24 April 2006

How many a sign is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by with face averted!

Doesn’t this week’s blog pic look cool? I couldn’t come up with a fancy name, so I call it, ‘Hail on the grass!’

With all due respect to our friendly Bots neighbours, their national airport is hilarious- we landed on an airstrip in what seemed to be Kruger Park! An empty runway literally in the middle of the bush! Bags are off-loaded onto the tarmac from where you carry them to the single storey airport terminal. The redundant baggage carousel is a hole in the wall through which the ground staff passes the bags.

But with all that, Gaborone is a nice place. Tiny city with truly African roads (potholes galore!) and a nice people- they are called Batswana. One would be called Matswana. It’s actually very similar to SA- we should just annex it and make it a SA colony as most, if not all, of the major stores and food establishments are South African…

The Okavango is a major attraction of Botswana, but too far to be done in a weekend. Flew to Durban for the Tour D`Urban- 108km bicycle race reminiscence of the Argus! Managed an improved time of 5hours and 40 minutes- could have been better but strong Southerly kept us straggling! This whole cycling fever is quite catchy- guess now that I’m hooked going to have to invest in a good set of wheels.
Made some captivating observations during my tour of Durban- the city is so remarkably green, like a huge forest, and the lines of social status tend to merge and converge quite sharply! At the bottom of a hill you find an informal settlement of shacks, and after ascending to slightly higher altitude, there, perched like Israeli settlements on Palestinian hilltops, are heavily fortified palaces and militarily like compounds! It’s a crazy world we’re living in…

As Vlismas quipped during his Durban Poison comedy road show: Apartheid promulgators just loved the Indians- they formed such a nice buffer between the blacks and whites! Now, the largely middle to upper class find themselves in the same boat- keep the poor and downtrodden away! Form a nice buffer between rich and poor- for God knows, if the lot of the poor increases, that boost is coming out of our pockets!

Vlismas rocks- catch the Durban Poison show if you can…
Back to sunny SA tomorrow for the day before departing to Ghana. Looking forward to that- got a weekend to explore Accra. This travelling life-style is quite exciting;)

18 April 2006

'Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.'

This blog pic was taken at the Joburg Country Club during a freak hail storm- looks like snow!

Another one bites the dust! A dear friend has embarked on the journey to define new concepts, to taste and experience life as never before! His time was up and he will be fondly remembered by us all:) May God bless him and his better half and grant them many happy younglings…

Ghana- 22 million people sandwiched between Cote D’Ivoire and Togo. It’s so obscure yet you need a visa to go there. A visa which takes so many days to get that one will have to cancel a trip to Moz just because the delayed Ghanaians haven’t returned your passport yet! But all was not lost- a trip to Sodwana Bay with an overnight stay in Ermelo was now on the cards. Squbah diving in Sodwana, snorkeling at St. Lucia, lots of fun, fire and food in-between, made Easter a HUGE blast!

Fish are delicious- I love them! Most fish or fishy stuff is very tasty- but I don’t think I’ll ever want to eat a rainbow colored butterfly wingback fish- I thinks they were made just to be admired. The colors down there, 18m below sea level, living in and around the equally beautiful coral, was made solely for admiration purposes! But how can you admire them if you don’t squbah? You can’t- and believe me, you are missing out. I believe that squbah diving should me made compulsory- it should be fard. Why? Coz if you can’t squbah you can’t appreciate the world of beauty down there- you may come close with aquarium visits or even closer by snorkeling, but you can’t beat the real McCoy! Do it if you capable..

What is Easter? The celebration(?) of the crucifixion or the supposed reawakening of Christ? Apparently the whole egg and bunny part is just there for commercial value- man making money over the naivety of others! We see it all over- convince a people to hold onto some rite /tradition /practice with promises of success and reward, and no matter how dumb it is, how far against the essence of pure belief it is, us hoards of sheep will blindly go where no rational believer has gone before! Why? Because it’s easier to just do what those before us have done, it’s easier not ask questions, it’s easier to not understand or even try to understand- is it just laziness? Or more?

The seconds, the hours and the days go by- what has gone you cannot get back. The future you cannot waste time worrying about now. What you need to do, is to concentrate on the now- make sure that the now is used to the maximum. That every last drop of it is squeezed out, that every single speck is gathered, that we have no regrets- wuhoo!

Off soon to show the Ibn Batuta in me the wild lands of Bots and Ghana. Hope I get back in one piece!

11 April 2006

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

This weeks blog pic was taken at a place called Long Toms Pass in the eastern Transvaal. You actually standing above the clouds! Wicked:)

An Al-Jazeera journalist did a picture presentation on his recent trip to Sierra Leone- it was scary! Muslims the world over seem to be really messed up! Gruesome stuff like transforming young kids into vicious soldiers that chopped off body parts and massacred hundreds really sent chills down the spine. This all happened in our very recent past- what the hell was going on? Sierra Leone, Rwanda, probably dozens of other places I haven’t even heard of.. And as I mentioned in a previous email, from the movie Hotel Rwanda- ‘Normal, decent, god-fearing, religious people all watch the horror on the news, express how terrible it is, feel bad about it and then go about their normal lives…’

The following are some thought provoking snippets from an article by Naomi Klein- Fences of enclosure, windows of possibility:
‘Security firms do their biggest business in the cities where the gap between rich and poor is greatest—Johannesburg, São Paulo, New Delhi—selling iron gates, armoured cars, elaborate alarm systems and renting out armies of private guards…
In deeply divided South Africa, annual spending on private security has reached US$1.6 billion, more than three times what the government spends each year on affordable housing.
It now seems that these gated compounds protecting the haves from the have-nots are microcosms of what is fast becoming a global security state—not a global village intent on lowering walls and barriers, as we were promised, but a network of fortresses connected by highly militarized trade corridors

That’s us she is speaking about- us middle class, university educated, cushy clothed, housed and jobbed! Us who look at the horror all around us and say, ‘Shucks, that’s so terrible!’ and then go back to watching tv, or consoling ourselves with some arb pseudo validations.. What are we supposed to be doing differently, if anything at all? Please, help out with some thoughts here!

But if you would prefer to forget about this serious stuff, move on to the light reading:
Rugby- took guys from our London office to the cats/reds game. It sucked. I know remember why I’m not a rugby fan. Most of the game the guys are busy getting ready for the next play or whatever you call it. Just too much ‘dead’ time and standing around… Never again!

The J country club is really freaky- I would aptly label it the last bastion or Apartheid! You can only enter if you are a member or attending with a member. And to be a member you must be invited by an existing member. So given that they now accept membership from all (incl non-whites and Jews who were previously barred!) its probably going to take a long time to have more than just the token faces around..

Always good to meet family now and then! Cool family:)

Did the CR comedy skit and was a tad disappointed:( Its great to laugh at white people and profanities, but a serious lack in talent compared to my previous visits there! Makes me want to try out a bit myself- its easy to make people laugh. Its even easier to fail miserably!

Long weekend coming up with a flying trip to Moz, followed by mellow labouring in Bots, followed yet again by a tad bit of toil and sightseeing in Ghana! Its going to be HUGE;)

05 April 2006

Nothing in this world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Another week of work, with ferocity like not many before! Don’t mind though, the calibre of work consists not of the usual ticking and bashing but rather of analysing and summarising- yup, gripping stuff;p

Had the pleasure of once again absorbing some hale and hearty Vitamin D (from the sun), saline moisture (from the sea) and last but not least, gaining a gritty scalp (from the sand). Not enough though considering the close proximity of the winterish season… Declined the opportunity to witness two groups of grown, hairy, fat men fighting over a leather odd ball- a game that never caught my attention and the object of which I constantly fail to grasp! Besides, there was plenty fraternising to be done in the little hours I had to spend…

A quick bite and splash was all I caught at home (this weeks pic is from NN!) on the road back- flew some kin back to catch a zim flight home. Home is what they call the place that many now seem to dread. I suppose time will tell how much of the damage, caused by or because of Uncle Bob, will be repairable- many still hold dear to the place and for them I am hopeful there is hope. Really baffles even an analytical mind like mine (;p) how inflation(!) can escalate so swift…

Interesting to see how this whole Chuck thing has blown up- seems as if its taken the interweb(*) by storm! Most aren’t funny but I’m not ashamed to admit that some really split me up! Like: What colour is Chuck Norris's blood? Trick question. Chuck Norris does not bleed.
Hilarious! Almost as funny as the comment M left on me blog last week! But can someone explain what the hell is the driving force of this craze. To think what one would achieve by successfully channelling all this chuckenergy into something really worthwhile and productive…
(*)- anyone recognise the lingo from TMAS? Me thinks that its pretty funny in a Chucky kinda way:)

V: books, art, music, travel, even movies- all this seems to have helped make V the man he is. Something arb I picked up in the movie. Never expected to be so blown away by a movie that at first sight seems to be a teen/cult flick. Superbly awesome. Would like to possibly generate some discussion around the themes the movie highlighted- your thoughts…

V: This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. There is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof!