape Town, South Africa

I was walking up Derry street. I had just finished half a bottle of wine and a martini at Kloof Street House. Didn’t initially want to walk home, but the evening was nice and the alcohol had me feeling good.

As I started up Derry, I saw a woman. Her age, I would guess fell somewhere between 55 and 60. She was struggling to carry three large grocery bags, all filled to capacity! Multiple people walked past in the same direction. Not one offered assistance. I’m behind her about twenty-five yards thinking, “I’m tired, ran eight plus miles earlier today in the hot sun, alcohol got me feeling chill!” The hill up Derry is steep. I jog it sometimes and I have to pause twice because it is an unrelenting beast!

I see her stop for the second time to rest. As I draw level with her I ask, “How far are you going?” She says the name of a street I don’t know. Who cares, it can’t be all the way up and my conscience won’t let me walk by without helping.

Of course as my luck would have it, she’s going all the way up Derry. I’m sweating bricks heaving two of her bags along with my camera satchel. It’s a solid mile up Derry to Bellair if you start at Bedford. I caught her roughly ten yards past Bedford. One thought kept running through my head, “What was she thinking?” It would have taken her at least an hour and change to make it up that hill. It takes me thirty minutes empty handed.

I’m sure if someone would have recognized this woman as being famous or a person of influence, one of the six people I saw walk by would have stopped and offered assistance. But she wasn’t famous, and I doubt a person of influence. Just a regular person. That’s what most of us are.

So as this New Year begins, how about putting aside the workout resolutions, desires of fortune and fame and make a genuine effort to aid someone who CANNOT AID YOU BACK!

SIDE NOTE – Great Places for a Storyteller in Cape Town

Mozart on Church – My morning Red Cappuccino spot. Got a lot of writing done here.

The Sidewalk Cafe – The dinner place of choice on many an evening. Local, very down to earth vibe.

Kloof Street House – A sexy and eclectic restaurant/bar. Definitely stimulates the creative juices and a glorious place to people watch.