Lead Me Into The Night

Her:  Ok, so like I don’t know the words to that song! I just rhubarb-and-watermeloned my way through it just so I can talk to you.
Him:  Really? Me too.

Her:  What? That’s so weird, hey. Who would’ve thought!
Him:  Yeah.

Her:  So what happens now?
Him:  I guess we can go sit outside and chat, swap numbers, that kinda thing. What can I get you to drink?

Her:  Vodka tonic, double.
Him:  Serious?

Her: Ok, make it a beer then.
Him:  Cool, anyway, I’m [HIM].

Her:  Nice to meet you. I’m [HER].
Him:  Cool. My number’s [-].

Her:  Great! How do you spell your name?
Him:  [H-I-M], what’s yours?

Her:  [-] Aw man! Fuck! My battery just died.
Him:  Cool, gonna buzz you now.

Her:  What? Don’t you believe me?
Him:  Dude, it says “the number you have dialled is not available”

Her:  That’s because my battery died, when I saved your number.
Him:  Yo, if you’re gonna blow me off, just be straight about it. Don’t give me some stupid number.

Her:  For crying out loud! My battery died, see.
Him:  Ow! Why’d you slap me for?!

Her:  You idiot! Do you seriously think I’d dance and sing my way through a Black Eyed Peas song just to give you a wrong number?
Him:  Yes!

Her:  Whatever. You can keep the beer.
Him:  Ok, wait. Let’s try it this way.

Her:  What now?
Him:  Can I kiss you already?




Content Protection by DMCA.com

the “café”

South Africa, one of the few countries in the world with a directional name and yet I still meet the odd person who dares to ask where in the world “south Africa” is.  Land of so many interesting things that I’ll leave for you to go Google later. My favourite thing about the country is how one can go to any of its metropolitan areas and at the end of the day feel as though you’ve experienced two different worlds thanks to it’s cultural diversity. See, here there is no “average Joe” there’s an average [insert race/origin/social status] Joe. Which brings me to the “café”. Anywhere else in the world, a café refers to an informal eatery that offers a range of hot meals and sandwiches or an establishment that specialises in serving coffee, because technically café is Euro-speak for coffee, which makes sense.

Wait until you come to South Africa, where the average Joe could point you one of two places:

Range of South African "cafes"1. The Corner Café : an establishment that can be found – yep you guessed it – at the corner of any street and has nothing to do with serving coffee and hot meals, unless one counts the varieties of meals these places make with a type of sausage South Africans simply call “Russian” (post on this to come) and fries. These establishments are a cross between a small convenience store – the only convenience being it’s proximity to one’s abode – and general trader that sell miniature over-priced goods and the only coffee one will find there is in a tin and is either percolated or chicory. These establishments are identifiable by the signs outside which are sponsored by either a mobile network company or a soda company.

NewsCafe Campus Square circa 20132. The franchise café: This establishment is known for it’s food but mostly for it’s cocktails (and cocktail specials), alcoholic beverage launches and alcoholic beverage sponsored parties complete with DJ’s and promo-gals. These places magically turn from a a semi-respectable breakfast meeting place to bar-type place by day, to a full club by night. Yes, there’s coffee but who drinks it when the waitress can slip you a cold one at 9am with your Eggs Benedict. These establishments are the hunting grounds of BEE-type characters (BEE – black economic empowerment, l-o-n-g story but basically proves that South Africa still has a long way to go) who sit with laptops, playing Solitaire, looking like they’re busy on a “deal” or talk to themselves on the phone – and forget to switch to “silent profile” because they look silly when the phone starts ringing “mid-conversation”.

If you’re looking for that cosy place with the smell of coffee in the air and real good croissants and pastries , you know that type of place one would expect to see Hemmingway, Wilde, Van Gogh and even Sartre sipping on coffee and smoking a cigarette, you’re going to have to be specific when speaking to the average South African Joe and ask for a coffee shop. If they don’t get it, ask for a directory or look in your traveller’s guide and any place that got something to do with coffee in it’s title is your best bet… just avoid NewsCafe.

– Try

Content Protection by DMCA.com

Love Will Tear Us Apart…

The funny thing is that it always starts the same. It feels like something new, a re-awakening of the soul, really. You tell people that you’ve never felt like this before or even that this one is different, but the truth is you have felt like that before – just with a different person – you’re just suppressing it because you wish you never met the previous person that you attached these emotions to –or not. Whichever way, for that glorious period, he or she is the cause of this incredible joy that, as always, you wish it would never end. Little things like, their scent, their touch and the way they carry out the most mundane tasks all of a sudden become fascinating and inspiring. Everything is surreal and as you wallow in this enamoured glow, you come to a conclusion that this is truly love.

Love can be cold and bitter yet blind, and it’s the blindness that’s the worst. The cold and bitter are masked by one’s previous conclusion that the fact that it is love, you love this person and automatically feel loved. It is all warm and sweet until that first taste of bitter or that first chill, which subsequently fades as the warmth and sweetness appear – although not to their initial full effect that one is left reassured but now wondering and questioning. Unfortunately, since it is still love, the questions are posed to the wrong parties and the answers become speculation, which turns into fact. Facts that have always been true but masked, ignored and put in a box – never to opened. It is only until this box cannot hold anymore of these facts that the masks comes off and no matter how much one is consoled or told that this sort of this happens all the time to almost everyone or even how one could have not really known, that one feels alone, stupid and mostly cold and bitter.

It doesn’t matter how it actually starts – or what happens in-between – one could have secretly this another for years and never shared this, or one could be in denial that they actually are in love or even hoping that by possessing something of another’s might make them love you again. It is not until we realize the truth in our hearts that we repeat the cycle of incredible joy and excruciating pain with either the different people or the same person that some relationships just never end.

Content Protection by DMCA.com

What’s Your Taxi Personality?

Nothing beats South African minibus taxis. They make up 90% of the taxi industry – metered taxis (aka cabs) only make up 10%. They are dirt cheap and yeah, some of their drivers are aggro-maniacs with questionable driving skills, but what’s there not to like about a mode of transport where by sitting next to the driver, one automatically becomes his assistant? They even have special seats for pregnant women, women with children and even women with baggage! So, they can’t be bad at all, right?

Travel sites like South Africa Dot Net refer to them as “the somewhat unconventional system with a language and a code of its own” *and here I thought language and code were one and the same – Coin* They even say that “a ride on a minibus taxi will certainly provide you with an authentic South African experience” and (my favourite) “a minibus taxi can provide interesting insights into the lives and cultures of ordinary South Africans.” That last sentence is wholly debatable but I’ll reserve my comments and get on with my post.

Yes, minibus taxis are an experience on their own but I reckon they’re just like any other mode of public transport since one runs into some interesting characters. Considering that a majority of South Africans use taxis, over my years as a taxi-user I’ve come to identify eight common taxi personalities:

1. The One Who Dares To Challenge The Driver: taxi drivers are scary beings, no? Well, not really but there is always that person who will argue with the aggro-maniac version about anything, including: their driving, their chosen route, the fare, why they strike, taxi violence, the change and the state of the taxi. Then this character expects the rest of the commuters to back him/her up and if that doesn’t happen they threaten to start using Rea Vaya or Metro Bus.

2. The One Who Greets: It’s a common African practice that whenever one enters a space that they should greet the people already occupying the space – should it be occupied. It’s understandable, kinda like “I come in peace” thing… But in a taxi O_o This type of folk will open the door (regardless of the 10 car back-up caused by the taxi in rush-hour traffic), greet loudly in a happy-go-lucky tone as if to say “Hi, I”m [name] and I will be providing you with the entertainment for the duration of my/your journey” and then only get in after they get a response, find a seat and spark up a group discussion starting with how everyone’s day was. *Thank heavens for Beats by Dre – Try*

3. The Ones Who Don’t Know Where To Sit: Seats in public transport are tricky, especially when it comes to moving seats at any time during the journey. Questions like “can a person do so? Will anyone be offended?” start running through ones head but in a taxi, yes? Seating is everything! Most taxis don’t have aisles but you will get that person who insists on occupying the flexi-seats near the door even though there is space elsewhere and only move when told to do so by the driver.

There’s also that other character at the taxi rank who knows that after two minutes they’ll be getting off but insist on sitting at the back, forcing six people to get out the taxi before they can, which can be annoying especially when a person with baggage who also has trouble moving their limbs is the one occupying the door seat – adds 20 minutes to a journey.

4. The Ones Who Insist On Keeping The Windows Closed: No matter what. Be it a hot day, stuffy rainy day, farts, B.O, someone with freshly chemically processed hair, feet, fried food or even a mix of all of them, the windows stay firmly shut. Try it. get into a taxi, open a window and within seconds someone is bound to tap you on the shoulder telling you to close it.

5. The Ones Who Eat In A Taxi – especially fried chicken: it’s just wrong, especially with a person like in No. 4 around and a taxi is not a cafeteria. Food is messy, taxi swerves. Food falls on me. You laugh it off and there goes my favourite chemise.

6. The Ones Who Stare: they’ll look at you for uncomfortably long periods, look away for a second and carry on looking at you again or look at your big screen smartphone as you are IM-ing your BFF and comment.

7. The Ones Who Hold Conversations About Sensitive Matters (mostly about themselves): like bodily functions (think The Spa of Embarrassing Illnesses inappropriate), divorce proceedings, sex lives and anything else that should not be discussed in a taxi.

8. The Single-Serving Friend: self-explanatory… These make for great conversation.Take “Chocolate Thunder” and Tee, these two guys I met the other day in a taxi. CT is a graphic designer slash ex-male stripper and escort with an American accent and Tee was the guy who didn’t know where he was going – literally and figuratively – but knew if there was pot and beer where was meant to be going, he’d get there. They had a killer idea for Coin’s next children’s book: a bear made of chocolate who always saves the day by offering kids a piece of his body… *OMG! That is wrong on so many levels – Sang*

So, next time you’re in a minibus taxi, take note… you might spot one of these characters or even get to figure out what your taxi personality is!

– Ava

Content Protection by DMCA.com