There is magic in the city of T, and each photo in this gallery captures a different aspect of what I enjoyed most in the city.
There was the wall art that I saw while wandering around Kensington market. Unlike any graffiti I have seen before, it was an intricate mural of a woman and flowers, pastel colours and curvaceous shapes. None of the sharp angles and garish colours that are most common in city graffiti.
Then there was the little cafe with a chalk blackboard advertising Organic Apple Cider – enough to lure me in. And inside, a long room strewn with distressed furniture, large empty glass jars, bar stools and a bookcase – with Allah painted in Arabic on a white tile. At the counter, was a plastic version of a matli with reusable plastic glasses for water – and thankfully no ice cubes swimming in the water! A huge plus for me, where every drink seems to be drowning in ice regardless of the weather outside the window or the coughs in the room within.
And the incredible architecture. A city with a history. With a past. And bustling streets. Energy. Activity. Street cars on runners. Store fronts and street displays. Colour! Glorious colour! Above ground and below, at each transit station. Each stop with a distinct characteristic. Each a different person almost. Multicoloured tiles and patterns. Unique coffee shop layouts. And turnstiles leading into tunnels.
And best of all, public events at city universities with open discussion of research and sharing of intellectual scholarship. I stumbled upon one by chance. A fascinating presentation on value chain integration by North Star Alliance in East and Southern Africa. It was serendipitous, actually. A chance to listen to an analysis of a country and region that I was so intimately familiar with. A story that could easily have been a feature in a business magazine approached in a distinctively MBA fashion as a case study. Any wonder that I spent the evening ruminating on it, and felt charged by the energy and exchange of knowledge.
Most definitely, a city of magic. And I left it infected.