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BEST OF 2014 | Just an average privileged white Capetonian in my mid-twenties

by Hugh Upsher / 25.12.2014

Originally published on 14 April 2014

(A portrait inspired by conversations and observations)

I don’t like telling people what school I went to because they just assume I’m just a spoiled rich kid. My parents still pay my medical aid, car insurance and up until recently, my cell phone bills. I have an iPhone with no airtime. When my life gets hard I know I can always go back and lie on my parents’ couch in Constantia and watch DSTV for days. If I run out of money near the end of the month I can steal food out my parents pantry.

cape town beard

I consider myself a gourmet burger enthusiast and also I consider myself a craft beer aficionado. The waiters at Clarke’s, Hudson’s & Union and Royale Eatery know me by name. I have impressive tattoos that are a couple years old, I don’t like them anymore but I want to get more. I have tried all the drugs except the gross ones. I try to go to Afrika Burn every year but it is so expensive! I’ve lost count of all the Sunday Sunset Kirstenbosch concerts I’ve been to this summer.

cape town fringe

I think I am different and consider myself a personal brand. All my friends are really creative and talented. I am not a racist but I am accepting of my racist friends. I have black friends (by that I mean I know black people who would acknowledge me in a social environment). I have drunk conversations with friends about the selfie as an existential idea. I am Facebook friends with Roger Young. I know more about Barack Obama’s dog than I know about all of South African politics combined. I assume that Jacob Zuma is the reason why the petrol price keeps going up.

I’m in a band. We have R100 000 worth of musical equipment between us, but we don’t really gig, anymore. I have an enormous iTunes library and I DJ at parties if asked. I change my DJ name regularly so there is no chance of building a following. I design and make jewelry and hope it’ll become more than a hobby one day. I model for my photographer friend in my other friend’s clothes, which she designed herself. I don’t really use my Nikon D7 camera anymore. I accidentally get cast in beer commercials.

cape town long-hair

I worked in the service industry after graduating because the degree I studied had no practical applications. I have done more unpaid internships than I’m willing to admit. I’ve been (f)unemployed for months at a time because I needed to find something that I can be truly passionate about. I consider myself a painter and a poet but I never have any spare time. I’m considering going back to do a sixth year of university education.

I did community service once. I get annoyed when I think about how bergies (homeless people) can afford to smoke cigarettes. I only buy the Big Issue every three months. (The months in between I tell myself “I bought it last month” and “I’ll buy it next month”). I only pay car guards when I have extra coins but I’m willing to spend over a R1 000 on drugs at an outdoor festival.

cape town nose

I have a terabyte of downloaded movies and series on my hard-drive but never know what to watch. I have the choice of bicycle (fixie), car or skateboard as potential modes of transport. I spend more money at 24-hour Engen shops than I do at actual grocery stores. I boast about how broke I am to my friends while swiping my debit card for a couple of R40 beers. I can’t really afford to maintain the car my parents bought me.

I’m hoping my parents organise another family holiday to Europe soon. I get invitations to have weekend lunches on private family farms in Elgin and Franschhoek. I have been to more than one 21st birthday party that took place on a large yacht. I go to Milnerton market to laugh at the obscure items people there put up for sale. I go to thrift stores and buy hats and T-shirts based on the merit of their obscurity.

I sometimes wish I was even more privileged than I am.

I’m just your average privileged white Capetonian in my mid-twenties.

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