Did you know? What grape Chappies and the Law have in common.

 

 

If you have grown up in South Africa you grew up chewing Chappies…and it seems this is still the norm. In fact I popped into a, not surprisingly Greek run corner cafe a few weeks ago to buy some bread and the sweaty man…or was it a woman… tried to give me change in Chappies.

“You tzake Cheppies,” he/ she said barely audible through the facial hair on his/her upper lip.

“I will not take change in ‘Cheppies’ I replied slamming my fist rather dramatically down on the counter, convinced that I wouldn’t fall for the same trick so many kids, including myself fell for when we were younger. He/she pushed the jar towards me defiantly and I hate to admit it but the bright wrappers caught my eye, and almost against my will I found myself reaching into the jar grabbing a handful.

I popped a grape flavoured piece of gum into my mouth and for about 20.5 seconds I was in ‘grape heaven’, and those of you who have tasted a grape Chappie know that grape heaven is the best type of heaven, for those of you who haven’t tried a grape Chappie…well where have u been? My ‘grape heaven’ was short lived however as I all too soon remembered why grape Chappies were the worst flavour, they tease you with their juiciness but then turn hard, lose all their flavour and no longer  resemble anything close to chewing gum.

Once I realised my awful mistake I had to get rid of it…and fast. I was however stuck in the ever delightful Johannesburg afternoon traffic and had nowhere to throw it, so obviously I would either have to stick it behind my ear (like that girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) or carry on chewing it right? After another 20.5 seconds of deliberation by which time the Chappie had turned into a blob of Pratley’s Putty, I decided to continue chewing it.

As I continued to chew the driver of the BMW proceeded to open his window and lump a whole MacDonald’s packet into the gutter next to him. That’s right an entire packet filled to the brim with oily boxing, what’s worse is it seemed like entirely normal to him, just like I would place my rubbish in a bin…or in an unsuspecting friends handbag, he just threw his on the side of the road. When I proceeded to flash my lights at him he gave me the finger as if I was the crazy one!

A little shell shocked I looked around at the drivers around me, my eye caught the flash of gold as a overdone elderly woman flicked her cigarette out the window, and again did not bat an eyelid.

Apparently it has become normal for South Africans to dump their rubbish wherever they may please. This is not surprisingly against the law!

Look for yourself it’s the law! The Law! The thing that Judge Dredd put you in prison for if you break…yeah that one.

Just throw your rubbish in a rubbish it’s free! And Grape Chappies stop ruining my life…and taste buds.

That is all.

 

 

 

Boet, I played rugby for first team in 2004! And other stereotypes.

What seems like a million years ago the schools we went to provided a certain identity for who we were. Now I may be biased but from what I remember there were certain stereotypes about the schools in Johannesburg.

Disclaimer: Please note I don’t actually think (most) of these thing, I’m just going on stereotypes from school, so no (more) hate mail please, if you do decide to slate my opinion remember I am wittier than you and you will lose.

Parktown Girls: Sporty, over achievers with a really bad uniform who had to wear stupid name badges and march through Pretoria for Women’s Day.

Parktown Boys: Really bad at rugby, really good at throwing house parties with a certain affinity for smoking large amounts of marijuana…and more recently very creative initiations

St. Marys: Really good at everything including handjobs and having perfect hair and clothes

K.E.S: Really good at rugby…make that all sports, but thicker than a thousand bricks

St. Johns: Stuck-up with an affinity for acid, pink Polo golf shirts and holding the most awesome socials

Kingsmead: Rich trust fund babies, who didn’t really have a concept of the world around them but had a nice tuckshop and pretty good at sport.

Roedean: Those flipping uniforms…enough said.

Greenside: Really good at taking drugs, like really good!

 

As we all grew up most of these stereotypes fell away although Kinsgsmead girls are still easily spotted in a crowd by their distinct “My upper lip really smells like poo” facial expressions. Look at that another joke!

Anyways moving along like I said these stereotypes fell away and some of my closest friends were people I once thought were heroin addicts or even worse stuck-up. The schools we went to don’t really matter.

Except of course for ant man that went to an all boy’s school.

Men who went to all boys schools generally travel in packs, wear their old sports tour shirts way too much and their greatest claim to fame is playing first tem rugby in 2004, well done! No really well done what else would you have to talk about to your friends at rugby fest every year besides the really hot girl you kissed when you were in grade 10?

I really don’t understand the obsession with your school years, unless you are the author of Spud and making millions off it would you please shut up. I’m proud of the school I attended and yes of course I miss it every now and then it was easy and fun, but I sure as hell don’t identify myself as a Parktown girl and chest bump my friends every time I see them and give the evil eye to the St. Marys girl I used to play sport against.

Is it a male ego thing? Or just a jock thing? Or is it just an all boys school thing that like attending H2o and matching tracksuits I will never be able to grasp.

 

Who knows…boet!

 

 

 

 

 

Raise your hand if you are going to sowing the seeds!

When you hear Rocking the Daisies you think rad Cape Town festival green grass and…well flowers.

The first time someone mentioned Sowing the Seeds to me I thought it was a pick up line; I was moderately impressed and slightly disgusted at the same time, I excused myself to go to the ‘bathroom’ and slipped off back to my friends doing hip thrusts on the dance floor, only to see the poster for the festival later that night. 

It may very well be my warped mind but Sowing the Seeds is not the most flattering name for a festival  and has numerous connotations that I can think of…all of them equally disgusting and better left unspoken or at least off the internet.  Name aside it looks like it promises to be a good weekend. Is there such a thing as a bad music festival? And please people, H2O does not count as a music festival!

To say I can properly recall the festivals I have been to would be a lie, but the bits I do remember are some of my fondest memories even if it I was in a somewhat altered state of mind. It’s that understanding amongst thousands of strangers that, sure we all know we look and smell like shit and there’s no way it’s natural to have this much sand/mud/good old dirt/vomit and any other number of random substances on our bodies but hell its fun.

See you all on Saturday for a night of fun and a morning of bos kak’s and perhaps some stories!

As luck would have it

I was talking to a good friend of mine on the weekend about a number of things as the conversation wound down I said with a sigh: “oh well that’s life” !

He turned to look at me clutching his ice cold Hansa that I was admittedly eyeing out and said: “No”

“No, it’s not life, I’ve been alive for 24 years and it’s not life.”

When someone breaks into our house and only steals the entire contents but no one is hurt they are not lucky and it is not part of life. As South Africans we have become accustomed to certain very harsh realities about life here. One of them is that no matter how high your fences are or how high-tech your alarm system is there is a very real chance that at any point your house could get broken into. So often family members are either beaten or raped or murdered for no real reason, so we call the people who were tied up and harassed ‘lucky’ because they were not killed in the process.

When I was growing up I thought being lucky was finding a Smartie I had dropped a month ago on the floor of my mom’s car, then as I grew older it became getting lucky which involved a older boy from K.E.S and the St John’s Valentines social. Now if I’m lucky I can have my possessions taken from me without being killed.

It’s not life we are not lucky and just plain nonsense.

By calling ourselves lucky not to be raped and shot are we not enabling in a sense? I can foresee the hate mail flooding in already; but are we not in a sense making it okay and normalising the problem. Is it ingrained in our thinking because we have been exposed to it for so long? If violent crime…or crime in general happened less in South Africa would it be dealt with more harshly would it be frowned upon more?

When Whitney Houston is on the front cover of the newspaper and shoved in the dark corners where no one really bothers to look are the stories of the kidnappings, rapes, robberies and murders; surely we have a problem?

Although being Whitney Houston is the greatest crime of all…some may argue.

Words that will always be with me

The laughing heart

 

 

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
know them.
take them.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

go forth

Today I am Dennis from Jurassic Park

I remember when  Jurassic Park came out it was THE biggest movie ever, romance, dinosaurs and guns; Spielberg you really know how to make a winning formula.

I remember Jurassic Park for two reasons.

  1. My mom took me to watch it at the cinema, something that was a big deal back in the day when it was affordable and the popcorn didn’t cost more than the movie ticket…Nu Metroand Sterkinekor I’m talking to you. I of course ordered a giant box of Astros and a huge blue cup of Slush Puppie. What flavour it was I cannot recall as for the life of me I cannot think of a fruit that is blue, even blueberries are purple.  The flavour however is not important in this case, what is important is the vivid blue colour.

After drinking the entire Slush and eating the entire box of Astros I began to feel a bit queezy. Pulling on my mom’s hand I told her I was feeling a bit sick but was rebuffed as my mom headed to Pick ‘n Pay to pick up something for dinner.

“Mom, I swear I’m not making it up I really feel sick” I said feebly and then proceeded to projectile throw up the bright blue contents of my stomach, speckled with pieces of Astros,  onto a flabbergasted shop assistant.

I was conveniently forgotten behind on all shopping excursions for about 6 months afterwards.

2. My dad bought the tape…yes kids a tape for me and my siblings and we proceeded to watch it just about every afternoon for a year. I can still quote just about every line in the movie.

Now for those of you who remember the movie there was a character named Dennis. He was the asshole that started all the trouble in the first place and made that annoying program that repeatedly said: “Ah ah ah you didn’t say the magic word”, he also had numerous coke cans and empty wrappers and packets on his desk, needless to say I wasn’t particularly sad when his character was killed off by the awful mother-in-lawesque creature.

Having slept for a grand total of three hours last night my desk is littered with Redbull cans and empty wrappers, sadly today I am Dennis the asshole, and I’m left feeling slightly disgusted with myself. I remember how Dennis sat hunched over at his desk buttons straining on his too tight shirt, sweat building up on his brow as he poured sugar into his body and worked on his computer.

I spend most of my day at my desk researching and looking for story ideas and following up on news, which opens me up to becoming Dennis and to finding some weird and some impressive things on the internet…and sometimes some weirdly impressive things.

Today while ‘Dennising’ it up I came across the best non porn website I’ve found in a very very long time. Guaranteed to provide days of fun, not giving you a second to even consider deactivating the electric fences keeping all the dinosaurs in their cages.

Check the website out here: Seaquence

The Seaquence website is an experiment in musical composition. I adopts a biological metaphor, allowing you to create and combine musical lifeforms resulting in an organic, dynamic composition…the only thing cooler than this right now is a newly opened can of Redbull .

Being Dennis has its perks.

Mr Frost you are so wise

 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Me-1 Left Nostril -1

I remember reading the biography Emma, about a young woman who is blind and her relationship she has with her dog…It was a little too ambitious for my 9 year old mind and I think the real meaning of the story was lost on me. I remember two very distinct things about the book. 1. The lady on the books cover was wearing the most appalling glasses; even a hipster wouldn’t touch them and 2. The descriptions of her regaining her sight.

Having recently regained my sense of smell after a long drawn out fight against my left nostril I fell much like the lady in Emma. One of the first things she saw was grass and she didn’t know what it was or what the colour green was. Now I guess you can say that comparing my blocked nose to a blind person being able to see after an operation is somewhat dramatic, but I can imagine that I felt a miniscule part of what she felt.

Now I’m not clued up on the way people breathe. Do most people breathe out of their noses or their mouths or is it a mixture? Either way I have happily been breathing out of my nose for about 22 years and I was very seriously put off when my blasted left nostril lead a revolt against me leaving me breathing  out of my mouth for this past week.

Make no mistake breathing out of your mouth is no easy task and leaves ones lips seriously chapped. In an effort to cure myself of my seriously cracked lips and as a ‘f you’ to my left nostril I popped into Dischem to find myself some intense lip moisturiser.  After looking at the range of what must have been at least 40 different types of lip balm I settled on a tube of soft lips, French vanilla flavour…or its scent was French vanilla seeing as you don’t actually eat the lipice.

Regardless I cracked opened the lid of the lipice and the scent reached my nose sending me back 6 years to high school where it was all the rage to carry about ten different types of lip gloss and lipice with you in your blazer pocket.

I remember a entire school of girls would parade around smelling like artificial fruit flavours or in my case French Vanilla, why we did this I’m not entirely sure, I guess it was just one of those fads no one can really explain, much like the hipster bowl cuts seen scattered along Corlett Drive and supporting Julius Malema. It’s rather fashionable but most people try avoid eye contact with you and really can’t understand why the hell you are doing it.

The point is having been deprived of my sense of smell for a full week I realised just how important smell is to me. Smells, good or bad, always send me reeling back to particular events or people.

Hugo boss will always remind me of my ‘real’ boyfriend, he always wore a watch that smelled constantly of it. It’s still my favourite cologne for men and holds a certain power over me. I’m like a shark that’s caught the scent of blood in the water when I smell it…so watch out!

The smell of sewers will always remind me of the majority of cities in Asia, but even a rancid smell like the smell that infects your nostrils on any street corner in Bangkok still warms my heart and reminds me of days spent exploring the city clutching a bottle of homemade orange juice fighting the waves of sewer smell educed nausea that would overcome my entire body.

Tipo Tinto the most fantastic Mozambican rum, even a passing wiff of it takes me back to days spent on the beach and nights spent bent over the stoep throwing up whole pieces of pasta after what I would call a very successful hundreds club.

And  you thought you had won; didn’t you left nostril?

To the girl with the bad haircut and the sweet moves

You are an idiot

 

Hipster girls have somehow convinced themselves that looking like a man is cool trendy and somewhat ironic. I’m sure if I was to ask some of them why exactly they were dressed like brooding teenage boys from the 80’s answers would include:

“I’m the Virginia Woolf of my time you see; I’m deconstructing how the world generally sees men. I’m becoming the man, that’s the ultimate form of feminism…yeah totally rad!”

Or

“One of the members of Bikini. Sports. Poncho. Has this haircut and I thought it would be like totes the best eva if I copied them. I mean gender is so transient anyways.”

Now girls I hate to break it to you, you look like idiots, what’s worse is you paid a fair amount of money to look like an idiot. If you are not a member of the backstreet boys you should not be allowed to cut a step into your hair. Are any of you in the Backstreet Boys? Anyone? No I didn’t think so. If I can over any advice take a real look in the mirror, what do you see? Honestly! What I see and I’m going to say what I presume 90.9% of the world sees is a gender confused girl with a silly bowl cut with a rather large cameltoe and shaved eyebrows.

Having said that, I would like to thank the girl in the black Renault driving on Tuesday afternoon along Oxford Road. Your ridiculous hair and dance moves truly brightened up my day.  With the rancid sound of The Frown bellowing out your window with hand movements that would put Joe Cocker and David Bowie to shame; all while typing on your not so ironic iPhone undoubtedly uploading a picture of the poor hobo begging at your window onto Instagram with the caption: “OOO hobo chic, I bet you he shops at Deer Hunter!”.

Anyways your hair looks like shit but you did make me smile for at least an hour afterwards, so thank you.

 

You realise that you have a choice right?

I have a friend who hates his job. I asked him why he carries on doing it and he can’t answer me as too why he continues to…well continue.

Dear Reader, one of the most talented South African bands ever to grace my ears wrote a song called ‘Way of the World’; the lyrics went something like this:

Driving to work, it takes you two hours
You’re stuck in the traffic with hundreds and thousands
Of people who drag themselves out of bed at 4 AM every day
And you don’t know how it got to this point
Where you feel so guilty for not working harder
But you’re working weekends, and your mates
They hardly ever see your face

As much as we like to deny it its seems true of the majority of us,  we sit through the daily grind never quite being terribly unhappy but never really being happy, yet we all seem content to float through every day in a haze.

It’s that feeling you get in the early hours of the morning when you know you are going to have to wake up very soon yet you are still half asleep. These few minutes when even the sun hasn’t quite woken up yet is the most important time in the day. They may seem inconsequential but those minutes are the minutes where you decide to continue or to stop and choose a path that you truly want to follow.

We take this time for granted, not realising you have the opportunity to make a decision, a life changing decision every morning, yet the moment passes all of us by and you peel your eye lids open, stretch and roll out of bed, blinded by the morning light that sends you stumbling around looking for something to throw on before chugging down some orange juice and corn flakes hoping it will you will ‘get it all this morning’.

I struggle to understand why people put themselves through this.

Not to be naive, I understand that there are many South Africans who simply don’t have a choice in what they do, however hard they try, the  deadly mixture of a past government who didn’t care about the majority of the population and a present government who simply pretends to care…which is worse I don’t know.

I happen to be what seems to be one of the lucky few that actually loves my job, I get to write all day surrounded by about 30 of the most talented and intelligent women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Yet it is still a struggle to pull myself out of bed…after all however much I love it it’s still a job. I’m sure there are days when Jimi Hendrix didn’t want to get on stage, days when  Obama would rather just roll over and go back to sleep, days when Donald Trump would rather not put on his toupee and buy yet another piece of real estate.  Yet it must surely be a love of what they do or did that pulls their weary bodies out of bed.

So if majority of the world is not particularly happy with their jobs or lives for that matter why don’t they decide to do something that they love, the decision seems simple enough. I guess we just have to realise we have the decision to make.