Category: United States of America

Happy New Year folks.


In March of 2011, I went to Bali and Lombok, where I hugged/touched a lot of animals. I also experienced my first earthquake, day of silence, AND got stuck in a thunderstorm during monsoon season.

Here’s to the things that make things worth living.
Here’s to sisters who are willing to antagonise the cat, allowing you to take action shots.
To brothers who make you laugh so hard at his Twitter messages.
To dads who drag your lazy ass to the track.
To moms who have managed to resist the urge to smother your annoying ass with a pillow.
To writing in the third person.
Here’s to friends. Friends who organise staycations and picnics in Kirstenbosch Gardens. To friends who tolerate you budding love of photography. To friends who have listened to you bitch, and allowed you to cry in their presence.
To one-eyed cats who have an affinity for peeing on your bag. Your bag and no one else’s!
To copious amounts of GOOD coffee. Books so good, you’ll end up crying at the airport, giving everyone the impression that you’re leaving behind a lover. Road trips and John Mayer CDs. Summer days, snarky boys and Grey’s Anatomy.
Here’s to never knowing if the day will end with you holding a meerkat in your hand.


In October 2011 I was awarded a full travel scholarship to attend a conference in New Orleans. After 8 days in New Orleans, I travelled to DC, Philly and New York.

Here’s hoping that 2012 will be filled with love and all the things that make life worth living!

Unlike the citizens of the other 50 US states, the District of Columbia do not have voting representation in the US Senate. In retaliation, DC drivers have the slogan “taxation without representation” etched onto their license plates. Its funny considering that taxation without representation was one of the major causes of the American Revolution.  

 

Picture of random flower.

The effect of late-stage syphilis on the cranial vault.

Archaeologist hard at work cleaning bones in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. 

*

The MFH is being particularly snarky of late.

A few days ago, I returned to the office after spending three hours in a meeting, only to the following email in my inbox.

Sid

Please call Kerry Prachet.

Your secretary

Douglas Adams*

*Not his real name. Also I feel weird calling him, MFH. Henceforth he’ll be known as The Boy.  

And in other unrelated news, I just made frozen yoghurt. I’ll be presenting it to the girls tomorrow evening …

Lincoln Memorial

Smithsonian Castle – located on National Mall in DC. The Smithsonian visitor centre is located here.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial located in West Potomac Park. MLK Jr was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against racial segregation. He was assissinated on 4 April 1968.

Read his “I have a dream” speech here.

Naturally I simply had to take a picture of the flowers.

*

A few months ago, Fahiema and I had a meeting at the Department of Bureaucracy and Red Tape (other people refer to it as the Department of Environmental Affairs). There we spotted an actual hottie.

Now if there’s one thing Fahiema excels at besides GIS and conservation planning, it’s getting the dirt on someone. Seriously, give the girl 6 minutes and she’ll be able to track down a guy’s number plate, banking details and blood type. She’s like Veronica Mars on acid.(Fahiema, I have nothing but love for you girl.)   

So a few days after spotting the hottie, she sent me a message via gchat.

Fahiema: I spoke to Kylie*

                   over the weekend

                   he is married with kids

Me, slightly confused: And during the week he is single and I should hit on him???

Fahiema: LOL! No, I meant that I spoke to Kylie* over the weekend.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

 I was walking through the Business District of New Orleans, when I stumbled across a concert in the park. The woman pictured above was in the audience, wearing an early Halloween costume.

Omelette and creole styled hashbrowns. Delicious!

Madagascan Cochroach at the Audubon Insectarium, in New Orleans. The cockroach was the size of my palm. Visitors, who are brave enough are allowed to hold the thing in their hand.

Other things to look forward to at the Insectarium? Eating a bug, incorporated into dishes. AND a 4D animated film.

Location: In the US Custom House on Canal Street

Price of admission is $15.95 (for an adult).

Yet another gentleman’s club in Bourbon Street. For those of you who can’t read the neon sign, it says, “1000s of beautiful girls and 3 ugly ones.”

This is one of the things that I absolutely LOVED about New Orleans: flower baskets.

Halloween is taken very seriously in USA. (I and most of my friends have never been trick or treating.)

A closer look at the “haunted” house.

Just a picture of some random door. Stunning ain’t it?

On Monday, I hope to post some pictures of the cemetry I visited in New Orleans.

American: What’s your name?

African guy: Innocent.

American: What? Are you for real?

African: Yes. My name is Innocent.

African shows the American his name tag.

American: Oh man, even though I see your name, I still can’t believe it.

French guy: Yeah, never believe a black guy when he says he’s innocent.

*

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC

It is 5:00 in the morning and I can’t sleep.

The American flag (as if you didn’t already know that).

Getting ready for Halloween.

Did I mention that I went on a swamp tour? And that I held a baby aligator in my hands? Photo above of my French friend holding the baby aligator.

View of New Orleans taken from the ferry across the Mississippi. The ferry across the Mississippi was free!

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I’ve decided that by next year August, I will have travelled to South America. Not quite sure where in South America. Possibly Ecuador or Belize.

I’m back home.

Bourbon Street, New Orleans is populated with gentleman’s clubs. It’s also quite common for exotic dancers to stand OUTSIDE the club, and gyrate in order to entice potential customers.

 Baton Rouge, is the capital of Louisiana. We spent a few couple of hours in Baton Rouge before we decided that the place didn’t have much to offer. Picture taken from Louisiana State Capitol.  

World War II Memorial in Washington DC. Photo taken at night.

The very minute I set foot in DC, I fell in love with it. It is so gorgeous city. Wide open spaces, amazing architecture, safe and easy to navigate by foot.

  African American Museum in Philadelphia. I was rather disappointed with this museum. I totally didn’t think it was forth the $10.

Due to the expected snowstorm, I was unfortunately unable to see much of Philly.

Halloween parade in NYC.

I arrived in Philly a few hours ago. By the time I’d arrived (by bus), the sun had already set.

Exploring my surroundings (I’m based at teh historic/waterfront district), I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing here. I know abso-fucking-lutely nothing about Philly. There are no monuments, museums or art galleries that I have to see. (And apparently Rassles doesn’t live here). I should have headed straight to NYC.

Fast forward

I’m in the female dorm room. There’s a fellow South African from Joburg. We get to chatting.

Me: So what are your plans for tomorrow?

Her: Blah, blah, blah. And then I’m going to the book signing of my favourite author.

Me: Oh. Who’s your favourite author?

Her: Chuck Palahniuk.

And that’s when shit just got awesome! Seriously I did a happpy dance and I’m totally planning to get dolled up for him tomorrow.

I now also have a list of 7 things to see before I leave Philly.

  1. Korean War Memorial 
  2. Vietnam War Memorial
  3. Indepence Hall
  4. Liberty Bell
  5. Franklin Court
  6. Magic Garden
  7. Chinese Friendship Gate  

Unfortunately I can’t upload any pictures onto this PC …

Picture taken at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

  • Headed to Philly in a couple of hours. Taking the bus.
  • Checked out the Holocaust Museum yesterday. Depressing.
  • Not a fan of Reese’s peanut butter cups.  
  • Someone mentioned the possibility of snow on Saturday …