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