Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just rolling with it

I take it back. I've decided that instead of being a tube train driver, ice-cream taster, shepherd or professional protestor, my dream job would be to work as a Writer slash Photo-Journalist for Condé Nast's Traveler Magazine. That's the Ultimate dream! Who wouldn't want to travel the world and take photos? Now that's my kind of misery. I'd much rather hate my job in a 5 star hotel on a beach in the Caribbean, than in an office surrounded by paper jams and demonic staplers.

So dear reader, I have hardly been back in the saddle and I've been so busy with training, meetings, entertaining relatives visiting from Denmark and preparing for my cousins wedding that I hardly have time for anything. And as if to illustrate the point by physically manifesting itself - this past weekend I found my very first grey hair!

Now let me just say that I've always known that things would change over time. I've accepted that friends, back-fat and cellulite will come and go... but for some reason I always thought that I was exempt from getting grey hair. I'm only 30 years old! And I go to great lengths (excuse the pun) to keep it long and shiny and healthy (see for yourself). So you can imagine my surprise when I saw this white strand sticking out like Snoop Dogg at a Celine Dion party.

Anyway, my entire routine has changed. I now work for an American company, so I have to work American times. I've never had to work until 5pm before (it was always until 4:00pm or 4:30pm the latest) so I've had to adjust to that. I've also never had to adhere to US customs and laws before, where any kind of breach constitutes jail time. I no longer have time to gym or Zumba, so I have to eat sensibly and make sure that I power walk wherever I go and take the stairs instead of the lift. I don't get to socially interact with anyone as much as I did before...

But I'm sure that no matter what happens, me and my grey hair will be just fine. To be continued...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Money will never make you happy, but the lack thereof will definitely make you miserable...

I truly believe that. I also believe in my own Theory of Relativity which goes something like this:

It's all relative. Y'know how we look at someone and think their life is so grand... the guy that gets to go everywhere flying first class for work... the girl who spends all her time counting her shoes... the women ploughing rice-fields in sub-tropical Tanzania... the lucky bastards who work for Godiva?

No matter what you are doing, the moment it becomes a part of your daily grind, it loses its lustre. Suddenly, those long first-class flights are a lonely and miserable way to spend your birthday... counting shoes amplifies the gaping hole that is your life, highlighting an empty existence... the beauty of the place fades away in the background when all you do is labour away in that rice-field... and you've never had a stronger yearning for something other than Godiva.

It's human nature for people to get tired of things, no matter how wonderful they seem initially. And even after it's gone, you will remember how wonderful / beautiful / amazing your life was - but you will never be able appreciate it to that extent when you're in it.

The moment something becomes part of your daily grind - no matter how awesome it is - it becomes a chore. And this is what I have to remember going back into the Corporate world. Everything is relative. It doesn't matter what you do, or where you do it, work is work. And things are only fun and uncomplicated when there are no strings attached - when there's no expectations or work involved.

I've decided to head back to the Concrete Jungle for many reasons (mainly monetary, I've got that very long bucket list to go through remember). I've had a great run and my students have taught me more in these past few months than I could ever teach them in a lifetime. In many ways, the experience was priceless. I gained a TEFL qualification and some good teaching experience in case I want to teach in another country someday. But for now, it's back to the real world.

Boo-fecking-Hoo! The things we do for love (the love of travelling that is).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

#8

Bora Bora. I initially had another (much colder) destination in mind but decided on this one to beat my current winter blues. Oh the lies we tell ourselves, delusions of grandeur. Anyways, every night before I go to sleep, I think of sailing leisurely around the French Polynesian Islands - specifically Tahiti and Bora Bora. There's little wonder why...



To be honest, this has got to be my favourite destination along with the Mediterranean coastline and Curaçao. If I only ever got to travel to these three destinations, I'd die a very happy woman. Bora Bora in particular is something of a wonder... a slice of paradise on earth.



And that is that ladies and gentlemen. There really are no words to describe it all, no words to capture this kind of beauty. I've only ever dreamt of a place like this. And once again, I'm sure that if my eyes were lucky enough to behold such magnificence, I'd never want to leave. Authorities would have to sedate me like a wild monkey and drag me by the hair to get me on the plane.



Yeah, there's a hammock out there somewhere, with my name on it :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

You may go into Kerak... but you will die there

There's something quite sobering about excruciating pain. It puts things into perspective. At the moment I have one upper right wisdom tooth forging its way into the world like a mother giving birth to twins at the same time, much to the detriment of my entire jaw line, sinus passages, inner ear and throat. Yes, nothing like a rogue demonic molar to bring some clarity.

I was ordered to rest up, but I found myself quite restless and got busy in the kitchen instead. I began at 06:30 this morning and I ended up making two pizzas, fish curry, rice, a greek salad, fruit salad and cajun chicken:

I even made our favourite vegetable juice. It's not actually a beverage of choice, it's more like medication for those of us with gluten allergies but it works wonders for just about everyone. It contains beetroot, baby spinach, celery, parsley, apples, carrots and ginger and is also surprisingly sweet:

An entire morning, three loads of washing up and several hours of contemplation later, I came to the following conclusions:

1. Bisexual men freak me out. That's about the only thing that really scares the shit out of me. Not bisexual females, not gays or lesbians, not transgenders or cross dressers, not transsexuals or transvestites... just bisexual men.

2. Rhinos are kinda like fat Unicorns. If they all went on a diet and got makeovers, maybe we'd be one step closer to Utopia.

3. Happiness, like the concept of Time, does not exist. I know no one wants to hear that, but it's the truth or my truth at least. As I've said before, the concept of Time only exists on earth because only here is time discernible through motion and change. It's mankind's tool to measure abstract intangible constructs, to group and label periods and events and to store them in nice little boxes so that everyone can comprehend and understand them because the rationalisation of time is only important to humans.

But in reality, we live day in and day out and essentially, it means nothing. If world leaders decided to rebrand 2012 and call it the year 3012, they could do so and it wouldn't mean a damn thing or make any difference whatsoever.

Happiness doesn't exist either - but for different reasons. And here I have to elaborate on the definition of Happiness, or what Happiness has come to mean to most people. We live in a world where everyone has come to define, perceive and understand Happiness as being in a perpetual state of joy or ecstasy - a permanent high. So essentially, if you're not bouncing off the walls like a Teletubby on crack, then you're not Happy.

Everything in life has become about instant gratification...  the I-want-it-and-I-want-it-right-now(s). Personally I blame emails, the world was a far better place when people had to wait for weeks to get their mail. These days, two minutes is deemed too long to wait for a response on an email.

For others, Happiness is a bottle of coke and some chocolate, at least that's what Coca-Cola and Cadbury want you to believe.  

The reality is that what happiness really is, is contentment. A sense of peace in a world of chaos. No internal or external conflict... no mental, physical or emotional anguish... no struggle with life and reality. Just a calm, serene presence in want of nothing and grateful for everything. But there's no one like that, I'll hear someone say. Well, I beg to differ.

*Title taken from a line in the movie Kingdom of Heaven. It's has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It was just stuck in my head like a broken record.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My jubilant two cents...

As I type this, I'm watching the Queen's Jubilee concert outside Buckingham Palace on our national channel SABC 3. The wonders of technology hey. Two decades ago and I would have had to wait at least a week or three to watch it. Now it's like I'm there.

Firstly, who doesn't know Queen Elizabeth? Of course most of us are well aware of her existence since it was her ancestors who plodded through most of our lands claiming it as their own. In many ways, for most of us colonized slaves, Britain is the Motherland. I don't, however, care much for the institution they call the Monarchy and I'm quite indifferent to the British Monarchy and their shenanigans.

Secondly, it does strike me quite odd that they would commission such a diverse group of musicians - mostly contemporary artists - for the occasion. Perhaps I'm the only one in the world that imagines them sitting around in one of their huge immaculately manicured lush gardens or lounging in their massive libraries overlooking said gardens, sipping on Earl Grey and listening to Bach or Mozart or Tchaikovsky. It never occurs to me that they could very well be listening to Robbie Williams. And Grace Jones doesn't feature anywhere in that Royal reverie. I wonder how many of them are there under duress...

Speaking of Robbie, its been ages since I've seen him live. And I thought Gary Barlow was retired. And Cheryl Cole looks stunning, but she's not very good live. And my Mother is quite pleased to see Cliff Richard, who incidentally looks wonderfully botoxed.

Anyway, my favourite part of these celebrations is getting to watch ancient footage and looking at really old photos of the family. Although, come to think of it, I've never seen any photo of the Queen while she was pregnant. I love looking at how times have progressed in some areas, and regressed in others. It's quite fascinating being allowed to follow these people's lives from birth until old age.

So that's my 2 cents for tonight. I am neither for or against the Monarchy. To each his own. If you're in Britain and you're out feeling all patriotic, then enjoy yourself. If you're sitting at home and think it's all a load of hogwash, then enjoy your two extra days off. For the rest of us that are indifferent, have some chocolate, sit back and enjoy the show.

I'm just about done singing along to Tom Jones' Delilah...