"Snails see the benefits,
The beauty in every inch...

But love is nothing you can tax
My family’s not rich by any means
But I feel we won the lottery, that day
The rock swallowed the girl
And I cried as cameras caught my eyes
My tears turned into butterflies
They fly away as caskets close
A new day comes you’ll wake unfolding
Smile when you feel the sunlight
You feel the sunlight"
-The Format, "Snails."

I lied. I didn't have time to write a full update of my trip to Durban today. Sometimes when you go to Durban, you see that they have a go-karting track, and you get really excited and beg your friends to go kart with you, and then as soon as you get in your go kart you punch the gas and go way too fast and crash into a tire wall and then the person you begged to race against you rams into you and then since South Africa doesn't have crazy restrictions like the US does, your go kart doesn't have a seat belt and you slam into your steering wheel and then back onto the seat, and something-- probably a screw-- on the seat rips open the back of your pants and cuts your back and bruises it and then you have a really sore and swollen back that bothers you for days, so you go to the doctor to get it checked out but the doctor spends about 3 1/2 seconds looking at it and thinks you're a junkie just looking for drugs so he sends you away without a painkiller so you go to the pharmacy and the pharmacist tells you that you can't get anything with codeine in it to help you sleep/ deal with the pain, but then you walk over to another pharmacist and get some Ibuprofen and your friend Matt who was nice enough to drive you to the pharmacy noticed that "Ibucod" is ibuprofen plus codeine so you ask the 2nd pharmacist if you can get that and he says, "Yeah, that's fine," and you ask him if you need a prescription and he says no, so he just gives it to you and warns you not to take too much or else you'll get a stomach ache (but he doesn't warn you about possible addiction/ overdose = death) so then you go home and you take your medicine but you can't find a comfortable position on your bed so you end up getting up and looking through Facebook photos instead of doing something productive, cause the medicine makes you tired enough that you can't focus on homework or anything important, and then you end up posting a rambling blog with a few photos in it, cause you like posting photos and no one reads it because well let's face it, everyone has better things to do than read a long rambling paragraph from a girl who's pretty much tripping out on codeine right now.

Anyway. Even though bad things (like the last paragraph) happen...and other bad things (that won't be listed) happen...you just gotta learn to go with the flow.

'Cause, really, you don't know how things are gonna turn out, or what you're gonna learn, who you'll learn to appreciate, or really...anything. We as humans love to think we know everything, but really, we don't know anything. So...you just gotta roll with it and enjoy what you have. :)

And, of course, perhaps celebrate on the beach. :)


Back-- x2

Hey, I'm back from Durban, (mostly) safe and sound. Due to an unfortunate go-karting accident, my back is temporarily out of commission, but a cardiologist (slash father of my friends slash host of the weekend) checked it out and said it looked okay, and hopefully I'll be able to get some muscle relaxants tomorrow from Clicks (apparently you don't need a prescription for them here?).

Had a good weekend though...I'll be sure to put up pictures sometime soon (i.e. tomorrow). Time for me to get some rest from my vacation though. :)

Of course, a picture to tide you over while you wait:

An important message to remember.



Hi all. It's really early (7 AM early). Which is not really that early, I know, but shush. It's a public holiday, so I should be sleeping. But, I am about to go on a road trip to Durban. So I'll be gone for the weekend, hope you all have a good one. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Have a good weekend, love and miss you all.


I'd like to be under the sea

"I'd ask my friends to come and see
An octopus's garden with me
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus's garden in the shade"

-The Beatles, "Octopus's Garden"

I apologize for messing up the leg continuity.

This week was a hectic one, ja? Just a lot of work in classes and a lot for my internship. I'm actually quite tired now, had a good weekend though. The new Fencing Pub is up and running, so it was nice going there on Thursday night. On Friday I hung out with Andre, Wayde, Andre's mom, and her roommate, who's basically the Hall Director for the girl's res next door. That was a riot, it was so much fun just having a braai and talking. Although I did find it quite funny when Jan (pronounced "Yan") asked me..."Do you eat pap?" (In case you don't get it: I'm obsessed with pap.) Then on Saturday, Matt and I went to Cresta and I got some shorts so I don't die of heat stroke here, and Saturday night...oh! I went to a Fordsburg, which is a large Indian community, and since this weekend was Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), Eid ul-Fitr (end of Ramadan for Muslims), and....a Hindu holiday that I've forgotten the name of (sorry!) all this weekend, there was a bit market going on at the Oriental Plaza. It was actually really interesting.

I also bought a stun gun at the market. :D It looks like a cellphone and it's really cool. I'll probably never use it, unless someone wants to volunteer to be a tester...? Haha. I'm super stoked about it, in any case.

Then today, Matt and I checked out Melville and ate at a cute little restaurant called "Lucky Bean" (great food and atmosphere), and we also met up with Andre, who then showed us to this watertower that we've heard so much about...turns out, it has a spectacular view. He was totally right in telling us to bring our cameras. :)

You can literally see the entire city from the hill we were on. Crazy!

Tonight I cooked spaghetti and garlic bread and then I finished knitting a scarf. Good thing I'm 20 and not 65. Oh wait...

Anyway. Going to bed now after a good weekend. Hope you're doing well.


So take it to heart

"If someone's been trying to change your mind
But don't take it too hard
If it sounds unkind
Be the problem in hell
Or be the black tie
Dragging heaven down
And then at least half of your heart will be safe and sound."
-The Ascetic Junkies, "A Protest Song"

In my time here, I have found many similarities and many differences. Some due to race, some due to culture, some due to SES (socio-economic status), technology...and a plethora of other reasons.

This weekend I went to the EOH (Edward Oppenheimer House) party, and there were...well, a LOT of people there. Upwards of several hundred. It's one of the biggest parties of the year, apparently. ZaZa's friends and I had to wait for a 2nd bus to pick us up because the first one was literally packed as full as it could get. When we got to the party, one of ZaZa's friends made the fairly obvious observation that I was the only white person there [we later realized that was incorrect, there were 3 white people there, but I was the only female]. We joked about it, saying that if I got separated from the group, they could just say, "Has anyone seen a white girl around here?" It was actually pretty funny, because none of us were really bothered by that, it was just an amusing observation. One thing, though, was that people would come up to ZaZa or her friends and ask who I was...and they'd want to meet me. The "white girl" who was brave enough to come to the party. Strange. So, I met several people who were interested in my simply because of the combination of the color of my skin and the location I was in. I don't feel offended by it at all, it's just very interesting to me.

ZaZa and her friends did, however, teach me to dance. :)

This week, I've noticed a cultural disconnect. Wits is set to increase fees, and students are protesting about it. Now, Central has had fee increases in the past, and all we've done is write articles about it for the Ray, or possibly talk to Student Senate. Nothing of this scale has been done.

Now, like I said, maybe it's the cultural disconnect, but I just don't agree with these protests. If there's a reason why fees need to go up...well, then they have to go up. As a person who is paying for her own schooling, it's scary and difficult. But, since neither the US nor SA offers free education, we can't expect the universities to allow us to go to school for free. That's something to petition the government about though, not the school. However, if you are going to protest...why would you protest outside the Residence halls at 10:30 at night? The protests very clearly have everyone's attention...why do you need to disrupt students who don't want to participate? One of my lecturers was telling us last year that her laptop was stolen during these riot-protests, and that students would just storm in and jump on tables and shout until everyone left. It seems things like that are happening this year, too.

I'm all for civil disobedience, but this just seems excessive and...misplaced? I don't know. Like, if you really want to be heard, act like civil adults, y'know? I've been told that "This is how we do things in SA, you might not be used to it, but it's how we get things done." I guess that might be it. I'm trying to stop forcing my opinions on others, so I'm working on that. It's just hectic this week though, and no one can deny that.

Although, a member of the SRC (Student Representative Committee) from my Psychosocial class spoke to us today, and said it was never the SRC's plan for things to get so out of hand, and the PYA (Progressive Youth Alliance) is doing things a bit differently than SRC. Apparently, SRC is now talking to the administration and also reprimanding people who are violent. She said it's one thing to walk by a classroom and say, "Hey, we're protesting, come join us!" and let students get up of their own volition, it's someting completely different to storm into a classroom and shout and jump on desks and drag people outside. I can fully agree to that, at least.

Ach. Seems like I still have a lot to learn...or at least come to terms with.

Also...it is officially my halfway point of being here. I have 2 1/2 months left. Let's hope I can make the best of it.


So come on, wheels, take me far away

"Where I don't have debts to pay
I can't count on yesterday to find the way home

I know it happens all the time
But they don't have my back
So I'm never looking back"
-Matt Costa, "Never Looking Back"

P.S. Dear unidentified follower,
Please identify yourself. It's very upsetting to me to see that I have 11 followers, but unable to identify one of them. I'd like to know who's creepin'. Thank you.


Your voice is your own, I can't protect it.

"You'll have to sing
A verse no one has ever known.
Your way will never be too much for me
Your ideas have always been your own
And this moment keeps on moving
We were never meant to hold on."
-Jack Johnson, "Adrift."

So, just finished my Spring Break. It's weird having two in one year, but this certainly didn't feel like Spring Break in the States. As in, there was no talk of going to Cancun to get "totally plastered" and that sort of thing. I decided to stay in Jo'burg for the week, despite invites to Durban and Cape Town, simply due to two factors: 1) Funding and 2) traveling stresses me out. I don't mean actually going to new places, because I love that, it's the getting there process that is really icky. Planes, buses, trains, etc...I get very ill on all of them. Trust me, it is not pretty.

But! I did have a good time exploring Jo'burg and relaxing for the week. I had a small anxiety attack when I was informed that the South African Post Office is on strike and what they'll most likely do is throw away all the piled-up mail from the strike and throw it away, but since the strike is now solved, I hope that means I'll get my mail this week (and the people I sent mail to will also get theirs). But we'll see. Cross your fingers for me, ja?

I don't remember what I did all week, to be honest. Sorry! I know Friday was a party at the Explorer's Pub (which turned out less like a fun party and more like me being an RA again and taking care of a very drunk girl), and Saturday was the closing night of the Fencing Pub. It was quite sad, because "Fencing" is what we do every Thursday night, but now the bar is being torn down because of construction in the area. But, it was a fun night, indeed.

Fish and Rafael doing something that made me snort.

On Sunday I went shopping with Ori and explored a bit of Sandton (we saw an organic/whole food mart that happens every Sunday morning, but were too late to really shop around. I shall have to check it out another weekend). Then we went back to Ori's place and I baked cupcakes for my boss at my internship for her birthday. :) On Monday, Ori and I took said cupcakes to work to deliver to my boss...who, coincidentally, was in meetings all day, so we just left her cupcake (large cupcake) and present (a nice pashmina scarf) on her desk. I haven't gone back to work since then, so I'll find out on Tuesday whether she liked them or not. Then Ori and I went to the Oriental plaza to look at Indian clothes and other cool Indian things. It was really interesting, even though I didn't end up getting anything more than a chicken samoosa (delicious). Tuesday...I don't really remember. Apologies. Wednesday...I think Andre came over, and we watched Star Wars: Episode 1. It was cool, because he knows SO much about Star Wars that he was able to give me all this extra information about the storyline that I wouldn't have known otherwise. Wednesday night, Matt and I went to Gramadoelas, a really classy authentic South African restaurant in Newtown, right by the historic Market Theater. It actually has a lot of history to it, so it's really cool. I tried a few new dishes, like some kind of ostrich dish, some kind of tandoori chicken, a lamb dish, ox tripe, some Koeksisters (syrupy deep fried crullers from Batavia, from the Gramadoelas website), and some Cape Town dessert wine. I'm sure I had more, but I can't remember it all right now. Lo siento.
On Thursday...I went to lunch with Matt (American friend) and Matt (redhead SA friend), then Matt (redhead) and I went for a walk down the the pond on campus that I didn't even know existed. It's quite lovely, and it has ducks (I lied, they're geese, but I think ducks are cooler and have a better name, so that's what I--incorrectly--call them). :D Yay ducks! We then ran into some friends who were having a picnic, so even though Matt had to leave, I hung out and enjoyed the picnic...and of course, fed the duckies. :)

Well, after that, I don't remember what happened. I imagine something cool, but I do not remember. Again, apologies. On Friday, ZaZa, Matt (American), and I went to the Johannesburg Zoo. We took a taxi there, thanks to ZaZa's knowledge of how to use black taxis. We ended up going to the wrong zoo entrance and had to walk a long way to the correct gate. Eish. Of course, ZaZa and I complained the whole way. (It was hot!) Matt somehow dealt with us, and I think he got back at us by nearly killing us on the golf buggy that you can rent at the zoo (you can drive around the zoo in a golf cart! How cool is that!?). He first drove off too fast and ZaZa's bag fell off the cart, then he accidentally jumped up on a curb and popped a tire, and then we traded carts with a zoo worker, but Matt somehow broke the ignition and we had to have 2 different zoo workers help us to figure it out. It was actually quite funny. :)

We saw some really cool animals at the zoo, despite it being just barely not winter anymore. It was a good time. Friday night, Matt and I tried a new restaurant (well, new to us) at Rosebank called Europa. It was legit, I got pancakes, and they were very tasty. :)

On Saturday, we met Ameet at 6 AM (!!) to head off the Pilanesburg National Park and saw some really cool stuff.

I jumped from one rock to another on the top of a mountain, but unfortunately Ameet cut off my head. I'm just celebrating my rock-jumping victory.

We spent most of the day there, and despite being made fun of for (repeatedly) confusing rocks and lions at the Rhino and Lion park a few weeks before, I ended up spotting some really cool animals, and we stopped the car just before a herd of elephants stepped out of the bush. It was way intense.

An "ellie" (as Katie P. calls them) and her baby. :)

I made PB&J sandwiches for everyone, and Keiko (a Japanese student who also lives at International House), Ameiko (her sister who was visiting for the week, though I may have butchered the spelling of her name), and Ameet had never had PB&J before. I told them that it was an American delicacy...and they seemed to enjoy them. :) Saturday night, Ameet took me, Matt, Rosha (again, terrible name spelling....she's a German student here), and Janice (student from Singapore) out to a Portuguese restaurnt. I was texting Erik at the time, because they were playing the Germany vs. South Africa game on the TV inside the restaurant. Unfortunately, I believe SA lost...poor Bafana Bafana. :(

Sunday (today!) was another good day. Slept in a bit, then went to Rosebank with Matt. I intended to buy some shorts for the upcoming summer weather, but it appears that stores here aren't yet ready for summer clothes! The Africans don't seem to be bothered by the heat quite yet, even though I'm already dying. While I didn't find any shorts, I did stumble across the African market that I didn't know existed (well, had never been to before is more like it). I bought some really cool things, including a dress, a Springboks rugby jersey (discounted, oh yeah), a beautiful photo of the Jo'burg skyline, a miniature ficus tree to spruce (ha, tree pun) up my room, and some cinnamon sticks from another country that I cannot remember right now. Not bad, ja? I also went shopping at Wooly's (Woolworths, kind of like Super Target) and got some new tea and some ground beef so I could make hamburgers...which Matt helped me to do, and now I can officially make my own hamburgers. Oh snap I am awesome. (Not really, but I like to celebrate little victories.)

So, that was my week in a particularily large nutshell. I hope all is well with you, and now that the Post Office strike is over, I expect a ton of mail from you! :)

Go well!


I like where we are

"When we drive in your car
I like where we are...here."
-Hellogoodbye, "Here [In Your Arms]"

I miss my bestie, Erik Donner.

Sometimes you realize how awesome your life is, and mostly because of the people in it. And you realize how much it sucks being apart, but it's one of those things that you've gotta do so you can figure out about yourself and your life and your future and all that important kind of stuff.

But, you also realize how much these people mean to you and how much you'll appreciate them when you are reunited with them. :)

Of course, this doesn't mean I miss any of you any less. :)