howzit? there's no question about it: cape town is one of the world's best cities to visit, ranking easily with san francisco, london, dubai, and others. and the relatively low cost of many things here (expect for the glaring exception of the cost of taxis) makes it easy to be here for an extended stay.
i've had a fantastic three days here in cape town, staying at a backpackers on long street (with crowds of fun people coming in and out as they head across or return from other parts of africa), going on bar/club crawls with my fellow backpackers, watching the sun set over a sublime beach from a well-situated beach cafe, exploring the botanical gardens planted in the city, staying out at all-night parties, eating dinners out (or even the occasional home-cooked meal) with new friends every night, and even sleeping on the sofas of the beautiful apartments of new-found cape town friends. and i still have three days left!
and the locals? the people in cape town are very friendly and outgoing, in addition to being some of the most good-looking people i've ever seen. in addition, i've run into a high number of expats, so there is a good international community here as well.
it's not all perfect here -- there are serious social problems that still need to be resolved under that initial veneer of beauty and fun. as a symptom of these problems, the crime rate is astoundingly high. it's not uncommon for a scenic low-slung art deco house to have its surrounding wall topped with an electrified fence and large "armed response" sign warning of attack dogs and so forth. i've already seen cars and houses broken into during my short visit, and the problems occur in all areas, even those that appear "safe". this was unsettling, but if you take care, you can cut your chances of being a victim of crime - it seems like most incidents happen when people miss a security precaution. it's not like there are gangs of organized hoodlums ready to jump you the second you walk out of your hotel or anything like that.
i'm returning home to los angeles on thursday for a 3-week hiatus from my trip, so i can be home for the holidays and recharge for a bit before heading down to south and central america in january, so i'm enjoying this all while i can! more updates and details on my adventures here when i get a chance... lately i've been too busy with all of these activities to be updating my blog much!