In honor of the Next 48hOURS turning 10, we are debuting a new monthly column in which we talk to some of Cape Town’s favourite sons and daughters about their travel experiences and favourite local pastimes and haunts.
First up is local comedian and actor SIV NGESI.
What is your favourite travel destination, and why.
New York stole my heart many years ago. It’s the city that never sleeps, The Big Apple! I love the busy culture, the sounds, the incredible theatre and being an entertainer there is a “real” career. But if I want to just relax, then definitely Thailand.
What was your first international trip, and what do you remember most vividly about the experience?
My first overseas trip was in 1993 and I was visiting my mother there because she was studying. All I can remember was I looked out the plane window and thought, “where is this God guy, why can I not see heaven since I am above the clouds,” and lastly I remember thinking when I landed, “snow is cold, England is grey and lots of Mlungus here!”
What is the first thing you usually do when you arrive at your destination and you’re trying to get acclimated?
I normally just go for a long walk and get lost. Getting lost is the best way to see a place. It makes you talk to perfect strangers for directions and you see places that you may not have seen. I hate doing touristy things. I am never a tourist; I’m always an explorer and culture thief.
What for you is usually the best way to soak up the culture you’re in?
The best way to soak up a culture is to get to know the people of the place. So I always befriend the locals, go to non tourist places and start conversations with anyone. Stranger danger isn’t an issue when you are big and black.
Flying – love it, or hate it?
I love flying. I normally just watch films, eat and mostly sleep. I sleep like a baby on a Panado on flights
What has been your favourite cuisine that you have discovered on your travels?
Thai food owns my life after eating it for three weeks straight. I couldn’t get enough. My roomie and I had an agreement that we would only eat Thai food on our Titanic Thailand adventure and it was too easy. Every spoon and sniff of Thai food takes me back to Thailand.
You’ve got exactly R48 in your wallet. Where do you go for lunch in Cape Town, and what do you have?
48 bucks is too much. I would go to my favorite lunch place in Gugulethu and order R20 livers with a salsa like salad, with fat cakes and a drink. With the change I buy the kids around me sweets and still pay the car guard.
What is your specialty in the kitchen?
It has to be my duck honey balsamic vinegar reduction, but I am normally too lazy to cook so I mostly specialize in eating out, or ordering in. Being a Kauai ambassador helps my lifestyle…love them.
Describe your ideal night in, and out.
Night in or night out, I just love being with great friends or/and family, eating, laughing , chatting and just being ourselves.
What makes life worth living?
– Knowing that I am loved.
– Knowing that I can change lives and make people happy or entertain them.