Month: January 2014
“Most men don’t want women to be subjected to this and all they are really looking for is a healthy looking best friend that is willing to sleep with them.”
Thank you kind sir… You’ve confirmed what I’ve come to understand about how women see themselves and what men want from their prospective partners.
In prehistoric times the thing that made a woman the most desirable to the rest of her pack was having both arms. Things like sharp teeth and having no diseases were just perks back then. If you were some archaic human female spending her days trying to pull all the skin off a mammoth carcass, had most of your teeth, functional reproductive organs, and could start a fire without help, then you were probably the sexiest woman on the planet. Every man in your tribe would show up in front of your cave with a cup of dinosaur milk and a sharpened rock in the hopes that it might be enough to gain your favor.
Fast forward into modernity and the dinosaur milk has dried up. Everyone is arguing about body shape and what not to wear. There are campaigns endorsing fatness and abhorring skinniness where people make outrageous claims…
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This, too, was meant for Anazo… Forgive me dear friend, like all writers, I hate seeing a good piece of writing go unpublished. 🙂
Getting into the working class is a feat most young South Africans are currently struggling with. The lucky ones get to deal with the beaurocracy of standing in long queues at SARS for the first time. (Thus giving SARS the permission to take a share of your hard earned money out of your bank account come pay day. So, you, the tax payer can finance more of the millions that government officials spend on holidays, helicopter rides and meals from Nandos – which, I might add, YOU may never get to enjoy. .. Except for the Nandos… If you’re lucky.)
So here I am one of the lucky ones, I’ve got a brand new job and like all people looking forward to seeing that first pay slip, I need to be a registered tax payer. To my surprise, the SARS branch in the North West of Jozi, in Randburg was extremely efficient. You walk in, talk to the person at reception, get a slip with a number which one of the numerous tellers will call to help you.
This is a far cry from the service one gets from the Mthatha branch, or so I’ve been told. (I’m inclined to believe that my home town’s SARS is not very user friendly… Neither are any of our public service renderers like the post office, local business or banks are, on any given day, ever efficient.)
Anyhow, I’m in and out SARS in an hour tops. Rightly so… I got lost for two hours while trying to locate the darn place! I’m thirsty, hungry and tired from walking around half the morning, so on my way to the Randburg taxi rank, while walking passed the Randburg Square mall I entered a small cafe where I found the cure to all the troubles of that morning… Chocolate-chocolate chip muffins!
The sight of them in that grass basket by the till, all individually wrapped, dark brown and about the size of a cricket ball. They were calling my name, and I was all too keen to answer. I bought two muffins, knowing that there is no way anything made from or of chocolate should be taken in moderation, and I went on my merry way. Anticipating the explosion of bliss my taste buds would later experience, I got into a taxi heading into the CBD.
As I sat in the front seat of a blue taxi, with my head phones snug around my ears, pouring the soothing sounds of Lira’s music into my ears, my untimely end flashed in front of my eyes as the taxi I was in collided with a white Audi in front of us.
The collision was not fatal, thank heavens, but it did rattle me. So I leapt out of the taxi as fast as my heavy bones could, and straight onto another, dead set on getting my thick butt back home safely so I could retell the story to someone, anyone… As long they were alive and were available to bear witness to my having survived, unscathed.
As soon as I reached the CBD I thought to go straight to my friends flat (because they were there and I needed to calm my nerves with seeing familiar and friendly faces.) After Loyiso opened for me, I immediately sat on a stool, opened my bag and took the muffins out so I could, before anything else, thank Creation for (A) my life and (B) the wonderment that is chocolate-chocolate chip muffins.
I told both Loyiso and Bukelwa of my horrific taxi tale, who ‘ooh-ed’ and aah-ed’ in the usual fashion people do after hearing of such near death incidents. And we shared a huge laugh over me waking away from there with both my life and two of some awesome tasting muffins.
I must say, never have I enjoyed the simple treat of a muffin as I did that day. And though I’m eating one now, as I write this, the muffins I had that day will forever go down as the best I’ve had in my short life.
This was originally written for a friend’s blog site… Because it has not yet been published on her blog, and I fear it may lose its relevance… I’ve decided to post it here instead.
PS I’ll write another for you Anazo, promise 🙂
While visiting friends who, much like me had just relocated to the City of Gold, we went out to experience some of the culture lived and enjoyed by the residents of Rondebult which is situated in the East Rand of Johannesburg.
While walking down the dusty streets of Extension 6, we saw how the Kasi life in Eastern Cape is not that far off the Kasi life lived in Gauteng. The small yards that are nestled closely next to each other create a somewhat non-existent barrier between neighbouring houses, and the tiny streets make for the obvious venue where all things recreational and otherwise occur daily.
The streets are full of people; hawkers making a living by hairdressing, making repairs to cars, washing cars, children playing cricket with old worn out planks and soccer with balls made from paper, sand and plastic, and neighbours sharing a laugh over their fences.
It felt like home. And just like home, my friends and I had to go to the local Tshisa Nyama to get some much needed food after the three, or more, beers we shared while playing pool at one of the local watering holes.
In we walked into a yard where the garage had been transformed into a make shift restaurant with long wooden benches for seats and one of those foldable plastic tables. Since I was the only lady among the three thorough bred Xhosa men, I took a seat while they made our order. Mind you, I was expecting to have some wors and beef with my pap, but lo and behold, when two green plastic plates were brought to us by the waiter I saw a heaped serving of pap and another heap of braaied ox liver matching it.
To my delight, the ox liver was well seasoned with, what the braai master told me was BBQ spice and a bit of salt. The pap, still smouldering hot, was not too soft and not too hard, making it easy to mould into small enough portions to chuck down our eager throats. (And yes, we had to mould the pap with our hands… Something I cannot say my mother would be impressed with. After all, a lady never uses her hands to eat, not when kitchen utensils like spoons were invented to keep one from doing such. But in natural Joburg style, we did as the Joburgers do… We ate with our unwashed, pool stick dirty and warm beer sticky hands. I imagine even that added to the flavour of our meal.)
Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the meal. It reminded me of one like it that a friend bought for me a while back at an East London taxi rank, in a container restaurant where they served fried ox liver and bread. The simplicity of the preparation of the meals makes it easy to recreate them at home. Dare I say that the popularity of the braaied, or fried ox liver with pap or bread comes from our homes… During festive times when family, friends and neighbours come together after a slaughter, and while the heavy and abundant flesh of a fallen cow simmers in a potjie on the fire, the liver moistens our appetites for a meaty feast to be relished by all.
Amazing, someone gets it. A man gets it! Lovely.
I work at a large, top-200 law firm in one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The hours can be grueling, there are constant deadlines, and the work is mentally demanding. Any partner in my particular practice area can assign me work, which means I have more than 30 potential bosses. At any given time, I am working on projects for three to five partners, all of whom believe that their assignment should take priority over any other work. As a result, there have been many long days (and long nights).
Moreover, being a lawyer at a large firm is a high-stress endeavor. Even small mistakes can have significant implications and, as a result, tensions can run high. And of course, because excellence is expected, partners are unlikely to give much positive feedback for a job well done; instead, the reward for good work is more work.
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Here she is, my pride and joy at six months. This picture was taken December 25th, 2009, her very first Christmas. We celebrated her sixth month in the world just two days before I took this picture. I remember finding out that she was coming into the world…
First year student pregnancy stats where not on my mind at the time and I never really bothered to find out what they were, but I did make the list, formed one of the numbers, and I was scared shit-less!
I can still feel her first kicks in my belly. Her phantom self remains nestled in womb still. And her painful struggle to break through the confines of my pelvic bone linger still in my mind. She was so tiny. Her smell, her fresh from the baby box smell is something I’ll never forget to remember. I had those moments with her, and I’ve had many more but I have missed so many firsts. My heart breaks at the thought.
My three year old dread locked princess taking a mirror image of herself on our laptop.
Just three days shy of the anniversary of her first month in the world, I had to leave her with my mum. The second semester of university had begun and I had to complete my studies (for her, I kept telling myself so I could justify my leaving my infant behind). Because WSU (Walter Sisulu University) was two to three hours away from home I’d travel home every second weekend so I could see her… So she could never forget my smell, my voice, my eyes and my love for her.
The most difficult thing any loving mother could ever do is leave her cub behind. Granted, she was with my mum, and I trust no one other than my mum with the great responsibility of loving my child. I still felt a huge amount of guilt for leaving her.
I missed seeing her, being there to celebrate the huge achievements of her crawling for the first time, walking for the first time, saying her first word, seeing her first tooth peep through her swollen baby gums, her first day at play school, and now I’ve missed seeing her off for her first day in Grade R… In her big girl school uniform.
“I’m in Grade R now Makhulu (grandmother in isiXhosa). Don’t hold my hand, I’m a big girl,” I was told she said as she proudly went to place her school bag where all the other kids place theirs. Mum will send a picture of my, now not so little, little girl in her big girl uniform.
Sad as I may be for missing it, she has the pleasure of experiencing these firsts. So many children never see age six and mine is four and half now. I’m grateful, so proud. And the best bit is, unlike me at her age, she has her Makhulu to love, rejoice with and love her through all the times I’m away.
Baby girl and her Makhulu
Today is a particularly slow day for me at work. And I don’t mean slow as in I don’t have much to do, but I mean slow as in this day is taking forever to end.
I haven’t been in the best of moods lately. I can tell because I’ve had no urge to write, not even about how upset I’ve been the past week or so. I’m feeling better now… So I can admit my feelings to anyone, myself more especially.
What feelings, you ask!
Where do I start???
Ok, let’s start with me being homeless for a bit. My aunt, whom I’ve been staying with since I relocated from my home town (Mthatha) to Johannesburg, asked to leave. She said I was a distraction her son, my 12-year-old cousin’s studies. Cool beans, I have no problems with that… I mean even I would have rather chatted with my cousin than study at that age. Cool.
I just wish she hadn’t sent me a message via BBM, while I was at work. Giving me only three maybe four hours to find another place to stay. I don’t know, maybe I annoyed her and she didn’t tell me what I did to annoy her… But I still think there were better ways to handle the situation.
Anyhow, my Sisi (Nguni word for sister, and in my case, my cousin and twin all in one) was kind enough to house me until the end of the month, and I’ve already secured my own place with a deposit, so I’ll be out of her hair before she kicks me out as well.
And then I got scammed by a driving school. Long-story-short, these guys were supposed to give me ten driving lessons for R 600. Instead all I got was one lesson and whole lot of “sorry, You’ll have to reschedule.” So now I want my money back and these guys are still giving me the run-around.
I know what you’re thinking… What the hell? You’re 26 and you can’t drive?! Yeah well, I was kinda trying to correct that. Sue me!
Then there’s the irritating feeling of having an actual school girl crush on a guy at the office.
This must be the most disgusted I’ve been with myself for a long time!
I get that he’s an attractive fellow, polite and friendly but what in hell made my senses attach his demeanor to the butterfly causing, heart rate pounding, giggly blushing fool parts of my now utterly grossed out brain?!
I’m so not trying for an office romance… Or coffee shop romance or book shop romance or any other kind of romance there is.
Seriously, this is the last thing I need right now. I need to be focusing on impressing my bosses so they can turn this internship into a permanent job, and not on how good he smells when he passes by my desk, or how he smiles at me when he passes by my desk or how we talk about the weather or we spend our weekends or how tired we are or….
Yup, I’m screwed! Royally so too.
I need to get this crush out of my system.
And the fact that we exchanged numbers doesn’t help much. And my friends are ready to marry me off to the next guy who even looks at me… ’cause I’ve been single almost two years.
Two years, and I’m OK with that.
I love how I have no one to worry about except for my baby girl, mum and brother. And I love how uncomplicated my life is right now…
Anyhow, I think I’m doing a good job of keeping my cool. This is like a cloud or smoke… It’ll blow away, disappear and that’ll be that.
You know what I need?
I need to sit at the park with a book, a bottle of water, a bottle of wine some cheese cake and just mellow out. I need to find my inner peace again. Seriously, getting kicked out, being scammed and having a silly school girl crush are a total zen mood kill.