Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The day journey....

Today was a day blessed with a bubbly beginning and unfolded into a spectacle of bursting bubbles blowing through the dry and hot Cape Townian bustle! A little bit of alliteration to Brighten up the Blog! Ha! Today was a lovely day in the world of I and I. I arose an hour and a half after my alarm (which has become the norm as I really don't have any where to be or any reason for rising at 7:30am) I attempted to do my morning ritual of body tapping and a little bit of of Yoga but once yoga matt was lain upon the floor and I began tapping I got terribly bored and took to plucking my eyebrows instead, which lead to chopping my fingernails and then pealing dead skin from my toes....perhaps too much detail, but a highly satisfactory experience it was. I now have nicely plucked eyebrows and VERY short finger-nails.

Morning routine thrown out the window I decided to listen to the radio whilst preparing some oats...I'm now updated on the latest music in CT and feel very happy to finally know what's in! Tomorrow morning I hope to listen to another, even 'cooler' radio station to affirm this mornings research. I gave Willow Smiths tune, I whip my head back and forth, a second chance too...the first time I heard that track I was appalled by the quality of the music coming out of the 'youth' today...this morning however I was able to do some moves to beat and look forward to our next rendezvous!

I had a big Chat with my little sister down under as it was her first day at a new school and was very happy to hear her report! She is a super trouper!!!! She however passed on other news which rattled my foundations a bit...relationships are a challenge in all shapes and sizes. One is never as lenient with other people as we are say with our pets. Other humans tend to have certain idiosyncrasies that can drive one mad or in worst case scenarios drive one to dislike or even despise others. I do feel my place in these situations hasn't ever been strong enough to come to despise another. I can see how many do come to this situation, but being the people pleaser that I am I am perhaps a bit to much of a chameleon and have a tendency to adjust accordingly in order to not have to end up despising. I have the ability to disconnect myself enough to try and make the different challenging experiences less challenging. Others with stronger wills and perhaps more integrity and conviction for what they see as right and wrong though do end up in situations which break my heart. When one has the ability to lose all hope in another whom they have loved or potentially still love but no longer hold an inch of respect then I feel rather deflated. But that is not my journey and I have to often make a decision to distance myself from others relationships even if the two parties involved are both loved ones. Each relationship must pan out in its own manner and I can only maintain the relationships with those in my sphere.

Speaking of relationships, I miss Aleksander! I miss his friendship and his council. I miss our great conversations and his intellect. I miss his acceptance of me and his honesty. It is a strange thing to miss...and I ponder this greatly lately because here in Cape Town I have my brothers and my sister-in-law as my daily companions (and the Rocket my four legged love) and I in fleeting moments miss having a friend with whom I can hang out with. After a day of reading I return from the library and am bursting with words and ideas and giggles and pokes and urges to converse and share stories and ideas and break down the activities of the day or simply banter on about some mundane topic that needs to be explored and for 6 years Aleksander was my partner in crime for such activities. Before Aleks there were good friends over the years who on a yearly basis also filled such I find myself writing to certain people whom enable my fingers to type freely to and babbling on like I do right now. So writing becomes my new friend, my new partner in crime until I meet a human I can openly share the madness with.

I went into town today, to Long street which is one of the main drags here with lots of bars, cafes, restaurants, backpackers, galleries and shops here in Cape Town. My intention was to buy tickets to a Rave I'm attending this weekend (another opportunity to boogy and socialize that I'm opening up for myself). So I bought the ticket and attempted to have small talk with the shop assistant and failed because my topic choice was a bit too brash, the amount of drugs at a Trance Party is not a standard conversation apparently. I was merely expressing that I wouldn't need drugs, that Coffee would suffice....anyways....afterwards I decided to spoil myself to some food and was immediately tempted by a Dosa Masala cafe...where I drank the most AMAZING mango Lassi and had a very tasty regular dosa masala and a frozen chai. It was so nice to be in the cafe that I read a play by Sam Shepherd entitled, Fool for love. The Cafe working Dude was lovely and offered me a little bit of small talk but I overheard him telling another customer that he had a terribly sore throat so I didn't push the small talk because I understand how uncomfortable it can be to chat when suffering such pain. The play was GREAT! which was a relief cause i'm still battling with another play: King Baabu...which I don't find so great, but it's a required reading for one of my upcoming classes so I have to battle through it. Fool for love, was a super little play, a pair of lovers are fighting cause the lad left the lass for another lady but has returned to re-light the flame of their relationship...she's not willing and has decided to move on and this makes him even more determined to win her love. Her new love potential comes and the two men get into discussions about the lad and the lasses relationship and it turns out they're half siblings sharing a father....(the plot thickens) but had an insatiable love for each other since their teenage years...she then gives in and decides to let him be her lover again, they hug, kiss, declare their love, he has to go to his car and he leaves her...a strange ending...yes...not what i expected but the play was written so well and I was engaged throughout it and my imagination was running wild with ideas on how to stage it and I could relate so much to what the characters were saying and THAT'S THEATRE!!! King Baabu bores me and i can't relate to any of the characters and I find it tedious and meaningless (for me).

SO after reading this play and feeling might inspired I returned to the Library and began to read another play, Topdog/underdog which I'm still reading. When the library closed I proceeded to wait for the Glorious Free Jammie Shuttle back to the main campus. As I sat and read two gentlemen approached and enquired as to whether I spoke french or not. I told them I did not speak french and they wanted to know why and I informed them that I've never lived in a french speaking country that has enabled me to learn how to communicate effectively. Turned out they were congolese and wanted to speak French. We then got into some very interesting conversation and I discovered that they work in the field of spreading awareness through theatre! They are a part of an NGO that deals with different social issues and one of the mediums of spreading awareness is through 'Ambush Theatre'! I'm still to find out more and do some research but based on what they told me it sounded too good to be true. Their colleagues, two beautiful congolese women, came soon after them and I was taken into their world for the duration of the bus journey.... the one lady told me she was tired...she said there was a lot of work that had to be done and she was was so wonderful to be in their company, they were so animated and ALIVE and although I could not always understand their conversations I was bubbling with joy to have been able to enter their world even for a brief bus journey.

Now I must sleep in hope of arising when my alarm clock goes off at 7:30am.

More on Ambush theatre next time!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out of the house and onto the train...CT here I come!

I arose yesterday with a plan to go out and figure out how I was to go to and from University without a car. Anxiety sat in my system like a virus and eventually I broke down, sat on my bed and cried tears of not knowing, of being in a familiar place yet knowing that now the unfamiliarity had to be confronted, of being alone in the world despite having folk (and animals) around whom I love, of fear of being stabbed, rapped and mugged, of not having the safety of Norway or Australia around me, of having no friends, and missing my friends, of having no regular income to guarantee me the life I've lead for the past 5 years....and the list goes on, I shed tears freely and they flowingly fell and then I had a shower and got myself together, ready for the adventure of Cape Towns Public Transport.

I started the journey with a walk to an ATM where drew only an amount I thought I wouldn't mind losing (ha ha) then walked about 15 minutes towards the train station....along the way I asked a man on a bike and he had no idea where the station was, he just rode his bike and had never taken the train before. He recommended I go to the garden shop where someone would surely i followed his instructions and headed there....i asked a guard at the gate and he knew not, then asked a man with some boxes and he had no idea either...then thought i should walk about 20 minutes to the left and perhaps i'd get to one there...then I saw a maintenance man who told me to walk 2 minutes round the corner and i'd be there...hurrah for the maintenance man.

I got there eventually and saw a number of people of different races gathered around there and the atmosphere was smooth....NOT what I was expecting...i foresaw doom and disaster and lecherous characters dubiously creeping around ready to pounce upon the obvious fresh and unknowing new meat daring to take the TRAIN!!!!!!!! So I bought my ticket - there were two choices, metro or metro plus, the difference being 2 rand between 1st and 3rd class. I chose 1st class! Sitting on the train I looked around me and in my sparsely populated carriage once again I saw many faces of South Africa all sitting and trying to be as inconspicuous as possible...their faces apparently (according to a gentelman I met) saying I'm just here on a train and I don't want any nonsense and I'm not gonna rob you even though I'm on the train, even though i'm black or coloured or a drug addict...i'm just on the train....just like you so lets just get on with this journey. I couldn't help but smile and was reminded of the London underground and a similar cold and reserved vibe where no one wants to mess with anyone else...just minding my own business y'all! ha ha!

I arrived at the central station and headed for info, there I asked for street and was immediately asked if i was after a, just the street, how do i get from here to Long Street? I was given instructions and of I went....and it was fine, walking in the city was fine. I found my way and made some decisions about which direction was suitable, asked some friendly-ish looking people for further directions and received all the help I needed, people were very polite and helpful! I met a very nice coloured woman who in fact walked me up the road and informed me of how to behave on the train and when walking and how much I was going to love Cape Town and how I MUST get my drivers license and that Crime in Cape town was relative...she remembered getting her bag almost snatched in London in mid afternoon and yet she's never been robbed here....SO!

Eventually made it Hiddingh Campas and there I was fortunate to achieve all I set out to achieve in order to begin reading some of the required readings for the course....there's a lot of reading and analysing South African Theatre so I have a lot to catch up on! I then took the FREE bus to the main Campus and met Trent Nightingale, a young Cape Townian actor, recently graduated from the UCT Acting stream. He educated me from his perspective about Cape Town and grateful was I to have the opportunity to talk to a fellow thesbian about this city and her multi faceted faces. He being a Christian Coloured young man was also a very generous informer and we had a super couple of hours chatting...and sharing. He also helped me find my bearings at the Main Campus which is HUGE!!!!!

I then spent some time in the....beautiful....calm....amazing....tranquil haven of Books....the LIBRARY! What a sacred place. Students sitting at tables indulging in knowledge from pages and words, silence and serenity engulfing my being...and SOOOOO many beautiful beautiful books....hmmm....i'm so excited to have this opportunity to be a student again and have a year or two dedicated to further educating myself and. . . . learning! HURRAH FOR LEARNING!!!

I borrowed four books yesterday and I must admit, as excited as I am for the chance to learn...i also foresee a challenge for myself. The academic world has been distant for me for the last 5 years and reading these books has made me aware of how "Academic" certain books and articles are and I have to try and understand what is written despite the rhetoric and big words that are used....I've spent the day attempting to get into it and read a whole chapter on the importance of language within a society and the use of Language as a controlling factor within multi-lingual populations.....ay yay yay! Interesting: Yes! Hard to understand the language: Yes! The irony that academic language is often not able to be understood by the lay-man yet the content is speaking about that point exactly...hmmm....

Now I prepare to go and see my first South African piece of theatre for the year, a comedy about race relations in south africa...appropriate: YES!

Love and respect!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cape Town and New Beginnings

As I sit here infront of my machine, the wind boldly blows outside and the sun shines, there are blue skies and Table Mountain sits happily in the background. Cape Towns beautiful! I consider myself fortunate to be here and think of those in Queensland, in particular Brisbane right now surviving the experience that they will surely come through with new insight and appreciation for the simple things in life. Mother nature is striking out at certain places and no amount of technology will alter her course...floods, bush fires, drought, tsunamis, earth quakes etc...they're there some where in the world and the everyday existence of those present is altered!

Cape Town has been a pretty wild experience so far, I arrived last Sunday after a long flight and a few hours in Transit in Windhoek, and went straight to my cousins wedding, where all of my family were was wonderful to see them all and also a bit overwhelming. I then hopped in a car with my brothers and headed to a hens night for my brothers - now wife - then fiance - and we set off to a botanical garden where thousands were gathered to see a South African rock group. There was lots of champagne drunk and lots of fun and laughter...then when the gig was done, we decided to go to a bar for one drink and then head out for dinner with more drink turned into ten and at 3 in the morning after pole dancing and lots of hugging and "I love you's!" we stumbled our way home and fell into a drunken slumber...which lead to a drunken recovery next day....and a painful one at that!

(Tuesday) That day was a wasted day! And the next day spent shopping for a bridesmaids dress and some shoes to go with it...I found a lovely simple one after wandering the shops for hours. On Wednesday was my birthday, spent first of all lining in a queue for four hours in order to put in an application for my South African was a colourful experience, there were the many faces of South Africa in the Home office, some, like me, applying for their passports, others registering marriages and other registering births. There were Black Africans, White Africans (of both British and Afrikaans heritage), there were Coloured Africans, Zimbabweans, Nigerians etc....and I saw an image of the New South Africa, the rainbow nation that is hard to see in such close confines on a daily basis. Together we suffered the banality of bureaucracy and rejoiced when our mission was accomplished! I then got some other administration done like getting a south african number and finding a dentist. I had a delicious barbecue with my immediate family and then away into slumber I ventured again!

Thursday saw the family reuniting once again for a wedding rehearsal and then a nice sushi lunch, laughs and good vibrations...Friday I spent 3 hours in a line applying for my Learners licence and had a wee scare because I fainted in the line....they called the ambulance and I discovered that I have a very low blood pressure and that heat and lack of salt may result in my fainting in public....oops! I got my application in which was wonderful and then went shopping with my little brother to get him some clothes that fit him because he is growing like a sunflower in the perfect conditions, he was easy to shop for as he knew exactly what he liked and did not like which made the experience a glorious one.

Then Saturday came and that was the wedding day...and it was Perfect! Simple and smooth, fun and touching, funky and traditional! There were so many beautiful and amazing people that have been a part of My Brother and his Wife, Taryn's lives gathered to celebrate their joining. The speeches were short, quick and humourous and the grooving was funky too....when they departed, we partied on till about 5 in the morning and once again I found myself waking up feeling awful due to too much booze yet blissful for all the fun and laughter that was experienced. Sunday however was not a wasted day, we had a barbecue and more family time as my dad was due to leave the next day to head back to Mozambique...and the last few days i've spent just trying to get my head around the whirlwind of activity that has passed...yesterday I spent the day in bed, so happy to just lie down and have absolutely nothing that I had to do.

Next Are the explorations of how to get to and from uni in one piece :)