Chinese at Groot Constantia

Groot Constantia
Groot Constantia Wine Estate is shrouded in mist as I drive towards its tasting room, the lush grounds glistening in the drizzle. A man in a red rain jacket strides toward the whitewashed building. “He jiu! He jiu!” – Let’s drink! – he calls behind him, enunciating the Mandarin tones. He is followed closely by fifteen bright-eyed Chinese tourists in an assortment of rainbow-coloured jackets. Heads swivelling left and right, taking in their surroundings, they head through a green Cape Dutch door. Continue reading


It’s all Chinese to me

I awoke this morning to a sunny winter’s day in Cape Town, and decided to go for a run in the Company’s Garden. It’s more like a park, and its beautiful botanical plants and heritage site status attract plenty of tourists – Chinese, in particular, this time of year. The regions’s first European settlers established the garden in the 1650s to grow fresh produce to replenish ships rounding the Cape. Earlier this year a project began to reintroduce a vegetable garden to the Company’s Garden, and orange overall-wearing men have been hard at work on it for a few months now. This morning, as I ran past the construction area, I saw three of them surrounded by a group of middle-aged Chinese tourists. There was an exchange of some sort going on. I took my headphones out and slowed to a jog. Continue reading