31 December 2010

i need to get back on track.

[i had just written a post, and it got eaten. i'm in brazil right now. more later.]

13 October 2010

i'm back, i'm back, i'm back...

so these last few months were fraught with fun drama, as i sorted myself through my mother's hoardy house and found out that if i never wanted to work again, i don't have to.

but now i'm back in south africa. i treated myself to flying business class on british airways, and their departure lounge in philadelphia, and arrivals and departure lounges in terminal 5 at london heathrow were just... spectacular. 

i ended up with a free southern african flight on BA, just getting here, as i received 15,000 extra miles because my entertainment system wasn't working well. 15k miles, plus the 14.5k i got for just flying here = more than enough for a round trip flight to, oh, vic falls or harare if i so desired. 

i'm heading to brazil for new years, tenatively speaking. i might change my mind and only go to zim or mauritius, but who knows -- i actually think i want to party it up in brazil. i haven't been there since 2000, and it's about time. that said, i'm going to get clobbered by the exchange rate -- in 2000, it was nearly 4 reais to the dollar; at the moment, it's R$1,66 to the dollar. ouch! 

i'm in a new posh flat in the city center, one that used to be offices. to that end, it is fully wired with cat5, which means that my computers don't have to live anywhere near my router. the cross street is strand street, and because i've lived in london, "i live on the strand" has already come out of my mouth more than once. oops. it's going to be pretty painful when i go to renew my lease, as the exchange rate is looking like it will be 10% worse than what it is now, and my rent will go up 10%. bah. time to start saving now. 

over the next few days i'll post about a fun customs-related issue i'm having, and how it's being resolved. 

but yes, i am in fact back home. yup, home. 

23 June 2010

planning return

so people have emailed saying that i should leave a post on here, since it's been six weeks since i left a post.

so, it turned out to be uterine cancer, not bladder, and my mother died 3 days after i arrived here. the original plan of caring for my mother until she was better and then taking her back to south africa is no longer on the table.

i'll be returning to south africa much sooner than previously planned, which is going to require quite a bit of planning, et cetera, since i got socked with a fine when i left the country. the reason? i had technically been an overstayer -- my visa extension request had been denied and i had put in an appeal, but a year later there still hadn't been any decision made on it, so when i needed to leave, i was treated like an overstayer. R3000 fine, but i can get out of it, so...

probate is a bitch. on top of that, my birthday was this week, and as it was the first without my mother... it was a rough week.

more later, and for the next few months, i'll make some views as well as to why i live in africa and not, say, miami or elsewhere in latin america. being back in the usa is quite the eye opener.


26 May 2010

this is my last post from south africa for a while. however, due to my connections *in* south africa, i should be able to continue to write about it for most of the time that i'm gone.

two days after my last entry, i received a telephone call from my aunt, saying my mother was sick, but they didn't say how bad. now we know. stage 4 bladder cancer. uncool. basically, they are thinking she is waiting for me to get there so she can go to the next plane.

anyway, money being a joke at the moment, not to mention the cost of airfare having gone up something around 50 percent since the last time i actually *paid* for a transatlantic flight [late 2004], i needed to buy the miles in order to make this flight happen. when i finally got that right, i booked a flight on award travel.

now, fly-brother HATES HATES HATES american airlines, one of the two leading carriers in oneworld. but he concedes that they have the easiest accrual and redemption methods of all the mileage programs and also the most partners. do you see on my previous post, my flight memory? most of those were done on BA [heathrow is in fact my most visited airport]; there is an occasional flight across the atlantic on aa, and one on iberia.

anyway, i've done two award trips between the united states and africa. it's nice. [it's also 75,000 miles in the cheap seats, if you wanted to know.]

one of the nice things about things about oneworld is that you can redeem miles for a one-way flight using half of the miles as for a round trip. ergo, instead of 75k for a round-trip flight, this only costs me 37.5 for a one-way flight. schweet.

so anyway, i've just flown the cape town to joburg leg of this journey, and in an hour i fly the joburg to madrid leg, have a five-hour layover there, and fly to chicago, spend the night in chicago with my cousin, and then in the morning i fly from chicago to philadelphia, where my aunt picks me up and drives me to harrisburg.

[ugh. harrisburg, pennsylvania. if you've ever been there, you would know why i have been living for the past five years in the city that is, basically, in terms of flight time as far as you can get away from there and still be on planet earth. ]

i'm currently sitting in johannesburg airport. unlike harare, it does not have free wi-fi. [harare's wifi is some of the best airport wifi ever. and it's FREE.] airports company south africa [ACSA] is a beast when it comes to airport wi-fi. if you do the time-based wi-fi, it's R50 for one hour, R100 for two hours, and R150 for four hours. eww. that's nasty. the way aournd it, depending on your usage in airports is to get the bandwidth-based option. if you meticulously watch your bandwidth -- and if you are resident in south africa, you tend to do so -- you would know that by far the best option is the R100 for 250MB for which you have 30 days to use up.

this morning, cape town airport was pretty fly. i hadn't been in it since november 2008, so i hadn't seen the finished product yet. it is really fly. it will give a good impression to foreign tourists landing there, i will say that. [of course, it's surrounded by shantytowns, like GIG, so take that with a grain of salt.]

i'm sitting in joburg airport and the best thing about this upgrade is that you no longer have to GO OUTSIDE to walk from the domestic to the international terminals. this is something that is absolutely fantastic. it doesn't look like you need to do that in cape town either. given that joburg in the winter is freezing, and cape town is 10 degrees C/50 degrees F with gale force winds and rain to match... this is excellent.

so i give these two airports hmmm.... marks out of 10, tambo gets 9. it would have gotten 10 if the gautrain were running -- it doesn't start doing so until two days before the world cup. cape town gets an 8.5, because it doesn't have train service to the airport, just high-speed bus. i was originally thinking of giving it only an 8 out of 10, but on match days during the world cup, if you have a ticket in your possession, the high-speed bus to town is free. yeah, that touch is really cute.

i may make another post after check in. for reasons i'd rather not go into now, checkin is going to be quite taxing and i want to talk about it AFTER it happens.

20 April 2010

it's 4/20

4/20 la la la la.

of course, instead of writing about the befok political situation here -- and so much has gone on in the past couple of weeks, that it's just been crazy -- i am going to shamelessly plug something from fly brother -- he explains it quite well, so open his review and results in another tab. i spent most of this afternoon filling in information on flightmemory.com, only filling in the flights that i absolutely remember, and not just flights that i've taken.

it was funny -- it was fairly easy to absolutely remember a lot of flights i've taken; all i need to do is open up my passport. through my mentioned flights, i've covered 87% of the miles that ernesto has on less than half of the number of flights (100). [full disclosure -- there is one more transatlantic flight whose details i know, but i like having the round number of 100 flights].

my domestic flights are appalling. all but three sets of them are, in fact, flights to get me to the real airport for the intercontinental flight. one set of flights is for my sister's graduation from high school; another set of flights is for my brother's wedding. the third set of usa start and finish flights is for a family reunion in columbia, south carolina -- where i ate at the waffle house on the wrong side of the tracks [ie, i was the only black person there].

of course, the real flying is elsewhere. my top two flight routes? IAD-LHR and back. close behind is DCA - JFK, which, like i said, is basically the flight to get me to the real airport. rounding out the top five are JNB-CPT and back.

which brings me to how i have 87% of the miles on less than half the number of flights that ernesto has done. i suppose this is where i channel chris rock from bring the pain. africa is far. real far. it's like a 25-hour plane ride..... and there are three african airports in my top 10. there are also three european airports in my top 10 as well. toronto is also in my top 10, and amsterdam is 11th, i think. wow, look at the time....

american airlines gets the nod for the airline most used [see, it's flights to the caribbean plus DCA - JFK to get me somewhere interesting]. LHR is my most used airport -- which shouldn't be a shock to anyone who's heard me rant about the decade-old remodel of terminal 2 where they yanked the burger king out, not to mention purposely taking the heathrow express train because there is a burger king just on the other side of the gates in paddington. after eating steers down here, you sort of want the real thing.

oh, i can throw in my intra-europe flights. to be fair, the only destination flights are the ones to amsterdam and las palmas. i still need to do ibiza before i turn 40. actually, i don' t think that will happen; i think that will be when i *turn* 40, as i'll be already in london for the olympics. being an 80s-era club kid, i'm trying to figure out how i missed out on ibiza, ayia napa, and rhodos. [i actually know the answer to this; it mainly has to do with dating extremely jealous west indians. bah.]

there's a ski trip to austria that i need to throw in also. living in england, i went to austria to go skiing with people from zambia [that happened to be related to the malawian dictator].

but overall, in europe, i've mainly been a train guy. i like trains. you get more legroom, for starters. and to be honest, if i were to turn my train rides in the northeast usa into flights, there would easily be another 20,000 miles added. when i lived in washington and had new york as the destination, i would take the train, not fly.

i'll have to do some more checking into my 70s and 80s era flights. i don't think i can put the dates, but i will be able to mark the routes. none of the flights i've taken on air afrique are posted, for example.

i will get back to the political silliness going on here before work gets really busy for me. i promise.

30 March 2010

a language post

in honor of the post that fly-brother made today viz spanish/portuguese, i was thinking about making an afrikaans/dutch post, but i might just keep it to afrikaans and throw in a few other southern african languages.

many black south africans -- and a few black americans who i know that live here -- get on my case on my ability to speak afrikaans. it's not a particularly difficult language unlike, say, xhosa with its 15 noun classes, or sotho with its highly tonal and contextual meanings. don't get me wrong, i can read xhosa [and by default zulu, since they are as mutually intelligible as, say, iberian spanish and iberian portuguese] and still get the meaning. it's not a problem. but for speech and gossip, i don't have a problem with speaking afrikaans. at all.

[two major, major caveats here -- the first is that i could speak in dutch reasonably well due to my creche and my post-18 exploits in dutch-speaking places; the second is my stepson is afrikaans-first-language, and his grandmother doesn't speak english at all. so if i want to talk to her, ek moet met haar in afrikaans praat.]

one of the main things i like about afrikaans is that it's the lone "new" language from a dutch colony that is based on dutch -- papamiento and srinantongo are both based on iberian languages; the former from iberian languages and west african ones, the latter iberian languages plus west african plus bahasa. both languages have a lot of dutch words, but it's largely because they still go to school in dutch. conversely, afrikaans speakers don't go to school in dutch, and only see the language in place names and old bibles. but an afrikaans speaker can largely understand dutch, although the other way around is somewhat problematic.

two things that i often say to people who are afrikaans first language who think that dutch comes from afrikaans and not the other way around [and, christ, south africans are worse than americans and almost as bad as the chinese when it comes to thinking the world revolves around them] are that a) to a dutch person, afrikaans is like listening to obasanjo speak english and b) afrikaans was the slave language; it was called "koshuis nederlands" [kitchen dutch] for a reason.

both of these, while true, are not very welcome views here. oh well.

here's a tip for afrikaans -- if you know the dutch word for something, you can probably craft together afrikaans from breaking it in half, taking out some of the consonants, and/or turning "z" into "s" and "ij" into "y". you'll then be halfway there. seriously.

english - dutch - afrikaans

he - hij - hy
his - zijn - sy*
she - zij - sy*
her - haar - haar

company - maatschappij - maatskappy

to give - geven - gee
to know - kennen/weten - ken/weet
to stay - blijven - bly
to write - schrijven - skryf

*why yes, you do need context for this in afrikaans. the clue is, of course, that for "sy" meaning "his" the next word is almost always a noun; for "sy" meaning "she" the next word is almost always a verb.

there are a lot of words that come from bahasa in afrikaans as well, the most notable being "baie" meaning "a lot" or "very [much]" -- in dutch one would use "heel" or "veel"; in bahasa it's banyak.

the letter "g" as well as the digraph "ch" is the same as "ch" such as bach in german or loch in scottish ... which means you are looking for somewhere to spit after you have said the word for canal, which is "gracht" [it's the same word in dutch, and you see street names ending with -gracht in both the southwestern cape as well as in other dutch-speaking places].

the letter g had me thinking about writing this post today. i had to go to town to sort some mess that telkom did me this morning, and one of the first signs you see on the taxi rank when you get to central cape town is --

geen ingang sonder magtiging [unauthorized entry prohibited; literally "no entry without permission"]

that's 4 times you go "g" ... bah.

and given that "ge-" is one of the four ways one makes a past tense in afrikaans, you hear it a lot. the other three ways to make a past tense are "be-", "ver-" or you leave it alone if the base verb starts with "ge-" "be-" or "ver-" such as gebruik [to use], betaal [to pay], or vergeet [to forget].

xhosa/zulu are also a lot more fun [not]. the whole EVERYTHING MUST AGREE thing is really annoying. that said, i've noticed a lot in *spoken* xhosa [and also zulu], there is less agreement than one would expect. i've heard people say that it's the effect of english on the language, but personally the jury is still out.

for me, the main problem is for possessive adjectives --

-ami for my
-akho for your
-akhe for his/hers/its
-ethu for our
-enu for your [pl]
-abo for their

the dash means that the first letter is indicated by the class of noun -- and remember, there are 15 classes of noun.

the short version is that for the classes that start with "u" for both animate and inanimate nouns, the first letter is "w" --

umsebenzi wakho [your job]
ugogo wakhe [his granny]
umshini wethu [our machine]
ukukhula wami [my childhood; contextually, this is more like "the time while i was growing up"]

and the classes that start with "i" singular nouns start with "y" or "z" depending on accent for animate objects, and with "l" for inanimate objects --

impundu zami [my butt]
itjommie yakhe [her friend]
igugu lethu [our pride] -- hence, gugulethu
igama lakhe [his name]

it's stressful trying to get right. and that's just for possessive adjectives. what about, you know, in a sentence that says "these flowers are green" or somesuch. in english green doesn't have to agree with flowers in number [and/or gender], but in most other languages, of course, it does, and this is no exception. the wikipedia article on the xhosa language explains it better than i can.

now, this is largely a vocab issue because kirundi, kikongo, kimbundu and kiswahili all do this to an extent, really. that said, trying to do it while getting the 18 click sounds right on top of it is lots of fun, let me tell you.

that said, because this is cape town, i don't live in a place with a lot of xhosa speakers; most of the black people who live close to the city center are from other parts of africa. this is in part due to the forced removals in the 60s, and also, frankly, people not being able to afford to live centrally. [it's kind of expensive to do if you're not living five people to a house].

i think i'll stop there because i want some sleep.

17 March 2010

accent américain comme coup fourré!

so, i went clubbing saturday night. ran into some friends of mine, hung out with them until the clubs closed.

one of them asked me to walk him home, as the metered cabs were acting stupid, since the cape argus main race was on sunday morning, and they were asking R50 for R20 and R30 fares.

so i walked him home to sea point, and then went to watch the setup for the finish line of the cape argus race.

as i left beach road -- the race ends along the boardwalk -- to get a minibus taxi to go home, i was stopped by a policeman. i got 20 questions as to why i was there. "this is a known drug dealing area," they say. i don't think they were prepared for my response: i know, but i figured with the bike race setting up, the dealers wouldn't be out in full force like they usually are.

me 1, bacon 0

so the cop says, still not turning down his blue lights, which are blinding me, "we're allowed to do a stop and search. can i search you?" me: i would prefer if you didn't, but if you feel you must. that's right, i did say i don't want you do fucking search me.

me 2, bacon 1 [he did in fact search me]

inside my wallet he found my old uwc identification. i kept it for reasons like this. and it led to a few questions about how long i've been in the country and stuff. i told him five years on and off, waving that american accent around like the weatherman on e-news.

he asked me what nationality i was, and i told him american. i then said, "you know, i know i look nigerian. i'm pretty sure that's where we got on the boat a couple of hundred years ago. even nigerians speak to me in nigerian languages, so it's not just you. but i really hope you're not going to be like this to foreign africans during the world cup." the look on his face: priceless.

me 3, bacon 1

it's going to be really fucking interesting during the world cup. cameroon has a game here, and england, france, portugal, as well as holland -- cameroon's opponent in the game here -- all have substantial black followings, many of whom live in africa or the diaspora.

it's going to be real interesting. watch this space.

09 March 2010

passport control woes

so, the cape argus cycle tour is coming up. the organizers of the cycle tour scored a major coup in getting lance armstrong to attend.

lance arrived last nite. well, sort of.

see, for south africa [as well as namibia and lesotho], you need to have two blank pages in your passport, or they won't let you in. rubbish.

as i said on crackbook, this does not fare well for world cup visitors from other parts of africa, especially people flying from the united states or europe on african passports. you see, with african passports, you need visas for almost everywhere, and you are very likely to fall foul of this while flying to south africa for the world cup.

this has been mentioned in thought leader, and i'm going to give a bit of advice stemming from this article. if you are flying into joburg and fall foul of this, they will deport you. instead of letting them deport you back to the country from whence you came, ask to be deported to swaziland, which doesn't have this rule. if you're a first-worlder, there's probably an embassy for your country in swaziland, so you can quick get some extra pages. if you're not a first-worlder, then you may have to stay in swaziland for a few days until your passport can be replaced in pretoria. depending on the country, it's very likely that you might miss the matches for which you have tickets. it may be a good idea to consult your embassy before embarking. oddly enough, he very presciently says "i wonder if they're going to say anything about this for the world cup"... and if you look closely, the blog entry was written in 2008.

also, in the comments section of that thought leader entry, i've mentioned some really crappy experiences that i've had at the hands of immigration officials. [you should be able to spot it fairly easily.]

but it was worth a chuckle. and even a black-belt traveller like lance hints at the phallic nature of the passport control officials in this situation.

08 March 2010

mario balotelli

okay, i'm a bit fucked off at this guy. for those who don't know who he is, he plays for inter. he's turned down a chance to play for ghana [his birth parents are ghanaian] and he's holding out for italy, which, for many reasons, probably won't happen.

if it doesn't happen for the world cup, group f in the world cup will be the only group with no black players. [there's an off chance that someone might make the team in paraguay, but it's unlikely.] maybe someone will read this and marcello lippi will have a change of heart. however, this isn't a plea for lippi to include balotelli; quite the opposite, actually. the shameful way in which he's treated his birth parents should be a good enough reason that he should wait until brazil 2014, at least, to play in a world cup.

see, his birth parents left him to live with other people when he was two. in not-western_europe, this is fairly common practice: you leave your kid with other people if you don't think you can take care of them, and they raise him until such point you can take them back. or, if you can't take them back, you at least see them to check in occasionally -- and the checking in goes both ways, actually.

balotelli feels that his birth parents are only after him for his money. this is a touchy one. can't people just be proud? back when i was in the semi-public eye, various relatives of mine who i never knew were saying "yes, he's one of us, even though his mother took him and disappeared and we only saw him maybe once a year, if that, until he was out of high school."

but see, my mother was really big on the restavek thing [restavek is what this system is called in haiti, from "rester avec" meaning, literally "to stay with"]. there were other random children in my house when i was a kid. i thought it was normal. my parents could provide the right atmosphere, so why not?

another undercurrent of balotelli is the whole race thing. he's fairly routinely racially abused at serie a matches. you know, i'm usually really against the racial abuse in football, but after the way he igged his parents for doing what they thought was best, i'm like... good. maybe he needs to hear it. there's an undercurrent that lippi won't give balotelli the nod because italian supporters won't agree with someone black playing for italy. italy is about the only pre-1997 EU country who hasn't had a black player at the national level. even switzerland, with its ridiculous requirements for citizenship, has had black players.

but i think balotelli needs to grow up a bit more before he can get a nod.

the underlying racism in europe is one of the reasons i don't live there anymore. to this day i refuse to speak french in france, even though it's my first language. if i'm speaking french in france, then i'm an african who must be deported. but if i'm speaking english, it's often american enough that people want to practice their english with me. funnily enough, i get the exact same feeling/treatment in south africa. [it's a shame that my system can't take any more attacks by mosquitoes, or else i'd be gone from here, too.]

i was very much tempted to make a podcast of this, in italian, in the event someone tipped him off to this, but no, i'll keep it in english. for now. we'll see.

04 March 2010

but where are you from-from?

so, i woke up first thing this morning and saw this article in the guardian. the second i saw it, i just had a major, major laugh.

but she has a valid point.

to be non-white in britain is to have your right to be in britain automatically questioned. it's really annoying. heh. i could actually do something like "s/britain/any european country" and it would still be true. nothing can ruin a night out more than walking home and seeing some cops who promptly say "can i see your papers?" and of course, they will use "tu" instead of "vous" or "usted" or "você". it's times like that when i speak english with an american accent, since i just can't be bothered with such silly racism from the cops.

of course, if you're light-skinned or look "mixed" then it's not as much of an issue. the assumption becomes "oh, your mother is white, your dad is from wherever" and are you are at least treated like a citizen. even more so if it seems that you plan on lightening the line from your choice of partner.

some people i know get really touchy about this, especially non-dark black americans who relocate to europe. god. i often get to the point where an internet discussion gets so heated that i have to remind myself about what they say regarding arguments on the internet*.

in most places i've lived, people have just assumed i'm nigerian. even other nigerians. i'm actually okay with this. it's funny though, even when i was living in senegal, my boyfriend's father called me obasanjo [and our gabonese friend he called bongo].

in south africa, however, to be considered nigerian is very problematic. funnily enough, there's an apartment that i have my eye on that i probably will not be able to rent because even though it's fantastically renovated, it's in a building that is in the process of gentrification, with a large percentage of its current residents being foreign africans, some of whom are troublemakers, resulting in an "all immigrants are horrible" sentiment, some of which also mean regular raids by the police. oh well. i have until october to figure out how i'm going to do things.

anyway, back to the daily grind.

*you know the one -- arguing on the internet is like being in the special olympics: even if you win, you're still retarded.

24 February 2010

cape town, south africa's whipping boy...

every so often, there's someone who write a something  about the lack of "racial transformation" in cape town.  after a while, it gets tired and annoying because, well, the black south africans with money are not putting it where their mouth is, and the non-black ones aren't going to put up their money to do it until the black people go first. that's pretty much the real reason. 

in today's episode, we have ryland fisher asking why there are few streets in the cape town city centre named for anti-apartheid figures? of course, there's the normal pro- and anti- cape town crowds have given out their R0.02 about the whole thing. one person actually has a good point in this thread: most central cape town streets are neutrally named -- strand [beach], long, loop, bree [broad], buitenkant [outer bank], buitengracht [outer canal].  riebeeck? not so major. darling? not really.  adderley street is about the only "major" street named for a person in the city center, and even the lower end of that street has its original name of heerengracht. 

granted, there are streets in the city center which are named after prominent afrikaner nationalists: henrik verwoerd, df malan, hans strydom -- but their location in the city center is pretty much reduced to the foreshore -- which is reclaimed land that in reality are basically used for highway on-/off-ramps and parking lots. if you come into cape town via train or most bus routes, you don't even see these streets -- much like most people don't see the streets in the townships named for struggle vets. if you come in via minibus taxi, you do have do deal with oswald parow. but cape town is unique in south africa in that most people do *not* come to the city center via minibus taxi, but by bus and train.

the comments have quickly deteriorated into the normal "cape town is racist" slugfest. this gets really annoying. i really hate defending cape town on this subject. i don't exactly defend cape town, i don't think -- i point out the blinders of the "cape town sucks" crowd in what they say. 

what they want to say is "xhosas aren't well-represented in the heartbeat of cape town." and that's a very true statement. but instead they say "africans" meaning "all black people" and that is very thoroughly wrong. most foreign blacks in cape town live fairly centrally here. as a result, most nights you're more likely to hear yoruba or kimbundu or swahili than you are to hear xhosa or zulu or sesotho.

but of course, foreign black people don't count -- and that is what annoys me about any thread regarding the lack of black "representation" in cape town. 

click on that link and you'll see my comment. cape town [and the country] have much bigger fish to fry rather than the name of a street. someone will ultimately bring up "dignity" and i will pre-emptively respond with "which gives a person more dignity? living on a street named for someone who died in the struggle or working and eating every day?"

15 February 2010

reading is fundamental

so there has been an incredible amount of fail since i last posted, much of it having to do with the president and his state of the nation address, but a few other things related to the franco-german axis's complete lack of desire to prop up the euro by saving greece. 

they will end up saving greece, because letting it go down the tubes will mean that the euro will take a nasty knock, which would be great for me, money-wise, as the rand will take a knock right along with it. bah.

so, back to mzansi. last thursday -- the 20th anniversary of mandela's release from prison -- the president made his state of the nation address.  while his wives were there, his girlfriends and babymamas were not. 

the speech he made was typical campaign-speech and had nothing really to write home about. if he tries to enact half of these things, i should really have no trouble getting a teaching gig here once i get my certs in order. if i were still to have this house, i would have no problem teaching in du noon informal settlement [it would be an easy commute]. from almost anywhere in cape town that i'm willing to live, there are no schools in easy commuting distance with large EFL populations. 

oh, wait. there's langa. i suppose i could make that happen. reverse commute, too, if i lived in town [which i would]. langa is also doable from here, in a stretch. hm. 

anyway, the president really struggled reading in english. i nearly mentioned this on crackbook but chose not to. my thought: okay, it's not his first or second language, i should give him a break. and then he read a bit in sotho. same thing. and then he was reading in zulu. oh, god, this man is really illiterate. when he gives extemporaneous speeches in zulu, he's actually quite inspiring. but actually reading from prepared text? i was actually embarrassed for him. eish. 

it makes me want to make sure that people here read and write well that much more.

but we'll see. after earnings season is done, i should have some downtime, even though i'm working on getting more clients now in an attempt to have less downtime. but i definitely need to crank out this TEFL cert so i can get in the classroom. 

07 February 2010

Umshini wethu weSex

*translation: our sex machine

that's the title of a blogpost on thoughtleader.co.za -- and it refers to our philandering president. or rather, the philandering south african president. he's not my president; i can't vote for him (and wouldn't even if i could). 

now, jacob zuma has three current wives, and has paid lobola [bride price] for at least two other women. there were two other women who were once married to him: one of them is the current home affairs minister, who divorced him; the other one killed herself to get away from him (if the context of her suicide note is to be believed). 

he also had 19 children, some of whom are from his wives; others are from miscellaneous other women, including the sister of the first judge who was to preside over his rape trial (the judge recused himself) -- and an insider says that there are many, many more out there, including a zimbabwean born while zuma was in exile in mozambique who is trying to get to the family compound but the police aren't having it, even though the police themselves say that he looks just like the prez (the poor bastard; zuma is not easy on the eyes).

we now have an admission from the president that he has recently fathered yet another child -- this one from the daughter of the head of the world cup local organizing committee, who is allegedly one of his closest friends. um, ew? having sex with the child of one of your oldest, closest friends is... nasty. 

this is a man who had unprotected sex with a woman who was hiv+ [oh yes, he knew] and took a shower to wash off the aids. his words. 

oh yeah, he was the president of the aids strategy council at the time. oops.

anyway, he's finally paid damages to the khoza family. isn't that grand of him? 

how about he keeps his dick in his pants and runs the country? apparently that is too much to ask for. 

03 February 2010

five years

i was supposed to have left this place a few days ago, but since i didn't --- i've lived in this place for five years, as of today. 

a lot of stuff is going absolutely wrong [starting with no longer having internet access at home, so i can't update the way i want to], but i'll try to find the time to update properly when i can get this all sorted out. 

but, man. five years. eish.