Agents should know, ‘lifestyle’ features not everyone’s cup of tea
A FRIEND of mine is househunting and I tagged along to view one potential home. The estate agent proceeded to explain the favourable features of the residence.
Topping the list was security – for good reason, since the safety measures were so elaborate it would be impossible for your friends to come to rescue you, much less pay a pleasant surprise visit.
Up and down, and around the different corridors of the newly developed block of apartments we wandered, reeling from specifications in square metres, types of kitchen cabinets and counters, and other – for me, not very enthralling – domestic features.
Then we moved on to examine the surrounding attractions which include a shopping area still under development, as well as a gym.
The estate agent could not wait to show us the piece de resistance, the “fantastic swimming pool”.
As she flicked her blonde hair, and her blue eyes welled with enthusiasm, I realised that said agent didn’t quite know how to sell things to people like me.
A swimming pool is not a top sales point, given that my swimming skills are that of a typical or average black South African.
We all know that the world has produced many excellent black sportspeople, but this does not extend much to watersports.
For my part, I never got into swimming because my school did not have a pool, and the only opportunity to swim would be to go to a school in town once a month, where there was a large swimming bath.
We did that a grand total of nine times a year, and as there were over 50 of us, the situation was not conducive to creating swimming stars.
It is not only swimming that does not turn me on. On a few occasions, I’ve been offered a free camping package as one of those gifts for buying a car.
This is also not a good selling point since I’m not, so to speak, a happy camper.
Leaving behind running water and hot baths for open fires and sleeping on the ground is not a welcome change of scene for me.
Quite frankly, it’s a taste of my former life which I have worked very hard to leave behind.
That is not to mention that the last time I was in the wilderness with no running water was no fun experience and I had to leave a certain part of me there.
Mountain climbing and trails seem to excite city folk but I am yet to venture up Table Mountain.
My days growing up in the rural Eastern Cape quite satisfied my hunger for such adventures.
It is possible that that hunger will return one day when I yearn to reconnect with “my roots” in my old age. But for now, the wine route suffices as an outdoors experience.
Talking of roots, I’ve noticed that the Italianate trend in architecture and décor has been somewhat surplanted by the Afrocentric.
This leaves me out of fashion, since there’s no gift I repackage quicker than beads, curios and those exorbitantly expensive crafts.
It’s jolly encouraging that we are finding each others’ cultures and merging our tastes, but I’d sooner get swimming than replace my fine Persian carpet with a straw mat.