Franshooek, South Africa. Food and Wine Festival. Bastille Day. 2012.
Never not reblog.
at saying goodbye. It’s something that I’ve always known about myself and I try to fight it like the plague. I know that it is a trait that I purely inherited from my mother and I hate it. Like, I know that everyone hates saying goodbye to anyone they care about but seriously, I think I have a problem.
Even if it’s someone I just met or someone I spent a day with, a colleague, a boyfriend, or someone I’ve known for years - regardless of the situation, I have an issue with letting someone go even when I know I will see them again. How does that even make sense? It’s such an intense insecurity that I’m surprised that I’m even posting it on my South African excursion blog. The reason it has come up so abruptly via blogging is because we just had an organization wide lunch for a girl who is leaving to go to grad school, getting married, and moving on with life outside of this but apparently she’s been here for the past six years and spent the majority of her adult life here. She really is incredible. She is motivated, friendly, extremely kind, a hard worker, and basically everything I want to aspire to as a career woman.
So our Wednesday was basically put to a hault when everyone was called to congregated in the conference room downstairs. People took turns sharing their stories of how much the love, respect, and look up to her. She can’t be older than 30 and she’s already made such an enormous impact on the people she works with. The room was bursting at the seams with emotion. Positive yet sad, I tried my hardest to not completely break down and hysterically cry as I heard my colleague’s stories with and about her. I felt like I should have said something but where would I have stared? Technically, I’ve only known her for about a month but I understood. Even in that short amount of time, her compassion and kindness was more than I could handle even the few times I’ve spoken with her. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if I had known her for years.
The people at this organization, Grassroot Soccer, really are immensely remarkable human beings. I’ve realized that I haven’t totally, fully dove into this experience because deep down, I’m really afraid of getting super attached and initially making it harder on myself in the end. I came into this thinking, “Hey, you know, I’ll go to South Africa for a couple months. Do my thang. Meet some people. Go out alot. Explore. Learn.” Etc. Etc. Etc. But I really have become very in love with the idea of who these people are and what they do with their time. The world really does need them and I feel so fortunate (and dare I use the word “blessed”) to have this smidgen of opportunity to even be in their office. It makes me further explore this feeling of feeling very big and very small all at the same time. It’s complexity fathoms me and almost drives me crazy.
Fear. Of. Missing. Out.
Is totally running my life right now.
everyone I’ve met reminds me of someone I already know.
Get a job. Walk to work. Wear a suit and brown glossy shoes. Paint your nails. Wear black. Never wear black. Lip stains on your paper cups, heavy mugs. Scribble poetry in business meetings. Whistle in the elevator. Smile on the subway (it’ll scare them away). Cut your hair. Pin it in curls. Take cold showers. Never shower. Wear five dollar perfume. Stop reading magazines. Lie about politics. Change your name. Buy watercolors. Primary colors. Work in black and white. Take pictures. Stop seeing. Listen to buried records. Listen to silence. Pack your bags. Donate everything. Step into new shoes. Update your passport. Leave this city. Leave this state. Leave this country. Never look back. Learn a new language. Fall in love. Break your heart. Break a bone. Watch death. Touch old things. Lose a friend. Lose yourself. Lose 10 pounds. Lose a parent. Change. Forget. Never forget. Wear black. Never wear black. Lipstick. Night air. Tangerines and overripe plums. Touch your toes. Touch your lips. Touch your heart and break it in half. Pack your bags.
South Africans are in total denial that they actually have a winter and everyone just likes to complain about it. It’s like New Yorkers in the summer pretending like it doesn’t get that hot therefore they don’t need AC. It’s like OKAY EVERYONE - it gets really hot every year and it gets really freaking cold every year. Let’s actually fix this issue with our twenty first century technologically advanced minds rather than pretending like weather doesn’t happen.
Our professor Sean who grew up in Cape Town was like, “oh guys you’ll be fine. It rains a lot but it doesn’t really get cold.” So you know, I’ve become accustomed to New York seasons so I thought it’ll be like how April is, a bit chilly here and there but you have a light jacket and you’re set.
NO. It’s all lies. It gets legitimately cold here OK. I’m seriously regretting not bringing like 100 more sweaters and my Columbia winter coat that I wear in NYC during January. OH! AND get this - since they are in this weird denial about it getting cold in Africa, none of their houses or buildings are insulated nor do they have heaters. So most of my friends have gotten really sick because they didn’t bring the right clothes and their offices are ice boxes. I’m not about getting bronchitis from this nonsense.
Guess I’ll be wearing the same two sweaters for eight weeks. Cool.
when people don’t understand money conversions.
Let’s practice here people:
If 8 Rand = 1 Dollar and something costs 48 Rand how many dollars does it cost?
48 Rand/8 Rand = 6 American Dollars
Very good! Now fucking remember it cuz I’m sick of doing it for you.
Seriously - how did anyone pass the fourth grade without knowing their times tables?
is really cool. I’m working for an organization called Grassroot Soccer. They aim to mobilize the world through soccer to create an AIDS Free Generation. My main project right now is to write a proposal by this Saturday to try to get us into the University of Cape Town’s Third Conference on Poverty and Inequality. This conference has hundreds of academics, researchers, NGOs, and government representatives to develop a set of suggestions and guidelines for the National Planning Commission on how best to combat poverty and inequality in South Africa.. blah blah blah.
Anyway, I know I’m like the only person that thinks this is cool but I’m excited about it. This conference is a big deal and I’m in charge of getting us into it to present in September. I have a few other projects as well but I won’t bore anyone with the details - just know I’m excited but very nervous. I need to be positively productive and I’m a bit scared.
Chakalaka - onion, tomato, peppers appetizer thing
Boerewors - a sausage, typically braaied (barbecued)
The Great Gatsby - a massive sandwich that costs about four American dollars and can feed like six people. You can hardly fit your hand around it. Comes in the form of a long roll with fillings of anything ranging from polony to chicken to steak and french fries or all of the above.
Biltong - different types of salty dried meat, in bit size pieces - antelope is really good!
Pepperdew - a fruit that looks like tomatoes and tastes sweeter, a bit peppery, a bit dewey
Chutney (or called blatjang) - a sweet sauce made from fruit that is usually poured on meat.
Potbrood (pot bread or boerbrood) - savoury bread baked over coals in cast-iron pots
Basically any of their meats, it’s a thing.
To Be Continued!
Meet Betty. The mannequin permanently attached to our living room wall.