Thirteen Years: Victoria And Albert Waterfront

AIDS was… an illness in stages, a very long flight of steps that led assuredly to death, but whose every step represented a unique apprenticeship. It was a disease that gave death time to live and its victims time to die, time to discover time, and in the end to discover life.

~ Hervé Guibert

Victoria And Albert Waterfront

Continued from… From Muizenberg To Sea Point

At last, after a drive that took them the better part of the morning, they reached the Waterfront.

Isaac stopped at the barrier, pushed the green button on the ticket machine and took the parking ticket that popped out the slot. Since it was Saturday, it was busy and Isaac had to drive up and down the lines of cars before he at last found a parking spot, which was almost in front of the main entrance of the shopping mall at the Waterfront.

Soon they sat in a restaurant, all in need of food and drink.

“Annie, you like hot chocolate, don’t you?” Isaac asked.

“Yes, I do. Why do you ask?” Annie frowned.

“Then you should try the café choco,” Isaac smiled, “it’s really divine. Every time I come here, I order it. This is the only restaurant I know where you can order it.”

“Then I’ll have the café choco,” Annie agreed.

“Me too,” Jacques said.

Each of them also ordered a sandwich for lunch. Isaac ate only half of his. Jacques and Annie both ordered a second cup of the special coffee after they had finished their lunch.

After Jacques had paid the bill at the restaurant, they strolled from shop to shop. The shops were in the same building as the restaurant. Isaac enjoyed the way Annie swooned when she walked into shops she knew from her time in South Africa. He knew how happy she was in the Netherlands, but he also knew South Africa and its people would always hold a special place in her heart.

They hung around in a bookstore for quite some time, while Annie enjoyed looking through the different titles. A music store was another one where they stayed longer. Annie looked through the different CD’s, soaking up every detail. She would have taken everything home with her, if only she had the money and the space to do so.

From the shops, they went outside. Annie yet again glanced up at Table Mountain. The clouds had disappeared and the mountain now watched over Cape Town in all its glory. They strolled over to the docks, where smaller boats still departed to go out to sea. Trips to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela had been held captive, left from the same dock.

“Do you remember the day that we went out to Robben Island, Isaac?” Annie asked.

“Indeed, I do. It was quite impressive, but what I remember most was the penguins we saw,” Isaac laughed.

“What I remember is the sea was calm when we sailed out, but when we returned, there was some wind. The sea was a lot rougher on the return trip,” Annie said.

“Didn’t you sit out on the prow when we returned?” Isaac asked.

“Yes, I did. And I got all wet from the spray,” Annie smiled when remembering, “but it was a wonderful experience.”

“It was,” Isaac agreed.

They strolled between the buildings and ended up in a souvenir shop. In here they saw more of the same arts and crafts as they had seen at Llandudno, but here some crafts were made of semiprecious stones. Yet again, Annie stayed inside the shop for some time. She bought the three children each a pen case with an image of the new South African flag on the outside.

They crossed a narrow bridge, walking over to Clock Tower Square. It was here that Annie noticed Isaac looked tired. He sat down on a bench, while Annie and Jacques made some photos from different angles on the square.

“Shall we walk back to the main building?” Annie suggested.

“That will be nice. Maybe we can go and have dinner at one of the restaurants,” Isaac answered.

Annie glanced at her watch and was surprised to see that they had been walking around for hours. It wasn’t even afternoon anymore, but early evening. She immediately felt guilty she hadn’t monitored the clock. Annie suspected Isaac was more tired than he would admit, should she ask. When strolling back toward the main building, she linked arms with him and, without him noticing, she let him determine the pace.

Inside the main building, they ended up between the restaurants on the top level.

“Where do you want to eat?” Isaac asked.

Annie just put up a big smile. She had already seen this complex also housed a Spur.

Jacques looked around, bewildered. He rubbed his big hand over his forehead. He looked back at Isaac and Annie, who both looked at him questioningly.

“I don’t mind. You decide,” Jacques said with a nervous smile, “it’s your day.”

Annie and Isaac, still linking arms, looked at each other.

“The Spur?” Isaac asked, and Annie nodded with a grin.

“Jacques, I promise you, the food at the other restaurants is good too,” Isaac laughed.

Soon they found a table inside the Spur. Isaac was glad he could sit and hoped they could do so for a couple of hours. He wasn’t hungry. Only tired. Both Annie and Jacques ordered spareribs, but Isaac ordered a light salad. He didn’t want to eat anything that might cause him to get ill.

Annie again noticed how tired Isaac seemed to be. She deliberately ate slower than she normally would. She wanted Isaac to feel a bit rested when they left. Jacques was done with his food long before Isaac and Annie finished theirs. After dinner, Jacques and Annie each ordered a Dom Pedro. This was a drink made with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and whiskey all mixed together. Isaac only had a cup of tea.

They were back at Isaac’s house just after ten o’clock that evening. All of them immediately retired to bed, since they had to get up early the next morning.

To be continued… Sizing Up Property

Note: This series is a rework of a self-published book (2009), rewritten for this blog, and in loving memory of a dear friend who suffered from and passed because of AIDS. Keep in mind this story happens in the late eighties and throughout the nineties. Names of characters have been changed to protect their privacy.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Thirteen Years: Victoria And Albert Waterfront

  1. Hi Marie,
    I’ve been away dealing with my own and my wife’s health issues and missed out on lots of posts – being aware that WW is on a trajectory to close I decided to try and catch up. Almost the first thing I read was this – it is beautifully written and prompted a lot of feelings – I know the area well and that added to the poignancy of it. But it also reminded me of friends who died during lockdown and who I never got to say goodbye to – thank you for sharing this and now I’ve found I will go to the start and work through it.
    Steve/Mike

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