Thursday, January 10, 2008

the most deceptively named places in south africa

Ocean View:A coloured township located in the one place on the Cape Peninsula that, contrary to it's alluring name, does not have an ocean view. It's really difficult to find a location sans sea, seeing there are two surrounding oceans, merely five kilometres apart. Yet, in a cruel twist of fate, it's named Ocean fucking View.
Bel Air, Durban: Exactly the opposite of Bel Air, California, where The Fresh Prince lived. Wave to the the guy smoking crack behind the changerooms at the School of Hard Knocks. Howzit, china. Please don't stab me.
Florida: This is my personal favourite. Located literally centimetres from it's similarly-reputed sister, Krugersdorp. The name is inappropriate on so many levels, but mainly because the balmy, seaside humidity of the real Florida, fraught with palm trees and Daytona Beach, leaves our Florida at a serious disadvantage. The only common factor is the caravans.
Denver:. I mean, wtf? Denver, Colorado – backdrop of snow-capped mountain ranges. Denver, Gauteng – backdrop of minedumps. Is neatly sliced in half by the M2 highway. An oil painting by definition; industria by reputation.
Primrose: Ah isn't this a treat. A beautiful English flower. On the arss end of Bedfordview. The bad side. There are lots of cars on bricks there.
Winchester Hills: Another little knee slapper. Shady Pines Retirement Village has nothing on this shit. Joburg South. Flanked by dry, sandy hills. Not of the the tea and crumpets variety.
Salt River: Not quite. Haven't found the river, and the Liesbeeck isn't salty. There actually is a rough side to Obs: it's called Salt River. Crack houses, panelbeaters and tow truck depots. I know. I got stuck there one night.

Let's put the grave back in Belgravia: Oh how thee verbosity does mislead! Sandwiched between Jeppe and Joburg CBD.
Pinetown: No words can really explain. Or maybe they can. “Jesus fuck.” There are no pine trees in sight. Conifers simply don't grow here, at least not as prolifically as mullets. People from Westville get uptight when people say, “Oh that's near Pinetown, right?”
Centurion: A centurion is a Roman guard. I'm not even jerking your chain. Gareth Cliff is from there, Vincent Maher is from there – isn't that grand? Besides the fact that Centurion is a blight on any radar, try not to crash your private jet here. It used to be called Verwoerdburg, and then they changed it to “A Roman Guard.” That's thinking out the box if I ever saw it.
Sunnyside: Hail ye, thine grand light doth shine upon ye scourge of Tshwane city. Sunnyside and Hillbrow (the toilet on the brow of the latter) are pretty similar these days. Except, Hillbrow has an apt name and Sunnyside does not.
Mayfair: Mayfair in London is a posh place. Mayfair in Johannesburg has some of the highest statistics in white poverty, incest, Transnet workers and people who buy Abflex's from Verimark. “Mayunfair” would be far more appropriate. Brixton Joburg and Brixton London are more on par with each other.
Kew: This is superb. A botanical garden on the edge of Alexandra township. Is Irony your middle name, The Dickwipe Who Named It? I see a trend developing here. If a suburb has a posh British-derived name; it's a shithole.
Grassy Park: Love this guy. This one deserves infinite recognition. Since the only grass one might find in the aforementioned place is stuffed and packed into a Rizla paper. No rolling green hills of freshly sprung Kikuyu, only a few dry moth-eaten tufts here and there. Being the gateway to the Cape Flats, the least of Grassy Park's problems are to do with turf.
Barcelona: Oh this is great. This is just fantastic. Barcelona is practically in Gugulethu. I prefer to imagine that Freddie Mercury's song was about this place, not it's lesser-known counterpart in Spain.
Montague's Gift: What a generous dude this Montague guy was. Well blow me away 'Gu, you were one of those guys who got pissed if you didn't receive a thank you note, weren't you? Giving a piece of the Cape Flats to the unfortunate. (Wasn't the Flats free to start with?) Cunningly situated next to Ottery (“If God ever took a crap...”).
King William's Town: King Bill was such a card, he thought, “Fuckit. Who wants all the hoity toity upmarket fluff, when I can have this little gem wedged in between the [then] Transkei and Ciskei?” He probably married a commoner and holidayed in Kenton.
Belfast, Mpumalanga: Love this place. For it's very Irish feel - rolling green hills so striking you cry, endless cosy pubs frothing over with Guinness, cows with milk-laden udders, and Catholics and protestants executing each other, spilling bloodshed on these very green hills - the Shell Ultra City with the Wimpy.
Bethlehem, Free State: Shoulda saved this one for last. Should also win an award for most Deceptively Named Place Of All Time. Birthplace of Jesus Christ. Except really, really not. Birthplace of the Rubikon more like. I needn't go on. And I won't.
Merrivale: Nothing merri going on here. Near Howick. Dad bought a second hand car from here once. But Dad was never very astute with cars on a general scale. It was a bad mistake. Could've been because it was yellow; but most likely because it came from Merrivale.
Orlando: Orlando, Florida – pimps, trust fund babies and Disneyland. Orlando, Soweto – pimps, soccer players and two gargantuan smoke stacks. With paintings on them. (A nice touch).
Honeydew: Sounds nice. Isn't. Joburg True North. No dew, no honey.

Appropriate names on the other hand:
Saxonwold: Drips with oppulence, Anglo-Saxons. And a 'wold' is the English derivative of 'wald,' the German word for woods or forest. Apt, for the tree-lined streets.
Mitchell's Plain: Don't know who the fuck Mitchell was, but he was right on the button with the 'plain' part. (In both descriptions of the word.)
Observatory: There is a stargazing observatory in Observatory. There by The River Club. Which is on a river. One can't get more frank than that.
Point, Durban: It is, in fact a point. Women there also make a point in showing prospective clients their vajayjays.
Germiston: It just sounds basic. Amongst other things.

See, life can be simply fascinating, perusing my library of mapbooks over Oros with Third Roommate.


Anonymous said...

Lavender Hill: Just around the corner from Grassy Park. Flat as a billard table and home to roving gangs of - well - gangsters. There might be lavender, but I'm too scared to look for it.

Peas on Toast said...

Kyk - oooh that's a goodie! That's where the government 'relocated' all the District 6 residents to. Perhaps they thought the smell of lavender would make them want to live there.

KaB said...

Ooh...don't forget...

Montague Gardens...who the hell was Montague & it's an industria area...the only garden around is veld...full of ticks, old beer bottles & bergies...haiwenna!

Goodwood...that place ain't's more moving towards the dodgy end of town...on the outskirts of the Cape Flats...hold onto your handbag & keep your windows closed boetie...full of incest-type looking folk! Scary shit...

And Camps Bay...there's nothing campy about it...just full of rich German foreigners & snobby 'to do' folk...not a tent, caravan or campsite in site...

I think Green Point & Table View are pretty apt, self explanatory names...they make sense!

Love the post...brilliant! I wonder where you get this shit from...

Peas on Toast said...

Kab - oh absolutely! Montague rears his ugly head again - I've also been to Montague Gardens. Bad move on all accounts.

Have to disagree about Camps Bay. The place is more camp than Queer Eye For A Straight Guy.

Ruby said...

lol....nice post peas:)

You know the sign of Intercourse Pensylvania? I've been there....worst part is, it's like the Armish(spelling sucks) town of note there. Now how on earth did an Armish town get a name like bloody Intercourse??? We went to their little museum and saw a short film about the town and about the Armish people......I couldnt help giggling everytime they said Intercourse with these stupid smiles on their faces

Peas on Toast said...

Ruby - no ways, you've been there! I was a bit suss as it whether it was a real place. And to boot it's Amish. That is just too superb for words!

If that's not a deceptively-named place then what the hell is! :)

Champagne Heathen said...

Hey, I've been to Intercourse too!! Sadly no where near Condom - which is just north in Canada, but then I think the Amish are more in for Abstaining than Condomising.

I've also been through Lavendar Hill, and couldn't stop laughing that the number of JESUS SAVES signs are equal to the number of mosques which are equal to the number bottle stores. ...Kyk, sadly, no lavender spotted though.

Cool post!

Nigel said...

Good Post but I think Centurion was named for how old it was. They could not continue with Verwoedburg and the town had turned a hundred years so can't think of interesting name let's just tell everyone how old we are.

Peas on Toast said...

Champs - Condom is in the Gers region of France babe. Unless you've seen one in Canada too? But this Intercourse place has me stymied - next time I'm in Vania, definitely going to pull through for a piece of cherry pie at the local diner :)

Nigel - ah, of course. It could be a century old naturally, and yes absolutely Verwoerdburg had to change.

Champagne Heathen said... know those dodgy Canadians... still the last outpost of all that was France! Even to naming all their towns after the motherland. Even though France would prefer they weren't and would just become North American already!

Or WAIT! I think I was thinking of "Climax" in Canada, and mistook it for "Condom" in France. Hmmm. Next time you & 3rm get a world map and...

Peas on Toast said...

Yeah and in the meantime, all Quebec wants is independence from Canada. Just like Corsica wanting independence from France.
Gotta love these pseudo-Francophiles :)

GoneWithTheWind said...

Congratulations on your pregnancy Angel...

Peas on Toast said...

GoneWithThe Wind - WTF? Wrong blog lady dude.


Peas on Toast said...

PS: Good one. Good one.

GoneWithTheWind said...

Oh! Its a new year, new man.. no drinking, talking of Fucking, Condoms, Cherry Pie... I just thought..

Peas on Toast said...

Wind - dude, I had to leave the office and go for a smoke as soon as I saw that - hollllly fuck! :)

I can see now why one might think I was pregnant, but I assure you I'm not. Phew. Drinking will resume after two months, not nine, I swear it :)

DaveRich said...

This is awesome, we could go on all day!!

Newlands(near Myellvil)
Faerie Glen
Tonteldoos(Near Dullstroom, look up the meaning)
Dullstroom??(How did that get so popular with a name like that)

Peas on Toast said...

DaveRich - Faerie Glen, how could I have missed that one - classic. And yeah, considering Dullstroom is the 'new Midlands away from the Midlands,' the name lends it no charm, innit? ;)

GoneWithTheWind said...

Tietiesbaai - an hours drive from Sandy Bay. Tietiesbaai is -nothing- like the name suggests.

High Rise - past Elgin en-route to Arniston... should I turn in, or shouldn't I?? Are you thinking what I'm thinking? *blush*

Kidds Beach near East London. Cool - no parents!!

Peas on Toast said...

Wind - those are all classic! The only one I've heard of is Kidds beach, but how those all for deceptively named places hey. :)

boldly benny said...

Ha ha, I LOVE THIS POST, largely because I always ponder about the names of places!
Wind - LOVE the referrence to Tietiesbaai, I still can't say it without laughing.
A place that's quite tucked away with an obscure name is Beaverlac near Porterville!

Peas on Toast said...

Boldly - Beaverlac and Porterville, where those place doll? In SA or the States?

boldly benny said...

Western Cape sweets - Beaverlac is valley in the Olifants River Mountains above Porterville.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Peas!! Apparently Nathaniel is die ster van Bethlehem!

Peas on Toast said...

Thanks Anon :)
No ways, has Nataniel moved out of Irene and headed to Jesus' Free State birthplace??

bobajob said...

pinetown is named after Sir Benjamin Pine - duh.

Actually had a lot of pine trees where I stayed - you just didn't get around much yet in those days?

The Divine Miss M said...

Oh my gosh I love this post!

Living in the UK there are some funny names to places here.

We have The Wallops

Lower Wallop, Middle Wallop and Upper Wallop.

Then there is also Badgers Mount, Giggleswick, Great Snoring, Little Snoring, Puddledock and then my favourite ..

The longest town name ever!


How the hell do you pronouce that?!

Peas on Toast said...

bobajob - well thanks for clearing that up guy.;)

Nope, can't say I've done the rounds of Pinetown much in the good old days. Any other info you can relay to the ignorant one?

Peas on Toast said...

Miss M - oh my word, those are PRICELESS. Little Snoring and The Wallops should have their own plaques. Britain's names far outweigh ours ten to one, there's no doubt about that. Beeyoodiful, and always SO descriptive!

The Divine Miss M said...

Yup they are fantastic.

There is one stop on the tube line that always makes me giggle.

Cockfosters. *sighs* I just smiled now ;)

Also I love saying another tube stop, Neasden. Just so good to say!

Peas on Toast said...

Always loved Cockfosters :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Queen pea

Happy 2008. Quick question I was wondering. When you start dating a man do you tell him you write blogs? And then into the relationship does he read them? Hope you don’t mind the private questions…..
The truth is ... everything counts. Everything. Everything we do and everything we say. Everything helps or hurts; everything adds to or takes away from someone else. --Countee Cullen

Peas on Toast said...

Anon - thanks and happy new year to you too. The answers are yes, yes and yes again.

Everything does count, and most of the time, I'd hope it only adds.

odette said...

Lotus River: next to Grassy Park and nowhere near the idyll that the name conjures up.
Sea Winds: next to Lavender Hill and though the wind does blow in from the sea you certainly wouldn't want to build your holiday house here.

Peas on Toast said...

odette - oh yes, I saw old Lotus River chilling there beautifully on the Flats.

And Sea Winds - I mean, we all know how the wind in Cape Town, and the flats particularly -isn't exactly a breezy little zephyr that tickles the face. It's a frigging raging gale that blows your brolly inside out!

Catalyst said...

Come on - you've got King William's Town and Kidd's Beach, but what about Queenstown?

The only member of the British aristocracy who'd claim it now would most likely be the Queen Mother's corgi's...

Anonymous said...

Actually Gareth and Vincent went to the same high school along with Darren Fichardt. Darren was quite but cool. Vincent was loud and cool. Gareth was loud, obnoxious and extremely gay!

Shaheen said...

Brilliant post! I've often wondered that about Grassy Park as well, once loudly to a (now pissed off because she thinks I think I'm better than he) colleague who happened to live in Grassy Park