01 March 2007

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

It’s good to know that government is trying their best when it comes to the budget. The DG of National Treasury, Lesetja Kganyago, presented at a Budget Speech Review at the Hyatt. He spoke well and wisely, and tackled the criticisms levelled at them with ease and tact. The major criticism of Government, coming from the poor, is that our economy is more capitalistic that socialist.

Big business is probably complaining, in their high and mighty circles, the opposite. So its possible to understand the difficulty that government finds itself in-trying to maintain an economy that functions and competes with the highly capitalistic world market, as well as trying to be a complete service provider for the citizens of this country. This balance is difficult to achieve, and in many (or some- depending which side of the poverty line you lie) respects they have done a fairly good job of this. No?! And what role do we play? 1. As citizens? 2. As professionals?

Managed to squeeze out some of the Palestine speech at the most industrial Jumah around. Sandton city has a double barrel session with marathon lectures and prayers. No, I am not upset that they only gave me 10 min for a 30 min job- at least it was something! And the crowd being probably the most qualified, high flying bunch in the country, I hope it was better than what they usually sleep through. Untapped potential there I must say- if that audience can be harnessed to start improving the economic front, we can have a more just (Islamic) outlook in no time…

Cii hosted a semi-professional mountain biker this weekend. At least I thought he was semi-professional :) Anyways, I attempt to join these guys for a day of mountain biking. What they don’t tell me is that they attempt to climb an actual mountain with bikes! Eventually made it up and was probably excellent Argus training…

But I still want to kill Mike- he built the pass by hand along with Italian Prisoners of war. [Mike built the pass to access a part of the little 'berg to conduct research on the effect tree plantations would have on water sources.]
And the road he cut out 60+ years ago, admirably I would say, with no or little equipment, is now a 4x4 track. At least 7km up, at a ridiculous gradient, it is the shortest route that could be cut into that mountain. The road to the end of the world it seemed like. And the scorching temperatures help little when you need to constantly be peddling uphill! 5km up and we pass an envoy of 4x4 all heading down coz there is a major thunder storm on its way. Only 2km to go, so much effort, and what’s the worst that can happen!
We continue bravely and cycle straight into a wave of cooling water. But when a bike needs to be repaired, the cooling rain becomes a freezing storm!
Wet, battered and muddy we summited the peak and savoured the moment. Some advice if you ever take up mountain biking- make sure you have a good, complete repair kit. And get a bike that has those fancy shocks- they don’t just look cool- they probably help a great deal when you flying down a rocky mountain track at an almost vertical gradient!

This is what real professional bikers say: {BEWARE OF: If riding down Mike's Pass, be extremely cautious as this road is consistently used by vehicles. There are blind bends and sheer drops on this pass and mistakes at high speed from ‘downhilling’ could be fatal. In wet conditions, the jeep tracks become very slippery.}

The A1 Gran Prix was disappointing to say the least. With ticket prices double that of last year (lucky I didn’t pay to get in:p) and heat of over 40 DEGREES, it was more fun ducking early from there and going to spend the day on the beach. A1 Gran Prix, for those who don’t know, is the World Cup of motor racing:P Formula 1 cars (almost!) from many countries (I was surprised to see Pakistan) travel all over the world to race. Durban has one of the worlds few street tracks- a brilliant sounding idea, but not exactly Monaco I would imagine. But if you into fast cars, deafening noise and loads of pit girls, try the A1 Gran Prix

And a bit of good news- I passed board!


Fatima said...

Well done!
I'm so happy for you!

Mountain biking sounds like fun, but I have a slight fear of heights...and I would probably chicken out at the last moment.

fida said...


well done!!


Lady said...

Wow man!!!!!!!
Congrats :) or as they say in cpt 'Salaamat Broetjie'

Dontcha think that promoting dbn tracks are abit unfair? :P
Don't forget wesbank raceway in jhb, and killarney in cpt :) and Sacks Circle for when u wanna go illegal street racing :P

kimya said...

hey slms!

congrats on the boards! effort n duas pay off in handsome dividend of whats good n meant for us :)

wishing you progress and joy in all that you undertake to do!

almira said...

Congratulations Bilal! :)

Ruby :) said...

Congrats on passing ur board exams... well done!!

The K-man said...

Congrats on the boards bru Mashallah!

Saaleha said...

Mabrook Bilal. I knew you would!

Zahira said...

CONGRATS halaal :)
A1 was tops i loved it and yah i like the sounds hehehe
mountain biking is kewl hey but not when it raining

Bilal said...

And its def not a sport for the faint hearted:) Try it sometime- its an adrenaline rush!

Thanks! Its such a relief to be done after all these years...

Not promoting anything- didnt you read I said A1 sucks:P
But Dbn does have the only street track- on a beach front!

Thanks. Same to you!
Let us know when your book launch is...

@almira, ruby, k-man & saaleha:
Thank you All:)

A1 last year was much better- and now I am over the novelty of it:P

Zak P said...

hey dude, congrats and well done on passing board. Now take on the world and beyond!!