Agents should know, ‘life­style’ fea­tures not every­one’s cup of tea

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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.

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