Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some Dudes Dance Too Hard.

It has been an interesting week to say the least.

It all kind of began and ended at Andrea's 21st. It began with more food than a human could eat in one sitting. And more fun than a human could have in one sitting. If Andrea's birthday party had a problem, it would be that it was possibly too much fun. Some people think that that's a good problem to have.

Some people just have problems. Let's take Gregg for example. Gregg recently got married to a beautiful lady about a month ago. There is this school of thought that says marriage is for settling down and becoming, well – boring. Not for Gregg. In fact Gregg's problem was that he liked to dance. Maybe, even, too hard. There all the boys were (being boys) in the corner of the dancefloor, grooving to the beats of ke$ha'$ tiKtoK - when Gregg pulled off a stunner and changed his orienation from vertical to being horizontally on the floor. Gregg danced so hard that he fell over. Can you even imagine how much fun this guy was having?

We all laughed at Gregg, typical.

Later, the po-po rocked up and demanded that we turn down the racket, so Darryl-The-DJ pretended like he didnt speak English, pointed to the kitchen and got some Fat Boy Slim involved on the DJ decks. Typical Darryl. In an unrelated incident, a couple hours later we shut the party down and moved to Andrea's house were some of us watched her unwrap gifts that some of her friends had given her. Most of the people still hanging around had given her these such gifts and were thrilled to see her open their particular present. I was not one of those people. Not because I didnt want her to open my gift, but more so because I didnt get her a gift. So imagine my delight when she starts reading a card that has no name on it, she laughs, turns to me and says, “Hey Tom! Is this one from you?”
I didnt say no.
But I didnt say yes either, I let her linger.
Elsewhere on the gift apparantly Nicky did remember to write her name after all and now I was caught between a rock and a hard place (either of which might have been better gifts than my no-show)

This party has left me feeling tired the whole week. It's Wednesday and I'm still struggling.
Last night however Andrea and some friends, including her BF (boyfriend, not to be confused with best friend) went to watch a film called 'Everybody's Fine.' Well the only people who were 'fine' in that movie were the ones getting paid to produce it, not the one's who had to pay to watch it. In short, it's the not the best movie ever.

The rule of the Cinema house however is that no food or beverages are allowed in the cinemas unless they were bought at their cofectionary stand. Matt and Andrea negelected to obey this rule. Matt and Andrea also got caught roughly 2 minutes after buying and concealing their illicit popcorn and coke and got told to leave it outside the movie. This made Matt fairly unhappy with life and the manager. But mostly the manager. After dumping all his stuff and realising he had just wasted R40 and was going to sit popcornless in the movie, he shot these parting words at the manager as he walked up the escalator, “I hope you sleep well tonight.”

My guess, is that not only did that man sleep well last night, but also on a full stomach. Popcorn and coke always tastes better when some punk called Matt paid for it.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Black By Popular Demand

Hello to the blogosphere.

It's been nearly a year since I left for the hills of rest and solitude. It's been nearly a year since i have been on the interblog. And also I was too busy getting a degree. It was time consuming.

You will, however be glad to know that I am back in both senses of the word. Back in the world wide blog and back in Durban.

Durban has changed. I work on Florida Road which is fairly hip but the problem with Florida Road is that there isnt a road there anymore. Some big shot in FIFA decided that all the roads within 10km of the Stadium of Moses (the new soccer-hand-basket-looking-stadium) need to be re-laid. I have no problem with that, only in that my road was fine, and now there isnt a road, and afterwards there will be another road there, that will be, well - fine.

Look, I'm not one to complain - which I clearly am. It was just a way of letting the Internet (thats you) know that I work on a fairly trendy road, whether there is one there currently or not. So that when I do have something to write about you will be like 'hey, this guy knows whatsup - he works in trendy-town.'

Carly Simon was right, I am so vain - except I do know that that song is about me.

See you later.

Monday, April 27, 2009

3 Ashley/eighs 3 Megans and 2 Amandas

(photograph courtesy of charley
There are so many blonde people in my life. And not in the 90’s sense of being the butt of jokes but in the 50’s sense of downright sassiness. I feel like the 24 Californian girls that transcended the Atlantic to come study abroad here came more for the sakes of me getting to study a, broad.

Once again I am a tourist in my own city, well mine and Helen Zilles’ now. And life is just peachy. It’s both fast and furious except without Vin Diesel and the fast cars, or the furious women. I like this part of the year.

It’s kind of intimidating really. What I mean by this is that there is so much going on consistently that I start glazing over a little and I am becoming hard to the emotions that used to well up in me when this city first wouldn’t let me sleep for fear of missing out on the life and the way that it moves me here. Last night I had the wonderful joy of being able to stand back and do what I do the least, but I what I love the most. Take a little stock of what is actually going on all around me before it runs roughshod over my life and I am non the wiser.

America and I had a delicious Mexican dinner in Hout Bay, which was not Mexican, so much as a packet of Doritos with cheese and salsa and then moved up the mountain to that sweet make out spot halfway up Chapman’s Peak. My hat.

As Dawie pointed out, a perfect night for stargazing. Barely a breath of wind and not a soul in sight, right up until that point when two souls were both in sight and on top of each other in their car not so very far away from our perchment.

Caveman Dave nonchalantly says out the corner of his mouth, “ Its so weird.”
“ I never thought Cape Town looked this much like a bay.”

Feeling like Ravin’ Dave had just made a sweeping statement of the city at large and merely incorporated Hout Bay into that en-sweepment-I let it slide. And then I realized he had just assimilated Hout Bay for being the city entire. Shame, poor Dave.

This weekend I also had the massive privilege of seeing the most beautiful woman that could ever stand next Brandon Ewan. Except she wasn’t standing next to Brandon. Brandon was nowhere to be seen, lost in the fog if you will. Brandon and Devon have been training for the Freedom Swim. Possibly one of the most hardcore endurance events this nation has to offer and possibly one of the least publicized-and no one knows why. It’s a charity driven swim where a couple hundred entrants swim from Robben Island, across the channel to the mainland by Bloubergstrand. It’s no small feat. There are other things that are small on that day, like the small issue Speedo’s the men have to wear and the small boats that support them in the water and also the small, um pen’s they use to write down their times and such.

And there we are, on the mainland sipping our respective coffee’s while Shani debates whether mid-day is too early to enjoy a glass of wine and Jarred goes on and on about his larger than average physique and then Lichelle (the aforementioned wife of Brandon) drops the, ‘Oh Brandon and I have resigned from our jobs and going backpacking across the universe in a month’s time-‘ bomb.

Now you must understand that neither Brandon nor Lichelle are students, it has been some time since they were allowed to be so forward with their dreams and not reap the consequences from the rat race. I can appreciate this in them. Well heck, I could go with them. But I wont. It would be too weird. Plus Brandon clearly made his allegiance clear to all of us when he decided that spending the rest of his life with a girl was more important that spending the rest of his life playing playstation with the boys.

Im sorry, the rat race. You might just have to wait for me too because Brandon and Lichelle make a lot of sense. And right now, so does Southern California.

But so too does Milnerton. I love this city and I love the people here. I love going out with Nathan, recently married to a babe of a lady who has the most solid head on her shoulders. I love going to the Old Biscuit Mill deal and getting coffee and savoury treats sitting side by side with Nathan and having all the appearances of being very, very metrosexual. Like the mould on a roof painted green so has the love grown in my heart for this city and the way she moves me. And be she, I mean Helen.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Turn Around And Start Again

I am aware that one of my biggest flaws is that I give up. And quite easily at that. Flaw is a bit of a loaded word, it implies that this travesty has been thrust upon me, the helpless victim. I am almost definately sure that I brought this on myself. I am a big thinker and an even bigger dreamer, I'm the idealist, and ideally I need a realist next to me at all times to keep my feet on the ground. This is tricky because I feel that God lets me dream and breathe and throw out preposterous plans, but I also believe he holds me to the practice and working out of a sustainable life for me and mostly for those around me. I do this alot with what God gives, I take what I can use to suit my personality and draw conclusive Godly character traits out of them - because after all aren't we made in the image of God?

I am learning balance. I am learning that with every bit of give there is a little bit of take. No exceptions. Dont mislead my thought process here, I do believe in miracles and God's gifted grace - but that too came at a cost, the greatest cost you could actually wage on a dream. Your very life and breath.

I recently heard this wonderful analogy. That all of our lives are all stories. And we tell people our stories, we live and dance and scream and cry and run and fall and achieve and tell people our stories through everything but, what we have rehearsed or a well written eulogy at the end of our story. And the clincher for me was in this bloke's opinion, the greatest stories are those that have the greatest element of risk inherent in them. I tend to agree. So then the greatest risk being? Putting one's life on the line for another. This is no new story but one rooted in the Bible. And this isn't some subversive attempt to try and convert you so much as it is my alignment with what has been dubbed the greatest story ever told.

But i am still getting there. You see, i want that to be my life. But I'm not there yet. Most of my plans involve me marrying a gorgeous brunette girl and living off the coast of a Greek island all the while having inherited my father's fortune and spending my days fixing up yachts, and when not fixing up the yachts, then getting fixed up on my yacht with said gorgeous brunette girl - if you see what I did there.

The problem with that little scenario is that in a world of over 6 billion people, I have made my life expressly about one other person, and perhaps about helping out some rich people continue to live out their sordid nautical existence's. Now, I still would love to work in a dry dock one day - but I need something more - something bigger, something that will cost me a little more.

I had a little chat with my housemate today. He told me off again because most of the time I'm talking about girls. Girls are alright apparently but not worth talking about for 90% of the time - at least not in the romantic sense. And he's basically getting tired of my whining. I like that, i like it because it means i can get out of my head. i live inside the inside of my mind, but now i can, to quote the glorious techno-pop excellency of FURTHERMORE, 'i can do two things at a time, step out of line - step outside the inside of my mind.'

It's been a couple months since the last time I sat down to write and every time I turn around and start again I get a little better and a little tougher. Soon I will have the resolve not to give up at all and just endure.

Thats where my head has been lately, my body has been there all along except it got caught up watching the live FALL OUT BOY DVD and having my 22nd birthday and going to an excellent wedding of acquaintances and moving houses and going to birthday parties and writing senior year papers of subjects I'm still not even sure i understand.

I have a new impetus now. i will endeavor (as i have before) to write a little more often. But that impetus also falls under new motive. I used to write with a specific person or group of people in mind - now not so much. Okay maybe i might reflect on an event involving specific humans, but largely i want to write for the sake of reflection, so I can look back in a couple months and years time and see just how far I've come - or not at all. Because it will be absolutely and utterly ridiculous if in a couple years, or even months for that matter - if I am still whining about which girl did what to who and how-come it was her who didn't know who did what with who.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Durban Dolls and Louis' Braai.

I like Afrikaans girls. I like it better when Afrikaans girls have birthday parties on the beach.

I went to a birthday party of an Afrikaans girl and yes-sir-ee indeed it was on the beach.
This summer has by far been one of the best yet. My usual experience has been to come home from Cape Town and be so overwhelmed at sheer abnormality of having a television with DSTV that i sit in it's bluish glow for days on end in reaction to its prowess and my laziness. Make no mistake, i venture out of my house on weekends, but during the weeks i spend quality time with familiarizing myself with all the latest movies that DSTV have purchased the rights to. A sad existence that is indeed. It's not that i had any sort of visionary purpose this year, rather it appears that things have magnetically been falling into place, as things from time to time do. I have had the privilege of spending time up in Ballito, down in Umhlanga, across in Westville and nearly all the way up to Johannesburg. I have fraternized with Australians and Americans, have ridden my bicycle until i nearly fainted or vomited - it was hard to tell what my body was reacting to - and i have attained for myself a very literal red neck.

Summer, however was encapsulated in this one day on this one beach. I think my memory stacks are piled high with senses of what i saw and who i saw it with. Yesterday i saw some old friends and saw things that i have not seen in the longest time. It was Leandi's birthday and she decided to spend the day on a beach, two down from Thompson's Bay. This is only important to take note of when you and Louis are assigned to carry the cooler box stacked with liquids, that was designed by sadists. Basically there was no way, bar tele-porting the cooler box, that you could carry the blinking thing without crushing your knuckles against the royal blue sides of the royal pain in my neck. And my knuckles too. After circumventing (I'm almost positive that that word does not mean what i want it to mean there) two incredibly large molehills which Louis and I both feel we have the right to inaugurate into mountain status, we arrived at a fairly secluded spot on the North Coast map of all things beautiful. Every now and then a group of people would cross our little hole cut out of the mountain - but for the most part it was all ours. The rocks out front made this ridiculously cool tidal pool and the rocks out back gave us enough shade to shelter in after. I would say the day was perfect. I would love to carry on and describe the awesomeness of this day with all the adjectives that I can muster up but if a picture is worth a thousand words then indeed a touch is worth them all.

My logic of perfection however, I will take a moment to deliberate on. I have come to the belief that heaven can and will and is achievable on earth. Maybe it is also somewhere up in the sky, but its hard to imagine what else we could have described yesterday as being. My understanding of heaven however must always include people. Other people mostly. The whole ubuntu deal, you know - I am a person because of other people and if that is true then I ought to be doing my upmost in making the humanity of my brothers and sisters and indeed enemies as meaningful as possible.

But yesterday we did not go to the beach to help other people, I suppose in a sense we went to the beach to help ourselves which in turn I am not completely convinced is utterly evil. You see someone much cleverer than I, with a lot more insight than I into this subject pioneered and explored this subject of useless beauty. If I have understood the theory correctly, basically it surmises to say that there exists a ton (not literal) of beauty out there that might never be witnessed by any human eye or heart. The question then arises - well what is the point of all the useless beauty - because surely this multi-verse and the earth sustained within is functional. Everything that exists must have a purpose, or according to Charles and his friends, will face extinction at the hands or feelers of a fitter species. What is the point of all that ridiculous beauty out there just off to the side of Thompson's Bay? Sure it's not entirely wasted on the human heart or eye, but on a cosmic scale - it pales into insignificance.
I am not out to suggest either, that God made that beach for that one day and for Leandi and her friends. I wouldn't be that presumptuous or arrogant, I am however out to suggest that I can't help but be in love with the Being that can and does create absurdly beautiful days that mark as specks on the timeline of history. I will gladly look past obvious wonder of what met my eyes yesterday and look full, with my heart to the sustainer and giver and yet in all it's complexity - the taker of life, and in the compoundment of that all - the renewer of life.

I think we got a little bit of heaven yesterday. But the great thing about that whole experience was not that we were by any means a perfect little community of people. I mean, the conversations had weren't incredibly profound or anything like that. In fact Between Louis, Zac and myself we couldn't even provide a Braai for the girls to cook their food on. But mostly it was Louis who couldn't keep the fire going. Even we, as sturdy and proud as we are, needed a little rescuing by the hand of Leandi's Dad.

Mr. Leandi's Dad, ons sal vir altyd, so baie gelukkig wees op daai wonderlikke smaaklikke boerewors rolletjies. Honger is nie die beste kok nie, U is.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Westville Is For Lovers.

It has been a while, hasn't it. It is an actual ridiculosity, the state of my dependence on all things electronic, and case in point - the intraweb. Enough dilly-dallying though, there is much to tell that has happened over the last two weeks.

We have established that I am in Durban. I Love Durban. I love the sweat and motion of the suburbs, the hustle of the unfairly warm ocean and of course - the rain. Last week saw to me entertaining Nick who comes all the way from Cape Town, the highlight of which trip can be collected in this one experience. We shall call it wake-skating, or flow-boarding, or maybe tow-skate-waking. It's hard to tell what it is, apart from being downright fun. Basically what you need to do is attach a sturdy rope to the back of a moving golf cart, get your friend Tom to drive and then you hold on to said rope whilst balancing on a cheap skateboard from the last decade, purchased from Makro. I think in some parts of the free world it is actually an illegal past-time. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. And then like the shirts from Mr. Price say - it gets absolutely hilarious. Safe to say Nick saw his guava, not once but twice and at quite a speed I should let you know. He shoulder charged the kerb in a way only Butch James could be proud of.

I left the evening's proceedings unscathed. Until two nights later. The roads had a slight damp covering, and the wheels had a slight 5 Abec bearing jump up (to all us regular folk that means my wheels were 5 times as fast and fluid as they were the first night). Things were mostly going my way until I caught a speed wobble. And everything happened in slow motion. I saw it coming, I felt my legs turn to jelly and then tense up as I careened down the road on angled foot at about 20 kph. I couldn't right myself in time and stretched out my arms to await my tarred bed of slam-dunkery. It was sore. It was fun, and I'd do it all over again, except i wouldn't fall this time.

This last week has seen a bit of action on my behalf which is great because usually what I do is come to durban and sit and vegetate in front of the TV after being deprived of the tubular glory for the better part of the year. But you will be pleased to know that I have found my feet moving around.

Allow me to share a wonderful revelation I received this last week. I visited a church on Florida Road, which is odd you might think, with it being fashion and party central of Durban (the road not the church - you know its odd to find a church here) and the preacher man dropped a little nugget into my mind grapes (if, of course you will allow me to mix my metaphors). It was something to the effect of - generally speaking, young single girls and guys look for themselves in potential partners. We try and evaluate and line up people who are most like ourselves, and that this kind of behavior has a name - its called Narcism. I think that that is both true and great. Great because once you call something what it is, it's so much easier to dissect. This is only a necessity because while I am narcissistic in this regard - I didn't actually want to marry a girlified version of Tom. This earth is too rich and diverse for that.

Amongst other things that are happening all around me at one hundred and twelve kilometers per hour, my beloved Americans are leaving. It was a whirlwind romance, but like summer, it is only ever a time that can be enjoyed and never sustained - unless we are all pack up and move to the Caribbean with Kevin's parents. I did however manage to coerce a small fledgling of USAers to my house to take them on safari and if a picture is worth a thousand words then my el cheapo cell phone camera that shoots at 15 frames a second says well, like at least 2000 words - if not more. Probably more though. Take a little look see at this:

I must pre-em
pt this weekend however. This weekend Nick, the aforementioned not-so-savvy-on-the-wake-skating-front is quite savvy in the world of arts. Intwined in the fiesta of a weekend he has lined up in Johannesburg one such event includes him having a press conference with Maroon 5 and One Republic and the other champion bands that made the Road to V, and if thats not enough he gets to open the proceedings of the evening at the Coca Cola dome with his artistry and also his band too. What a life. I'm hoping that all of ya'll will think more of me because all of a sudden I know a famous person. Probably not though, my attempts are quite see through aren't they? But i look forward to a little hiatus in Johannesburg, the origin of my Primary Schooling. Maybe I'l bump into Tokyo Sekwale or something. The other good news in this regard is that i get to road trip it out with Doug and Heather who, right now are my most favourite respectively blonde and engaged couple in the whole world. Although their being blonde has little, to nothing to do with their engagement. I will write soon, because the inter-web has returned to me and my computer. Have a good one friends.

We are in the full swing of summer, go get a Sector Nine (or borrow a long board from Kevin, you know the guy with the parents in the Caribbean) and bomb a hill, not a country.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome To Goatsfontein.

Sometimes I like to think that there are hundreds of girls following me around. If I had songs to sing they would sing them back to me, carry the chorus line and drop that harmony like it was hottt.

Yet the journey between the west coast and the east is lonely. The cars drive too fast and the rest stops are casually indifferent. The petrol attendants at the Mossel Bay Total Service Station must see a hundred people just like me come through there every day. Me and my journey are unique - just like everybody else and theirs.

So much country is blazed through with mild concern and quirky remarks about anything and everything that is unfamiliar to my eye - the eye that grew up in the suburbs. This beloved country of ours. But today we revel in the glory that is Knysna and Jeffrey's Bay. Two gems that are no secret to the indigenous traveller.

In Knysna I shared the experience of what I can only imagine to be the intention of the marketing team of our government. On saturday I was indeed proudly South African, well I suppose I am most days anyways. But oh my, the Bokke played a real cracker on the weekend and it was indeed a warm fuzzy experience to be shared by many a beer-loving-knysna-forest-dwelling-humanoid. We timed the drive to arrive in Knysna just in time for kick-off and approached what appeared to be a licenced pub, licenced of course in the curation of a good time. Nick leaned out the passenger side and asked a man with a gold name tag whether their pub was going to screen the rugby. He looked back, almost in disgust and replied, "I Have two eyes and a heart don't I?" Yes sir, he did indeed have two eyes and a heart of gold. Green and Gold. Okay well the conversation didn't exactly go like that, but we did have a conversation with a man with a gold name tag and I suppose thats all that matters when you think about it. Safe to say, we won them pommies but just when you think it couldn't get any better, it very well did.

It was the dying minutes of the second half and John Smit just got pulled from the field to be replaced by Ralepelle, which in turn transformed our entire front row to be All Black, and I don't mean they all hailed from New Zealand. What a beautiful sight, and you knew that everyone in the pub was thinking more or less the same thing. What a wonderful image of transformation in this country - and I don't mean transformation at the hand of the quota system in national sport - i mean the three best men for the job were on the field at the right place and most certainly at the right time. It is good to be South African indeed, which for all of yous who know me on any level is a welcome place to have arrived up in my mind-box.

It gets even better, and I don't mean to rattle on about racial relativism for the sake of being fashionable, it is merely the state of affairs in which we find ourselves in. Just after the first half Matt and I appeared to have lost our third member of our party, Nick was nowhere to be found. About five minutes in, a Black Gentleman asked if the seat was taken. I told him that it was - thinking Nick would come back any second. He didn't. Fifteen minutes in we told the bloke he could take the seat. He was grateful and enjoyed the game from the comfort of being in a seated position. Let us take quickly stock of the environment in which we found ourselves in. In the 100 or so patrons in the pub, maybe fifteen (and that is generous) were not white. About 90% of the white people there were Afrikaans speaking and of the Afrikaner culture, which we all know in the past weren't all that tolerable to our African counter-parts. So the game ends and this gentleman says thank you very much for the seat (by this time Nick had just joined us again) and asked if he could buy us a round of beers. I don't think I've ever been offered a round of beers, much less from a complete stranger. I was caught off guard to say the least. Granted I don't frequent pubs that often - but the thought of neither race nor age nor cultural heritage playing any debilitating part in this magical clockwork piece of South Africa is enough to give me goose-bumps. We are all cogs, together we work, whether we are brass or silver or black or white - we work together because we were designed that way. We cannot function apart from each other. I think what I am trying to say is that I would be less of who I am if it wasn't for that man offering me a beer. He added to my humanity and i think God saw it, and i think God saw that it was good.

And I cannot account for our journey cross-country without making a slight reflection on the life and times of the microcosm that is the backpacker industry. There must be dozens of these backpackers around the world, dozens i tell you. Eighteen hours will afford you the opportunity to eat fake mexican food with a Hollander, have a corridor conversation with two other Hollanders, eat breakfast with a Uruguayan and share a laugh with a Welshman on the state of the Travel Channel's choice of presenters. And the funny thing is that they have always been there. These people with their experiences and their thoughts and perspective. It takes some pushing of one's personality, if said personality is anything like mine, to get involved and learn. Flip its hard, but it is there. Waiting. Waiting for the cogs to fit together and move.

This week i find myself in Durban and it is both refreshing and relaxing to be back home. The Pronutro is just as delicious, my bed is just as firm and the humidity is just as arresting. What a wonderful world.