Thursday, April 30, 2009

And So Life Goes On...

It's been a month since I quit chocolate. Amazing how time is flying huh. Some days I feel like I can’t quite get a grip on everything. I’m so exhausted and to make matters worse, I haven’t had a decent nights sleep in a while. As a result, every day after lunch I start falling asleep at my desk or in the boardroom…I’ve even resorted to taking lunchtime naps in my car or sitting with the air-conditioner on despite the chill in the air…all in a desperate bid to stay awake.

I wish I could say that I don’t miss the chocolate. Life has been miserable without it and I eagerly await the day we will be reunited again :D For the past few days however, I’ve been craving for cheesecake like a pregnant woman who wants her pickled gherkins, peanut butter and ice cream sandwich. It’s the most bizarre thing really, because I have never been a cheesecake fanatic, Ever. But I find myself dreaming about freaking cheesecake the way Britney Spears dreams about having Justin Timberlake back in her life! I think I’m just projecting again…I need to stick to healthier obsessions and addictions, like coffee or stalking.

Speaking of fanaticism, and I know Mash, OH and the Blogger are all going to kill me, but I have to say, I don’t get the whole Soccer/Football addiction. Look, I love soccer. I do. And I love AC Milan and Juventus, for reasons beyond anything related to football. I love the patriotism, the competitiveness and that sense of camaraderie that everyone feels. I’ll even watch a few minutes of UEFA and I’m a full-on supporter in every World Cup.

I will even go as far as saying it’s the greatest sport on earth. Ok? I’ll give you guys that. But I can’t help thinking it’s a little gay. I mean have you seen those dudes running all up against each other…hugging and kissing their way through the game and crying like little girls when they don’t make it? You know what? I can even understand when they go on like that on the field because they are in the moment and the passion of the sport enthrals and dictates their emotions.

But what I DON’T understand, are those guys sitting in their lounges laughing, crying…yes I’ve heard of dudes who cry saline tears…and are as angry and upset when their team loses as they would have been had they walked in on their wives cheating with their best friends. That boggles my mind.

Most of the soccer/football loving fanatics don’t even have that much emotion reserved for their wives, children and families, not like they do for their gay teams. Hmmm, I wonder if it says something about them :D

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What The HELL Was He Thinking?!?!

The Lord of the worlds knows how much I love my parents, in fact everyone does. So when I don’t understand why they do certain things, I either try to see the wisdom in it, or I wait until their reasoning becomes clear to me. However, NOTHING could have prepared me for the events that transpired on Saturday night. But I’m getting ahead of myself again, let me start with a little meaningless information, from the beginning…

When I was a little girl and my parents were still married, they had mutual friends…two couples who both had sons that happen to be the same age as me. Now apparently, we were friends or playmates or whatever, it must have been really long ago because honestly, I can’t remember ever being buddy-buddy with either of them and I'm one that can remember details from the time I was 3 years old. According to Mother, there were always playful disputes between the parents as to which one of the sons would eventually marry me. That didn’t last long and whatever friendship we had ended in toddler-hood because throughout the years we were at school, none of us were friends. We barely even greeted each other. In fact, I only ever acknowledged their presence when I encountered either one with their parents.

Then just over a year ago, the one…lets call him Mo, decided to invite my second youngest sister, Birdy on Facebook, KNOWING that she’s my sister. Apparently, he used to chat to her regularly from what she says…I didn’t mind because I didn't really care. Then last week, my father announces to us that there is someone who may be interested in one of us, but quickly canned the idea after we vehemently protested about being paraded like fucking sheep. Or that’s what we thought.

We decided to celebrate my Dad's birthday a few days earlier by having cake at his house on Saturday night, since he was going on holiday the next day. So there we were, all his daughters, eating chocolate cake with a filling made from crème and walnuts and sipping on tea and/or coke. I was sitting next to Tweets and we laughed merrily at Dad’s age…Birdy and Peanut chiming in at regular intervals…when there was a knock at the door…

And guess who comes strolling in like one of those cowboys walking into a Saloon after having left town a few years before…ten points for anyone who said or thought of Mo.

My Dad told him to take a seat and where did he sit? Of course, right next to me…He chose to ignore the nice big spacious seat on the other end of the lounge, thus making me feel like a really bad tuna sandwich. I nearly choked on a walnut as he sat down and I instinctively moved closer to Tweets.

He then proceeded to chat to my father for most of the evening…whilst the rest of us sat and watched TV in silence…trying to get a word in edge wise but eventually giving up as the two were avidly engaged in enthusiastic conversation. It had then occurred to me that he was the guy that was interested…but he wasn’t interested in Birdy…

Now does my Dad honestly think that I will be interested in someone who was chatting up my little sis? Someone who blatantly ignored me for all these years?!? Come On! My dad clearly likes him, hence the move into insanity. Im blaming all of this on his age.

And I maintain, we’re not cattle…and I am by no means desperate to get married. Dad even told us before hand that he has to choose from “many girls”. So what does that mean? That I must be grateful that he’s even giving me a chance?!?! That I have to be gracious, fall to the ground and kiss his feet because I made the list?

Hell Fucking No…

That’s all I can say.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

APRIL




Due to budget and time constraints this month, I decided to do something a little different. The last time I toured Johannesburg city was in my first year as a student at the Rand Afrikaans University (now called the University of Johannesburg) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I decided to return for a brief tour, walking through the streets of a city that is usually considered to be dangerous, so much so that very few locals will trudge through on foot.


It's not that Johannesburg isn't dangerous...it's as dangerous as most cities, like New York...it has its dodgy areas etc and of course there'll be areas where you can't be traipsing around all by your onesy savvy. But in all the time I've spent in and out of the city, nothing tragic has occurred.

For first time visitors I'd have to say, travel in groups preferably with someone who is street smart and knowledgeable of the place (like me), don't be too paranoid but be alert and careful. And whatever you do, DONT look like a tourist.


I love the city. I love the vibe you get in the city…it’s like you can feel your pulse mesh with energy that’s generated from the life flowing in and out of the busy streets. I'm a city girl, born and bred and that much was evident when I made my way in the cold morning through various streetside stalls, shops, department stores and little mini malls.


The proliferation of Malls in South Africa from the mid 1990's meant that less people frequent the increasingly dangerous city and it's surrounds and opted for the safer and more convenient “all-in-one” that the Malls tend to offer. In the Gauteng Province, we have around 20 Malls, strategically placed all over the province, in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Street Vendors selling vegetables on the sidewalk:


The mosque in which my grandfather served as Imaam for a number of years:


Nothing like hitting the road with the girls, early in the morning:


Doing girly things like go to Woolworths and check out the clothes/makeup and food :P


Melrose Arch:
I know a lot of people consider Sandton to be the new “city”…and I do love Melrose Arch, but with that tinge of bourgeois pretentiousness that hangs in the air, I have to disagree. It’s more like an elite wannabe.

Jo’burg is still Jo’burg for me, and always will be. I was impressed by the concerted “city cleanup” effort and how they had progressed since the last time I was there. There are so many new contemporary structures, and older structures seem to be restored or renovated. I still have hope one day my city will be restored to it’s former glory.


I’ve taken a few pics with a camera phone because Sony is still keeping my baby hostage. However, it does no justice and cannot capture the atmosphere and the vibe of the place. I’ve had to borrow some pics from google too.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Sorry, You're Not Muslim

I really really should stop swearing/cursing/cussing so much. Problem is it’s my only vice, my only outlet for my frustration with the world at large and I’m afraid that if I stop, my favourite pastimes will include homicide or alcohol. I promise to stop if I get married LOL!

A few dreaded words reached my ears earlier this month. My 10 year high school reunion is coming up *cringe*. It’s nothing but a ploy I tell ya, a ploy to either mock what some have become over the last decade, or gawk in astonishment and awe at how other’s have blossomed. I can already picture it. The “So what have you been up to”…and the “Oh I work for…”, and “Wow, three kids, geez you’ve been busy”…and “We got married last year…”BLEH, my cue to vomit.

Even though I’m sure I’d be one of those people everyone gawks at in astonishment (because trust me 10 years has done WONDERS for me), I’m not interested. I don’t feel like playing kissy-kissy-catchup-huggy with people where the extent of our communication is the random mass Superpoke on Facebook, those people I’ve long since bid my farewells to. And the one thing I’m really REALLY not looking forward to is the inevitable annoying rhetorical “So you’re not married!?!”. FUCK, dig my fucking eyes out why don't ya...cue to vomit again, this time on her shoes.

People don’t understand…it’s a tough Muslim market out there. All the relatively decent one’s are already taken because they all get married by the time they’re 22; all or most of the single one’s have huge mother-fucking issues…and the rest are either gay or they like white women. What a fucking nightmare! I hate this world.

Truth be told, I’m sure many, if not all of us have changed somewhat from then. But a night full of awkward conversations, trying to recapture what dissipated that last day when we all walked out of the gates, bright-eyed, hopeful and fearful of the future, never looking back – it’s not my idea of fun.

I was such a geek in school. And I'm sure I've said it before, but I hated the institution (and some bitches) with the venom of a hundred thousand King Cobras. But in hindsight, I did have a lot of fun in my days as a juvenile delinquent. This paradox is probably what kept me sane, or insane most of the time…it’s what made my life at school bearable.

When I got to high school, there were less than 10 Muslims in a population of over 2000. I was barely 17 years in my final year and used to spend my break times sitting in the Matric Quad, staring down a very athletic Wayne Reed with Isabella at my side. What a beautiful creature. We used to stare at him, quite literally, and he would often catch us watching him and blush. This didn’t deter us and made him even more beautiful in our eyes. Then as the bell went, signaling that break time was over, I would go to him, put my right arm on his shoulder and say “Have you ever considered modeling?”. This would make him even more shy, he’d smile and say no. “You’re one beautiful man!”, I’d say. A sincere “Thanks” was always the reply. It was the same story, every day.

I think the massive appeal with Wayne was his humility and modesty. He never thought he was God’s gift to women…even though he was more than entitled to think so. Honestly though, there were so many them. There was Jared and Tyrone. And Carlos Lopez too. It was a time when we were still reeling from the end of one of my favourite TV shows of all time, “My So-Called Life” starring Claire Danes as Angela, an awkward teen going through life, high-school and her crush on the coolest boy in school, Jordan Catalano, played by Jared Leto aka the current front-man of the band 30 Seconds to Mars.


I remember that Carlos Lopez looked just like Jared Leto. I used to call him Jordan Catalano, after Leto’s character in “My So-Called Life”. However, I barely spoke to Carlos because we only shared two classes together, Computer Science and Biology. And even though I’d always greet him in the mornings, he was always in his own world, and barely said hi. Then one day, around 18:15 in the evening, the phone rings...


Me: Hello?
CL: Uh, hi. Can I speak to Azra please?
Me: Speaking…
CL: Oh…How are you?
Me: Umm, I’m ok…
CL: Do you know who’s speaking?
Me: Umm…nooooo…
CL: It’s Jordan Catalano.
Me: (half-dying & wondering how the HELL did Jared Leto get my number???)
CL: Hello?
Me: (silence)
CL: It’s Carlos
Me: (slightly disappointed but surprised) Oh you…wow, hi…um whats up?
CL: Oh, just calling to see what you’re up to...
Me: Oh ok… (bewildered)…I’m fine thanks…but dude you don’t even greet me…
CL: (laughs) Um, well you know me…So I was wondering if you’d like to go out sometime?
Me: (shocked and dumbfounded)…ummm can I get back to you on this?

I had to eventually tell him that I couldn’t because he wasn’t Muslim. Even Isabella was disappointed that he wasn’t Muslim. (Let me just point out that we were never allowed to have boyfriends in the first place, let alone non-Muslim boyfriends). Then one day, a few months later, I discovered that Carlos and I used to be playmates when we were toddlers…a time when both our parents had business dealings with each other. Small world huh.

The only other Muslim present in my life at the time was Zaheer, a good friend of mine and the only one that I went to Primary School with. Problem was he was more than a friend, more like a brother-figure…and yeah, he was dating Christina…another white chick.

I’ve had loads of Christian/Hindu/Jewish admirers/admirations since then…and that was all that it ever could be. Look at the menu, but don’t order...that was the mantra. Which reminds me…

It was on my first cruise to Barra Lodge in Mozambique that I met Antonio, one of the beautiful Italians working on the Ship. Everything about him mesmerized me…and again, I would say that his humility and graciousness is what really attracted me, although looking like he stepped out of the pages of GQ didn’t hurt either LOL! I always looked forward to seeing him, knowing that the lack of Muslim-ness meant that all I could ever do is look.
I met the most fascinating people on that trip too, real characters that made the experience very entertaining…Leo & Nirosha who were celebrating their 7th anniversary… Uncle Sam and Aunty Lima who were part of a group of other couples in their mid-forties/early fifties, also from Durban...a few chica’s backpacking from Brazil…

And in between getting lost in the town of Inhambane in Mozambique with the Brazilians and sharing the mango achaar (pickled mangoes to some) that Uncle Sam had smuggled onto the Ship, I was asked for my number twice, both non-Muslims…and the answer was the same as it always is, the emphatic…”I’m sorry, but I can’t”. I’m always met with arguments and objections from the other party, but they soon see how steadfast I am on this issue and back off. They often tell me stories of others…Muslim met non-Muslim = live happily ever after. I don’t judge…to each his own…and all the best for them…but I have my preferances.

It was our second morning, having breakfast on deck with Leo and Nirosha that I had the epiphany. Leo was still explaining to us how great fishing in Namibia is…said it’s better than sex. We all laughed hysterically and I was like dude, if it’s better than sex, then you must be doing something wrong…but then I looked at his wife who had a wicked smile on her face and knew that they were in the joke together. In some odd way, they made me realised that despite everything, I still wouldn’t give up Islam for anything or anyone. I realised that I deserved someone great, someone who can make me laugh, someone who would prank other people with me…and that it would be worth waiting for.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Promise Of A New Day

I look fucking horrible in the morning. That much was made apparent when I rolled out of bed around 6am this morning to make sure I was first in line to vote. The mirror doesn't lie, well mine doesn't anyway. My hair is usually a mess, my cheeks are all pink and puffy and I have a stupid grin on my face with my eyes half closed, like I'm high or something.

Vote I did. I took a five rand coin, called heads DA and tales COPE, and after a good old toss of the coin, I made my decision.

In all honesty, I don't care much for South African politics...I don't care that COPE is labled as disgruntled ex-ANC members, and I don't care that the DA is reportedly pro-Israel...I don't care beyond how it affects me. All I do know is that the country needs a strong opposition, so I will vote for whatever opposition there is, regardless of whether or not I agree with their policies; all in an attempt to take the two-third majority away from the governing ANC.

My poor sis is working her ass off...she left the house just after Fajr, around 05:20am. We're only expecting her back tomorrow morning, around the same time. Thats what you get when you work for the IEC. Alot of people aren't going to vote which is a shame really, because these are the same people who will complain endlessly about the government. And their defense is "Why bother, it's not going to make a difference".

Assuming that 2million+ people share the same sentiment...thats 2 million+ less votes for the opposition. So in essence, not voting is allowing the tyrany to continue. The dangers of a one-party state? Zimbabwe. Enough said.

I was very disappointed that out of the millions of South African's in the UK, less than 10 000 voted. It's sad to know that we've got the numbers, but the numbers can't be bothered.

I don't know what may come out of this election. If or when Zuma is elected president, I don't know how that will damage us as a nation. All I can hope for is positive change...who knows, maybe he'll surprise us. Maybe it's not all doom and gloom.

In other news...I just want to send a shout out to my blogger friend Tazeen who's been going through a very tough time lately. I know nothing I say will ease her anguish. Nothing I say will bring back what she's lost. But I'm thinking of her, and praying for her inner strength to shine through, so that she can get through this.

Here's to better times for us all...no matter where you are in this world.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

These days...

I don’t know what weekends look like anymore. In fact, I don’t even know what day it is anymore, and it doesn’t matter. All I know is that I’m being pushed to thresholds I’ve never known before.

These days I spend entire days in the boardroom of another massive chemical plant with the rest of the Sharks mulling over details, theories, recommendations to the Labour Minister, analyzing the elements and parameters of team effectiveness vs. job satisfaction…and all kinds of boring shit like that with 5 males and a lady.

I sit next to Fred, the smoothest man I’ve ever seen…literally flawless. He looks like he stepped out from one of Rembrandt’s paintings. Smooth unblemished skin, fine features, immaculately kept short hair, not even a single pore visible. I’ve never seen such perfection in someone, it’s freaky.
These days, I stay up until 3 in the mornings fixing stats and data and on Sundays when our house is a mini-Circus, I’m at smooth-man’s flawless and immaculate house, at his smooth granite kitchen table, with his smooth kids running on the smooth marble floors and his not-so-smooth wife getting us snacks.

These days, when the group is deadlocked on some issues, we argue, debate, rationalise for hours on end until we reach plausible solutions. When they piss me off, I start spitting fire and their jaws drop. They try to placate me and I apologise. These days, classes have been extended and now take place from 2:00pm until 10:00pm on Mondays.

These days, I listen intently in the Law class, sniggering surreptitiously with the rest of the Class every time Professor says Kant, referring to Immanuel Kant’s theories, his Afrikaans accent pronouncing it as the profanity; while sipping on bottled water provided to us, the label emphatically stating “Freshly Squeezed Premium Water”…like squeezed from where?

These days, I sit and discuss every mistake and blunder every corporation or organization has ever made that has led to their demise.

These days, I pay attention in Financial Reporting, our lecturer’s sarcastic wit and physical image bearing a striking similarity to Chandler from Friends, making the otherwise dreary subject all the more tolerable. I burst with laughter when he calls us by our seat numbers because he can’t remember all our names. I’m thoroughly amused when gives us impossible tests to write with the instruction “You do not have to write this test” embedded in a mass of text as a lesson for us to read the questions before we attempt them; while he watches us scribble like morons for 15 minutes.

These days I pass up a lot of invitations, even though it makes me feel terrible, not because I’m anti-social or a snob, but simply because I’m constantly grappling for time. My social life has been reduced to emails and random conversations on Gtalk while I utilize my multi-tasking abilities and work on facts and figures, trying to make sense of it all.

These days I’m averaging 65% in complex business laws and ethical procedures and 85% in Organisational Behaviour, thus solidifying my belief that one of the only things I’m brilliant at is analyzing/reading people and their environments, making accurate deductions and offering substantial solutions to conflict resolution. I’ve also realised that I’m an excellent “fixer” but definitely not a “creator”.

These days I get annoyed when my battery dies leaving me with no recourse and I have to wait for hours in the cold evening, sometimes until 10:30pm, for my equally busy sister working at the IEC, who’s responsible for a considerable number of voting stations, to come and pick me up. We leave in the early hours of the morning, work for her and destination gym for me, and return in the late hours of the evening. I see how hard they have to work, often pushing 15 hour days and find it deplorable that a lot of people won’t even bother to vote tomorrow because they don’t believe that it will make a difference, even though we need a strong opposition.

These days, time means nothing and the hours melt by like minutes, the months evaporating into days. I often long to sit at home and do nothing…to have nothing on my mind, no concerns or worries or problems to solve. I long for those lazy Autumn days spent reading gripping novels in the sun, a privilege I so often took for granted in my days at school. Some days I vehemently wish for a way out. On other days, I think to myself that I have nothing better to do, so I might as well continue.

These days I’ve come to realise the power of my words, manifesting into real-life scenarios and I resolve to making grander wishes. I realise that I want a family of my own and I’m no longer commitment phobic or afraid of the responsibility.

These days I take 30 random, precious minutes to exorcise my tortured soul and blog about something that either plagues or amuses me. I drink more coffee to make up for the lack of chocolate, because I never abandon my addictions, I just substitute them.

And on days like these…when clouds linger in the skies promising rain, and a fresh-frosty-cool breeze lingers in the air, I feel invigorated, charged like one of those Energizer bunnies and I can feel the life flowing in my veins. These are exciting times.

Monday, April 20, 2009

5 Minute Management Course

Lesson 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour. Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel.' After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'
'It was Bob the next door neighbour,' she replies. 'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.


Lesson 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'
The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?' The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.' Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:
If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.


Lesson 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'
'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.'
Puff! She's gone.
'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.'
Puff! He's gone.
'OK, you're up,' the Genie says to the manager.
The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.


Lesson 4:
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?' The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.' So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.


Lesson 5:
A turkey was chatting with a bull. 'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'
'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients.'
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:
Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there..


Lesson 6:
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.


(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your
friend.



(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep
your mouth shut!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Updating The Updates

Well, since I forgot to mention…and some of you would like to know, the bag broke. Well the zipper broke, rendering the bag useless. I was mildly disappointed because I used to be able to smuggle so many snacks into the cinema without having to spend my rent on their overpriced confectionery. I used to be able to stuff the bag with a huge pack of Jumping Jack Popcorn (white cheddar flavour), some chocolate, juice and some other sweets in addition to the regular crap I hauled around.

The good news is that my new bag is only slightly smaller, but it carries most of the same shit and is generally waaay prettier. It’s so lady-like. Problem is that these days, I’m usually lugging commercial law and financial reporting textbooks with stationary in tow, so I’m carrying a backpack as well. And in addition to that, I have my gym bag too, with gym clothes etc. stuffed in there. So in essence, I’ve exchanged my one humungous bag, for 3.

But to be fair, life has changed somewhat. I didn’t need textbooks before, and I was still training in my private gym…so the three are warranted. Sadly though, I can’t post any pics. My damn camera is still at Sony, waiting to come home to mama. I’m thinking of pulling an Angelina and just adopting that waterproof Olympus, but my budget won’t hear of it. I’m saving every cent for London anyway, and I’m behind schedule on my Netbook …and it’s Dad’s birthday soon too...Squajillionaire wishes...

My Dad is a technological whiz. Something I don’t see in many of my peers parents. He loves his gadgets and gizmos and is always fixing something or making little movies with his camcorder. He’s got every gadget you can think of and I really wanted to get him the updated Sony Hard Disk Drive Camcorder DCR-SR47E/S, because thats what I do for the people I love. But honestly, I don’t think I can wing it, not now...not unless I find a couple of grand lying around the house. Hopefully in the near future.

He doesn’t seem to mind though. He wants us to buy him underwear! LOL…seriously! My Dad enjoys fucking us around like that, we have the same sense of humour. So he suggests it, and we’re all putting our palms over our ears and screaming “nnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!”. LOL. I don’t need to be traumatized for the rest of my life and I hope that the only man I ever buy underwear for is my future hubby. I think I'll get him an iPod instead.

On a completely different note and without going into too much detail, I seriously don’t get some people. Ever feel misunderstood? Like people just don’t get you? And you always have to worry about crushing someone’s fragile ego? If they only knew how much I DON’T care, that I don’t give a fuck…that I don’t even care enough to continue typing about it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Updates

Mandy eventually spoke to her parents regarding her love interest. She told them that she’s interested in him romantically and that she’d really like to get to know him better. They acquiesced and told her that they can’t really stop her from seeing him. I guess they are just like any other parents and wouldn’t want to see their daughter hurt. He officially asked her out, with her parents’ permission/consent this past weekend. And now they’re officially a couple. I’m so happy for her. She deserves this, she deserves great things in her life. She is however, a little apprehensive and I think afraid because she doesn’t know what to expect. She already set down the rules with him i.e. no sleeping around, sleeping over…he’s even cutting out the Alcohol for her. I told her to take each day as it comes, stay true to herself and not to screw it up otherwise I’m going to kick her ass. I really hope it works out for them.

Sadly though, Mariam hasn’t been so lucky. A lot has happened since Mufti dropped her off at her parents a couple of months ago. She eventually returned to his home after discussions and negotiations to return ensued between the two families. However, when she returned they beat her up, quite badly, leaving scars all over her back. She stayed anyway and after a month, Mufti decided to send her to Jordan to visit her family for a short holiday. While she was there, the swine divorced her and a few days later she found out that she was pregnant. Now to be pregnant and alone in Jordan is dangerous. If she doesn’t present the divorce papers, they will consider her unborn child to be illegitimate and ostracize them from society. It will bring great shame to the family as well. But the fucking SWINE contests that the unborn child is his and even refuses to send the divorce papers to her, so that she can live in peace. To anyone defending him, maybe you’ll want to present his case in front of The Almighty and see how that pans out. My prayers are with her.

It’s been 12 days and chocolate-less-ness has proved to be a little challenging. It has taken me to the brink of depression and even sprouted grandiose delusions about the world coming to an end, and my impending doom. But I’m glad to report that I’ve survived so far. The first 11 days were horrendous though. I guess this is what a crack addict feels like. Well, onwards and upwards. I still have hot chocolate though, but with water instead of milk.

Gyming is becoming tougher though…well not so much the gyming as the waking up on increasingly colder and darker mornings. I hate winter. So with scant motivation, I drag myself out of bed and make my way there. Thing is, even if I didn’t go and slept for an extra hour it wouldn’t be any easier to get out of bed in the morning, so I might as well go and make the most of it. Good news is that there are considerably less naked people prancing around the changing rooms and showers. I guess most of them have changed their schedules and either go in the afternoon when it is much warmer, or the cold keeps their jelly bits at bay in the comfort of their own homes.

MBA has proved quite challenging too. MBA + Chocolate-less-ness = Nervous Breakdown. But I've recently discovered that it really is mind over matter. And alot of it is not what you know, it's what you can DO. I was kicked out of my origianl group though...we were 10 and only 8 are allowed to be in a group according to Professor. And being the only non-black/non-white, ten points for guessing who was first to go. I'm not complaining though, this new group is proving to be fantastic, more diverse and less procrastination. They're also more organised and group meets are even closer to home then before. We meet every consecutive Tuesday evening...or when it's necessary. I do feel a little out of my league though, every now and then. But thats the whole point innit? Whats the use of studying something and knowing all the answers...the whole point is to learn and be taken out of my comfort zone. I should stop bitching, I'm beginning to irritate myself.

I have the best parents in the world. I could gush about them the whole day that’s how much I love them. I’ll stop before I get all emo and start crying like a freaking baby. But even when we are at each other’s throats and I’m positive that one of them is going to give me an Aneurism, I can still count on them and I could not have asked for better parents. They just know when something isn’t right with one of us…all of them, even Step-Ma…and the way they rally around us, pushing us forward, believing in us when we don’t believe in ourselves, it’s phenomenal. Ok, ok…I said I’m not going to get all emo here…*tear*…I’m such a sap. Anyways, I can always rely on one of them to make me feel better, to calm my irrational fears and ease my emotional discomfort.

So Daddy popped in for a quick visit with Step-Ma and little peanut in tow. And after enduring the ritual competitive argument between the Exes; Father complaining about Mother’s smoking habits (since he quit smoking over 7 months ago); and Mother’s retaliation on Father’s sugar addiction (since she quit sugar 9 months ago) while the rest of us roll about with laughter; we eventually got talking about life and the decisions we make that dictate the paths we lead.
My father is a wise and philosophical man who never misses the opportunity to impart his wisdom and knowledge to us at any given moment in time. He said it best:

“Life is about learning lessons. It’s like a man on a journey, who trips on a stone in the road. He has to learn from that mistake and be careful in the future, remember where that stone is, so that he doesn’t fall again. But if the man keeps on tripping on the same stone, and he doesn’t learn anything, then he should just be fucking buried there.” :D

We laughed so much. My Dad cracks us up. But he’s right. Mother always says death is over-rated, but that at least they’ll get to eat Dhal and Rice. Take it one day at a time, be true to yourself, work smart, play hard, pray often, be good. LIVE

Conclusion: So what if I die? I won’t care, I’d be dead! Now back to making the most of my life on earth. I want 2, 4 or 6 kids...no odd numbers. Crisis OVER :D

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Little "Pick Me Up"

I'm not a massive Bollywood fan, in fact I can count on a single hand the number of movies I've bothered to watch and actually liked. But this is spectacular. I love everything about this video...the colour scheme, the Moroccan theme, the choreography, the music and even the somewhat cheeky lyrics...

Indulge me if you will. Just imagine me as Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor as my partner, instead of the old-ish Shah Rukh Khan. We'd be an awesome pair. Damn it would be so cool! And I'd totally rock that black and gold she's wearing :D

Existential Crisis

I believe that everyone needs a plan. Not that you can forecast what will happen in the future, not that you are guaranteed to follow it. But everyone needs something, sort of like Barbossa’s guidelines…it’s just a map to navigate one’s way through life, the destination always subject to change. My plan is to complete my studies, work, travel, most probably move abroad, get involved in various charities, make a difference and continue LIVE-ing. Whatever happens in addition to that, happens. Whether or not I get married, whether or not I have kids, whether or not I succeed…all that is up to The Almighty. It's destiny. I have no control over certain things in my life.

It’s one of those weeks. One of those rare occasions the world gets to see Azra feel a little down (yeah I’m human too y’know) and question the plan. I had a disturbing dream a few nights ago. I dreamt that I was paddling out into the ocean with some family and friends, the water calm and tranquil. And then all of a sudden this huge wave starts approaching us…I mean HUMUNGOUS, GIGANTIC, GARGANTUAN …of epic proportions. It was so enormous that I had to look up to the sky to see the top end of it. And I remember thinking to myself that this is it. Death approaches me, here and now and there’s nothing I can do. There’s nothing worse than feeling totally helpless. I recall thinking that there was no use in running away from such a monstrosity…the speed at which it was traveling would have easily caught up with me and the sheer force would have most certainly wiped me off the map.

I awoke and found myself singing a strange song that was stuck in my head. A song I don’t know and have never even heard before. I’m almost positive that this song doesn’t even exist. So, as you can imagine, I was mildly freaked out.

I’ve been uneasy ever since. Water never bodes well in my dreams. And now I have all this anxiety that’s come from, literally nowhere. I’m not scared of dying. It’s what happens after death that leaves me TERRIFIED. One can never know what to expect. I usually think about death all the time, it helps keep things (and life) in perspective. It minimizes everything and makes trivial matters seem juvenile and irrelevant. But this is on a whole new playing field. To actually smell death…that dream was as vivid as they come.

It also got me thinking about the aftermath. Dying is a lot of work. If I had to go, my family would have to tell everyone. I mean EVERYONE. Aside from announcing it on Radio Islam, and arranging the funeral, calling up family members and friends locally and internationally, my sister would probably have to go onto my facebook and announce it there in my status so that all of my 324 friends can know. “Azra…is dead, so don’t bother anymore”. She’d have to log into blogger too, let you all know, dedicate a post to me. Good thing she already has all my passwords. And the poor soul is going to have to pack up all the shit I have. Hundreds of text books...Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Norton's Anthology, Organizational Behavior, Financial Reporting, Commercial Law...those text books that cost R1000 each. And those little momentos I've collected from all the lovely places I've visited. And all my pay slips and tax forms from Inland Revenue in London. What a schlep. At least she'll get to have her room back.

Bottom line, you can’t prepare for such things. All I can do is pray. Pray for my Imaan and faith, for protection and the strength to deal with whatever comes my way, as well as the courage to face it head on.

To make matters worse, like the cherry on my friggin cake (main ingredients apprehension and anxiety), I’ve been under so much pressure that I can only think that I don’t have time for an existential crisis right now. Maybe I’ll make time on Saturday after Nigella’s Feasts, between the Home Décor and Self Help programs. No guarantees though, because I still have all that Financial Reporting to do.

In between scheduling my nervous breakdown and dealing with all the crap that I’ve brought upon myself academically, sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air and say fuck it all, and then go and live off the land on some island where that colossal wave can come and get me good and proper. I want to think that if I’m going to die anyway, what the point?

But I won’t let myself go down that route. I’m stronger than that. I know the bigger picture. I’ve seen it many many times in my dreams and in those little signs bestowed upon me through some or other divine intervention. I have to go back to the drawing board, check my priorities, stick to the plan…pull together…all the strength I can muster, all the courage, all the determination and will-power to see this through. I have to keep with my theme, my mantra called LIVE…without fear and apprehension and paranoia clouding my vision.

What I have gathered thus far is that I am not worthy of my Lord. I know he’s there for me, I can feel His presence. I see His work in my life every day. But He’s not happy with me, I’m not doing enough on my part…not even nearly enough. I have to get my shit together. Put Him first. And stick to the plan.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Picture Perfect

I've taken over 10 000 photos in the last 4 years. I love Photography and even though I'm an amateur at best, I tend to see life in pictures. I haven’t taken it up professionally, not yet anyway and I don’t even have the adequate equipment to say that I’m on my way there. But I’d like to think that some day I’ll be a professional photographer…if only for my own amusement.

I often get a lot of flak from some people (well mainly from FC) who says that some of my photos look like Postcards, but I don’t care. I love taking pics…I could do it as a job. There’s no better way to capture a moment. Well, here are some of my favourites, along with little explanations of why they’re my favourites.

(Click on images for a better view)

Location: Mount Nebo, Jordan overlooking The Promised Land/Palestine (January 2006)
The exact spot where the Prophet Musa AS (Moses) stood some 5000 years ago, looking at the land that The Almighty had promised for him and his followers. Sadly, he never made it to the Promised Land, and lived on the mountain for 40 years before his death.


Location: Brighton, UK (May 2005)
This pic was taken with a disposable camera, on one of our girls days out, an expedition into the unknown...I remember a beach made of stones and the original fish and chips that was once the national dish of Britain before curry took over. It was an awesome day.


Location: Brugge, Belgium (December 2007)
A great place to step back into time...my favourite because it was chocolate heaven. I spent a small fortune here.


Location: Cairo, Egypt (January 2006)
Taken from the White Mosque in Cairo. I had felt an inner peace that I have never known when I walked the marble grounds of this mosque. I'll never be able to describe it with words. It was beyond amazing. I've only ever felt that way on two occasions...the other being in the desolate hills of Jordan. I have never experienced such tranquility since.


Location: Gibraltar, (Southern Spain) (July 2005)
This place made me fall in love with the Mediterranean. Named Jebel Al-Tariq (Mountain of Tariq), after the Muslim conqueror and considered the southern most tip of Europe, one can only imagine what Islamic Spain was like. For me, this was even more captivating after having read Alhambra by Colin da Silva…and fictional story based on real events that occurred during the Spanish Inquisition.


Location: Gibraltar, overlooking Morocco (July 2005)
On any clear day, Morocco is visible in the distance from anywhere in Gibraltar, and ferries depart every Friday for the African country. Taken at sunset.


Location: Kilburn, London on route to Finchley Road (February 2005)
Another one taken with a disposable camera. One of my best friends, Jo. The four of us making an exciting journey out of it, on route to watch a movie at the O2 centre.


Location: Inhaca Island, off the coast of Mozambique (January 2009)
Thanks to my neighbour Zax, I got to personify the meaning of frolicking. He was excellent company on the ship...he brought 50% of the entertainment with him, without which we could have never done our routines on the dance floor, much to the delight of our fellow passengers.


Location: Mount Pilates, Switzerland (December 2007)
Spectacular beauty aside, it's hard to believe that Switzerland can be so peaceful. You'd think people would flock to marvel at such splendor. A dapper FC made it a trip to remember...if only there were more men like him in the world (ladies, he's single *wink wink*, I'll handle the applications).


Location: In the hills outside Sanaa, Yemen (January 2006)
This is the Kings Palace on the Rock and you have to be quite fit to climb all those stairs. But the view from above is worth it. Yemen in general was a very humbling and fascinating experience. The place also takes you back into time.


Location: Paris, France (December 2007)
Definitely one of my favourite cities, Paris exudes elegance and leisure. Theres just something about the place that makes me all dreamy eyed and nostalgic.


Location: On the road to The Promised Land (the real one), Palestine (January 2006)
I remember looking at the sky and seeing this, the sun smiling through the clouds. The smiling face was comforting, considering the fact that we were entering a volatile country where anything could happen. It was my sign that everything was going to be ok.


Location: Jerusalem, Palestine (January 2006)
The view from the hotel, at the old Jerusalem's city walls. The vibe in this place was amazing, surprisingly optimistic and there was no tension in the air despite all the armed Israeli soldiers stationed on every corner.


Location: Bethlehem, Palestine/Israel (January 2006)
What the outside world does not see. Photographs are not allowed at the entrance of the city, nor at either of the check points but I took the risk and captured a few. These walls have been up since 2000 and no resident born in this city since then has been allowed to leave. The barriers are massive, the check point guarded 24 hours a day, and the entrance closes at 5pm sharp. So if you happen to be there after this time, then sorry for you, you'll have to stay there until 8am the next morning. It's like a giant Prison actually.












Location: Jerusalem, Masjidul-Aqsa, Palestine (January 2006)
After getting horribly lost in the old city's walls after Fajr prayers, I returned to the Musjid and found this old man, a Palestinian gazing at a sight he gets to see everyday, yet still looks at with new appreciation. It was captivating.


Location: Parliament Hill, London (August 2005)
One of the best art exhibitions I've ever been to. A giant table and chair in the middle of nowhere. My girls and I had a picnic next to the river, not far from the display. One of the best picnics I've ever had, quality time with my girls.


Location: Petra, Jordan (January 2006)
This place was amazing, unbelieveable, breath-taking. To think that it was carved out of the rock all those thousands of years ago just made me marvel. My eyes could not comprehend the beauty in front of me.












Location: Central London (2004 - 2006)
A little duo I like to call Angels and Demons. The dichotomy so aptly describes modern day life in London.












Location: Damascus, Syria (January 2006)
I honestly can't remember the name of this mosque. However, Muslims believe that Isa AS (Jesus) will descend from the heavens, his arms resting on two angel's wings and that he will land on/in this minaret (tower) before he joins Imaam Mahdi for Isha prayers. He will descend from the heavens to kill Dajjal (the Anti-christ). This mosque is so beautiful, and so old too. Yahya AS (John the Baptist) is buried here and there are mosiac murals that are thousands of years old; depictions of what life was like when Damascus prospered. It's fascinating.


Location: Homs, Syria (January 2006)
This large medieval castle is called Crac des Chevaliers and was built almost a thousand years ago by the Romans as both a rest stop and a place of governance. There were continuous wars at the time, between the Romans and Salahaddin, the great Arab leader, whose army eventually captured Jerusalem in 1180 AD. The castle is deserted today, used as a tourist site and paints a magnificent portrait of real medieval life. The stones tell sad tales of battles fought and lives lost. Theres an eerie silence when you climb the steps to the roof on one of the narrow stairwells that lead to amazing views overlooking the mountains of Lebanon. The original table from the Knights of the round table is situated in the courtyard of the castle.


Location: Dubai, UAE (April 2006)
I touched this car. Actually, I couldnt get my hands off it. I would have licked it but there were too many witnesses. This was at the height of my Formula 1 addiction, such bliss at the time. I can remember thinking that Schumacher must have had one skinny ass to fit into that tiny seat. My interest has since wanned and these days I could care less. I still love Ferrari and this is always my motivation to test drive them on an Italian race course...one day.


Location: Indian Ocean (January 2007)
How could I ever forget Antonio? He was one of the motivating factors behind the cult of Italian cruising. His grace and charm left us swoooning. Indeed Chivalry is not dead. If only there were more Antonio's in this world. The crazy whackjob with the hair standing next to him is me of course...how does one resist?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tag, I'm It!

I've been tagged by Monsieur MJ.

I’m supposed to list 7 things that I love. Honestly, I could list like 1000, right now…so narrowing them down to just 7 is friggin difficult. Here goes…

Seven things I love

1. I LOVE travelling…my soul is a gypsy that would give up everything to wander and roam every inch of the earth a hundred thousand times over.

2. I love the smell of rain as it hits the earth after a hot summers day. I love rain in general…rainy cosy afternoons under the duvet…

3. I love my parents and sisters, even when they drive me insane and make me want to crash their cars and burn down the kitchen for the third time.

4. I love stealing big bear hugs and kisses from family and friends. I have to resort to stealing, no one is willing to give them freely.

5. I love good food when you’re starving after a horrendous day in the rat race and especially when you’re not expecting any.

6. I love watching a good movie/reading a good book, one that can captivate you and engross you to the point where it’s difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction and even after the book/movie ends, you feel like you’re still there.

7. I love Chocolate in any shape and form…from any country or continent, in various flavours.

I'm tagging anyone who wants to be tagged :P

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dating On The Net

I was reading Mash’s post on relationships and it left me doubling over with laughter. It reminded me of the time I decided to date on the Internet. It was early 2007 and I had just returned to South Africa after living a fabulously independent lifestyle abroad for a couple of years. Needless to say, adjusting to life back at home proved difficult and I was depressed for a couple of months.

Then one day, I decided that I needed a distraction, something to fixate on while I rode out the adjustment phase. That’s when I decided to load an online profile of me on an Internet dating site. The response I received was overwhelming. And before I knew it, I was chatting to and getting to know Nazeem, Ebrahim, Faruq, Faisal and at least 5 different Mohammed’s amongst many many others. Now my profile was a candid and straight-forward depiction of who I am, sarcastic warts and all.

Unfortunately though, most of the men that I got to know had trouble being equally honest with me. I was amused at how many of them stated that they were very good-looking, in contrast to my “average looks”. I was also intrigued at how they each played the game. Most of them came across very nice and accommodating at first, but with time, their true colours and agenda’s began to emerge.

I could eventually tell who was being sincere and who was telling little white lies in an attempt to impress me from the discrepancies in what they told me compared to what was stated on their profiles. I was also amused at how each one seemed to glorify their personas in an attempt to “sell” themselves; each portraying a magnified version of himself, so that I could think that they were better than what they really were. And all the while, to my detriment, I was wondering where the honest men were. Warning: Psychology and Internet dating are not good combinations.

I’m not male bashing here…don’t get me wrong. I was no angel throughout the process. I eventually got bored and began confusing them, because a lack of concentration and 75 odd men will do that to you. On one particular day, I accidentally called Faruq by Nazeem’s name. All hell broke loose. He was fuming, demanded to know who the hell Nazeem was. I told him that since he was not my boyfriend and we were only chatting as friends that it was none of his business who Nazeem was, even though I felt horrible for what I did. It didn’t end there. Soon I was mixing them up, all of them. I couldn’t remember them individually and only a few really stood out.

To make matters worse, I had a hard time keeping track of the conversations I had had with each of them or remembering those arb pieces of information that keep conversation going. I was soon talking to Faisal about the soccer match that I had initially discussed with one of the Mohammed’s. And commenting on something Ebrahim told me with Zaheer. I’m sure they all eventually thought I was going crazy. It was out of control lol!

Ultimately, mass confusion combined with pathological lying led me to believe that maybe Internet dating was not for me. I also couldn’t trust that what each of them was telling me was the truth. It wasn’t long thereafter that I deactivated my account and said goodbye to my cyber love quest.

However, I still believe that finding love on the Internet is not only possible, but also probable given the right circumstances and timing. But what I’ve taken from the experience though is that it is always better to meet people in real life before getting to know them on the Internet. Or at least, depict yourself with complete honesty. This leaves significantly less margin for error and people don’t end up building expectations or notions about who they think their object of affection is, so there’s no room for disappointment. People always tend to build images in their minds, based on their perceptions, which may not always be true. Complete honesty is key.

And Mash is 100% correct. One at a time ladies and gentlemen…don’t try to be a pimp, get to know them one at a time.

To those dating on the Internet: RESPECT…kudos. It’s damn hard work.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Foot IN Mouth Chronicles: The Story of the Forest-like Bathroom

It was 2003 or 2004, I’m not quite sure. All I do remember is that it was hot and I slept with the bedroom window slightly ajar, only because I was on the third floor and felt relatively safe to do so. We hadn’t seen each other in ages, and I decided a few days with her would be good for my soul and she clearly felt the same way. We laughed through the days, lounging lazily in hammocks on her Spanish style deck over-looking emerald hills and listening to the birds while we sipped on orange juice.

It was after brunch on one of the days that I decided to take a shower in the main bathroom on the second floor. I can still remember my bare feet grazing the wooden floor as I made my way to what can only be described as heaven in a bathroom. At the end of the large room, on a strategic elevated platform was the shower.

Now this was unlike any shower I’d ever seen before in my life. Climbing two wooden steps onto the platform, I had to walk over various mosaic stone tiles and a floor littered with white stones and pebbles, to get to the centre where the shower head was situated. It was quite large, had no shower doors and could have easily been a small room on its own. The shower was designed to look like you were outdoors and was surrounded by various plants and shrubbery. There was an entire wall made of glass that looked out onto the real garden, also designed strategically in a manner that afforded complete privacy to the user. So essentially, stepping into the shower was like stepping into a little garden. It was an awesome experience and I would shower often, and for my own amusement throughout my stay there.

On this particular day, I went about my business as usual. We had just had breakfast made up of muesli, coffee and muffins on the terrace and I thought a nice hot shower would be a great start to another day of lounging about and watching movies. I remember walking into the bathroom and closing the door, not bothering to lock it since it was only the two of us there and we weren’t expecting anyone else. I took my time, soaking up the heat from the water and even decided to wash my long hair for the second time that week.

Unbeknownst to me, some of her friends popped in for a quick visit, to drop off some DVD’s that they had borrowed the previous week. The succession of events that had occurred in that time frame still amuses me. It was as if it had been planned by the Universe, a divine force because it was timed perfectly, right down to the last second.

One of her friends needed to use the bathroom and excused himself whilst everyone else sat down and chatted for a bit. He must have climbed the stairs, two at a time, reaching the top in no time. It was at this exact moment that I stepped out of the shower, wringing the excess water from my hair, before stepping down the two wooden steps to get a towel on the bench. Without hearing any noises within the bathroom and assuming no one else was there, he opened the door.

It was like time had stopped. My left foot was still on the stairwell, my right foot just touching the ground below when we made eye contact. It was literally a fraction of a second suspended in time, feeling like an eternity. The shocked expression on his face, closely followed by a gut wrenching scream from my vocal chords broke the time warp we were frozen in and he turned on his heel and ran. I grabbed my towel in succession, all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, like a freaking pack of Banshees. I ran towards her room, down the corridor from the bathroom, while he tried to run down the steps. In the meantime, everyone who congregated in the lounge heard me screaming like I was being murdered and rushed upstairs to see what was wrong.

For the second time that day, it was as if time had frozen, suspended in air as he made his way down the stairwell, tripped on the second stair leading to the lounge and tumbled down, onto everyone else who was climbing up to the second floor to see what happened. It was like a bowling ball had met its target and all the pins collapsed and rolled down the stairs too. I just heard the thumps and what sounded like a nasty collision course as I slammed her door and locked it.

There I was, wet hair dripping all over her carpet, but I was not bothered. I was MORTIFIED and even trembling slightly. She rushed to the door and asked me if I was ok…I could not speak. She banged on the door and I refused to open it. It had eventually occurred to her what had happened and she couldn’t disguise the laughter in her voice. She begged me to open the door but I sat on the floor, towel around me, wet hair against the door, curled up in a ball thinking that I had NEVER been so embarrassed in my life! By this time she was in stitches, and I could her laughter echoing in the corridor as she made her way down to the lounge. Everyone else was downstairs, dealing with their injuries, assessing the damage and laughing their asses off. And apparently from what I heard, he was blushing and embarrassed too.

They left twenty minutes later…I stayed in the room until I heard the car leave…then waited an extra 2 minutes to make sure they were gone before I emerged from her room. She took one look at my face and keeled over laughing, quite literally rolling on the floor. It was her source of amusement the rest of the week and didn’t stop even when I jabbed her in the ribs for laughing at me.

Thankfully, I never saw him again.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Goodbye

It's official.

I'm giving up my beloved. I'm saying goodbye, salute, مع السلامة (maa alsalama), totsiens, до свидания (do svidanja), hasta luego, au revior, abschied, arrivederci, 再 见 (zàijiàn), até logo, tapunzu, na razie, hatahana, waliki, agur, mana, ciao, marsha 'oila, tionana, nestaevavoomatse, ñakum ñiway, sowyn, farvel, vaarwel, khoda hafaz, auf wiedersehen, geia, aloha nõ, shalom, namasté, doi gen, tata, dewa mata, salám, allinllaña, cayacama, baidh, tsamaya hantle, sun-kia, elveda, khuda hafiz, rhonanai, adios...GOODBYE.

I'm giving up chocolate *gasp*, yeah you read right. Shocking I know! And what prompted this I hear someone ask? Well, for starters, I had an entire week of birthday chocolate and every day was a chocolate infested day. It was all kinds of DIVINE, every girls dream, but now my body needs a rest. I had all those easter eggs in the past few weeks too. Then to top it off, I'm eating a vat of chocolate mousse tonight (thats right a VAT, because 3 spoonfuls is not enough and I want to enjoy my last supper ok!?!). So tonight my ass will graduate from Kim Kardashian to Jennifer Lopez...with Honours :D

But do not fear old addicted self. The plan is to detox for 10 weeks *gasp* (yeah I know, what the hell am I thinking right, 10 weeks without any chocolate am I insane?!?!?)...yes you read correctly 10 WHOLE WEEKS. And I'm doing this with Tweets by my side so if I cheat, she's going to tell on me (*tisk tisk*).

The aim is for a healthier lifestyle for most of the winter (not all) and the reward? After 10 weeks have lapsed, I will leave for London hopefully knowing that my ass is back to Vanessa Marcil and that I will have won the right to eat anything I want to during my trip. Like ANYTHING. Even Lindor for breakfast and those decadent krispy kreme donuts for supper!!

I'd just like to extend a few words of gratitude to my beloved Flake/Aero/Lindt:
Farewell my love, you were always there when I needed you. And I couldn't have gone through some of the things I went through without you by my side. You never judge me, and you're always available when I need you. You have a special way of comforting me, through good times and bad, every step of the way...and I shall miss you terribly *sob*.
Farewell my love.

Anyone who wants to join us, set your own goals and rewards and jump on board. We will start at midnight tonight and hopefully help each other through. Set your timers ladies and gents, it's going to be one hell of a ride :D

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Facebook Freaks

I’m a very open minded person…I really am. And I love social networking mediums, I really do. But there are limits, boundaries. Right?

I’ve been on Facebook for like three years now…ok maybe two and a half. I became a part of the global networking site long before most people, including Mandy’s Grandma, did. And I love the fact that I can communicate and keep in touch with people I would have not been able to keep in touch with under normal circumstances. I love meeting new people too. People from distant lands who allow the stalker in me to catch a glimpse of their lives. It’s fascinating.

But, again…there are limits. Like when a guy requests your friendship with a lovely note attached:

“Would like to make love to you everywhere”

I mean like, DUDE, are you serious?!? Do you honestly believe I would accept the so-called “friendship” of a perv? What makes people think that it’s ok to say things like that? I want to reply and tell him that I’d love to and hopes he doesn't mind because I used to be a man, but shit-talk like that will just turn the freak on.

There was a stage where I had the entire male Turkish and Egyptian population on my facebook. Because someone invited me and I wanted to be kind and thought I’d meet someone interesting…but that was the beginning, the portal to the rest of them. I have since deleted over 1000 people from my so-called “friends” list…those people, mostly men, who don’t ever speak to me, but enjoy sending various sex toys in their application requests and want to spank me on Superpoke. I find it interesting that all the guys who send me messages with the “mwah’s” attached at the end are guys I don’t know and never even heard of. No man I know “mwah’s” me on Facebook, yet all the ones I don’t have a clue about do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for fun and games and I can spank and lick my friends like it’s going out of fashion…but there has to be some moral high ground somewhere. I mean, surely you wouldn’t go up to a stranger, call them sweetie or baby and kiss them. So what makes people think that it’s ok to do it online? Is it because they aren’t close enough or in the relative proximity to get slapped or kicked in the ass?

I can’t even begin to explain the amount of messages I've received that have begun like this:

hi babe, hw u doin?
Or
hey swty, wat u up 2 2nyt?
Or
hey sexy, u want 2 meet?

Firstly, and for the last time, I'm not your fucking sweetie.
Secondly, the guy is obviously retarded, that’s why he can’t spell properly…now honestly, even if I was that kind of girl, who’d want to get it on with a retarded boy?
Thirdly, is this the new porn age? Is this what 21st century brothels look like, getting poor unsuspecting victims to work for free? Is this the face of a new kind of sexual abuse where you get kissed and groped without your consent and without being able to do anything about it? Is there some kind of ploy to get people off without having them pay first? Is there something I should know?

There are days when I just want to deactivate the damn thing but I love my real friends too much. And I love the idea they’re selling behind Facebook. I love meeting new people, and interacting, chatting etc. I think it’s fabulous that the world can interact and connect on this kind of social platform…it’s all sorts of amazing.

I have so many friends all over the world, and it’s like I’m NOT a million miles away when I see their pics on Facebook, or read their statuses. I really do feel more connected to them. But the freaks are ruining my Utopia. And as a result, I have become somewhat of a cyber bitch. I still accept friend requests but if I don’t know you, you’re on probation until you pass the trial period. And one “sweety” or “baby” and your ass is deleted and blocked.

I think I will go ahead and advocate the need of a Freak Filter to Mark Zuckerberg...my suggestion will be based on making Facebook a less pedophile-friendly environment.