Tag Archives: sign

Our volunteers are always on call

Our volunteers are always on call
I love this billboard poster - it appears above my current favourite breakfast spot in Cape Town, Beleza. It gets the NSRI's message across pretty simply, don't you think?

The institute is entirely supported by members, donors and sponsors, and is run by (about 980) volunteers - unpaid volunteers. Consider supporting the NSRI by becoming a member - it costs only R100 per year!

Waiting for 10 minutes

Don't you just hate roadworks? Don't you especially hate roadworks that result in you being parked in the hot sun for 10 minutes while oncoming traffic uses the only available lane?

The good thing about the stop/go system is that it forces us to pause in the midst of our rush to get somewhere. The bad thing about it is that 10 minutes can make all the difference when you're late for an important meeting. (Which we fortunately were not.)

Take a moment to pause your day... visit donothingfor2minutes.com. :)

Emily the Strange

Emily the Strange
Cape Town has a small subculture of people who love the punk and goth style of dress - and Emily the Strange provides of these folk with some of their awesome gear.

While many people find folk who wear punk- or goth-style clothes strange and even weird, for some reason I find that I more often really them. Most often I find their eccentric demeanor (which in my experience completely contradicts who they really are) strangely attractive.

Perhaps it's exactly that contrast and their different experience of life that I enjoy. Now isn't that strange?

No entry, crew only

No entry, crew only
I'm always tempted to go inside when I see signs like this. "No entry, staff only!", "Private, staff only!", "Only staff beyond this point!", "Keep out! Employees only!".

I often wonder to myself why signs like this one (especially in shops and restaurants) seem so aggressive. They have signs to welcome us and make us feel as though we, their clients, are super-important to them. In their marketing messages they even call us "valued clients". However, in their store or restaurant their signs are devised to be aggressive and intolerant. What's with that?

How about "No need to peek, there's nothing but very busy elves behind this door. Ring this buzzer or call 0800 555 1234 if you need a human's help."? Doesn't that sound a little more friendly, and a little more useful?

How to exit an underground parking garage

Underground parking garage exit
On hot days I really appreciate the layers of thick concrete under which we're able to park. Unfortunately, facilities such as in this parking garage is extremely limited in Cape Town - so most folk park in the direct sun, and return to cars that appear to almost glow with heat inside.

While I greatly appreciate underground parking, the thing that I find almost unbearable is the rush to get out from undercover parking after an event. When going to see shows at the CTICC and Waterfront it's almost mandatory to park in such an undercover parking lot. While the exits manage regular traffic perfectly adequately, if everyone leaves the venue at once it can easily take between 1 and 2 hours to get through the boom gates.

Perhaps it's obvious to you, but the experience that I've had has taught me to:

  1. preempt where traffic exiting the garage will be congested
  2. park as close to the garage exit as possible, even if it entails walking a few hundred meters more
  3. reverse into the parking bay so that you can make a quick and easy exit
  4. consider finding a coffee shop and relax while everyone else fights to leave :)

Cul de sac – you ain’t going nowhere

Cul de sac
Translated directly from French, "cul de sac" means "bottom of bag" - and in this case means exactly what you guess, this road leads nowhere. It's a dead end.

In South Africa, we normally have these words painted on the entrance to a dead-end road, as well as a small rectangular green sign displaying a T-symbol where the vertical bar of the T is white and the horizontal is red. I guess what they're trying to say is, "slow down lest you come to a sudden and unexpected stop" - and "no, this isn't a shortcut". :)

Sunglasses, an African imperative

Sunglasses, an African imperative
I wouldn't even consider venturing out on a sunny day without sunglasses. The bright glare of the sun is so intense that I'm practically guaranteed of a headache of migraine severity if I spend any longer than thirty minutes in the sun without my trusty sunnies.

Most people are wise enough to buy sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection - I've even gone to the point of only buying only glasses with polarised lenses because (besides for reducing the brightness) they help reduce the glare from the road, water, or beach sand.

As someone I knew once said, you only have two eyes, so buy proper sunglasses. I don't know about you, but I reckon that's a pretty fair statement.

The herb garden

The herb garden
If you've ever cooked a meal and added fresh rosemary from your garden then you know how wonderful it is to have a little herb garden right outside your kitchen door. Fresh herbs have a way of transforming a bland dinner into a meal fit for a king.

With the number of small housing and apartment complexes having increased dramatically over the past few years several people that I've met have started either a small herb garden or a tiny vegetable patch in their little back yards. Kerry-Anne and I've tried to do this several times but we never seem to keep a handle on it and the poor patch of plants invariably either overrun (in the case of the hardy plants) or fizzle away into dried up stalks.

Do you have a veggie or herb garden at home, and if not, are you considering starting one?

DSK Basar – An Oktoberfest in November

Lamppost poster
We missed this event at the DSK german school in Cape Town this past Saturday. Based on their Facebook event page it sounds like we missed out on a lot of fun, food and something called a "FUFFY SLIDE". I call the event a "basar" because that's what the poster says, but based on the description of the event it sounds like we missed out on a good old Oktoberfest, albeit an Oktoberfest in November.

Did you end up at the DSK Basar? What did you think?

Reserved for wheelchairs

Reserved for wheelchairs
Isn't it silly - who would reserve parking bays for wheelchairs. Normally the people making use of the chairs need them to get around, so what would be the sense of such parking bays!? ;)

You may wonder why Cape Town Daily Photo is nearly a week behind on it's... well... daily photos. Kerry-Anne recently underwent a hip arthroscopy and has been slowly recovering the use of her left hip joint. So, you can imagine that we haven't been getting around quite as much as we'd otherwise like to have been; and your's truly has been playing the role of the devoted husband, providing for her every whim instead of keeping the daily photos coming. :)

In case you're concerned, the operation went pretty smoothly and I'm pleased to report that she's nicely on the mend and will soon be hopping, running and skipping.

If you're in the Northern Suburbs and on the hunt for a skilled orthopedic surgeon who specialises in hip joints, leave a comment here and I'll send you the doctors details - we'd certainly recommend his services.

Free parking in Cape Town – really?

A silly sign
I wish someone would park on this spot, and when the owners attempt to fine them point out that the sign really does say that "illegally parked cars will be fine". If you've seen the sign and done this - please report back your experience as a comment below!

The number of professionally printed signs hosting incorrectly spelled words, or ambiguous writing, is simply astounding. My spelling isn't very good - but this is why I use a spell checker. So the question is; is there an excuse for sign-writers? Signs are short and professional sign-writers should surely notice incorrectly spelled words or sentences that clearly don't mean what was intended.

In this case, I wonder why the commissioner of this sign, or owner of the property, or in fact, anyone involved hasn't notice the clear problem here. This sign has been up for years. How strange...

Yeast pitching agitator?

Pitching the yeast
One of our readers correctly pointed out that yesterday's photo must have been taken at South African Breweries in Newlands. SAB produce many different beers and other alcoholic beverages in their seven breweries located in six provinces across the country, including Carling Black Label - the first beer I remember taking a liking to!

After visiting the main control room at SAB we headed down to a huge room with a maize of impeccably clean stainless steel pipes that seemed to head in every which way. While the rest of my group was lectured on the process followed in this room, I took the opportunity to capture a few pictures that I'll be sharing with you. This brings me to today's photo - a series of important-looking red buttons that appear to control something called a Yeast Pitching Agitator.

I know precious little about brewing beer (yes, perhaps I should have paid closer attention) but from the little bit of reading that I did it seems as though "pitching the yeast" refers to the process of adding the yeast to the raw and bubble-less beer (known as "wort"). As for the agitator - it appears as though its role in the process is to activate the yeast in the wort by means of physically stirring the mixture.

Do you know how agitators in breweries work? If you do, please leave a comment to explain it more completely! :)

Don’t worry mum, it’s only a little yeast

Yeast in a pipe
Yeast is one of those ultra-important additives to many of the yummy foodstuffs that we enjoy. An interesting fact is that archaeologist's discoveries in Egypt have proved that the use of this fungus in the baking process goes back thousands of years. I wonder who discovered that mixing this particular fungus with dough would cause the bread to rise. Isn't that just an odd thing to try doing?

During my last couple of day's of vacation (of which today is the last) I took a tour of a certain establishment. Based on this photo where in the world do you think I found myself?

Paid parking in the Cape Town CBD

Paid parking
Previously Cape Town had parking meters into which you'd drop your coins. Traffic wardens would walk around and check if folk had put money into the meters, and if not (of if the meter had expired) attach a traffic fine to your vehicle.

A few years back this all changed - I suspect because, at night, people started stealing these little treasure chests on poles. Today we have officials wearing bright yellow and green bibs manning (almost) each street in the CBD. When you park, they ask you how long you expect to be staying and bill you on the spot for the amount of time that you estimate. On your return, if you'd overstayed your quoted time you pay up the difference, or get a refund if you were under time.

I normally quote the shortest time that I think I may need, take my receipt, and pay the difference upon my return. Most often I overpay and leave the difference to the official - who normally gladly accepts the difference with a smile. :)

Where in the world were we?

Emergency Exit
I have to say that although it was well-meaning having the words "emergency" and "notfall" in such close proximity, it was concerning - given where we were at the time. I realise that "notfall" means must mean "emergency" in another language and I spent some time with Google Translate trying to work it out, but as yet haven't identified the language. Do you know what language this would be?

If you've been to London or Paris, or if you've been here you may recognise the sign. Where was this photo taken?

Public prosecutors

Public prosecutors
Public Prosecutors are the people who represent the State in criminal cases. They're the people who decide what charge should be levelled against an accused and are also responsible for building the case that ultimately convicts guilty parties.

You may have heard about people such as the "National Director of Public Prosecutions" in the much publicised cases against various politicians and high-powered businessmen. The National Director is the top prosecutor in our judicial system supported by a hierarchy comprising the Deputy National Director, Directors, Deputy Directors and finally the Public Prosecutors mentioned in this photo.

Given who these people are I'd say that it's better than one takes heed of the sign and doesn't park on this side of the road. :)

Danger, Xhosa and Wikipedia

Danger sign
Inkozi (pronounced "ing-caw-zee") is the Xhosa word for danger and in this case is found on a sign posted at the location of an electricity substation in the Wooltru building (mentioned in my previous post).

Even though it's commonly spoken in our Western and Eastern Cape provinces, when considered in a global context, Xhosa is a relatively small language. What I was happy to find out is that there's a Xhosa edition of Wikipedia available! While it is a relatively small edition, with only 115 articles at the time of writing this post, it was once explained to me that it's a major step towards documenting what the Xhosa elders have through the centuries passed on to their children by word of mouth only.

I found this interesting and alternative usage of an abbreviated form of the word, and although I doubt it's legitimacy I found the dialogue at the bottom of the text terribly entertaining. :)

A city center photo walk

Hungry for food
Perhaps it's all the walking, but I always seem to get terribly hungry when out on a photo walk.

Naturally you'd need to be familiar with Cape Town to answer this question... but given this sign and that I was somewhere in the city center - and given my previous photo - where do you think I visited to buy a refreshingly different take-away lunch?


I can imagine what went through this sign-writer's mind. The Afrikaans version "Groet-en-ry" literally means "Say goodbye and drive away" - although in Afrikaans the statement doesn't convey the same harsh tone as the English one does.

I imagine that, at the time, the sign writer must have decided to go with a softer approach. I'm sure they must have visualised people dropping off loved ones and kissing them goodbye - and I'm guessing that was how the softer "Kiss-and-ride" phrase was born.

Why they never settled for "Drop-n-go" I'm not sure. :)

The building industry

Price sign
I was at first confused when I saw this sign, but then on closer observation noticed the bag of cement in the top left-hand corner. Perhaps it's obvious to builders what the sign is for, but I have to admit that to us photographers, it's not as much the case.

Speaking of builders though - I don't know what it's like in other countries, but I've honestly only once heard of someone who's been happy with their builders. I've heard many terrible stories of poor workmanship, slow delivery and breaking of promises - all of which I experienced in my only building projects!

Have I and all the people I've spoken with about renovation and building projects just had bad luck or do you think it just seems this way because we only talk about these things when we have a bad experience?

Old signs: Nestlé Cocoa

This is the last of the four old advertising signboards that I wanted to share with you.

Cocoa contains a substance called epicatechin, which appears to have huge health benefits for humans. Unfortunately cocoa (and chocolate) contain other substances called xanthines that are deadly to dogs and cats. Isn't it strange that a food that's perfectly good for humans is deadly to their most loved pets?

Old signs: Simba chips

Simba Chips
Simba is one of the well known potato chip (sometimes called "crisps") manufacturers in South Africa. The company was founded way back in 1956 by the Greyvenstein family, and is today still one of the most loved brands. Perhaps this is because they make great chips, or perhaps because kids like friendly lions. Or, perhaps it's because of their extremely well-known tag-line "Simba roarrrs With flavour".

Many years ago, when in primary school, our teacher took us on an outing to the Simba factory. It was fascinating to watch how potatos got skinned, chopped up, and dumped into huge baths of oil. I however remember at the time being mildly disenchanted by the thought that the chips that I loved weren't lovely made by friendly ladies in nice kitchens, but by machines in dirty-looking factories. :(

Old signs: Coca-Cola #2

This is the second of two Coca-Cola signs that I discovered at a small nursery outside of Durbanville. I promise, I don't work for Coca-Cola, and I'm not subliminally trying to suggest that you absolutely need a cool, refreshing Coca-Cola now... :)

Seriously though, I wouldn't go around encouraging that you drink the stuff - I guess we all know that it's not the healthiness thing to be drinking. I normally don't order Coke, but every so often I find that I do crave it - do you think that perhaps they plant subliminal messages or do you think the drink is just awfully addictive? *Sigh* The human condition...

Old signs: Coca-Cola #1

My next four posts will be of signs that you may remember from many years ago. The first is this classic Coca-Cola advert. Wouldn't it be cool to have been the designer who'd designed this sign? There can't be too many of these around today still, so imagine being that designer and bumping into this sign after so many years.

Well-hidden entrances

Concealed driveways
This road-sign always puzzled me when I was little. I couldn't understand why they would actually put up a sign to tell us about these "concealed driveways". I mean, surely they'd been concealed for a reason? Wouldn't their owners be a bit annoyed that someone was going around putting up signs alerting everyone to their existence, when they'd tried so hard to hide them? (I've always been a rather literal thinker.)

These signs still baffle me a bit, to be honest, although for a slightly different reason. I presume their purpose is to warn us that people might unexpectedly be turning out of these concealed driveways - but surely it's the responsibility of the motorist doing the turning to make sure that the road is clear before they pull out into it?

University of Cape Town – the Groote Schuur Campus

UCT Groote Schuur Campus

On 7 October 1983, the University of Cape Town's Groote Schuur (translated as "big barn") Campus was declared a national monument.

Originally, in 1829, South African College (later renamed to University of Cape Town) trained students in a building in Long Street. In 1841 they moved to Government Avenue, before finally taking occupation of the Groote Schuur campus in 1928.

Today, the buildings remind me of those old English school buildings that you'd expect to find Harry Potter frequenting. The campus is definitely worth a visit, so if you have some time on your hands to walk around and observe students in their natural habitat, make a turn past the Groote Schuur Campus - here's a map to this exact spot. :)

Clifford, Frank, and Table Mountain

Clifford, Frank and Table Mountain

Besides the proximity of Table Mountain being fantastic, this area of Cape Town, Vredehoek, has gorgeous views of the city, harbour, and Table Bay. As I'm sure you can imagine, this particular spot in Cape Town is highly sought after, making it impossible for most to afford a home here.

However, there's another price to pay for living in this area - and that would be the wind. When it's a beautiful day, it's awesome, but around this time of the year every now and again the wind howls like a troupe of irate banshees, leaving the only means to a peaceful night's sleep a comfy pair of earplugs! :)

Jack Black Premium Beer – a Cape Town favourite

Jack Black Premium Beer

I first tasted Jack Black one evening, about a year ago, at a bar in Observatory. The only reason I did so was because a friend mentioned that it was brewed locally at a small distillery - hence the word "Premium" in the title. I have to say that it's a great beer - not that I'm a connoisseur or anything, but it's really easy-drinking, which I guess could be a problem. :)

If you read their "Find Us" page you'll discover that this beer is only available at restaurants and stores in Cape Town and the surrounding areas of the Western Cape (or online at Diletto, for delivery anywhere in South Africa). Yet another thing to try when you visit Cape Town. ;-) You can read the story that inspired the name of the beer on the Jack Black website.

Method Man


Clearly I don't know very much about hip hop music. This storefront had me confused, as I had never heard of a shop or brand of clothing called "Methodman". After googling a little I discovered that it was no wonder I was confused - apparently Method Man is the stage name for an American hip hop artist.

Cape Town has had a large hip hop following for many years, but it seems that over the last few years there has been a huge increase in the general popularity of the genre. A fact that might surprise some of our friends: when Kerry-Anne's niece and nephew visited us last year, we listened to so much hip hop in the car that we developed quite an appreciation for it - to the extent that I now own a Flo Rida CD!

Spot the typo

Spot the typo

Exactly how is it that sign-writers manage to miss such obvious errors? And perhaps even more oddly, how is it that their clients fail to spot these errors? Of course, on the other hand, maybe Kappa Painters & Carpenters were just using this as a clever marketing ploy to get naive blog owners to market their business on the internet. :)

In any event... I'm not sure that I'd trust their attention to detail!