Things you think about when sitting at Tasha’s

18 Jan

It is decided. Tasha’s in Morningside is the best place in Joburg for people-watching, better even than Tasha’s Rosebank, Tasha’s Melrose Arch, or Tasha’s Hyde Park.

I met a friend there this afternoon to brief her on a freelance writing job and eat cake, and we were so entranced by the people around us that we almost didn’t notice that Patience the waitress seemed to require ours.

It’s all very LSM 10 rainbow nation shallow magnificence. Everyone hangs out at Tasha’s Morningside: black and white, Jew and Muslim, gay and straight, celebrity and ordinary mortal, pensioner and primary school kid. In many settings in South Africa, people hang out at the same venues, but the groups sitting at tables are fairly homogenous. At Morningside, there were plenty of mixed tables too. (Yes, this is 2014 and yes, we still have a way to go.)

Tashas table

The new generation of kugels is here and it’s fabulous. They’re in their 20s, they all wear huge sunglasses and fabulous weaves and staggeringly high heels. They do seem to be allowed the option of tiny tiny shorts or very very skinny jeans.

Also, we need a name for them. Kugels is too 80s Style Magazine. Nugels maybe? Twugels? (All kugels are glued to their phones, so I’m leaning towards this one.)

Trips to the loo are an opportunity for Twugels to Be Seen. Heading off to powder your nose is a major expedition requiring as much sashaying and strutting between the tables as possible. “Did you see The Strut?” the woman in pink shorts at the table next to us (pictured above) asked her friends when her friend (picture below) headed into the corner. They were both tall and skinny and gorgeous, and could well be sisters. They were also very aware of how much attention they attracted. I’m pretty sure they knew my friend and I were skinnering about them – we were repeatedly given the knowing side-eye – and they enjoyed the attention.

Tashas Strut

Nobody wants to be the chunky girl with the hot friends. If my friend and I had friends who looked like this, we’d be the chunky one. This is why we only hang out with ordinary women who need to spend more time at the gym. Just like us.

Handbag carrying techniques are something that should be explored. Crook of arm with limp wrist? The shoulder hunch? The firmly gripped dangle? Surveys must be done. (I’m a shoulder-huncher myself.)

Here is an example of the grip-dangle:

Tashas handbag grip

I would also like to explore a new theory. Is BMI correlated with the recency of wealth acquisition? I ask because Sandton people are generally slim and fabulous. It is rare to see very overweight women  in this town because everyone is so obsessed with paleo and CrossFit and Sweat1000 and Tim Noakes andandand. So when I do see very overweight people who clearly have money, I wonder how long they’ve been living here.

People are still showing off in sports cars. This guy showed up in a Porsche and alley docked in his parking space for maximum impact. Apparently one of these guys is hip hop star Da LES:

Tashas Da Les

The buff guy/ skinny girl stereotype holds. I once had a massive row with someone on Twitter over a tweet about the Tasha’s stereotype. It wasn’t that obvious here – most of the tables were either families or friend sof the same sex – but buff guys and skinny girls were everywhere.

Everyone wears giant sunglasses. 

And yes, it’s mildly surreal. Alex isn’t so far away from here, but this is a different world. Any overseas journo wanting to write a story about the Juxtaposition Between Rich and Poor should probably start here. My friend is under sequestration and I live with family, so the fact that they allowed us in the door was remarkable. But we could pay for our freezochinos and our shared red velvet cake, and in Joburg, all that matters is that you have the money when they ask for it.


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