My advice: stick to your shade of lipstick, pink is most definitely your colour.

Yes, I see it okay. I see the irony in my writing this post but I could not let this one go.

Few things in this world make me angry and one of them is complete ignorance. I’m sure a few of you may have seen The Christowitz Report circulating on Facebook and most likely ruining your Friday afternoon. Now I will admit when the first post came out I was slightly amused if not taken aback by the use of every swear word in the book.

Then came week two, I felt like I was watching an accident happen in slow motion and I still haven’t been able to look away. Then came the ‘I hate nature post’, I read it bemused and later discussed it with a friend of mine, both of us while reading it had felt inclined to write a blog post in reply to the rant but had denied ourselves the satisfaction. Having read this week’s report I simply could not resist.

The report claims that the point is to make people laugh “That’s the f&*king point. To the few of you who still don’t get the point of all this… maybe private school was a waste of your parents’ money.” The thing is that it’s not, perhaps it started out as funny, even I can admit that and sure parts of it are still rather humorous but where the report fails is where it dips its toes into the realm of actual opinion.

The reports uninformed rant about ‘down-the-middle-ness’ in my opinion is probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever had the misfortune of reading. A rant that stands against girls wearing pink lipstick, bad action movies and nature is standing for something? Perhaps you have a future in South African politics.

“Love some shit! Hate some shit! Make a decision and stick by it. Form an opinion and fight to defend it. Believe in something! Yank the double-sided dildo of mediocrity and indifference out of your ass and do something. Anything. It doesn’t matter if you’re right or wrong or if you fail or succeed, just do it.” Encouraging people to stand for something, anything is just plain idiotic. There was once a man who hated Jews and loved killing them, he stuck by that decision and we are all aware he fought to defend it, he sure as hell believed in it. I presume it doesn’t really matter if he was right or wrong?

Sure we are encouraged to have opinions, but these opinions simply must be informed or they are harmful or just plain annoying. Pray tell, what is the use of an opinion on ‘Mall Dawdlers’? Is that not closer to mediocrity than anything else we may encounter in this world and I’m assured that an irrelevant opinion is just as useless and indifferent as no opinion at all.

Anyone with half an education surely must be fuming at this insult to their intelligence, sure we can ignore opinions and blogs such as the aforementioned, sure entering into a discussion about it is ironic but surely that is the point?

They say that you are only writing something worthwhile if people are complaining about it. In this case they are complaining because it’s ignorant, sensationalist rubbish and that, is not worth a dime.

My advice: stick to your shade of lipstick, pink is most definitely your colour.

 

Bangkok, you have the hangover now go see the palace!

Okay so you are in Thai…sleezy, you are most likely nursing a headache, the result of one too many Sang Som buckets; a rather sweet Thai whiskey that you are sure to get well acquainted with both on the way in and the way out, you are wondering why you just paid R100 to watch an elderly Thai woman have Birds fly out of her Vagina…but more importantly you are wondering what next.

I think one of the biggest mistakes people make when they visit Thailand is they either doesn’t go to Bangkok at all or they only use it as a stopover. In my eyes this is like skipping Rome when you are in Italy or skipping out London when you visit the United Kingdom. Sure there’s a chance you will sit in hours of traffic or catch a wiff of what I can only describe as death from an exposed sewer but Bangkok really does have its own charm that simply should not be missed.

Probably one of the most popular attractions in Bangkok is the Royal/ Grand Palace. The most important thing to remember when visiting the Palace is that there is a strict dress code.  The Palace is like the holy of holies for Thai’s so don’t disrespect it. Both men and woman should have their legs down to their ankles covered with their shirt sleeves below their elbows with no other skin exposed. There are a few stalls outside selling sarongs to visitors; there is also a rather convenient hiring station inside the palace that provides forgetful visitors with long pants and shirts.  I wouldn’t recommend this though as the line tends to get rather long and the exact change is required to pay for the clothes, so go prepared.

The palace is truly indescribable, as Mike Myers would say: ‘goooollllllllllllllllllld’. Any other place covered in so much gold would either just be plain tacky or be the Oriental Plaza, The Palace however comes across as ‘historical chic’.

Entrance is 400 Baht pp. The Grand Palace is open every day from 8:30 to 3:30, unless it’s being used for a state function, which is quite rare. Be careful of touts working outside the palace area who tell you it’s closed. Free guided tours in English are available at 10:00, 10:30, 1:30 and 2:00. You can also rent an audio guide for about 100 Baht.

Please excuse my dirty hands!

Once finished touring the palace there is a great little market (authentic Thai) just to the right of the entrance the palace, its hot and its sticky but you will easily be able to pick up fresh fruit, some flavoured ice and even some cheap shoes tucked away in some dark corner. Try the fresh popcorn for about R1.50 or the huge packets of strawberries the size of your fist, swimming in sugar for just under R5. There are virtually no tourists in the market and I found the atmosphere rather relaxing…until I stood on a rat the size of a small child.

More to come.

 

 

 

 

Thailand – where to start?

I often have people asking me advice on traveling to S.E. Asia, especially with regard to Thailand, I think probably because it is the most popular destination for South Africans in S.E. Asia and I suppose for the rest of the world also.

This series of posts are specifically for budget travelers…if you are looking to do Thailand being shuffled from the airport straight to a resort you are doing it wrong. The whole experience of a holiday in Thailand is the people and the adventures you come across when you least expect it, not a mani pedi next to your pool at your over priced resort.

So my first and most important piece of advice would be:

DONT BOOK ANYTHING! Besides your air ticket of course.

Anyone who tells you to book accommodation before you depart has either never been to Thailand or stands to make some money off your booking. Not only is accommodation of all kinds available at the ‘drop of a fake dreadlock’ but it is cheap!

Cheap in SA is around R500 a night for a decent room….in Thailand it’s about 6$ a night for a room with a bed, aircon and a TV with a western toilet…and a window if you are lucky. This accommodation is a dime a dozen but make sure you ask to see the room first to check if it’s clean. My first night in Bangkok back in 2010 I made this mistake and spent the night on mattress stained with what looked like a large amount of blood, I had already paid for the room though so I tried to ignore my gag reflex and thank God for remembering my sleeping sheet.

Start on Khao San Road

Now KSR, dunned the Gateway to S.E. Asia is not everyone’s cup of tea. On the 7th day just before God decided to rest he burped and out came KSR. It’s definitely one of those things you just must see when you go to Thailand but like a lot of those ‘must sees’ once you have seen it there’s no real reason to go there again.

Having said that, it is a hub for cheap accommodation, cheap drinks and cheaper women…or men. Especially if you are travelling alone or in a pair KSR presents a great opportunity to meat hoards, literally hoards of fellow travellers, ask advice or find a travel mate. I would recommend asking fellow backpacker’s advice over going to a travel agent or a tout along the street.

Here is a little snippet of writing from my last visit to KSR:

Khao San road the only place in the world where you can enter a shy first time traveller and emerge a weary looking hippie with fisherman pants, various woven bangles, the obligatory tribal tattoo and of course a set a fresh dreadlocks…all for under $20.

KS road really is a inner city jungle, where hangers replace vines and gazebos and hundreds of intertwined electricity and telephone wires make a great canopy.

The much feared hill tribe women and the touts replace the jaguars, stalking you wherever you go with either a ‘crrrrooaak cccroakk’  or the rather awful ‘puuut’ …which supposedly represents the sound of a ping pong being…well you know popped out. The hundreds if not thousands of drunk English and Australians, put any elephant drunk on Marula fruit to shame, managing to make a ridiculous amount of noise, break anything they come across and still have the thick skin to think its normal to act that way.

Lets not forget the kings of the jungle…the famous lady boys…distinguishable by their adams apples…and if that’s not enough to tell them apart they are usually singing :

“Now I’m the king of the swingers
Oh, the jungle VIP
I’ve reached the top and had to stop
And that’s what botherin’ me
I wanna be a man, mancub
And stroll right into town
And be just like the other men
I’m tired of monkeyin’ around!”

But I digress!

I arrived in Bangkok and headed straight to KS road for a much needed nap…traveling with flu really isn’t fun. My driver Narathorn war really awesome and I found out he lives in his car and every 3 months he travels South to the border of Malaysia to give his family the money, even more surprising was that he is the same age as me…what different worlds we come from.

I stayed at a hostel/guest house called Lucky house just of KS road so there was no noise, its a really nice place value for money AND its clean…something not common along or near KS road. I met up with Craig my one friend..fluent in Hebrew…which was surprisingly helpful. After assuring me that he ‘hated’ shopping and ‘didn’t see the point’ we spent about 4 hours traversing the jungle deciding what shorts made his legs look better. =)

We decided that while we were weighing up which colour palate best suited his complexion to get a beer from 7/11…because they are much cheaper and you can walk around with them.

JACKPOT we found a beer for BHT25..about R6 only to find out it was rice wine and even the Thais don’t drink it! I even tried to give mine away to a beggar who blatantly refused it. Lesson learnt!

After getting hit on by a few more lady boys we decided to get some rest as we both had early starts the next morning.

Bye for now!

ABC

Some useful links are:

Lucky House – I have stayed here 3 times and have been satisfied each time. Be sure to get on the good side of the receptionist and she will give you a few much needed extras for free! Its also just off KSR so there’s no noise!

Official KSR website– Everything you need to know about the place and more. They are generally rather good with keeping their news stream updated.

 

 

For Helen…because its true and I will miss you!

Remember how he walks, the colour of his skin, the curve of his neck, the shape of his lips, and find it in the strangers you meet day after day. Find him in other people and think how truly ordinary he is because you see him so much in other people.

Forget how his eyes looked when he was trying so valiantly to tell you how sorry he was. Forget how deep it seemed that cold rainy night and how the pain reflected in his eyes was enough to make you stumble forward and hug him like it was the first time. You gave your all to that hug, wrapped your arms around his body and buried your head into his arms. Forget how you wanted to stay there forever and just skip the talking. Forget how you pulled away and looked into his eyes so you can tell him that you still don’t believe him.

Forget how the sides of his mouth turn up and how his hands reach out to touch any part of you every time you see each other. Forget the feeling of ‘being found,’ do not even feel that way again for anyone.

Forget that one boring afternoon when you suddenly convinced him to shoot music videos. He was the star of everything. He was too good in your eyes that you even included the crappy shots. Do not even watch it for one last time. Delete all the memories to forget. Delete the music. Delete the place. Delete the person from your hard drive. Fill them with someone else right then and there. Remark at how easy it was.

Forget his gift for your  birthday. Forget his efforts for you. Dispose of all his gifts, those things that he bought for you because you both know it would be funny. Laugh because you can’t find it anywhere. Not in your room, not around the house, not in your bag. Hate his letters but don’t throw them away yet. Convince yourself to not believe in those kinds of lies and read them anytime someone tells you those things again. Do not ever forget these lies.

Forget the time he cried one night because he was telling you something about his mother. Forget his secrets, his quirks, the things that he claims he had only said to you. Share them with someone unrelated to him. Someone who doesn’t really know him. Transfer the burden of the only person knowing those things right at the moment. Assure yourself he’s going to tell them to someone else sooner or later. Cherish the idea of having a social side wherein no one knows he exists. Find time to be with them as much as possible.

Forget who he is. Remember to forget. Remember how he walks, the colour of his skin, the curve of his neck, the shape of his lips, and find it in the strangers you meet day after day. Find him in other people and think how truly ordinary he is because you see him so much in other people. People you don’t even know. People you know. Fight the nostalgia. Be in understated comfort knowing he wasn’t really special to begin with.

And lastly, forget yourself. Forget who you are when you are with him. Forget the unwilling relationship he had imposed on you, leave all the traces of his negativity behind you. Forget how happy he made you feel, likewise remember how stupid you felt when you believed him. Forget being forgiving, how he was the only person to have broken your trust more than enough times and yet, stick to him undeserving so. Forget being noble, for sticking to a person who doesn’t deserve you. For thinking that maybe you both could do good in each other’s lives. Forget being idealistic, how he managed to corrupt your mind that something can overcome all trivialities: something called love (platonic or otherwise). Forget being mad and mean, a consequence of being in a place wrought out of lies.

Forget who you are when you are with him and find yourself in a place rid of any trace of him. Forget everything and start in a better place.

From the Thought Catalog

27 things she knew at 27

Here is another one of my favourite lists, my ‘German’ friend wrote it.

15. is my favourite:  Youth. You are never too old to do anything. Live life – have fun!

1. Age. It’s just a number.
2. Fear. Life it too short – be bold and be brave!
3. Time. The most precious thing you are given. Be wise as to how you spend it.
4. Money. It really makes the world go round but it shouldn’t be the end of your rainbow.
5. Music. One of the most powerful things we have.
6. People. Too many people limit themselves and define themselves by what they are instead of what they can be.
7. Choice. There is always an alternative.
8. Parents. Appreciate every day you have with them.
9. Death. It is not final.
10. Gratitude. Be grateful for the smaller things you have in life.
11. Self. To thy own self ALWAYS be true! Never compromise on who you are.
12. Silence. You find yourself in your silence.
13. Friends. A true friendship is priceless.
14. Honesty. The truth always comes out.
15. Youth. You are never too old to do anything. Live life – have fun!
16. TV. Overrated.
17. Numbers. There is power in numbers.
18. Travel. There is no such thing as a lonesome solo traveller.
19. Boundaries. They are there to be challenged.
20. Respect. A little respect goes a long way. We are equals.
21. Responsible. You are accountable for your actions.
22. Love. The most painful and most beautiful thing on earth.
23. Sharing. Some things in life are better shared.
24. Mind. The power of the mind is greater than you believe.
25. Chance. Everybody deserves a second chance. To err is human.
26. Regret. Life is too short to regret. Learn and move on.
27. Knowledge. Never stop learning.

My moms 56 things she knows at 56

So a whole lot of people replied to my post this morning with their lists. I thought it would be interesting to ask my mom to do one. And here it is! Love it.

  1. I never made a mistake by marrying at 19.
  2. My children don’t think I am un-cool.
  3. If I had more money than was good for me I would travel.
  4. I am definitely a better cook than some on Master Chef SA 2012.
  5. I can still set a goal and achieve it.
  6. Everyone should appreciate and treasure their parent’s every day, as they can pass unexpectedly.
  7. I would never be able to do without dessert.
  8. Life is too short to hold grudges.
  9. I was anal retentive in my earlier years.
  10. No child is the same.
  11. There is a God and Angels and they will help if asked.
  12. Friendship can be found later in life.
  13. You don’t have to be “old” because your age says so.
  14. Everyone should speak their truth.
  15. If I had my life over, I would not change a thing.
  16. There is life after 50!
  17. I want to live to see my Grandchildren.
  18. Everything in life is a lesson…learn from it.
  19. Scrapbooking is for old age!
  20. Parents are not always right.
  21. Life is definitely like a box of chocolates…each day is different.
  22. No regrets about being a strict parent.
  23. University for me was but a dream but never stopped me achieving elsewhere.
  24. A smile costs nothing.
  25. If there is 1 hair in a restaurant kitchen it always makes it onto my plate.
  26. A marriage of 36 years is a blessing.
  27. I still cannot sit down easily and relax always have to be on the go.
  28. I love my children equally.
  29. I have an abrupt manner and those who care to know me know I have always been the same.
  30. Cannot stand a dirty and untidy kitchen.
  31. Marriage is like a job you have to work at it every day of your life.
  32. My heartbreaks when I see my children hurting.
  33. I definitely am a cyber idiot.
  34. Between 5 and 5.30 am is the best part of the day.
  35. I hate the radio on in the morning!
  36. Death does not have to be a sad affair.
  37. Everyone should try to live a charitable life.
  38. Your rubbish is someone else’s treasure.
  39. I love the sun and the water.
  40. Trust and honesty is something few and far between in people these days.
  41. One has to have routine and discipline in one’s life.
  42. Who says animals don’t have souls.
  43. I love horror movies have since I was small.
  44. Family is everything without family you have nothing.
  45. That your family will never give ideas for dinner.
  46. Money does definitely not grow on trees.
  47. We have to start looking after mother Earth, just now we will have nothing.
  48. I can overcome the fear of disease.
  49. We should not judge anyone yet we do.
  50. Time is going by at a very fast rate.
  51. I have witnessed man walking on the moon,1st computer, 1st cellular phone, 1st Television, Beatles, Elvis Presley, Tina Turner, Tsunami, War, Terrorism to name a few.
  52. I have given my children a good education.
  53. I make the best scones cream and homemade jam.
  54. Happiness is what you make of life.
  55. I am not afraid to die.
  56. This list is the hardest thing I have had to do in a long while.

Thanks mom!

22 things I know at 22

I think the main think I have learnt in life is to learn. Every day we all learn and to stop learning would mean I…you…have stopped living. Every day is a learning curve, even in the little things. Just last night I learnt not to ever eat miniature hot dogs at a cocktail function.

Here is a list of 22 things I know at 22, I plan to do it every year to see just how much I’ve learnt.

  1. Although it feels like it will heartbreak won’t kill you
  2. It is not the situation you are in that shows what type of person you are, rather how you handle the situation
  3. Anger is a useless emotion
  4. Whose Line is it Anyway never gets old
  5. Caring about others more than yourself will get you nowhere
  6. As a teenager parents know nothing but as you grow older you learn to relate, I think my mom should write a list like this
  7. More than anything I would love to be a mother…someday NOT now, a few years ago you wouldn’t have caught me saying that
  8. People get married for the wrong reasons
  9. Sometimes a lie protects, sometimes it destroys
  10. By 22 you know the friends who will always be there
  11. There is no such thing as objective
  12. I still enjoy romantic teen comedies and I’m not sure it will ever change
  13. No matter what my dad will always protect me
  14. Never betray a friend for a man, friends are forever men are passing whims
  15. Travelling alone is the best way to travel
  16. Asia is my true home
  17. Kindness is the greatest gift you can give someone
  18. God exists, even if it’s just in my heart
  19. No one has room to judge anyone else
  20. The world will get itself together
  21. Routine is king

And finally

22.I am 22, my whole life is ahead of me, and it will all be alright

 

Not so – perfectly lonely

Had a little love but I spread it thin
Falling in his arms and out again
Made a bad name for my game round town
Tore out my heart and shut it down

Nothing to do, nowhere to be
A simple little a kind of free
Nothing to do, no one but me
That’s is all I need

I’m perfectly lonely
I’m perfectly lonely
I’m perfectly lonely, yeah
Cause I don’t belong to anyone
Nobody belongs to me

I see my friends around from time to time
When their men let em slip away
And when they ask me how I’m doing with mine
This is always what I say …

Nothing to do, nowhere to be
A simple little kind of free
Nothing to do, no one to be
Is it really hard to see?

I’m perfectly lonely
I’m perfectly lonely
I’m perfectly lonely,
Cause I don’t belong to anyone
Nobody belongs to me

And this is not to say
There never comes a day
I’ll take my chances and start again
And when I look behind
On all my younger times
I’ll have to thank the wrongs
That led me to a love so strong

I’m perfectly lonely
I’m perfectly lonely
I’m perfectly lonely,
Cause I don’t belong to anyone
And nobody belongs —

That’s the way, that’s the way
That’s the way that I want it
That’s the way, that’s the way
That’s the way that I want it
That’s the way, that’s the way
That’s the way that I want it
That’s the way, that’s the way
That’s the way that I want it

Just keep telling myself that

 

Racist smasist

“There is not a lot of mixing,” said Nokwanda Khanyile, 21, a business student from Durban. “The coloreds stick to themselves. The whites, too.”    ̶  By LYDIA POLGREEN, taken from New York Times.

 

So I have only recently (and by recently I mean 5 minutes ago) caught wind of the whole #capetownisracist vs #capetownisawesome* saga, which I will admit left me feeling very white and middle class as I generally like to keep updated on what’s going on around me, not only in South Africa but the world, something that sadly not very many middle class South Africans…or maybe human beings like to do…yes people there are a reason these stereotypes exist, and by Thor I will abuse them even if it is just to annoy some of you.

 *Just an aside…and I feel like this article may be full of them (was that just an aside to an aside), is that surely a better retort to #capetownisracist would have been #capetownisnotracist? You might as well of used #Cape Town admits it’s racist but gee wiz it’sawesome.

So about 7minutes ago now I was sitting in front of my computer, which is so old I might as well be sending out smoke signals to all of you, reading an article titled: In Cape Town, Many Black South Africans Feel Unwelcome . The article summed up rather well what the whole debate or controversy around Cape Town is at the moment rather well.

Basically a bunch of stupid people, that live in an amazing city that have found yet another thing to complain about.

BUT WAIT…step away from the comment button otherwise known as the ‘waste my time with stupid comments button’ …unless you agree with me then comment away. Okay let me stop screwing around.

Now I’m not saying that there aren’t racists in Cape Town, because let’s face it there are, we live in South Africa people, we made hating on people because of their colour the law, obviously there are going to be some racists hanging around clutching onto their old flags not having left their houses since 1994 in case ‘the blacks’ get them, and likewise there are still some racists clutching onto their MK uniforms…which have somehow morphed into ANCYL t-shirts screaming: Dubul ibhunu aka Shoot the Boer. Yes, I’m being dramatic but you get my point right?

There are racists, here…there…everywhere. I’m not pretending to know much about what the exact politics of Cape Town are and I’m sure there are some major issues, but really now, the article which is probably going to be seen by thousands of international readers paints South Africa in a really awful light and what’s more it doesn’t actually talk to those people who live outside of thecity centre and its mountainside inner suburbs, in the distant townships on the Cape Flats’. Interview a person in the Cape Flats get their views then I will listen, get what the actual sentiment is from the people who are actually affected then I will listen.

What’s more is that the spatial issues are highlighted as racial issues not only in the article but in the context of the whole argument. People are not bound to certain areas because of race but because of economic constraints and past relocation’s by the shitty shitty Apartheid government.

That brings me to another point, birds of a feather flock together. The feather could be race, culture, religion, choice of music, choice of political parties, for flips sake it could be choice of hair colour. But people who are similar stick together, perhaps its a defence mechanism or just because they like people who are similar to them. That’s a fact.

Those of you who attended WITS University can attest to this. The majority of Indians sat on the library lawn steps, Black students hung out in the Matrix, White students hung out on the lawns, Asian students hung out in the computer labs (bad joke?) and everyone used to hang out on the Great Hall steps. It’s not like there was racial tension, not like there weren’t for example Indian people sitting on the lawn. It’s just what happens, for whatever reason it’s what happens I don’t think it makes anyone racist!

Do we as South Africans not get confused between misunderstanding or not knowing ‘the other’ as racism because it is so prevalent in our history?

If the inner city of Cape Town is racist then surely the Cape Flats can be seen as racist to, as I’m sure if a skinny jean clad UCT student waltzed through there they would feel unwelcome?  According to the criteria set out in parts of the article the whole world is racist because people who are different feel unwelcome all the time. Is Tiger Tiger in Fourways racist? Because the times I have been there (and left with me ears bleeding and ready to set fire to the next girl who said OMG while drinking a bottle of Spin) I have felt very unwelcome, but that’s because I’m different not because I’m white.

Perhaps I’m just an idealist but I really don’t see this as a race issue, more of a people are retarded and bitchy issue.

 

 

Jozi you’re alright

So as you all know I love my larger than life city Johannesburg, found this awesome film made by a group of visiting filmmakers. If you didn’t already love Johannesburg already I suggest you start! Heres another recent post on Joburg you may be interested in reading What Burger King and the Internet a have in common

Check the video out: