30 December 2009

catching up ; also, why am i here, anyway? i don't have the "africa bug" that people keep talking about.

i will try to make more than one post today, largely because the things i want to talk about are just so different. 

first of all, it doesn't look like india is going to happen. i lost so much money on the sale of my house, and there were a few unexpected costs and expenses that arose, which not only will put india on hold, but also my plans for the uk, as well. it's more and more likely that i will be here through the world cup at least. color me unhappy. 

that said, there is something i really want to put out there with regard to why i'm living in south africa in the first place. the racial attitudes where i attended both high school and university wanted me to live somewhere that black people just weren't expected to be second-class citizens. this killed almost anywhere in latin america, which is kind of sad. i actually like latin america, but having to speak in english to the police in order to show i'm not "a local black person" gets real tiring real quick. both my spanish and portuguese are good enough, still, for me to have lived almost anywhere in brazil or the bits of latin america touching the caribbean. 

secondly, i wasn't going to live anywhere with regular snowfall. sorry, no. the winter of 1993-4 has put me off of snowfall for life. 30cm of snow every wednesday for 10 weeks... as the mtn commercials says, this is not ayoba. washington is tolerable, but not a place to stay forever due to this. london's having two major snowfalls in ten months is starting to worry me. eish. 

thirdly, i was not going to get trapped on any island that i would be trapped on during a hurricane. not only does this eliminate most caribbean islands, but it also eliminates places as seychelles and mauritius. 

fourthly, no mosquitoes. i'm not doing malaria or yellow fever again. this eliminates most of west africa and/or any country where i have to get the yellow fever jab. 

finally, i need to have a favorable exchange rate, and to have a place to live with internet access and easy access to nightclubs. that's it. sadly, this eliminates my preferred choice -- senegal -- as it is eurozone. the west african franc is hard-pegged to the euro, and the last few years have been painful. it had gotten down to nearly 400 cfa to the dollar. god, i can't afford that. horrid. 

and so, this is how i ended up in south africa. it essentially fit all of those criteria. none of this "africa bug" that people keep talking about; it was the only place that met most of my criteria. cape town fit it better than johannesburg did -- cape town doesn't get cold enough to snow, while it has snowed twice in joburg while i've been here, not to mention the beach being down the street from my house -- and so i'm here. 

what i haven't expected is the level of official xenophobia that exists here. it's been so hard to secure a residence permit without marrying anyone or knowing someone or being a dollar millionaire that i'm basically giving up. it's a major reason i'm upset that i'm basically stranded here for another year. 

i'll get over it, but eish. 

07 November 2009

going, going...

so, my house is sold. since it sold for far less than i wanted/needed it to sell, i get to live for free in my house until it is technically no longer mine. [this should mean sometime in january] i'll still have to pay my ridiculously high telephone bill and electricity bills, so. 

it looks like i'm going to india [i can fly via doha to amritsar for not that much money] for a bit. for the indian visa you need to provide a birth certificate. for some strange reason, i've been carrying around a copy of my birth certificate for, oh, the last 13 years. serious. [it's easier to get a new passport in a foreign embassy when you've got the birth certificate, i've been told. of course, i have my last two passport numbers memorised as well, so...]

i have a young relative in india who is travelling the world finding himself. i know i could meet him in amritsar and we could go to the taj mahal together. between his hindi and my punjabi, we should be okay. [what? you're black? how did you learn punjabi? um, it's a helpful language to know if you live in birmingham. think west midlands, not alabama.]

speaking of alabama, though, i talked to my dad the other day, and he wants to know when i'm going to start writing this book. forty is staring at me, he says. i don't know why he brought this up because my turning 40 will mean that very shortly he will be 65. i think he wants to read my book, i guess. 

after the trip to india, though, i think that i will be in the uk for a bit, and then i will have to do my sentence in my mother's hillbilly town. ugh. people i know who grew up there and live in dc and chicago and london still say that it's stuck in 1980s race relations. god, i so will not be able to handle this. i think i'm going to be catalog-ordering everything. 

i've decided that i will come back to south africa for my stepson's final year of high school. that's 2012. that's also the olympics, and i plan on being in london for that. [birthday present to myself.] i'll probably be in the uk from may to about mid-august. if he doesn't come up for the olympics, we can just go through his homework on skype to make sure that everything gets done. 

at some point i need some roots. yeah, okay. whatever. this vagrancy thing is really me. i like it. 

26 October 2009

it looks like i will be in the united states from june to september next year. i am not happy about this at all, but i suppose i just have to suck up and deal.

[there's a reason that few black people who attend high school in the city in which my mother lives that go on to university actually return to the city. once you get out into the real world, there are few reasons to come back, short of family issues.]

i'm really going to need to get a new driver's licence, as said city has no real mass transit system. [how are you a state capital in the northeast without transit? ugh.] my mother doesn't have a car, but few places in that rinky-dink town actually accept a passport as valid ID for things like buying booze or going into nightclubs. i shit you not.

after 16 years of not *needing* a car [i've had four cars, but i arguably did not need any of them], though, this is going to be a bit of culture shock. a friend of mine from high school is a cab driver in the town though. i might just say "plaz, here's $100, take me everywhere i need to go this weekend."

where i go after that? i don't know yet. i have a few idea, but i'm open to suggestions. south africa is not one of them as it's about to become just another expensive african country -- and if i am going to live in an expensive african country, i want to at least feel welcome *without* waving around an american accent.

i may end up in senegal again. on verra.

09 October 2009

obama worship continues.

i've been a bit lax with posting lately -- finding kid a new school, looking for a new place to live, selling my current digs, interviews for teaching, things like that -- but i'm interrupting the silence with the mention that obama has won the nobel peace prize.

my first notification of this was when reading the crackbook feed of someone with whom i went to high school. i was like, lolwut? no, really, this cannot be. but the crackbook feed pretty much summed it up "joe scarborough just said marisa tomei did more to win her oscar than obama did to win the nobel prize". i almost agree with that. he should have said judi dench -- she was only in shakespeare in love for just eight minutes -- but the sentiment is about right. [that said, i don't expect joe scarborough to have seen shakespeare in love.]

then i looked it up, and was just amazed. as much as i don't like slick willie or the head of micro$oft, either of them is, in my opinion, more worthy of having won the nobel prize than barack obama on things accomplished thus far. they say that for the peace prize, unlike the other prizes, you can win for things you are in the process of doing, but given that the nomination deadline was all of 10 days into the obama administration... spending the last 9 months to ride it out to see how it goes was just not on. i'm not saying tsvanigirai should have gotten it [he was also nominated], but like i said, there were a few people who i think were better placed.

personally, i didn't vote for obama. this post explains why, if i must refresh your memory. [for the record, i voted for one of the other black people running for president -- obama wasn't the only one, believe it or not.]

but this is a bit much, a bit soon. it's as if the northern europeans wanted their own person with an "islamic" name to worship in the way that the southern europeans make pilgrimages to fátima. the nobel committee is worshiping at the shrine of hussein. whodathunkit? clinton might have had lewinsky under his desk blowing him, but it seems that obama has an army of well-placed wipers [qv the opening scenes of coming to america].

everyone i know who has met him personally says he's a nice guy, but this barack-means-luck thing is going a bit too far. [in arabic, baraka, from which the swahili word barack derives, is the kind of luck that is like finding a dollar on the street, using that dollar to play powerball and then winning. the chance of that is less likely than being struck by lightning, which is what the hebrew word barak means.]

06 September 2009


maybe i should apply for refugee status in south africa.

i mean, if this white south african guy can apply for, and get, refugee status in canada because he doesn't qualify for the point system there, then i should be able to get refugee status here. i mean, i've got a couple of university degrees, can get by in more than one of the nation's official languages, own property...

god, this guy is so much fail. i mean, really? a soutie who can't qualify for canadian residency and can only get it through refugee status? did this boy sleep in school and just not show up for his matric exams? [you can pretty much figure out my comments on the above nyt site.]

a commentator on the thought leader blogs has put it out there in the best way possible here. and this is the reason why the south african government is upset about it. "a white guy from cape town can't get a job because of affirmative action? oh, please."

there's a canadian commentator on thought leader who thinks the guy has a point -- except he's based in durban. i actually think he misses the point. if you are white and you can't make it in cape town -- a city where people get off the plane from london and munich on a daily basis and manage to have both jobs and work permits in less than a month -- then there is something wrong with you, not the system. [even though there are serious problems with "the system".]

personally, i think that maybe this guy *should* be dead weight somewhere else. it's pretty clear that his afrikaans is not up to scratch, which means that in the one community in cape town where it's okay to be a white loser, and provisions are still made for dead weight... he can't even get work. but since, oh, afrikaans was a mandatory language of instruction until he was in 11th grade [if he graduated on time, and this guy is stupid enough that he may not have] -- he's out of luck. again, whose fault is that?

08 August 2009

catching up...

it's been a while since i've posted, and there are really not too many interesting things going on. 

the "africa inc." series on sabc3 has been a disappointing lovefest of the ruling party and their hangers-on -- but then again, almost anything on the sabc should be considered as such.

we have a new reserve bank governor-designate; we're going from a metrosexual moneybags to a dowdy spinster. hopefully she will at least start to dress the part of "reserve bank governor" soon, before she takes over in november. you can see a picture of the two of them together here.

said designate is a white woman. this is an important plot point. in a country where upwards of 70 percent of the population are black, come november, none of the three most important people dealing with the purse-strings will be. the anc youth league, who are normally full of fail, actually have a point in bringing this up. [nb: the president and the spokesman of the ancyl are just plain idiots. but as a broken analog clock is right twice a day, the president of the youth league has a valid point here.]

the immigration department are dragging me up, down, and all around, but i should be able to get through it. 10 more months i'll be home free, basically. if not, i might just be on my way to brazil a bit early. 

now i just need to work on a few things wrt work and i'll be cool. nothing else to do on a friday night where i'm not childless. lol. 

02 July 2009

thought leader moments of fail...

so i mentioned that i'm a frequent commenter on thought leader.

generally speaking, there is a high amount of fail among both the contributors *and* the commenters, largely, i feel, because they were raised in a closed police state and the resultant mentality thereto. it's still evident in so much south africans in general do, and they largely have a really screwed up worldview.

something that i've noticed is that many people latch on to all things european [and the english premier league gets more tv airplay and newsprint than the local soccer league], including political thought.

today's moment of fail is so fantastic and the writer is so out of his league that i had to call in someone who, i don't know, has a bibliography on such things to check it out.

this is her reponse to it; i'm not sure if she left a response there, so i'm pasting it from my email. i completely suspect that she just looked at the title of the link and started writing, because it's just that obvious, but there you go:

My own feeling is that Turkey, France, Saudi, Iran (pre- and post-revolution), and Afghanistan are all wrong in either requiring or banning any form of the veil, because it violates freedom of choice. It's wrong in theory, and it's wrong in practice in that it's had actual, non-hypothetical consequences for women (girls dropping out of school in France because they can't wear the hijab anymore; girls burning to death in a Saudi school because they can't be seen in public without being covered, etc.).

Taken out of the realm of law, though, and into the realm of "dignity" -- I know there are Muslim women who wear full burqa because it's what they're most comfortable in culturally (all the women around them wear it, their mother wore it, whatever) and others, converts, who wear it to subvert/undermine the male gaze. But I also think there are women who do it to say "I am more Muslim-er than you," and I don't like it being used this way, as a barometer of piety, with the implication that women who wear just the scarf or who don't veil at all are whores and going to hell. Personally, I don't think any form of the veil is required by Islam, although "modesty" is, for both men and women. But I also respect that other women feel differently, and I can see the argument that a lot of Muslim women in North America make, that it identifies you as a Muslim to others and that, like fasting, the hardship that goes with it is its own reward.

I think Sarkozy would have more credibility on this issue if he spent a lot more time dealing with the problems in French ghettos rather than policing women's clothing. I know some Muslim feminists who've made the argument that a law like this is good, because it puts the burden of the argument on the state, taking it off of young girls. In other words, a 13-year-old who doesn't want to wear it can say "hey Dad, it's the law!" and is relieved of having to come up with an Islamically sound argument against it. Dad can then sit at home hating France, instead of calling his daughter a slut. I can see that, but it sounds a lot better coming from a Muslim feminist who advocates for women's and Muslims' rights on multiple fronts. From Sarkozy, it just sounds xenophobic.

the gordhan knot

we have a new finance minister here in south africa. he is called pravin gordhan. [i refer to him as "sahib pravin"elsewhere, and will probably do so here as well.]

he inherited the economy at a time during the global economic crisis, and he has to find his way to be able to fund a lot of election manifesto campaigns on the back of a contracting economy, tightening credit, and decreasing tax revenues.

yesterday he declared that he will run budget deficits in order to fund these things, and it's starting to reflect on the [artificially high] exchange rate of the rand.

this is a good thing, but the thing that both he and the reserve bank governor need to sit down and figure out is just how steep the devaluation which *must* come needs to be.

this article
says that stagflation could be on its way to south africa. if the next central bank governor raises interest rates next year, which is what mboweni almost certainly will do if he is re-hired when his mandate is up in august, that will almost definitely be the case.

a week ago, the central bank governor chose not to decrease interest rates, not even by 50 basis points, due, in part, to the "inflationary effects of the electricity price hike". this, of course, was complete balderdash for the following reason: an interest rate cut of 50 basis points would have mitigated the effects of the electricity and petrol increase for anyone holding a bankloan or a car note; 100 basis points would have completely erased the effects of the price hike in electrity, and 150 would have erased the effects of *both* for small, most medium, and almost all large businesses.

[full disclosure: i have both a small business and a mortgage, but no car. 100bp, based on my electricity consumption and my bond amount/payments, would have been more than enough to wipe out the electricity price rise. i've been telling my son that i want to hire him part-time so that i can increase my workload, but the interest and exchange rates are not making this possible.]

the south african reserve bank, according to its website, has as its sole mandate to target inflation. it says that it does this in line with this main trading partners, and as a result uses interest rates to keep it in a band of 3% to 6%.

the problem with this is several-fold. firstly, the reserve banks of south africa's main [read: western] trading partners have additional mandates: growth AND/OR [more *and* than *or*] full employment -- and, where there is a conflict, inflation targeting has the lowest priority among these. in addition, even when there is no explicit mandate, the electorates of these other countries are very likely to toss out legislatives and executive branch members during negative growth and high unemployment. in short, there are exogenous factors to push policies encouraging both growth and full employment.

now let's examine the south african situation. the reserve bank does not only gets to claim "inflation is our only mandate" but the electorate is loath to remove legislators and presidents who do not deliver sustainable growth or full employment. even if you give the mandela administration a free pass, the mbeki years have been pretty much a wash in terms of top-to-bottom, sustainable growth as well as employment. but because of other factors, the ruling party continues to secure a mandate. it can be a lose-lose situation and it was definitely was during much of 2008; the south african reserve bank raised interest rates during a period when nearly all of south africa's major trading partners lowered rates. nonsensical.

now, i don't exactly get that. it would appear that neither the reserve bank nor the finance ministry particularly have taken small businessmen -- who collectively employ more people than the international conglomerates and corporations for whom the government has bent over and to whom the government has handed lube before opening its cheeks -- into consideration during this time. smaller businessmen are more exposed to the ups and downs in the interest rate than larger ones, and often make greater effort to *not* fire people in a down market. remember, listed companies have a primary responsibility to their shareholders, not their employees or the communities in which they operate. the government does not seem to understand this. hmph.

the actions of the reserve bank, connected with the situation within the fiscus, overlaid with the global recession has been an interlocking puzzle for sahib prev to solve. while china has been inadvertantly helping somewhat with this knot -- by propping up the rand through buying gold -- it's doing it to cover its impending losses in dollars, and at some point this will not be helpful when the united states gets its act together.

instead of keeping the foreign markets happy, south africa really needs to look after its people or else the people will bite back. later on, i will talk about more about the causes and potential solutions for this.

30 June 2009

africa inc.

the last couple of days have been rather full news days. that said, i'll only write about a few quick things and then get back to the deadline that i have for tomorrow morning [new york time]. 

as many of you know, south africa competes with colombia, venezuela and brazil for having the world's highest gini coefficient. unlike the latin american countries [even brazil], there is a bona fide government policy to try to address the situation. [one would say this exists also in brazil, but the little political will to advance it that has existed for the last decade or so will disappear when lula is no longer president.] the short version is called BEE, for black economic empowerment. it's official name is BBBEE, with the first two Bs standing for "broad-based", but in actuality, this is not the case. 

tonite on sabc, a new show started that addresses the implementation [or lack thereof] of BEE onto the broader economy. it's called africa inc -- and my first question is how did they manage not to step on anyone's toes wrt the name of the show. it's not the first hit on google, and there are several companies with that very name. hm. 

the hosts of the show are nikiwe bikitsha and siki mgadebeli, two people who used to be newsreaders on the sabc itself, but left for cnbc. there were rumors that they were sacked due to being anti-anc, or at the very least, not "anc enough", but they can answer that, if they so desire, as i've written the show and invited them to my blog. well, this one anyway. 

on today's show they talked about implementation of BEE. their two interviewees were blade nzimande, chairman of the communist party and current minister for higher education, and saki macozoma, a wabenzi who has his fingers a lot of things, was formerly part of the mbeki anc, and left to join the most recent splinter party, congress of the people, also known as cope. 

saki was talking the boring anc mess. he had a few bright spots, but nothing out of range from the mbeki buddies. blade on the other hand, well, sounded like trevor manuel a few weeks ago when he said that "apartheid killed entrepreneurship". in fact, blade sounded so much like a typical classical liberal that i think that he may actually understand that in order to have a communist society, everyone needs to be working at a certain level, and south africa is not there yet. it was quite impressive. 

i wrote to the show afterwards, telling them how i felt about it, and invited them to peep my pages. if for no other reason, i guess i will be posting at least once a week, for the rest of the year, probably after i've seen their show. 

i'm going to close my eyes for a wee bit, and then i'm going to type this 80 minutes that's due at noon tomorrow. 

watch this space.

28 June 2009

i'm posting! for real!

so, um, yeah.

michael jackson is dead. [this was actually a techno song that came out when i was in uni a couple of decades ago; bonus points if you can find an mp3 of it.]

i don't have anything to say about it one way or the other -- i was never really into him. strange, i know. but even my mother had off the wall and dangerous, and she was so religious and strict that i had to play with the cable box so that i could watch mtv at home.

my friend fo has written a locked post in her lj about his alleged conversion to islam and what this would mean wrt funerals and stuff [technically, he can't have a strictly muslim funeral, as it's been more than 24 hours since his death] -- when she posts it in an open space, i'll get back to it.


in the interim, i'm thinking about the world cup that will be taking place in a year's time. this article in the new york times talks about the bumps and hiccups that have been going on during the dress-rehearsal confederations cup that is currently taking place in south africa -- the final, between brazil and the united states will be tonite, with the 3rd place game, between south africa and spain taking place this afternoon.

i have three major gripes about this whole thing:

firstly, the weather. the local organizing committee [loc] acquiesced to fifa's demand to have the world cup in june and july rather than in september/october. there is precedent for southern hemisphere events that normally happen in the northern hemisphere "summer" to take place in september instead of june or july [namely, both instances of the olympics in australia].

but no, danny jordaan et cie bent right over for sepp blatter and just took it. it's 10am on the day following the coldest night in cape town in almost 4 years -- the overnight low was 6 degrees C. over the past weekend, the only 2010 host cities to not have subzero temperatures have been cape town, port elizabeth and durban. i think the tourists who come next year are in for a major, major shock. they will be thinking "oh it's africa" and definitely not come dressed for the winter weather. during the united states v spain semifinal match in the confed cup, it was snowing less than an hour's drive away.

the weather aspect gets very short shrift in this new york times article, just that it was "mostly spectacular". um, no. note the venues for the confed cup: pretoria, johannesburg, rustenburg, and bloemfontein. they were largely chosen because, well, it doesn't rain in the wintertime there. [even though joburg got rain almost until the opening whistle.] if port elizabeth had met the deadline for completed stadia, there would have been constant whingeing about the weather there, and for much of the confed cup, cape town has been beaten up by gale force winds bringing almost ten inches of rain, total, in less than ten days. this does not bode well for next year. hm.

the second thing that irks me about this is the whole "ooooh, the crime" factor. this country has an insane crime rate. it's really insane. and while cape town has the highest crime rate in the country, most of the crime that ends up in the news is in joburg, as the upmarket suburbs are almost walking distance from several of the "worst" slums -- and rich south africans are really big on rubbing their wealth in everyone's face. [i don't want to say "they're asking for it", but it does help to be a bit less ostentatious.]

[it's funny to note that, while urban crime in brazil, the hosts in 2014, is on par with that of south africa, there are no such concerns about the crime situation there, as "everybody knows" that the government will either bribe the gangs into behaving or they will shoot petty criminals themselves and cull the street kids in a manner like they did before the pan am games were held in rio -- most likely, it will be a combination of the two. google "police brutality brazil" or "police murders rio" or things in that vein. the south african police force is more corrupt and far more incompetent than the brazilian police, but murdering criminals and civilians who get in the way is not really their thing. hence, the concerns about crime.]

fifa and the loc are in the process of turning this world cup into little more than a canned safari. i'm not joking. there is to be almost no contact between the players and the public unless the players go out of their way to make it happen or there are specially scripted events -- and it's also worth noting that the tourism operators are pretty much doing the exact same thing.

fifa want to stress that they are making this an "african world cup". um, no. if they wanted this to be an "african" world cup, then they should hold it in, say, nigeria or kenya. not south africa. first of all, south africans are Not Interested At All[tm] in anything happening north of the limpopo or orange rivers, with the possible exception of zimbabwe because the instability there has sent a few million zimbabweans down to this side looking for work. [and, don't look now, but most of the "jobs" in the hospitality industry related to the world cup will be going to zimbabweans. oops.]

but south africa? no. south africans seem to think that they have the monopoly on what it means to be african when... they really don't. not at all. not even by a long shot. but whatevs. south africa is about as all-encompassing of africa as the united states is all-encompassing of the americas. actually, that's a bad example, because the united states is -- although americans don't want to admit this -- far more inclusive of the rest of "the americas" than south africa is of the african continent. seriously. [for starters, you're not going to see kikongo, lingala or shona on south african television in the way that you see spanish -- and/or, depending on your location, mandarin, farsi, kreyol, or arabic -- on american television. EVER.]

but anyway -- at the stadiums for the south african domestic leagues are hordes of women who sell food the the people inside [in most south african stadia, food isn't available inside the stadium, and in those few places when/where it is, it's usually unaffordable to people who have shown up]. for the world cup? not going to happen. they cannot be within 1km of the stadium; the only people allowed to be within 1km of the stadium are sponsor vendors like mcdonalds and coca-cola.

i find this last point particularly amusing because in cape town, there is in fact a mcdonald's within 1km of the site of the stadium here [and it's been there for about a decade], and the official name of one of the stadia in johannesburg is coca-cola park -- although locals call it ellis park, because that's what it was for, oh, almost 80 years. i detect something like the whole national v reagan issue when the tourists show up.

the third point i want to bring up that amuses me is that there are those who want to ban the use of vuvuzelas during the world cup. personally, i didn't care one way or the other until people on this side started saying "oh, you're trying to do this because we're african". then i got pissed off. having seen more of africa than all but the most intrepid aid workers/diplomats/world bank/imf/un employees, the vuvuzela is not an "african" thing. it's an mzansi thing. big, big big difference, and it goes back to the whole "people equating south africa with the rest of africa" bit with a bit of "south africans, yet again, thinking they have the monopoly on 'african'", when collectively, they mock and mimic americans even more than the senegalese and cameroonians do the french. it's really annoying.

most people i know from up-continent who have had the misfortune to watch south african football on teevee have wondered how they even manage to play with the din. [it's a misfortune because the south african leagues are even worse than the domestic brazilian leagues and bolivian leagues, and roughly on par with the domestic senegalese league, despite having access to far more people and cash from which to create and run their teams.] of course, south africans will probably say they are colonialised pseudo-europeans without a hint of irony while wearing their liverpool/man u/chelsea/barça/inter jerseys. whatever.

in almost every african city in which i have lived as an adult [outside of south africa, that is], i have lived less than 2km from a football stadium. number of times i've heard vuvuzelas: 0. like i said, it's not an "african" thing. it's a "mzansi" thing. i'm not knocking the use of them, although i don't like it. i'm knocking the terminology.

but anyway, im only marginally interested in this world cup. i need it to hurry up and get done so that the government can actually start making the much needed economic reforms to get things back on track. they're afraid to do it before the world cup, because of the "social upheaval" it may cause, and honestly, many of them firmly believe that they will yank it and give it to australia or brazil or the united states anyway if things start going horribly wrong in the next 12 months. it's really tragic.

the man on the street has it right [for once]. south africa was seriously hoodwinked into this. fifa and the loc are going to try as hard as possible to keep tourists from wandering about, which means that the vaunted "tourism spend" really isn't going to happen. [there's barely anything going on in bloemfontein, kimberley, or polokwane during the summer, yet people are convinced that folks will want to party it up in the winter? are you serious?]

i, personally, need to have my money right so i can sit this one out in brazil. ugh.

21 May 2009

checking in.

bouncing around again.

i'm back both on here and in my house.

you may be missing a lot of what i'm feeling about various south africa-related issues, but feel free to check out www.thoughtleader.co.za -- i'm a frequent commenter. my handle is "mundundu" which is a word used in a few southern african countries to indicate a foreigner. closer to xenos than barbaros, though.

i have a mountain of work to get to, but i'll be back.

17 February 2009

so much for one a day....

so, a few random bad things have happened to me since the last post, but due to the whole global financial crisis, it looks like i'll be staying there indefinitely [despite protestations to the contrary on crackbook].

this week i have to take my passport to home affairs for a three-month renewal. i know i will get one month off the bat, because i will not go back to pick up my passport wrt their decision until day number 28 or 29 [you're supposed to return within 30 days for a decision].

i actually was supposed to have an interview this week, except they know about the whole wacky date thing. fine, they will probably postpone it until later, i suppose. it's no problem. i'm applying for a "special skills" visa; i'll be compiling everything for it while my visa application is being held.

later this year, i'll be starting the process to adopt my ex's son. he's mine in every way except legally; i might as well just make it happen. also, since south africans now need visas to go almost everywhere, i need to make sure the adoption will be final before his 18th birthday; i've been either the sole or a major caregiver of him since he was 12, so i'll have that in my corner.

south africa. hm. clearly i'm used to being in this place.