Not so excellent

Here are the things you may not do on the Wheel of Excellence:

In other words, no slouching about looking cool (thanks to the Philosophe for the articulate picto-analysis), no throwing out the Rock when you’re playing *that* game, and no showing off the soles of your shoes.

You are also not permitted to smoke, drink champagne, nor to stand up at any time.

The Wheel of Excellence ((“Cape Town’s answer to the London Eye”) is part of an exciting international family. It has either been, or has a sister, in Copenhagen, where it helped to light up the city night. It is really rather exciting.

If you feel unwell at any time, press the panic button, and we will help you to get off at the next revolution.


Looking back on that memorable ride (which happened yesterday as we went searching for lunch in the sun and ended up playing tourists in “our” city), I deeply regret not being able to recount the experience of getting off at the next revolution. Then again, maybe the promise of the Wheel of Excellence is like the promise of Microsoft: by asking where you want to go today, they are pretending that they can actually take you there. (Which they can’t). The Wheel of Excellence is similarly designed to remind you of how very far away and how very unattainable excellence really is. At least for the duration of your revolutions on the wheel.

Later, wearied from fantasising about unattainable excellence and revolutions that go Pling Pling Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring (those evil slot machines!), we returned to our trusted Ocean Basket for a light supper of delicious, crispy, deep-fried calamari heads:

Only to be told that they had run out of calamari heads.

The Ocean Basket ran out of calamari heads. That’s like McDonald’s running out of whatever that thing is people go there for. That is a profound WTF moment. Perhaps no less strange, though, was then being told (after some WTF probing) that there was, in fact, one main portion of heads left. So we couldn’t have two starters, but one of us could have a main. Because it was “portioned”. Which means, I take it, that what comes out of a packet has to go onto one plate in its entirety. Clearly nothing else makes sense.

Well, we had already ordered wine, and had also resigned ourselves to eating in the company of rather boisterous adults and children (it was Sunday – one makes allowances), so we milked that situation for what it was worth and added a piece of grilled kingklip to the calamari head main. We also got over the fact that they had no more of their fresh chilli sauce (WTF?), and ate bottled peri-peri with our crispy heads and overcooked kingklip. It was a pretty crappy meal, but excellently so.

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