written for the Daily prompt: If you leave

I have this fantasy that I’d like to not be where I am anymore.  Sometimes I wish I was just an orphan with no human ties.  No family weddings and funerals and formalities.  I’ve never known how to act in awkward situations like comforting someone who’s experienced great loss.  I struggle to say ‘I love you’ to my mother.  Not because I don’t.

I have this fantasy to just find a way to leave here and go live somewhere natural and beautiful where there’s nothing much else around.  No people.

Pardon me for everything I’m about to say

written for the Daily Prompt: Never surrender

Today is not about me.  I’m trying to give up gossiping so I’ve nobody to talk to about this.  And I don’t really want to because I really like the woman I’m about to tell you about.

There is a certain kind of stubborn.  The kind we don’t even realize we have.  It keeps us in denial.  Constantly finding good excuses for keeping on doing silly things.  We are too stubborn to learn the lesson.

I have a friend.  Recently I’ve gotten to know her well.  And I like her quite a lot.  She is an older woman, nearly 60, white, single, friendly.  She has this one issue though.  She only dates younger black guys.   Now this is not the problem.   The problem is they see her coming like a treasure laden freight train.   They use her financially because she has a good heart.  And she falls for it time and time again.  They move in with her, have no job.  One of the guys perennially lied about his camera getting stolen and each time she bought him a new and better one.  That guy eventually cheated on her with her best friend to whom he is to married now.  Needless to say he is milking her too (She is also an older white woman).

So lately there’s a new guy on the block.  This one again has managed to get an ‘investment’ out of her for a business he wants to start.  Somehow in a strange way she swings it in a story that the investment seems to be of benefit to her as well.  Then in the latest development, she has paid for his travel expenses to his home country to gift him the opportunity to see his dying mother.  Needless to say, it turns out his mother has had a miraculous recovery and won’t be dying anymore.  She says she couldn’t live with herself if he didn’t get to see his dying mother and she says she fully believes the mother recovered because she got to see her son.  Sigh.

Oh the lies we tell ourselves.  The truths we refuse to see.

I’ll start tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or the day after that …

Written for the Daily Prompt: The Heat is On

I was the postponer.  The one who survives (not thrives) under pressure.  The avoider of facing things until just before the last minute.  The excuse maker upper.  The just-just over the fence scraper.  The loser of the best and the taker of the rest because I just barely passed the test.  And why?  Not because I’m stupid or lame, but because I acted that way.   Waiting for the pressure to squeeze out the bare minimum of my potential.

On being you

Written for  Daily Prompt: Lets go crazy

What is crazy? What is normal?  What does that make you?

We are human.  Part of us is instinct.

We want to eat.  We want to express.  We want to laugh.  We want to cry.  We want to react to what we feel.  We want to feel.  To be normal is to fight this.   They say this is human.

We want to eat.  We want to express.  We want to laugh, We want to cry.  We want to react to what we feel.  We want to feel.  To be crazy is to do as we feel.  To succumb and let it be, is to be you.

A sweet memory of the past

Written for The Daily Post:Time after time

Tradition is not something I do for pleasure.  But the memory of them is pleasurable (even if, like now, they sometimes make me cry).  It keeps the child in me alive.  The feeling of trusting someone completely, feeling safe, and belonging somewhere.

The night before Eid was a special night to the child version of me.  My mother was a single mother.  We knew she loved us, but she didn’t have a lot of time to show us because she worked so many hours to keep us safe and warm.  The memory of the night before Eid is something I will always cherish.  The soothing smell of sweet things baking in the oven.  Helping in the kitchen, fitting on our fancy specially made dresses for the next day.  Going to bed late.  Licking the leftover cake batter still clinging to the mixing bowl.  A whole night of two happy little girls in love with their mother.

Against all odds

Against all odds

In December last year, I undertook a solo trip around South Africa on a motorcycle I hardly knew.  It was immensely challenging and equally rewarding.  I blogged about it on my adventure blog.  There were so many many fears and challenges to face.  It gets like that when one does things alone.

My trip started in Cape Town.  In 15 days I had covered about 4000 tough, tough, tough, kilometers.  I had been riding in rain for 3 days.  That’s three wet and cold days, not seeing the sun.  Finally, approaching Port Elizabeth, the sun peeked its pretty little face through the clouds and warmed my whole soul.  It could only get better from there, I thought.  It was about 1000 km to go for home, and all tar (Much of my trip had been on dirt).  I had covered about 4000 km in total, when, in the region of Port Elizabeth, this happened:

Port Elizabeth-20131212-00946

Chain snapped, hit a hole in the engine casing and caused all the oil to pour out of the engine.

My chain snapped, hitting a hole in the engine casing, causing all the oil to pour out of the engine.  I was not sure what I could do .  I was glad at least that the chain did not get stuck in the wheel (which is a terrible terrible thing), and also I was glad that I did not slip in the oil as I made my way to the side of the road.  Another thing I was grateful for was that my engine still sounded ok when I switched the bike off.  No loud bangs or other metallic knocking noises.  At times like these, its good to remember what there is to be grateful for.

It was about 40 minutes before sunset.  The police cars I tried to flag down just drove past.  Stranded on the freeway, I did not know anybody in PE, I did not have any roadside assistance, my cell phone battery was on half full.   I hoped that would be enough.

I called a roadside assistance service which I was not a member of.  I was about to allow them to approve my immediate membership which would cost me a ton of money on the spot, when I thought to check with them how long they would take to come.  When they said it would be at least two hours, I decided to take a breath and think about it first.  In the meantime, I called to the police hotline, and after much struggling and about 3 calls to them they finally understood that I needed somebody to come and stand by me while I waited for some roadside service in the dark on the freeway.  It was too dangerous alone.

By the time the two man police team arrived, I had called another pickup service.   There had also been a man kind enough to stop and offer me help.  He had gone to organize a pickup truck of a friend, and they would take me to the nearest police station.  This was as far as my mind could function.  What I would do after that I was not sure.  But I was sure I would be several thousand rand poorer than I was before this experience.

While waiting on the road, I started calling and messaging people back in Cape Town to ask if they had any contacts of mechanics and other people who might be able to help me.  One guy, a motorcycle dealer, a ‘friend’, who I was sure would have lots of contacts, got back to me immediately.  But he was not very encouraging.  He didn’t give me any contacts, but did ask me how I thought a mechanic would be able help me.  I just told him not to worry about me, and thanks.  In my mind I was swearing profanities of course.  One can always tell a good friend from those who are just in for the good times in situations like these.  Another guy, one of my good friends, a mechanic who was actually looking after my cats while I was away from home gave me a bit more hope.  He asked me to send him a photo of the broken stuff, and after seeing it, he assured me all I needed to do was get some steel putty to plug the hole where the oil came out, and fix the chain somehow.  Then I would be good to go again.  Now that’s a friend.  That was what I needed to hear.  Worst case scenario, I could could call a listed mechanic and ask him to come collect the bike from the police station for fixing.

The policemen were really great.   They told me their life stories (which is a story for another day) and then they asked me about what the pickup service was going to charge me, and after they heard how much it was they said no, people are crazy, and they would get their police salvage vehicle to come pick me up (for free), and take me to their police station.  That was the start of my good luck.  We waited long, but eventually it came, and we loaded the bike on the back and drove off (no ropes!).  The police station was not very far.  The guys assured me that the chief of the station who would be in the next day knows a lot about mechanics and would be able to help me.   Then they took me to a hotel, which turned out rather scruffy, but it was a roof over my head for the night at least.

Next day, I was still very unsure of what I was going to do, but  I bought a coffee and when to drink it by the river.  Two chaps on a motorbike also came to the river and were smoking some ganja.  I asked them if they knew anybody who could fix a chain, and they said, well, they’d fixed their own bike’s chain the night before.  They were so kind to agree to go check out the bike at the police station before they went to work.  After seeing it, they said, it was not complicated, it could be fixed.  I didn’t even need to buy a new chain, they would get a spare link themselves.  I myself had to hitchhike a ride to police station as there were no taxis from the hotel.  I spent much of the morning laying on the grass at the police station and then it struck me to go and check with the chief of the station.  Just in case he could help me as the guys of the night before said.  My word, in two ticks, so to speak, my bike was fixed.  The chief and all his deputies were getting their hands dirty, driving around getting parts and putty for my bike on the tax payer’s money.   Everyone at the station was kind and friendly.  Before 3pm, I was on the road again,  And the whole experience cost me less than a Macdonald’s happy meal.


The illuminati

These days, I find myself hearing more and more about the illuminati and their conspiracy to take over the world.  Famous people, movie stars and music artists are producing devilish productions and flashing hand signs and and other shmite around openly showing their affiliation with this mega powerful secret organization that controls the world, killing all who attempt to remove themselves from the club and speak up about it.  So, while this may or may  not be a real thing, I must say, there are a lot of hand signs and other symbolism and imagery flying around, sometimes literally.  But … I mean.  It just reminds me of when I was little and between one of two of my girlfriends we’d start a ‘club’, and part of that process was to get other girls to join our club.  We’d choose a tree to be our club house, and during lunch breaks we’d gather under that tree and keep ourselves busy with our self-made activity books which included word searches, coloring in pictures, and corny jokes.  And then after a week, a rivalry would erupt within the club and one of the friends would start another club and take half or more or less of the members over.  And there would be like a cold war between the clubs.  Its cute.


Ok so maybe its not like this really because there is supposed to be money and incredible power over the world involved with people having allegedly died for standing against it.  The oddest thing for me about it in this day and age is that they use devilish symbolism.  From the old belief in the devil.  These uber modern folk.  And what that’s supposed to accomplish I’m not sure.  I guess maybe to win them sponsors and networking partners.  Ok, I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I think the part that makes this successful, is that we, who do not necessarily identify with the devilish things, reward all their investments by falling for the glitz and glam and trendy devilishness, and throw our hard earned pennies at them, making the club more and more wealthy and powerful.  So I guess they are just cashing in on our sheepish stupidity.