Dear Table Mountain…
I’m sorry, but I don’t like you. Who do you think you are? I hate that everyone blows your horn and respects your counter top. I hate that you are on everyone’s lips, on every page and on every list. Stop with your oh-so-important attitude, your wondrous nonsense and get that idea out of your head that you are the ultimate mountain, because you’re not.
There are mountains higher than you, holier than you; there are mountains with extreme shapes and snow-capped heads.
Seriously, who do you think you are? Everyone has to drive circles around you; people have to go out of their way to accommodate you and you just stand there! Like a lump of rock and mud in the middle of Cape Town you just stand there.
Don’t you even feel an ounce of guilt, Table Mountain? Don’t you have any remorse or sympathy for what you’ve done to my heart? No, you don’t, because your feet are firmly planted and you just stand there and watch.
You stand there in the middle of the mother city and tower over buildings and steeples as an icon, a beacon and a wonder of our world. Millions of visitors flock to your flat head year after year while others sweat over your steep face.
You are one of the most photographed mountains with your photogenic table cloth and rock façade. Artists birth you onto canvasses, writers tell tales and poets rhyme your magnetism with repetitive syllables. You are in logos, in glossy magazines and on bucket lists. New visitors throw pointy fingers to your face from land, see and air when they spot you; old visitors get excited time and again.
You are the ‘welcome home’ for Capetonians and the solace in their shadows; you change moods and you change the weather.
People look up to your rolling mist to plan their day and stare at your cloud-hat to find inspiration. You are the driving-force for many, a goal for others. You keep a watchful eye over the city and brave the Cape Doctor as the force swirls up your slopes. You’ve been called a gift to our world and you were named Hoerikwaggo, the mountain in the sea. You were adored by Mandela, praised by Tutu and spotted by explorers. You are the one who talks, the one who listens.
You are the one they all love.
But I don’t like you Table Mountain. I hate what you’ve done to my heart. I hate that you are the one who gets to stay while I’m the one who has to leave. I hate that I want to be close to you and call you my home. I should’ve never listened to your roar; I should’ve never stared at your formidable face because now you are on my lips, on my pages and on my lists. I hate the feeling I get when your majestic top swallows the moving mist. I hate that I adore you so much, Table Mountain, I hate that you are becoming one of my favourites and one of my most enchanting views.
Dear Table Moutain, don’t hold it against me that I pretend to hate you so much. It’s just easier that way. But please, Table Mountain, just remember this: I hate that I LOVE you so much.
This article was written for Traveller24 and appeared on Traveller24, 7 February 2016.