Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Tingle tingle, BIG ache

There was once a girl who walked into work and said: "Come look at my flea bites everyone!" Curiosity got this cat and I saw she had little, red, itchy spots from the knee below. It made me feel scratchy all day.

But that gal was brave. You've got to give her that. If I had what she had I would quiver and cower in the corner, reminding myself that I am full of fleas, an object of disgust and disdain and not single soul should ever gain knowledge of my flea infestation.

That was then. And this is now. Now being characterised by a cold sore at the tip of my right nostril. Yes, it is gross, vile and ever so disgusting. People may even walk in the opposite direction in malls when they spot it. But the point I am trying to make is why should I feel so ashamed? People get infected with various bugs but, life carries on. I am tired of wanting to hide in my cupboard away from the worlds judging eyes.

And the cherry on this sundae is that it is mosquito season. Instead of getting bitten on my eye lid, I got bitten below my left eye. It is now puffy around my cheek bone area and I look squint. There you have it - the Frankenstein monster has been located in Jozi, SA.

And you know what? I am trying not to give a damn about looking beastly as my face heals itself. And while doing that, maybe I should walk into work and say: "Hey everyone come and look at my fever blister and mosquito bite!"

Friday, 18 January 2008

Cut it out already!

When a Zimbabwean national tells you: "Everything is fucked up," and he is not speaking about his home country but rather the electricity problem in South Africa well then, things are dismal.

Case in point - these power cuts. Eskom calls it 'load shedding' - what a very flowery way to say we have rolling blackouts. I am not sure how bad it is nationally, but Johannesburg is a disaster.

It all started in the second half of last year when they occasionally cut off power, maybe once or twice a week at night because they did not have the capacity. Gradually it became more and more often (different reasons for the lack of capacity at each time) and for these past eight days it has been everyday numerous times a day, each blackout lasting two to three hours.

I tried to go shopping but I had to abruptly stop. I tried to meet my deadlines early, but could work flow was interrupted more times than I care to mention. I tried to publish this post on other occasions, but the electricity got cut. Traffic is a nightmare. You would not even want your mortal enemy caught in it.

There was an intensive campaign recently to educate people how to use less power, like switching off your geyser for example when it is not in use. I am sure the message hit home so why are we in this position?

I have now resorted to doing my work at night - it is now 2:33am - and to mail it through to my editors. Might as well do it now when there is power to do so.

We have a World Cup Soccer in 2010 and they say this problem could last for the next eight years! For the love of everything pink, can Eskom just do something already? Can they just team up with the necessary stakeholders and get their act together? C'mon this ain't the effing Dark Ages! Unless these guys want to take us back there.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Week one over and out

Good golly gosh gumdrops....the first week is already over. Is it just me or does time really move faster the older you get?!

I decided on reflecting on the past week or so because I'm afraid I'm going to forget:

December 31: Waking up in Dullstroom with S.O and his family. We gear up for sightseeing in Mpumalanga. I just got to see God's window - every other time I went up there it was too overcast and misty to see much of the beauty. I am quite excited because I see a crystal clear sky and blue as far as the eye can see. It is almost poetic to end the year at God's Window. And I buy angel earrings - hopefully they will gladly watch over me whenever it is needed.

January 1: I am not sure if I should make resolutions. I muse and fret and decide to make new habits - small things like brushing my teeth every night (it's been very sporadic in the past) and the big things like getting over my fear of achieving my dreams. Not like I am getting younger and settling into a comfortable life will make feel I as if I have cheated my self. I also jump on a honey coloured mare, called Chuvett, and stroll around the the estate where we are staying. Flies annoy her all the time and I suffer from immense guilt at riding an animal when I consider myself an animal rights activist.

January 2: At 8:30 am S.O, his mum and I decide to tackle to hiking trail. Lacing up my Bronx and putting on my hat, my hands shake with excitement. I love to hike. Sure, people can go to the gym and get a work out but there is just something different about the outdoors. We decide to deviate from the trail and go up the mountain, I suspect it was part of the Steenkampsberg Range. It was not that high, but the overview of the greenery makes me realise how beautiful nature is. Somehow we city dwellers forget that every so often.

January 3: After the last few days of activities, I want to stay curled up in a blanket in the lodge. S.O and I drive into Dullstroom and browse the idyllic shops. After lunch,we light a braai (ahem, the South African term for barbecue) for Potjtie (basically, its food cooked in a tripod pot outside). S.O and his parents enjoy the mutton potjie and I gobbled down a bean potjie.

January 4: It's sad to pack up and leave Dullstroom. Getting back into reality is always a bumpy ride. And well, it's time to pick up my socks and get my act together. There are dreams to be fulfilled, you know. After an Internet free week, I hurriedly log on again: my mail, my blog and facebook. I feel...connected.

January 5: After a quiet day with S.O at his house,we go with friends to a fancy smchancy restaurant at Monte Casino. I am thrilled to see three vegetarian options and order Curry Stir Fry in Coconut Milk on a bed of rice. I'm sad to say the veggies tasted very woody and smoked. Blech - I ended up paying R58 for eating the rice. I still fume thinking of the rip-off.

January 6: The day before S.O, and probably the rest of the world goes back to work. I got a call to go into the office for some freelance work, so it will be a dreaded Monday morning too. We hire DVDs and watch Spiderman 3 and The Simpsons movie. As usual, that zany family never fails to amaze me.

January 7: The dreaded Monday morning. I see Slutty and Skanky at the office. We catch up and that makes me feel really good. I miss them because it feels it's been ages - well, it actually was an age. And the dreaded Monday morning passes as work takes up my time. Before I can say good golly gosh gumdrops again, the day is over and Week Two begins.

To each and every one of you - may your 2008 be all it is meant to be.