Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Tormented people

There is a sickness in South Africa. It is called crime.

Recently there are more and more people I know that have been directly affected. First my home. Thieves tried to break in. If they had gained entry, they could have become rapists or even murderers. All South Africans know it can go either way. When I heard about this, I got that chill invading my being, the same feeling my friend Saaleha experienced when she, her husband and their new home were invaded by criminals. They have been violated too. Then another dear friend from high school and his family were held up at home.

What is this madness? What is this mayhem? My country is rotting and there is no one to blame but South Africans. As a nation we are sick of crime, a national psyche damaged from feeling vulnerable and afraid.

Where is the freedom really? How did it go so wrong? And what can be done? There is only so much talking and complaining can accomplish. But where to start?

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Back in primary school

They were a bad lot of people - those ones that got onto the tube at the Bond street station yesterday. There is clearly a demarcated safe area for people to stand behind as a train pulls into a station and the bright yellow line identifies that border. Of course this is so no little parts of the foot will become train kill.

Now these passengers at Bond street stood over this very bright yellow line. Naughty naughty... And as any good head mistress sort of train driver will do, a lecture ensued at every stop, something similar to the following: "Passengers are reminded to stand away from the yellow line. An average man weighs X amount of stone and the train weighs X amount of tons. Now imagine what will happen to your toes if the train has to go over them. If the yellow line is not clear, then I need to slow the train down to about 30 MPH and that can delay the journey. And if the line is not clear at all, then I cannot pull into the station and that will cause delays on the entire London transport system. Please stand clear of the doors, doors are closing. I will not be able to close the doors if passengers are standing against them."

Bonded in this lecture, we the passengers looked at each other, some smirked while others smiled and giggled. It was as if I travelled back in time and stepped off that train feeling like an eight year old again.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Blue, grey, clouds and sun

Blue skies, warm sun and not a cloud in the sky. It sounds like typical South African weather but that has been the case in London for the past two weeks. Its been simply glorious.

And there has been a concern that many people in the work force will pull sickies - just so they will not be stuck in the office and enjoy the weather.

Now in South Africa, this sort of gracious weather is the norm so when it is dark grey and gloomy, we want to stay in under the duvet, put on a movie and snack on popcorn. I find it ironic that it is the opposite in London.

How turned on it's head the world seems.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Londoning away

Greenwich, Camden, Canary Wharf, London Tower, Oxford, Cambridge, St Paul's Cathedral and Windsor. These are almost all of the places I have seen either on the weekends or for work purposes since being in the UK.

And usually I am a camera happy person,but since I have been here I have not taken any pics of these amazing places because I left my camera in my room. Just how painful would it be to shoot myself in the foot for sheer stupidity?

However, there is something to be salvaged: I took the above photo of the sunset as it is seen outside my bedroom window. I think those colours and raindrops are just pure perfection. So yeah, people will not find this in London travel books! So perhaps I am not a complete moron afterall.