It is freezing when we meet at Tegel Airport to head towards far-away Durban in South Africa. The city is part of a climate partnership with the city of Bremen. Getting to know about this partnership is the reason for our trip. As early as our stopover in Zurich, we have a feeling that catching our connecting flight from there to Durban might not run as smoothly as we hope. Heavy snowfalls in Zurich, having to wait first for passengers and then for our plane to be de-iced, add up to a 45-minute delay. And there will be only 60 minutes to change planes in Cape Town.
Confirming our fears, British Airways (almost) literally slams the door in our face. And this despite the ground staff’s incredible support – they speed us through immigration and customs formalities, and yet – we’re 60 seconds late.
Well. There’s worse places to be stuck than Cape Town. This holds true even for the airport. Being used to Berlin’s often rough and always hectic ways, Cape Town feels like a quiet haven. Everyone is chilled, friendly, and helpful. Cheerful and truly amazing.
As the city is affected by a drought, there is no water to wash our hands or brush our teeth. People from Cape Town seem to manage to see the good in everything – even in the water shortage. One staff member tells us about how having to save water has brought people closer together: They share their water by doing their laundry together, cooking together, and later reusing it to water their vegetables.
It’s true that we won’t be able to dip into the Indian Ocean tonight – we’ll arrive way after dark in our hotel at Durban Beach Front. But the people in Cape Town truly made up for that!