I had moved to Cape Town on the principle that all places are not the same, and that there was something to be witnessed in Africa I couldn’t witness in America. But Cape Town struck me as a multicultural jumble. Sushi restaurants were everywhere. And the foreigners I met often seemed like users.

And so I gave up—temporarily—on finding a deep understanding of South Africa among the people of Cape Town. I would have to look for what made South Africa South Africa somewhere else. It turned out to be right under my feet.