Friday, November 14, 2008

Danny California

‘Black Bandana, sweet Louisiana Robbin' all
the banks in the state of Indiana.’

And while we’re on the topic of Daniel from California I should mention that Study Abroad programs should be re-imagined as How-To-Rip-The-Hearts-And-Minds-Out-Of-Poorly-South –Africans-With-Big-Eyes-And-Naïve-Expectations. The aforementioned Californian study group that has graced us with their presence over the last three (or four?) weeks, leave on Wednesday, and so shall a piece of me.

And like I was saying to Mandy last night, I knew what I was getting myself into right from the start, I am all too aware of the tendency in me to align myself with that which I think is foreign and exotic.

That being said I am learning the art of living each day for what each day is, step by step, day by day (with the Olson twins and all). Some of which includes being called out on how I talk a big game, or at least how I perceive myself sometimes. You see I reckon that I can cover any song in the world, by any artist and probably do a better job than them, my falsetto is that good, bar Mariah Carey – but we all know she peaked too early and none of us were ready for that anyhow.

So there we are at Mitchell’s Brewery (of Scottish origin) at the V & A Waterfront and we discover that Tuesday night is Karaoke Night, so Mandy (not Moore) slides up to me and invites me to participate in what our young one’s call ‘sing-song.’

I thought it was a joke.

You know like one of those silly requests that you always have a lol about but never do go through with it, so I said yes, while lol-ing.

Five minutes later she slides up to me in, similar to previous fashion with a book of endless embarrassment opportunities designed to entertain everyone but the singer/s, and not because of the expected raw talent of those that engage in such tom-foolery but because of the objectification via humiliation of the singer/s.

We agreed on Barbie Girl.
And lets just say that I made it rain.
That is, we made it rain
Soft, Sultry and Oh so Nineties.

Whilst we are in the neighborhood of Scot’s and Scandinavians, I am delighted at the thought of once again traversing the coastal face of South Africa. I have dubiously been dubbed by the Californians as ‘Tom from Durban’

That all started with a most agreeable gentleman that I refer to as Bobby Brown. On the first night of orientation at Cornerstone, the cultural mentors introduced themselves, gave a schtick about where they come from and what they are doing with wives, and lives. I started by saying that I’m Tom form Durban, and haven’t escaped the title since. In all frankness I have grown quite fond of it. But this has done more than just inflate my ego; it has stirred up the nationalistic juices within me to once again own my Durbanian heritage. These last couple of months I have been getting my head around potentially leaving Cape Town after I graduate at the end of next year which is sore, because Cape Town pwns. And being Tom from Durban has somewhat aligned me more with getting to grips with the place that brewed and stewed me into the first man that will ever sirsumvent the globe on a Segway.

But it is today that I find myself in Cape Town and it is maybe the end of things for me as far as USAers go but it is the start of things for others, and to be there for that has meant the world to me. I have this friend. His name is Eve McGregor. Now Eve had never ridden a scooter in his life, much less a motorbike and learnt that some important people that he knew were engaging in nothing short of an awesome once in a lifetime motorcycle expedition across Africa, or more like down Africa., and bits of Europe too. Eve really wanted to come but was denied access, you see he had never ridden a scooter much less a motorbike before, how the kirstenbosch did he think he could sustainably navigate the Gold Continent?

An agreement was made by the important people, not Eve himself, to rather just keep the trip to themselves, it did not belong to the vulnerable but only the self-professed weathered and worn. Safe to say it did not meet the dreams and aspirations that had awaited Eve, on this, the eve of the culmination of all his boyish fantasies.

But this was by no means the end of the story, you see because instead of living out the dreams of the important people, Eve has assumed his own dreams and is starting with what he’s got. He’s going down to Ottery next week to apply for his leaners Motorcycle license, which in turn will lead to the application of his Motorcycle license which will in turn culminate into a trip around Southern Africa (not including Zambia) in the summer of 2009/10

It’s the start of something new in someone else that brightens up the end of something dreary for another. For now, I am another.

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