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Oct 17, 2019
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Ringing in the New Year at The Brass Bell: Kalk Bay, South Africa

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The Brass Bell is a conglomeration of bars and eating places subsequent to the Kalk Bay practice station, located in what’s technically Cape City. It’s a sea-side resort, full with the same old sand, surfers, road hawkers and memento retailers.

As a solo traveller, it is nice to go to a bar and strike up a dialog with whoever occurs to be round. Mid-afternoon — shortly earlier than it slid into NYE — I might chatted with Hugh from Johannesburg. He was on a household trip with a crew of 19 mates and kinfolk. Frankly, the mere considered being in shut quarters with 18 others is sufficient to make me wish to keep house.

Since his spouse was taking care of their two children and 4 others he had escaped to take refuge within the bar. I described how the hair on the again of my neck stood up once I walked alongside the streets of Randburg – a suburb of Johannesburg — to get to the grocery retailer. Regardless that he was massive and burly, Hugh stated he would not stroll there both. “Too harmful.” Then he went on to inform me he’d had his truck hijacked 3 times. “Round right here the thieves are like monkeys, in the event that they see a possibility they may seize it. In J’Burg they may kill you.” I shivered barely.

A thin canine slid in and no person paid any consideration. Apparently the considerably motley hound belongs to one of many regulars and continuously makes appearances. Shades of once I lived in Sydney. The restaurateurs in Surry Hills growled at children and set out bowls of water for the canines. My sentiments precisely.

Having discovered this place on NYE I made a decision to return for lunch the next day. Perched on a stool on the bar, I surveyed the scenario. Two native musicians – a sax participant and a man with a guitar — who often play on the road carried out within the nook for beer and ideas. The musicians confronted one another, belted out “When the saints come marching in” and stomped their left ft in excellent unison. Not even a nanosecond of distinction. Their musical enthusiasm was infectious.

Beside me, JP, a retired sign operator — assured me that the bar attracted a combination of locals and vacationers on any given day. Individuals appear drawn to this bar that’s tucked away up a flight of stairs or at road degree, relying on which entrance you wish to use. And JP would know as he has been ingesting right here for greater than 20 years. He proudly produced his Brass Bell VIP card.

My meals arrived. I might ordered the Cape Malay sea curry Hugh had really helpful and Kelly promised it will be spicy. It wasn’t. However then I eat pink chilli peppers uncooked so I march to a distinct definition of what constitutes scorching. That stated it was recent and good. Simply as I dug my fingers in and decapitated a prawn, the guitar participant waved his hat in entrance of me. I licked my fingers, tucked into my pockets and dropped a word in his cap. “We additionally take 100 rand payments,” he boomed. I smiled.

On my different facet, Am – brief for an extended identify that no person remembers – drank a beer. He was from Senegal, however now lives in Fish Hoek, one practice cease from Kalk Bay. He was impressed that I have been to Dakar, however disenchanted that I’ve forgotten the little French I knew. Like me, he needed to go someplace particular to ring within the new yr. When he completed his beer he knowledgeable me “I wish to piss after which I am going in my house.” JP ordered one other beer and settled in for the period.

Now that I’ve discovered the Brass Bell, I am sorry that I am leaving tomorrow.

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