I took this photo of a pengiun years back on a day trip round the Peninsula of Cape Town – easily one of my favourite things to do in this epic city. Ideally, it’s early summer, a midweek trip to skip the crowds, you have a friend or two, some beach bats, and you hit the beach within Cape Point, the one that comes with a tidal pool because it’s not as icy cold.

penguins and metaphors

On the way, you almost have to stop at the little, secret beach in Simon’s Town – the one 12,000 locals know about, but it’s not so clear to the uninitiated. You get to see a ton of penguins, and not pay through your nose (like R80) to smell the penguin guano at Boulder’s – which is packed full of people, lacks space, and yet does have a good amount of penguins if that is your thing.

I love penguins, and their simple black and white plumage, and how they’re these amphibious beings that we all seem to love so much. They seem closer to humans (in the way we can almost imagine them being a pet) than most animals, and I wonder if it’s mostly down to the fact that they have been in our media for so long. Penguin movies, penguin cartoons, books, and more.

But let’s get to the point. The reason to write this article, not the “cape” point. Cape Town is a wonderul place to do business in.

One morning you are heading down south to Kalk Bay for a coffee and croissant combo, on your way to swim in the Atlantic, see penguins, and stare off south towards Antarctica from Cape Point – the southern most tip of Cape Town, but not Africa, don’t be tricked. Then that afternoon, you are home again, straddling the other half of your life, in the urban jungle, fingers on keyboard, mind in America, focusing on that new client, and being somewhat of a half rural, half outdoorsy African, and then a half urban, half laptop-staring millenial raking in the dollary-doos in marketing. I enjoy my double life, physically in the bottommost corner of Africa, and mentally I can be in London, Paris, Singapore, or San Deigo.

Two big contrasts, like that of a penguin.

Penguin urban