Sunday, May 31, 2009

Worlds Greatest

"In the ring of life, I'll reign love
And the world will notice a king
When there is darkness, I'll shine a light
And mirrors of success reflect in me

I'm that star up in the sky, I'm that mountain peak up high
Hey I made it...I'm the worlds greatest
I'm that little bit of hope when my back's against the ropes
I can feel it...I'm the world's greatest"


I'm waiting for the day I get to sing this song and do my victory dance in the streets.
Until then, I have vomit-inducing exams to deal with. First up is the love of my life...Mr. Financial Reporting :P Good Luck to anyone in a similar predicament.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

MAY

I've had to take some precious time out of my hectic study schedule (yeah what else is new?) to do this month's challenge. I wanted to do something slightly different; utilising my creative and *ahem* somewhat artistic talents *cough cough*. I have no prior experience with clay (other than those insipid mandatory playdough episodes in pre-school).

I sought out a pottery class in my area, but unfortunately came up with nothing and didn't really have the time to delve into the matter further. So I went out and got some Terracotta clay and cheap paint and decided to give it a shot. I mean, whats the worst that could happen right?

I initially wanted to make a plate similar to this one and got to work...


But then I started experimenting and came up with some weird shit:


And of course, that wasn't good enough; my Type A personality called for some order and perfection:



Then the real fun started. I've always liked painting...and just re-discovered my love for it. And yeah, I'm no Davinci or Michaelangelo, so what...


I had a great time with this...it was better than what I expected it to be. I've realised that painting actually soothes my soul and I even temporarily forgot about the stupid Financial Reporting exam...I also think what made it so relaxing was that there was no pressure to perform. I wasn't being graded on it, and there was no pressure to make it absolutely perfect. I just surrended to the art and let my hands do all the work. It was quite liberating actually.


I love these colours, they are the National Colours of My Life; The United States of Azra...they remind me of eternal holidays...


Some abstract art I reckon could sell for millions...


Overall, I enjoyed this more than I ever thought I would...so much so, that I stayed up until this fucking hour to blog about it :D
I will definitely buy more clay and paint in the future, just to make shit...because it's THAT much fun.

Oi, back to studying :P

Friday, May 29, 2009

Insignificant

I feel great, Alhamdulilla. And No I'm not Bi-Polar. I was thinking of something Mother told me, in one of her bouts of infinite wisdom. She, well Mother (because I'll get a kick into next Wednesday if I say "she". I can hear it now, "Who's 'she'? The cats mother?") told me that everything always works out. Even when you think that the world as you know it is about to end, everything always works out. And we have to learn to TRUST more. By trust, Mother wasn't referring to the morons and maggots roaming the earth...Mother was referring to HIM, The Almighty All Powerful, The Lord of the Universe, Master of the Day of Judgement...

Then this morning, one of my God-loving colleagues, Christina, sent me this email and I thought that it was too good NOT to share. Now I've seen this before on the learning channel, some two years ago...but I think this encapsulates it quite well. I guess you can click on the images to see somewhat larger versions...for all those who are blind like me.

It's made me realise just how much of "nothing" my life really is, well everyone's life, in the grander scheme of things. So much doesn't matter. We are ALL SOOO INSIGNIFICANT...tiny specs of nothingness we are. True, check it out:

Here we are, thinking we're God's gift to the world:



And then, Earth meets his bigger brothers and looks like a right pansy next to them:




Then the Sun comes to visit, and whoa, kicks earth's ass:




But then the Sun is is just a disgruntled midget next to brother's Pollux and Arcturus and earth is not even visible at this scale:




But Arcturus' greatness is all just a front, because in reality Arcturus is Antares' bitch and the poor Sun is just another spec. And Antares is only a little more than 1000 light years away:




This is a Hubble Telescope, an ultra deep field infrared view of ENTIRE galaxies in the Universe. They are countless in number.


This is a close up of one fo the darkest regions in the photo above. If you click on the pic, you'll actually be able to see the galaxy formations, similar to that of our Milky Way.



Can we even BEGIN to fathom how GREAT our Creator really is? That HE knows each of us, every single one of us inside and out...from Adam & Eve to Cleopatra to Queen Elizabeth I to Albert Einstein and Adolf Hitler...to YOU. HE knows the number of hairs on your head and your deepest darkest secrets and what you ate for supper and what you will do tomorrow and the day after that...and the years after that...

So really, how big are you? Just a spec of dust? Not even that! And how big are your problems today?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hope Is A Bitch

I’ve been hollering like a freaking Banshee since this morning. I definitely woke up on the side of the bed where frustration is rearing its ugly head again. Cussing, swearing and insouciant misbehaviour is the order of the day. So be warned all ye sensitive maggots.
Firstly, to everyone complaining its cold; HELLO and welcome to the middle of winter. If you look to your west, you will see a cold front approaching, as it always does at this time of the year. It’s supposed to be bloody cold. If it’s hot, we have major problems.

I re-iterate, I hate winter. I can’t even get out of bed without complaining. I’m like a nagging wife, but without the fucking perks of an incompetent husband. To make matters worse, I gave away 80% of my winter wardrobe, because sometimes I’m a crazy bitch and I enjoy throwing stuff out. So as a result, I don’t have much to wear in the cold and I refuse to buy more winter stuff, because I’m in major denial. Think I should move to Durban until September.

And it seems I’m not the only one sailing down that river. So many broken people everywhere you go, all up shit creek with no paddles, no motors, nada. It’s fucking depressing. I strongly advise everyone (myself included) to go and read or re-read THIS POST . And let’s get one thing straight. I’m not sitting here on my fucking high horse looking down at everyone else because I am, after all, one of you maggots. This Promised Land is Great, but it’s fucking hard work, every single day.

Promised Land is not about NOT being disappointed or NOT having problems (thats a whole lotta fucking nots), we all go through the same shit on different days. It’s about dealing with it differently, more positively, more proactively. And while it takes actual “work” to see through everyday, without getting drawn into that magnetic force of emotional wretchedness that’s so appealing, slumps are inevitable.

Every now and then, it’s normal to hate that question. It’s normal to hate those aunts who look at you the way those technicians at Sony look at broken appliances brought in for repair. It’s normal to want to stuff your face with every kind of junk food that can be bought in a 10km radius. It’s normal to want to sit in a corner or hide where no one can find you because you feel like you just want to be left alone. It’s normal to want to slaughter those guys and girls who muck about in their relationships, get divorced once, twice or even thrice, and manage to get married AGAIN (to partners who were never married and adore the shit out of them) all in the span of three months. It’s normal to question how they managed to get hitched THREE TIMES in less than 2 years, when you can’t even manage to incite a fucking decent conversation. It’s normal to want to hack off the heads of your friends who coo about their significant others like fucking birds lost in Trafalgar Square. It’s normal to hate those people who talk about their “husbands” like the fact that they’re hitched gives them some sort of superior status in society, meaning they’re better than you. It’s normal to hate all notions of relationships. It’s normal to hate.

So slumps are normal and to be expected. But what to do about them? I wish I had concrete answers like those paradoxical lollipops the dentist gives you to make it all better (ironic because those lollipops are the fucking reason you’re there in the first place!), but I don’t. All we can do is get up off the floor, dust ourselves off, and carry on. And play that insipid waiting game. And I know, some are saying “I’m tired of waiting, it’s been like 2 decades, where is he already?”...

Unfortunately, you’ll get some who will say “Don’t just sit there, God won’t hand him to you on a plate”…and other’s who say “It’s all destiny, it has been written, don’t worry about it”. Now who the fuck do you believe? (I’m so sick of everyone else worrying more about my love life than I do. I don’t like my current situation, but I’ve accepted it as it is. Now will everyone leave me the fuck alone so that I can eat my grapefruit in peace?!?! Thanks.)

...the answer is “I don’t know”. I don’t have the answers and I’m not sure I want to look for them. No one wants to be told they’re not good enough. Everyone is afraid of rejection. What a sad state of affairs. I really do hate this fucking world. Maybe happiness doesn’t exist. Maybe if we were all meant to be happy, then we wouldn’t be here. Think about it, that’s why there’s a Heaven innit? Things aren’t and cannot be perfect all the time. Sometimes, they’ll never be perfect and maybe it’s for us to just accept that, swallow the truth and stop expecting perfection. Maybe we just have to cease all kinds of expectations from everyone and just live. Then I hear that aunty in the corner saying “Maar elke pot het ‘n deksel” (Every pot has a lid). I’m sorry, maybe, just maybe, some of us are pans or baking sheets and trays.

I’ve officially given up. Hope is a bitch that will never let me find peace and contentment. I just want to live in the here and now, without constantly looking over my shoulder, wondering if I just walked by him and didn’t notice. I’m tired. I’m done. Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future, but this is it for now. Let’s just all fuck off to Phuket and get high on magic mushrooms.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Top 25 Favourite Movies

Because there are just way too many to have just 10, here's my top 25 list of favourites movies. Mind you, not all of these movies have deep meaningful reflective subliminal messages, or are cognitively stimulating, or were big winners at Cannes, or were nominated for Academy Awards. Some of them are cheesy and corny and even a little stupid. But they are MY favourites...those movies I turn to for comfort, those movies that are special and mean something to me, those movies that will make me laugh or cry. These are my feel-good movies...what I watch for my own amusement. I could watch these a thousand times over again and never get bored or tired of them: (In no specific order)


Under the Tuscan Sun

Chocolat

Rush Hour

The Jane Austen Book Club

Whats Eating Gilbert Grape

The Man Who Knew Too Little

Bad Boys

The Sound Of Music

A Walk In The Clouds

A Knights Tale

Undercover Blues

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants

Money Talks

Pirates of the Carribean

My Father The Hero

To Wong Foo, Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar

Jab We Met

The Man In The Iron Mask

How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

Shakespeare In Love

California Man

My Best Friends Wedding

Son In Law

What Happens In Vegas

Kindom of Heaven (Directors Cut)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Girls Behaving Badly

Sometimes I feel like throwing caution to the wind and behaving with reckless abandonment. It’s on those wild days when I just want to do crazy things like share my Facebook status stating things like “Azra wants to shit in a box and feed it to your dog” or “Azra wants to cut you up into little pieces and eat you, so we can be together forever” or “Azra wants to see what happens to babies when the microwave is set on defrost”…things I don’t really mean. But OUTRAGEOUS things, just for shock value.

I used to love the show Girls Behaving Badly; those girls rocked and I’ve always wanted to do a similar skit here in SA. I’m sure I’ve mentioned my penchant for pranking on More. Than. One. Occasion. But I guess people will never really understand what I mean until they actually see me in action. Everywhere I go, I conjure up these elaborate plans that I never really execute partly because I believe that there is a time and place for everything; mostly because I don’t have the resources, namely a camera crew documenting all my shenanigans and a couple of lawyers for any potential lawsuits.

I can think of the wackiest things to do to people and I usually discuss my ideas with her input, building it up as we go along. Some of the things I want to do are downright stupid, but I’d love to see the reaction on people’s faces as the events unfold before their eyes. When I’m in a restaurant, I almost always envision myself walking up to strangers, sticking my fork in their plates, grabbing a bite and either saying “wow, that really is as delicious as it looks” or “how can you eat this shit, tastes like garbage”.

I want to park on that little island on the M1, you know those little patches of grass and trees in the middle of the highway (the ones that look like teeny-weeny-mini parks), in peak hour traffic, and have a picnic complete with a blanket, umbrella, basket filled with snacks and sandwiches, clothed in a 60’s summer dress and waving to people as they drive past at 2km’s per hour at 07:30 in the morning.

I want to walk past new mothers chatting on their cellphones or to friends, grab their babies and run for my life.

I want to poker dot the white house of the asshole living a block away, with huge orange circles all over.

I want to wear a wedding dress and walk around the shopping mall buying groceries.

I want to dress like Jack Sparrow and hide in a huge cardboard box in the middle of the road at a traffic light, and then break out of the box as motorists sit in their cars, waiting for a green light.

I want to sit in a crowded restaurant and have a farting machine that makes loud lewd noises while I sip water from my champagne glass.

I want to unearth all my neighbours palm trees with a crane in the middle of the night, literally make them disappear and replace them with daises…then put them back two nights later.

I want to go to the gym’s changing rooms with a cane, jabbing all the naked mamas on those areas which need working on.

I want to grab and hug every cute guy I see in the street, from behind.

I want to tell my parents I’m a lesbian and introduce them to my “girlfriend”.

I want to gate crash a huge wedding, filled with strangers and make a speech about how much I love cheesecake and that the colour coordination sucks.

I want to grab any kind of chocolate or sweet that’s waiting to be consumed, from the hand of the one holding it, and shove it in my mouth.

I want to visit a friend, unpack her grocery cupboards and go home with all her tuna.

I want to pack my bags, go to the neighbour’s house, and pretend I’m moving in.

I want to go to a restaurant and pop a Lindor chocolate ball into a stranger’s mouth while he/she is talking absent-mindedly.

I want to buy a kilo of minced meat, remove all the fat from it, then take the fat back to the butcher, demanding a refund.

I want to fly to New York and then tell custom officials that I demand to go back home because I forgot my toothbrush.

I want to buy potatoes, peel and cut them and ask McDonalds to fry my chips for me.

I want to buy KFC and go across town to eat it in front of Chicken Licken’s staff while demonstrating to everyone how much larger KFC’s chicken portions are.

I want to sell Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream tubs outside Haagen Daaz at half the price.

I want to ride on a pink Vespa on the highway in peak hour traffic, when all the cars are at a standstill, selling hotdogs, pies, donuts and coke to everyone who’s frustrated and hungry, while dodging the traffic police.

I want to get married around 05:00am in the morning, and give all the wedding guests Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Kellogg’s All Bran Flakes at the wedding reception.

Better yet, I want to get married in a HUGE venue, like Gallagher Estate, where EVERYONE will be invited and the menu will include every single delicious meal the caterer can think of…the place decorated to perfection…Entry tickets will be on Sale at Computicket, starting at R300 per person…booking deadline a month before the wedding so that the number of people catered for equal the exact amount of tickets sold.

I could go on and on and on and on…my list of “ideas” never ending. I’m patenting most of these :D

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's A Man's World

I work with the weirdest bunch of people I’ve ever met. Seriously. Most of them are men, white British men in their late forties or fifties who immigrated when the company decided to expand its operations in South Africa. There are a few women on site too but the men outnumber us 20 to 1. Even though I was blessed with the ability to engage in the vernacular with everyone and their granny, I often converse in my mock-British accent with the Brits and in Afrikaans with a few of the Afrikaaners. It keeps things interesting. But in this Fortune 500 Company we call home from 08:00am until 16:30pm, there are more than just a few whack jobs that lurk in the hallways.

There’s Benjamin, a 65 year old Engineer who’s a month away from retirement. Ben is originally from Britain too and happens to be fluent in Arabic after having worked for a number of years in the UAE, often putting me to shame. He even signed up for a degree in Arabic at a University a few years ago. He usually calls me up in the mornings:
Ben: As-salaamalaykum Blossom.
Me: Wa-alykumsalaam
Ben: Kayfahaal?
Me: Alhamdulilah
Ben: Rambles on in Arabic
Me: I think I skipped that class
Ben: Blossom, I’m starving
Me: So eat
Ben: But I can’t, can I? I’m fasting
Me: Ok then, fast
Ben: But I need my morning coffee innit
Me: But you just said you’re going to fast
Ben: Yeah but coffee’s not food innit, so technically I won’t be eating anyfhink.
Me: Ok then have your morning coffee, its not like you’re obliged to fast
Ben: But I’m fasting, so I can’t be drinking coffee and wotnot innit?
Ben usually takes all his holidays in the UAE, where he spends his entire holiday in peak hour traffic, jumping from one bus/train to another, chatting up strangers in Arabic. He reckons that the only way to really learn is to chat to the locals. And when one of them says a word he doesn’t understand, he looks it up in his dictionary and uses the same word on his next unsuspecting victim.

There’s Richard, also British who’s always laughing about something. He never let me forget the day that I forgot my shoes at home and had to walk around in my gym trainers/tekkies. And he usually calls me every evening, to make sure that I don’t forget to pack my shoes.

There’s Dennis, always making fun of me too, twisting my words and threatening to tell the big boss things I supposedly said.

There’s Donnie, always playing pranks…rearranging all the letters on my keyboard, resetting the language on my Cisco IP desk phone to French, bubble-wrapping my entire desk…

There’s Henry, also close to retirement, who drilled holes in his Tupperware so that he could lock his lunch away with two combination locks after someone repeatedly ate his lunch stored in the fridge.

There’s Bob, whose wife took him sky diving for his birthday, and when his parachute failed to open, he plunged 15 000 feet to the ground. And lived.

There’s Anthony, whose best friend is Uncle Jack (Daniels) and knows everything there is to know about cars.

There’s Kevin, who’s an expert in anything financial related including the Stock market and the best investment options, even though he’s a Chemical Engineer.

There’s Dewald, who’s always cracking the funniest jokes in Afrikaans and happens to confuse his tenses when he tries to speak in English.

There’s Mark who believes that every woman will try to poison her husband eventually and doesn’t allow his wife to make his lunch.

There’s Nicolas, a fitness freak who spends his lunchtime jogging around the Plant in his sweats.

There’s Uncle Bill, a Mechanical Engineer who spent 12 years working in the British Navy on the high seas, travelling to every continent.

There’s John, who’s always getting divorced because of his affairs with his secretaries.

One of the things I’ve realised while working with these men is that they love to gossip, far more than most women do. If you want the world to know something, just tell one of these men. It’s astounding what they can do. That aside, I prefer working with men…there’s less drama. Maybe it’s because they’re all too busy gossiping to stab you in the back.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Drives You?

A few days ago, Mash posed this question to me after reading this. And while I’m quite aware of what drives me, it’s difficult to collate and structure into words because I’m not driven by one specific thing. Instead, it’s a myriad of things. But I’d have to say that the top two factors that stand out as contributors and fuel to my fire would have to be Security and Freedom.

When I was a little girl, and my parents had just gotten divorced, we went through some tough times financially. I can remember those dark days like they were yesterday. I was the eldest and automatically took on the role of the caretaker in the family by looking out for my younger siblings and by also taking care of my mother. In retrospect, I took on responsibilities that were not mine to take on and in many ways, I didn’t have a normal childhood.

The child became the mother. I worried incessantly about everything and was constantly stressed because at that age, I was helpless. But I was still a child and there was nothing that I could do to better the situation. There was nothing that I could do to make my mother feel better. There was nothing that I could do to always protect my sisters from the way society ostracized and marginalized us. To make matters worse, we had no social support. We couldn’t turn to my Father’s fucked up family, nor could we rely on my Mothers family at the time. We had no one, it was just us weathering the storm together. I used to watch the other “normal” kids, spoilt brats who got everything they ever wanted and yet were still so ungrateful.

Feeling helpless is the worst thing one can ever go through because it’s like there’s no recourse…no contingency plan. I swore to myself then that I’d NEVER go through that again. That I’d make sure that no matter what I went through in life, no matter what came my way, I’d never be helpless again.

For me, Money firstly means Security. It means that no matter what shit I may go through, at least I wont have to worry if there’s bread on the table. It means never having to worry about the basic necessities required to just “live”. I want to be able to be in a position where I can take care of my family if they need me to, especially my parents. It means that to a large degree, I'll be able to control some things in my life, making up for the years that I had no control and wandered around helplessly.

The dark ages, that feeling of helplessness always made me feel like I was in prison. I hated school because I felt like it was a prison. I hated everything that had too much authority or that required me to bow down to convention. It made me feel like an eternal Prisoner in my own life.

Here again, money to me means Freedom. The freedom to do as I please, when I please…not being reliant on people for my well-being and instead creating my own happiness. I hated living like a Prisoner all those years because I had no other alternative. I resolved to always living my life in such a way, that I ALWAYS have choices and options open and available to me.

Loads of money would give me endless possibilities and opportunities. I love the notion or the thought of having infinite opportunities, options, choices and possibilities at my disposal. Money would allow me to hop on a plane right now to Paris or Buenos Aires, without having to worry about silly things like “I have to work or else we won't survive” etc.

At this juncture, I think it’s important to point out that I do like nice things too…but I’m the kind of person that takes more joy in HAVING money, then SPENDING it. I don’t need a mansion with 18 bedrooms. I don’t need to drive or own a Ferrari. I don’t even need diamond jewelry (even though I’ll marvel at it for hours). And even though I can appreciate the aesthetic and the luxury in things, I don’t need to OWN them. To me, the less I have the better. But having the OPTION to own it...the possibility of having whatever I wanted, when I want it, is what I really want. There's a certain sense of power in having infinite options.

I do however, love living like a traveler with the bare minimum. I love that all my belongings can fit into one suitcase. And whenever I go out shopping for new clothes, I have to come home and throw out some stuff because it always irks me to have too many things. But I also love having those options, which is essentially the freedom to do and acquire as I please.

I’m frugal when it comes to money and I’ll never buy something for 200 bucks when I can get it for 20…and I’ll never buy something because it has a specific name attached to it. That’s absurd. I’m more likely to buy things because they’re reliable, not solely because they look pretty. I’m the type of person that won’t mind living in a tiny house that’s comfortable with just the bare minimum. Minimalism is my style…the less the better. I don’t need thousands of ornaments or dishes or things that I’m hardly ever or never going to use.

My need for Freedom means that 95% of the time, I deal with cold hard cash. I don’t like tying myself down to anything that requires a financial commitment like cellphone contracts and long term payment options. I always pay in cash and like to live my life in such a way that if the need arose to pick up and move countries, I could do so in a flash. And even those debts that I may incur can be covered in a cinch.

For me travelling is Freedom too. That’s why I love it so much. You’ll never be as free as when you’re out wandering and roaming distant lands. My only real splurge is travelling…which incidentally costs lots of money too.

At the end of it all, unlike most people, I’m driven by more than just comfort and luxury. And my penchant for power and authority aside, my Security is whats most important to me, because I don’t have brothers, uncles, a husband etc., no one I can rely on, not even my own parents. Also, my Freedom to me is worth more that a city carved out of gold. I’d eventually like to reach a point where I’m free of material wants, needs and desires…that point where true freedom lies...

Mother always said “With Freedom comes great responsibility and responsibility always costs money”.

So what drives you?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Epic Conversations

DAD: (after graduation ceremony, reading the agenda) What's this "Cum Laude"?
ME: It means "With Honours", she graduated with honours
DAD: Oh is that it!? I thought that they were saying "Clap Louder" and I just saw everyone clapping louder, so I clapped louder too...


Mother: You girls are so boring…why don’t you go out somewhere…meet new people!
Teenage us: Ok, Fatima is having a get together at her place, can we go?
Mother: No.


Uncle: (to 4 year old Zaynub) Come inside the house, it's Magrieb and its getting dark
Zaynub: No Daddy, I want to play outside
Uncle: Come inside please?
Zaynub: No Boss
Uncle: Get in the house NOW!!
Zaynub: Nooooooo...
Uncle: Ok Zaynub, go...go and play outside please
Zaynub: No...
Uncle: PLEASE go and play outside
Zaynub: No!
Uncle: Please, just go and play outside, NOW!
Zaynub: NO, I want to stay inside!


MJ: my toes are smelly today - i think its these leather sandals
ME: pfft. lol. so many anonymous haters.
I dont know what some of these Hater cunts want from us MJ
MJ: jealous
think about it
they spend their time reading our shit
wishing they were like us
they are jealous of our big dicks
ME: LOL maybe... true...But I dont have a big dick :P
MJ: its ok - im sure it'l still grow
ME: LOL


Mother:(after one of my embarrassing ordeals) Is there no rock bottom to your seemingly endless bouts of humiliation?
Me: Apparently Not.

Monday, May 18, 2009

To Whom The (Wedding) Bell Tolls

Weddings are for…public spats and brawls with family members due to mounting tension, miscommunication, high levels of stress and the pursuit of perfection as time draws near.

Weddings are for…weeks of preparation, working tirelessly for hours on end on tasks that seem to be pointless and irrelevant at the time.

Weddings are for…mischievous children destroying carefully laid out arrangements that took hours to set up, in a matter of seconds.

Weddings are for…racking your brain (and your cupboard) for something elegant to wear; desperately hoping that no one has already seen you in your chosen attire.

Weddings are for…the “ooohs” and “aaahhs” from hundreds of immaculately groomed guests as they make their way to their designated tables with all the sparkle in the galaxy present in the same room.

Weddings are for…arriving fashionably late (mostly due to helping out until 30 minutes prior to the guests arriving), walking into a hall filled with over 500 people, having one of your stiletto heels firmly entrenching itself into the rubber mat at the entrance and lurching forward as your foot refuses to budge.

Weddings are for…almost falling face-down to the floor, using your hands to break that fall and having an equally fashionably late Mr. Tall Dark & (single) Sexy try to catch you from behind.

Weddings are for…trying to dislodge your stilettoed foot from a stubborn rubber mat while Mr. TDS asks if you’re ok with an amused glint in his eye.

Weddings are for…wanting to die of embarrassment as you eventually pick yourself up, blushing profusely as you laugh it off, kindly refusing Mr. TDS’s help, stating that you’re fine and watching him flash you a million dollar smile.

Weddings are for…eventually finding a table that has enough seating amongst the throngs of people scattered everywhere and trying to see where Mr. TDS is seated.

Weddings are for…the endless stream of delicious food that miraculously lands on your table after a mere request two minutes earlier.

Weddings are for…eating, eating and more eating, after starving yourself for two bloody days to fit into your precious garments, until you feel like a balloon about to pop.

Weddings are for…socialising after the feast, flitting from one table to the next, meeting new people and greeting those you already know, whilst coyly & cunningly trying to stay in close proximity to Mr. TDS.

Weddings are for…trying to make yourself approachable and visible to Mr. TDS while he sits with other guests and finds out who you are from the elderly gentleman subtly pointing at you, talking to him as you walk by.

Weddings are for…feeling like a schoolgirl, giddy with excitement and anticipation, as you plot and scheme to talk to Mr. TDS.

Weddings are for…temporarily forgetting about Mr. TDS as you get caught up in other melodramas, cake and conversations with people you haven’t seen in years.

Weddings are for…watching Mr. TDS walk straight towards you, out of the blue, as you casually stroll by the dessert table eyeing the assortment of delectable little goodies trying to figure out which shall be devoured first.

Weddings are for…conversation in passing as he asks if you’ve had any more stiletto “incidents” to which you reply by telling him “thankfully, no…but I think I may need to change my shoes”.

Weddings are for…wanting to kick yourself afterwards, wishing that you had said more and that you could get another chance to speak to him.

Weddings are for…interrogating the groomsmen who happen to be related to Mr. TDS in the hopes of finding out enough information that would make him stalker-ble.

Weddings are for…eventually giving up, and resorting to change the stiletto’s that began it all to the flats you have in your car, in preparation for the big clean-up.

Weddings are for…watching him approach with his family, as they prepare to leave and happen to be parked right next to you.

Weddings are for…smiling as you walk past him one last time, casually mentioning that you’ve finally managed to change your shoes (whilst pointing to your new ones) to help with the cleaning, knowing that the rest of the family have no clue what you’re talking about.

Weddings are for...watching Mr. TDS flash another brilliant smile as he wishes you good luck and drives off into the sunset.

Weddings are for…finding out that Mother happened to have a few conversations with Mr. TDS throughout the day.

Weddings are for…interrogating Mother until she recalls and narrates EVERY SINGLE WORD that they shared in their conversations.

Weddings are for…sitting at the wedding house until late into the evening, reminiscing about the day’s events, sighing deeply and thinking about what could have been.

I love weddings. I hate weddings.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spontaneous Idealist

So I did this personality test. I don't believe tests like these can fully encapsulate what a person is about, since people are much more dynamic and diverse than a couple of traits may suggest. There are also characteristics that I identify with in both the extrovert and introvert groups, hence validating my opinion that personality is much more complex than the proverbial black and white, there are many shades of grey. But I have chosen the answers that are most accurate and it seems to have done the job:

Spontaneous Idealists are creative, lively and open-minded persons. They are humorous and dispose of a contagious zest for life. Their enthusiasm and sparkling energy inspires others and sweeps them along. They enjoy being together with other people and often have an uncanny intuition for their motivations and potential. Spontaneous Idealists are masters of communication and very amusing and gifted entertainers. Fun and variety are guaranteed when they are around. However, they are sometimes somewhat too impulsive in dealing with others and can hurt people without really meaning to do so, due to their direct and sometimes critical nature.

This personality type is a keen and alert observer; they miss nothing which is going on around them. In extreme cases, they tend to be oversensitive and exaggeratedly alert and are inwardly always ready to jump. Life for them is an exciting drama full of emotionality. However, they quickly become bored when things repeat themselves and too much detailed work and care is required. Their creativity, their imaginativeness and their originality become most noticeable when developing new projects and ideas - they then leave the meticulous implementation of the whole to others. On the whole, Spontaneous Idealists attach great value to their inner and outward independence and do not like accepting a subordinate role. They therefore have problems with hierarchies and authorities.

As a Spontaneous Idealist you are one of the extroverted personality types. You enjoy working in a colorfully diverse group of people who interest and inspire you. Working in a “secluded room” is not your thing. Your sense for the motivation of others is almost eerie. You constantly observe that which happens around you and have no problems noticing all sorts of things simultaneously or communicating with several people at the same time.

Your enthusiasm is contagious to others and that is why your colleagues and friends all appreciate you as an important member of your team. Your articulateness and your sensitive ear for nuances in conversations with others obviously play a role. For you, this team-oriented environment is very important because you need to receive positive feedback and recognition like other people need air to breathe. It would be practically impossible for you to contribute everything you need to maintain your high ideals, by yourself.

Variety, challenges and fun are important ingredients of your area of responsibility. You appreciate receiving new stimulation, meeting new people, and continuously collecting unique experiences. However, too much routine, too much detail work and the necessity to stick with one project for a very long time is not your thing. Your strength are creative problem solutions, discovering new ways and opportunities, the conceptualization of new ideas on one hand, but not so much their concrete implementation on the other. Ideally, you have a staff of capable colleagues that takes over your concepts and runs with them.

If you have a Spontaneous Idealist as your friend, you will never be bored; with them, you can enjoy life to the full and celebrate the best parties. At the same time, they are warm, sensitive, attentive and always willing to help. If Spontaneous Idealists have just fallen in love, the sky is full of violins and their new partners are showered with attention and affection. This type then bubbles over with charm, tenderness and imagination. But, unfortunately, it soon becomes boring for them once the novelty has worn off. Boring everyday life in a partnership is not for them so that many Spontaneous Idealists slip from one affair into another. However, should the partner manage to keep their curiosity alive and not let routine and familiarity gain the upper hand, Spontaneous Idealists can be inspiring and loving partners.

When you are in love, you easily outperform all other personality types in terms of enthusiasm and panache. Then your commitment knows no limits. You go out of your way in your eagerness to express your affection, and in your happiness, you are ready to embrace the entire world. When watching your attempts to flirt, one can’t help but think about a puppy dancing happily around its new playmate. Then for you simply nothing exists but your newfound love. “Hold your horses!“ - “Discretion is the better part of valor!” - “All that glitters is not gold!” - these worldly wisdoms are nothing but a waste of time.

In a long-term partnership you are a charming, affectionate, and unconventional partner, always good for a surprise, always there if you are needed, always ready for a loving compliment. As generous as you are with your feelings, so do you love to spend money and lavish your partner with gifts - sometimes even causing the very security minded and conservative types in the relationship to get a little weak in the knees. Should they now be happy that you abducted them to a luxury hotel for a romantic weekend, or should they be concerned whether there will be a problem when the next rent payment becomes due? Everyday things only interest you peripherally anyway; sometimes you walk with a downright childish confidence through life believing that the universe, fate or some other supreme powers are going to make sure that at the end everything will work out. So, why worry and save? It is interesting that this sometimes even works!

Adjectives which describe your type: spontaneous, enthusiastic, idealistic, extroverted, theoretical, emotional, relaxed, friendly, optimistic, charming, helpful, independent, individualistic, creative, dynamic, lively, humorous, full of zest for life, imaginative, changeable, adaptable, loyal, sensitive, inspiring, sociable, communicative, erratic, curious, open, vulnerable.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nero's Feast

I don’t know how to describe the last couple weeks. The truth is that I can’t, my vocabulary is somewhat limited in this instance and I find that even the images on Google don’t do any justice.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been quite busy in the evenings helping my neighbour with her son’s wedding. What I didn’t know at the time was that it’s one of those month-long weddings, because we’ve been busy almost every night doing all sortsa shit. But it’s these last two weeks that has been wedding mania on steroids. I’ve even had to skip class once because of it! And it’s not even my freaking wedding!!

We’ve been invited to have supper at my neighbour’s house, along with 60 odd family members living in the area, every single night since last week. So every single night, we set rows of tables with colour co-coordinated serviettes, cutlery and crockery, and then we have dinner with our pseudo family. Tea, cake and dessert is usually served an hour after the meal. My neighbours house is HUGE…it’s like a Hollywood Home. Not even Cher’s house is so beautiful. It has 9 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 lounges, 2 kitchens, 2 TV rooms, an indoor/outdoor pool and a Courtyard. Since they are only 6 in the household, it sounds rather large but they are the type of family that constantly have people swarming in and out of their home. I love their house because even though it’s beautiful and stunning, it’s still live-able. There’s no pretentiousness and it’s such a comfy home, that you feel free to do whatever you like. As a joke, I stipulated that my voluntary services will have to be rewarded by moving to the upstairs bedroom with the marble floors and walls...the room with the view, but they’d be more than happy to comply.

It’s been an educational few weeks thus far and in between making crystal key-rings and peeling a thousand carrots, I’ve learned so much and have come to conclusions on things I didn’t previously understand. For instance, I’ve come to realise that Butter and Cream and Butter-cream is very popular in the Indian community. I’ve been oblivious to it all these years because I use Olive Oil most of the time…sunflower oil occasionally and the butter-cream only makes its appearance on Sundays. But with these people, it’s butter or ghee because the richer and creamier the food, the better…and no denying, it’s deliciously decadent. If I ever re-consider my vocation, I think I’ll give up “farming” in Colombia as an idea, and substitute it with becoming a dairy farmer because geez, they’re making a fortune from the Indian community…maybe even more than those Colombian drug lords *ahem* I mean farmers.

Until recently, I could never understand why Indian women are so reluctant to share their recipes with others. And then I saw the feast rolled out before us, every single night. They put so much of their identities into every dish, that any criticism or praise is taken as a personal attack or admiration on their characters. Their dishes are an extension and reflection of who they are. These women are so intriguing, Nigella has nothing on them. For starters, they embody perfection because they are all immaculately groomed, from their colour coordinated attire, flawless makeup, to every strand of hair in its place. It’s like the Stepford wives club or something. Their food is also immaculately presented, flawless. I reckon they strive for this perfection because it’s like they’re on a stage presenting themselves to the world. And any acknowledgement or commendations they receive validates their existence as housewives. It’s that recognition that drives them.

I’ve never seen any other nation take so much pride in their cooking. Indian women love it and nothing is a challenge. It’s amazing when you sit at that table, and notice how each of them compete, albeit very subtly, seeking the consumer’s approval. You tell her it’s lovely, the best thing you’ve ever eaten and she beams. You’ve given her your stamp of approval…she’s now worthy of her status.
I view these women like you’d stare at the scene of an accident, with a mixture of awe and nausea. I’ll tell you this much, I’ll never be able to do what they do. Such perfection is reserved for Prophets and Angels. I admire their capabilities…and I sometimes think to myself that if I looked like Catherine Zeta Jones and didn’t have to work, I’d also be a bourgeois housewife rolling out all sorts of flawless cakes and curries from my production line.

On another note, I don’t know how we’re going to fit into any of our clothes for the wedding. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE so far has put on some weight thanks to Emperor Nero’s feast every single night. And I never thought I’d ever say this, but I’m tired of food.

I’m tired of the deliciously creamy butter chicken and hot loaves of bread tinged with aniseed.


I’m tired of the delectably spicy mutton curries with the decadent butter infused rice.



I’m tired of the scrumptious cheesecakes decorated and glazed with assorted berries.



I’m tired of the endless stream of beef samoosa’s and chicken pies and the various sauces and chutney’s accompanying them.



I’m tired of the most delicious Pavlova I’ve ever eaten with a crunchy/mushy centre of diced dates, boudoir biscuits and some other enchanting stuff, garnished with chocolate roses, fresh cream and fresh strawberries.



I’m tired of salad dripping in a creamy honey & mustard dressing with chunks of feta cheese on a bed of roasted slivered almonds and sesame seeds.



I’m tired of those little flavoured cupcakes decorated impeccably, melting once it touches your lips.



I’m tired of the chicken Briyani with that hint of saffron floating in the air as the steam rises and the mint & coriander flavoured buttermilk that's drizzled on the rice.



I’m tired of the trifle, made of silky layers of crème and custard on a bed of sponge cake positively dripping in strawberries and all things nice.



I’m tired of the luscious steaks marinated in oriental spices and simmered in dreamy sauces until delectably tender.



I’m tired of the hot fresh Roti’s served as an alternative to every meal.



I’m tired of the chocolate mousse that stares at my eyes, calling my tongue to taste the tiny bubbles of creamy decadent delightful bliss.



I’m tired of the chocolate éclairs with their crusty exteriors engraved in chocolate and their smooth velvety interiors made up of fresh cream and custard mousse.



I’m tired of the Kheer, the hot milk doused with loads of cream, sugar, pistachio’s and almonds and spiced with cardamom, even though my esophagus thinks it died and went to milk heaven.


There’ll be no end to this, not until after the wedding. Until then, I think I’ll have to alter some of my clothes.

I’m hungry now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On That Bandwagon

I’ve been tagged by a taggee who was tagged before she tagged me. He was part of it too :P

I’ve done this list before…My Ten Steps to Total Existential Liberation & Emancipation although it wasn’t addressed to my future children. So this top 12 (because 10 isn't enough) is like a continuation of that, only it’s what I’d want my little patch of brussel sprouts (i.e. the future kiddies) to know:

1. RESPECT & LOVE YOURSELF
If you respect yourself, really really respect yourself and recognize your self-worth NOTHING and NO ONE can ever break you down…no ex-girl/boyfriend, no relationship gone awry, no shattered heart, no petty squabbles with peers who you think are your bestest best friends, no boss trying to drag you through the mud, no parental disagreements…NOTHING. If you Love yourself enough you’ll always come first. People may still hurt you and put a few dents in the metal, but the core will remain rock solid and intact. You won’t ever need anyone’s approval or validation because you’ll have it from the one who matters most. And the sooner you realise that you don't "need" people to validate your existence the better. Besides, no one can love, believe in and respect you if you don’t love, believe in and respect yourself. Respect not only yourself, but others too and your environment etc. PS. Confidence NOT Arrogance.

2. ALWAYS BE HONEST
People won’t believe you anyway, even when you splat the brutal truth in their faces i.e. see Joan of Arc. Be honest in your words and all your dealings.

3. DO NOT FOLLOW BLINDLY
Don’t be afraid to ask, research, learn, study. Don’t be a dumbass and just swallow everything the masses are fed by any posing authority figure. Search for the truth.

4. TRAVEL
As often as you can. NOTHING broadens the mind like traveling. Nothing can incite awe and wonderment like roaming distant lands. The knowledge acquired and those memories are priceless. PS. Always take a camera with enough memory & a charger to capture those moments.

5. MODERATION
Life is about moderation. Everything has it’s time and place. Too much of a good thing is bad…depriving yourself when there’s no good reason to isn’t good either.

6. MAKE MONEY
For your own security, work smart and play hard. Life means nothing if you can’t enjoy your wealth. But even though money cannot make you happy, the LACK thereof will DEFINITELY make you miserable. It’s ok to appreciate the aesthetic appeal in material possessions, but money does not mean living in a false paradise. Money should essentially mean TWO things…Opportunities and the Freedom to exploit those opportunities.

6. LEARN TO DEFEND YOURSELF
To articulate an argument and fight with words is a magnificent art. To extend your arm and bitchslap the shit out of the mofo who antagonizes you, a martial art. Truth is, there are waaay too many assholes and spineless bastards in this world and one should always know how to defend oneself. Like if someone slaps you, you knock their fucking lights out. If they kick you, you break their faces. However, don’t ever start a fight; instead learn how to end one.

7. BE COMPASSIONATE
No matter where you are in your life, no matter what status you’ve been afforded, always remember where you come from and extend the same courtesy you’d like bestowed on you unto others…no matter who they are. Also remember, you live by the Grace of The Almighty, you’re always one step away from being worse off then they are and that you’re no better than anyone else.

8. PERSERVERE
In life, nothing worth having comes easy. It’s usually quite painful…not like pulling out your toenail painful…but it will test your strength and faith in every way possible. Don’t ever give up because you don’t have the courage to go on. Borrow or grow some if you have to.

9. THE LESS YOU HAVE THE BETTER
I reiterate, hoarding breeds misery. Be generous with your money, your belongings, Yourself, your time. Don’t waste time and money on unnecessary “things” designed to fill the empty void in your soul for all of 2 minutes before you have to haul your ass out again to exercise your consumer right to clog your life with more junk. Don’t bog your life down with unnecessary baggage and things that you think you may need/use one day. Don’t fixate on your material possessions and if you love it, be prepared to lose it. PS. And PLEASE do not buy into the "brand"...if you really feel that way inclined, go to Aunty Moena's clothing factory in Cape Town, she imports all the tags and labels & sows it on with her industrial machines for all the major retail stores in SA, for a fraction of the price.

10. ALWAYS GIVE 110%
In life, everything you do should be given your all. It’s all or nothing. Half-ass jobs and half-measures are for cowards. Pursue your dreams with the intensity of a thousand suns burning through the galaxy. If you happen to fail, at least you know you really tried.

11. LAUGH & HAVE FUN
The most important one. People take themselves and this world too seriously. Sometimes there isn't this Divine answer everyone is so desperately searching for...sometimes life is exactly that, its just life, meant for living and worshipping...not over-thinking and looking for answers where there are none. Instead, Believe.

12. RELATIONSHIPS

For my sons, avoid women who:
- Have more ambition than you do
- Play the damsel in distress

For my daughters, avoid men who:
- Are emotionally unavailable
- Are insecure since insecurity manifests in two ways: either the arrogant "know-it-all-wannabe-looking-for-attention" or "the-lame-ass-wanting-to-be-saved"
- Are very secretive about their lives & who they really are but want to know everything about you

I tag everyone who hasn't done this yet...Isheeta? Sofi? Mash? Waseem? WIP? NK? Dew? Beebs? Theres like a million of you guys :P

Monday, May 11, 2009

It's Just Business...

I am a born leader. I was born to do business, climbing that ladder in my black pint-stripped Versace suit and patent leather Prada pumps, ruling with an iron-fist. That much I know for sure.
It all began when I was an itty-bitty baby. Unlike regular babies, I didn’t like my rattle and preferred to play with my Dad’s and the business’ safe keys. It’s like I knew from then on what I was meant to do. At a later stage, as a toddler, Mother used to dress me in Corduroy pants and with my short hair, I looked like a boy going to work. My pierced ears were the only indication that I was in fact female. Fast forward a couple of years, before I began schooling, and my only toys were books, Lego and magnetic marbles while every other female was playing with Barbie, Ken and her Malibu Beach house.

Mother used to recite tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends and their escapades in the English country-side. I used to love those stories. And no matter how they ended, the moral was always the same: make and save lots of money. If Peter Rabbit stole a carrot and he shouldn’t have, Mother would say that the moral was to make and save lots of money so that I’d never have to steal. If Peter Rabbit’s mother was ill, the moral of the story was to make and save lots of money so that I can pay cash for Mother’s hospital bills. If Peter Rabbit was baking a pie, the moral was to check the price of pastry before buying because it could be cheaper to just make it…allowing me to save more money. If Peter Rabbit was taking a walk in the woods, the moral of the story was not to waste time on trivial and idle pursuits and do something constructive that makes lots of money, to be saved.

In primary school, Mother encouraged us to hone our entrepreneurial skills by selling home-made sweets to other 10 year old kids. With a generation gap between us, we managed to secure a competitive advantage over the emerging competitive sweet selling market and secured the majority of a loyal consumer base, which eventually protected us from bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation.

In our house, contracts and affadavits were common. In high school, my entrepreneurial skills were once again required when it became obligatory for every Grade 11 student to make a total of R100-00 over an entire year to pay for the Matric Farewell of the preceding generation of Grade 12’s. I remember everyone in class selling something. Some sold sweets, other’s sold little chocolates for 50 cents to other Grade 11’s. Being one of only two females from a somewhat Oriental background, I decided to capitalize and learnt to make Samoosa’s. I sold them for R5-00 per half dozen every morning at the school gate and they were usually sold out in 10 minutes. Eventually, I got a little lazy and recruited students in every grade to do my bidding for me. My deal with each of them was that they could sell at any price they wished, as long as I made R5-00 off every half dozen sold. My impromptu plan worked and the orders poured in. I worked tirelessly, making hundred of dozens of Samoosa’s every day after school to dispatch to my little agents in the morning. A few companies in the area heard of my little business venture and also placed their orders daily. I made a fortune, thousands…much more than all the kids in the entire 11th Grade put together. My agents managed to reap similar benefits too.

It was in my second year at University that I snagged a full-time job with the Private Investigating Firm in Johannesburg, thanks to Mother and all her Chinese Mafia connections. Actually this particular connection was a personal friend and my Mother, who worked in the Special Investigations Team at a huge corporation as a Forensic Analyst at the time, managed to ask for a personal favour and he happened to be the CEO. So nepotism aside, I managed to work my ass off juggling a full-time job and my full-time studies and a few hours here and there day dreaming with SAA’s fleet and every other airline on the rooftop of C-Les. I must have been one of the only students working and studying full time. And every single penny went towards my Varsity fees and books since debt and student loans were not an option, not if Mother had it her way.

I’ve since had over 23 jobs, in the span of 5 years…in almost every major corporation you can think of. I’ve worked at all levels, learning, observing, taking in as much as I can. I’ve learnt things in the past 5 years that would have ordinarily taken 25 years to learn. I’ve become immune to things like being nervous in job interviews and my confidence sometimes intimidates the one interviewing me. I can walk into any corporation and within a matter of days point out everything that’s wrong in their operations as well as everything can be improved upon.

This is undeniably what I was meant to do. I perform at my peak in authority. I rule with an iron-clad fist. I am a born leader, respected by all including that bald guy and that really old one that sits in the boardroom with me. I will make my money and save it too. After all, I’ve been working my entire life.

I’d still trade everything for Island life though.