Tuesday, April 24, 2007

If anyone asks, I was with you.

I hate my upstairs neighbours. I've given them so many chances to repent, and make up for their arseholery, but no, they have to keep pushing me, and pushing me, and pushing me, and now I have to stab them in the heads. So, I might need an alibi. I'm just letting you know, in advance.

It started off small, the odd Saturday morning at 9am with some rap music insinuating its way into my morning, and the smell of weed drifting in alongside it. But it wasn't too bad, or too offensive, and it was at least some Jay-z and Snoop Dogg. But then, as most major crime sprees* do, it escalated. Soon, there was an onslaught of cheesy R&B, boyband ballads, and commercial chart hits. At club volume. With way too much bass.

Lying in my bed began to resemble living in a left ventricle, all doef doef doef and no peace. I'd also like to add that aside from their musical assault, apparently the little frickers have a bad case of the dropsy: all day and night they drop things on the floor... small and large, pins, pans and possibly anal beads. They move furnishings, bang metal objects against their cage bars**, yell, scream, and have deep and meaningful conversations about how cool they are and their smoking styles. They have not yet discovered the concept of "indoor voice", it appears.

Teenagers. I know this because I've gone to complain a few times, and the PFY*** that answers the door every time, shielding my view with his body like I can't figure out there's a party goin' on around here if i can't see it looks about seventeen.

I could totally take him down if it weren't for those cage bars. But I guess I'll just have to hope and prey that they catch some sort of STD that withers their genitals. And a tapeworm.

* and serial killers too. Just thought I'd add that. It's relevant.
** burglar bars, whatever.
*** just google it, okay?

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

15-year-olds, dude.

Stomach empty, brain wired and woozy, ready for the day's programme to be over, I directed the scholars (or do we call them learners now, I'm never sure) towards the hall.

"Through the door, go stand in your groups. Through the door, stand in your groups. Stand in your groups, once you're through the door. Door, through, groups, stand". I can handle this. Then one of the little hormone factories, who's been giving me the crazy-eye all morning, makes his move. I can see what's coming: not the exact wording, but the general gist.

"Miss", he starts, sweeping his eyes up and down me as if he's being subtle about it "miss...I like your pants".

You must surely kid me. This is testing my sanity.

"Okay, well, thanks for that. Now, through the door, and stand with your group." you smug little bastard. I need some lunch.

Anyway, so the group activity goes as the group activities go. The boys and girls self-segregate, as if they could catch gender like a communicable disease. Ah, the universal truths of hormonal discourse. Then crazy-eye and a couple of his posse get kicked out for being little pricks. They scurry towards the door, thinking, perhaps, that they were free to bask in the sunshine. Not on my watch. If I'm not having fun, neither are you.

Closing the door behind me, I find them in the corridor. "Boys." They wheel around, surprised by my arrival, but pleased nonetheless. Until I break the news to them: there are no free rides* in this vale of tears!**"Boys... [herewith following a brief speech in which they were crapped upon from a godllike height, ending with] AND I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH DISRESPECT"***.

They looked a little sad as they traipsed into the museum. Good. GOOD! HOW D'YOU LIKE THEM PANTS, HUH?

*or lapdances, depending on who you're talking to.
**in this case, the corridor
***this was said in the tone of voice that implies emasculation and possibly worse. Ladies, I think you will know what I mean.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Eek! Eek! Eek!

It's getting worse. I can feel them, watching me from the shadows as I pass, from the foliage of the trees, from the undergrowth. I can hear them, as surreptitious as they may try to be, their furtive rustlings and the hissing of their breath. They taunt me, chattering and giggling, an endless stream of crazytalk. Jumping out from behind trees, following me as I make my way home; roving gangs of them leaping around, stoned on whatever it is that makes them this way. I can see it in their dark, beady, soulless little eyes, the hunted, haunted glare that screams out: BUGGRIT! Fnoo feet kill feet Jasper Icecreams fnoo!*Dirty, diseased a scourge on the city, they prey on our sympathies and our pity. But underneath it all, they hate us, and await their moment to exact their revenge.

man, those squirrels freak me out.

*I know, it makes no sense to me either, but there you have it.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Crowd Control Issues

There is some evidence of change. As I ride past Greenpoint Stadium in the morning, there is a little bit less of it every day. Soon, they will start construction on the grand, new, fancy-schmancy stadium, and thus the hoopla that will be the runup to 2010* will begin in earnest. Because if you think it's started yet, you're not South African. We can do hoopla like nobody's business. We have a Master's in Hoopla (that would be an M.Phil, in case you're wondering).

I hope not to be here, and not merely because of the hoopla (which is actually somewhat entertaining in an "you're not seriously proposing we consider the impact of prostitution on the biltong industry are you?" kind of way). I will not be here because there will be crowds.

It's the one thing nobody seems to have considered yet. Yes, they've thought about increased traffic and tourism and the need for public transport but not the reality of a gajillion rowdy footie fans ambling boredly around the place when they're not in the stadia.

I never really experienced real crowds till I got to Japan. Tokyo is just a city of crowds, but they are mostly organised, systematic crowds, with places to go and be and systems to get around. Sapporo during the Yuki Matsuri** was a completely different matter. Now, Sap-town was one of my favourite cities, and was generally pretty laid-back. but during the Matsuri, thousands of people from all over Japan, and the world, squished into its shopping malls, streets and subway stations. It was chaos, and hugely frustrating.

See, I don't cope well with masses of undirected humanity. I start to panic, my fight-or-flight mode takes over, but I can't flee because there are so many of them! and they're all in my way! and I can feel them breathing germs on me and move goddamnit or I will punch you in the throat and why are there so MANY of you!!!!

I can't breathe. I think I need to lie down.

* the 2010 Soccer World Cup, for those of you who are very isolated, dead, or American.
** Snow festival, I'm sure I've blogged about it..

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some Leave, with a little Break.

Aaaaaah. Religious holidays. A chance to bond with the family over dinner and field somewhat inappropriate questions about my love life from unexpected sources. A time to pause and reflect on my spirituality, and what it means to me.

a time for Matzos, Marmite, and ensuing constipation.

Pesach is fun because there's so much of it. Two days off at the beginning and one right at the end. Also, there's Easter right in the middle of it, so you get that as a public holiday. What's even more awesome is that both holidays are totally centred around food. Perhaps they aren't meant to be , but they are. Soup with Kneidlach, matzos with the aforementioned Marmite or Peck's Anchovette*, and herring. I don't actually like herring, and no, Mom, it's not like sushi.

Easter has the traditional Easter bunnies, creme eggs, marshmallow eggs**, and if you live in a country with it's priorities right***, marshmallow Peeps shaped like chicks. Also, many things covered with foil that must be ripped off an scattered around one's bedroom, to be discovered under your pillow weeks later, even though the linen has been changed twice.

So, to recap: yummy sweets, yummy savouries, and 7 days off with a Thursday of work in the middle. Not bad. Not bad at all.

*both of which are, I think, things that only South Africans, Brits and a few other colonials actually enjoy. And I'm not sure about the fishpaste. Does anyone else in the world actually eat it?
** the ones with caramel in the middle are the best, no question.
*** So not South Africa then.

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Monday, April 02, 2007


Yesterday was a new record for me. Or perhaps a new low. I started off my morning watching an episode of Heroes. And then I couldn't stop. For fourteen hours. In the end, I had a migraine and was getting a little bit crazy, so I was forced to go for a walk to clear my head.

Actually, that was a description of a pretty cool day.

I think, being an only child, I grew too comfortable with my own company. Armed with a vivid imagination, a safe neighbourhood and having read every one of the Famous Five books, I pretty much lived inside my own head. And it was a pretty cool place to be. Anyway, as an adult, sometimes I just don't want or need to be with other people. People, are for the most part annoying. They have emotional needs that must be navigated. They want to talk about things I'm not interested in. I'm not talking about my friends and loved ones, really: it's new people strangers and acquaintances that are the problem. And they are all over the place. I meet them all the time. And sometimes I'd rather just stay home with a good book*, or some DVD's.

It's a good thing I don't have Katamari Damacy** anymore or I'd never leave the house.

I guess I'm just having one of those phases where I'm all hermity and Garboesque. and Garboesque is never a bad thing to be.

* My Ideal Sunday morning: wake up, have sex with significant other, read awesome book for a few hours, nap, wake up, eat waffles.
** Does anyone have a PS2 and a copy of
Katamari Damacy to lend me?

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