Long Street is the main backpacker hang out in Cape Town. It’s very much down town, a street lined with bars, restaurants and hostels.
I was walking along Long Street on Friday night. It was just before 6pm, so still daylight. A guy approached me asking for change. I responded with my usual “not on yer life pal” look. As he got closer he said “Don’t make me use my knife” and moved to block my path. The he turned to his friend, who at this point was behind me, and said “Give me the knife”.
I managed to skip around the accomplice made my escape along the road. I resisted the urge to run. I decided the street was pretty busy, they were unlikely to chase me.
All in all, it was a remarkably calm situation. I didn’t loose my cool. They didn’t try to stop me getting away. It was fairly unsettling though. The guy threatened using a knife in broad daylight. On a quiet stretch of an otherwise busy street.
The incident won’t stop me going out in Cape Town. I will definitely be more careful on that stretch of road though. I’m sure I’ll also be more cautious in general, particularly at night. Perhaps I’ll avoid future hassles because of this first contact with Cape Town trouble.