Category: awkward conversation

I’ve spent the last few days traipsing along the Garden Route. Here are some photos and a brief account of my trip.

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Day 1: Wilderness National Park
Epic sunset. Pizza from Pomodoro’s. Hummingbirds. Afternoon swim in the river. Sleep desperately needed.

Day 2: Tsitsikamma National Park
Hike across suspension bridges. Lone dassie. Too much time spent in the car. Wishing I’d brought my iPod along. I can’t stand anymore reggae.

Day 3: Tsitsikamma National Park
Alex’s laughter as we sped to the waterfall on a boat.

Nature’s Valley.
Lots of cheese. Close run-ins with baboons. Secluded waterfalls and rock pools.

Day 4: Wilderness.

Overheard at garage store:

Guy: Do you have any Peaceful Sleep for mosquitoes?

Store clerk: No, but we do have Doom.

SeaPointOn Sunday something weird happened – weird enough for me to want to put my fingers to keyboard and blog about it.

 

Let me start by setting the scene.

 

It’s 19:00 on a Sunday. I’ve just been dropped home after having a rather eventful day. I’d spent the afternoon at the Root 44 Market in Stellenbosch, where my friends and I hustled for seats in the shade, mocked each other mercilessly, and after eating delicious ice-cream, declared that we’d made some good life decisions. It was a good day.

 

You’d assume that after spending hours in the sun, I would want nothing more than to climb beneath the covers. But I wasn’t tired and the sun was still out. I wanted to see what else life had to offer. So grabbed my iPod and my car keys, and headed to my favourite place in Cape Town.

 

Once at Sea Point, I immediately plugged in my iPod and gracefully glided down the promenade. Fine. There’s nothing graceful about the way I walk. I bounce. Perpetually. I give the impression that I am completely unaware of ISIS, Donald Trump and the consequences of global warming.

 

So there I am, bouncing along the promenade listening to the dulcet tones of Frank Ocean, when I notice a woman taking a photo of a guy. The guy is approximately two meters in front of her. Two things come to mind.

  1. She should be pointing her tablet in the other direction to bathe him in the pastel shades of the setting sun.
  2. I better move fast to avoid accidentally photobombing the guy.

 

And just as I’m busy scurrying away, the woman beckons towards me. I’ve got Frank Ocean blasting in my ears, talking about forever, and I can only assume that she wants me to take their photo. I graciously agree. And just as I’m walking towards her, right hand outstretched towards the tablet, the weirdness happens.

 

In lightning speed the guy is besides me. He wraps his arm my shoulder and smiles. She snaps a photo. I’m dumbfounded. Did that really just happen? And before I can react, the guy smiles at me and points both index fingers towards my face. It’s a friendly gesture; there is nothing sinister about it. The type of pose you’d strike with your best friend. I smile awkwardly. The woman snaps another photo. My instincts FINALLY kick in. Flight or fight? I hightail it out of there. A million thoughts whirl through my mind. The movie, “Taken” comes to mind. I check my handbag to see if my belongings are still in place. I wonder where my photo will land up. Will he tell his family and friends, “This is what women in Cape Town look like?”  I tweet about the moment.

 

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Spectre

I watched the latest Bond film, Spectre at The Labia. I cannot get the opening scene, which is set in Mexico City during the Day of the Dead Celebrations (Día de Muertos) out of my head.

 

I also couldn’t help but wonder how one becomes a professional assassin, not that I’m looking for a new line of employment.

 

Running

I ran the Pollsmoor 10km. I managed to complete the race in 50 minutes – a new PB. I could never have accomplished this feat without the encouragement of a fellow runner. He kept reminding me to breathe deeply, and wing my arms as I headed up the hill.

 

Running outta time

My colleague says that he is still young, only 31, far too young to be married with kids. I wish I felt that way. I wish that I felt YOUNG. I wish that I didn’t feel like I’m running out of time.

 

This body is earned

I recently turned 30 (ahem) and I love my body more now that I did in my twenties. It’s not perfect, but it’s strong and lean. And this shit is earned.

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I managed to complete the Vital Winelands Marathon in 4:13. That’s a new PB of 14 minutes. I also managed to cross the finish line 4 minutes ahead of my dad. Booyah!

And for my next magic trick, I will attempt to run a half marathon (21.1km) in under 1:55 and a 10km in 50 minutes.

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It the second week of November and I feel compelled to put fingers to keyboard, compelled to recap these last few weeks, compelled to tell you that I still exist.

 

The thing is, since being back from Cali I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much. I haven’t booked a one-way ticket to Japan. I haven’t mastered the art of Python scripting or HTML5. And I most certainly have put an end to world hunger. I’ve spent the 3 months getting back to my pre-travel fitness level and training for the Winelands Marathon.

 

Pre-travel fitness

Getting back to my pre-travel fitness level was easy enough. It took me 5 weeks of consistent training. 5 of hill repeats, 5 weeks of leaving parties early and repeating to myself that “This is the life I’ve chosen”, 5 weeks of consuming GU for breakfast. Easy enough!

 

Insert humble brag here. A couple of weeks ago, I ran the Landmarks half-marathon (21km).It’s a tough route. I did last year and was completely gutted. I just walked so much. No matter how hard I tried to will my body, my legs simply wouldn’t comply. I ended up finishing the race in 2:11. This year? This year I managed sub 2. Redemption, baby!

 

Winelands Marathon  

Where do I even start with this one? There was definitely fear, and anxiety, and despondency.

 

I have not been able to keep up with my partners’ running pace. I have been lagging behind, and have not clocked in as my kilometers as they have. This had made me feel panicked and uncertain.

 

The result is that I may have asked strangers on Twitter to break my foot IF I did not finish the Winelands Marathon in less than 5 hours (qualifying time for an Ultra). All they had to do was drop a sledgehammer on my right-foot, since it already felt like it had a stress fracture. (Side note: That foot only hurts when I walk. It’s TOTALLY fine when I run.)

 

With less than a week to the marathon, I’m no longer feeling this way. I’m feeling calm. I’ve told myself that I don’t need to finish this marathon in sub 4 hours. There’ll be plenty of other marathons. All I need to do for now is qualify for Comrades. And set a new PB for a marathon … Easy. No pressure.

 

AND now for a random quote:

“I didn’t fall in love, I rose in it. I saw you and made up my mind.” Toni Morrison

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Photo taken in Turkey.

I’ve just finished reading, “Best White and Other Anxious Delusions” by Rebecca Davis.

My favourite extract from the novel:

“Then Desmond Tutu really set the cat among the pigeon by proposing that white South Africans should pay a ‘white tax’, to which many white people responded with fury that they already paid a ‘white tax’ called ‘tax’.

It’s cute how many white people genuinely believe they are the only ones who pay tax, as if whenever anyone else gets to the Shoprite till, the checkout lade presses a secret button marked ‘No VAT FOR DARKIES’.”

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Did you know that they pay a tampon tax in the UK? Coz tampons are a “luxury” item …

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  • And Daniel Craig, the current James Bond actor, has my heart. He was recently interviewed and made it quite clear that he thought James Bond was a misogynist. “I think you mean the charms of a woman his own age,” Craig said. “We’re talking about Monica Bellucci, for heaven’s sake. When someone like that wants to be a Bond girl, you just count yourself lucky!”
  • This poem by Sarah Koopman is my everything. “When you take my mind, take it fiercely.”
  • Have I told you lately how much I love JK Rowling? This woman does not take sh*t from anyone.
  • This video of a German man misunderstanding the term “party pooper” is brilliant. Could not stop laughing.
  • Imraan Christian’s photos of the #FeesMustFall campaign are just amazing.
  • I watched the movie, “The Martian” and loved it. Now I have to drop SUBTLE hints to my family and friends, that I really, really, really, want the book for my birthday.
  • This story has me completely fascinated with the Berlin Marathon. Toying with the idea of running it next year. Would also love to hike the Fish River Canyon and trek gorillas in Rwanda, next year. If only I had all the money in the world. (Real talk: I am slightly worried about the upcoming Winelands Marathon. I’m afraid that I might not do well.)
  • Joy the Baker, talks about her perfect weekend.

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Photo taken in Sea Point.

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Photo taken at the Amber Fort in Jaipur.

At the end of January and February, Nicole from “A life less bullshit” recently sent her no BS club a monthly review template. I had every intention of completing January’s review, but didn’t … Anyway, here’s my review of February.
Thinking back over the month of February, I am …

 

Most proud of: Completing the Cape Peninsula Marathon (42km) in 4:27. I’d set a goal of 4:20 and missed it by seven minutes. And I’m okay with that. I set a PB of 25 minutes. And I still believe that one day I’ll run a marathon in under 4:20. It just requires work. (In January I set a new PB for 30km. I completed the Bay to Bay race in 3:08.)
Deeply grateful for: My running club. I love how they push me to run further and harder. I love the constant encouragement. And let’s face it, I love hearing the words, “Oh we’re not in her level. She’s does a marathon in 4:27.”
Delightfully surprised by: How willing I am to speak to ANYONE about any aspect of running. You want to talk about how you’ve lost a toenail? Cool. You have advice on which Garmin running watch to buy? Awesome! You want to tell me that a sub-2 half-marathon is totally possible? Stop flirting with me! 
Letting go of: A crush, a fantasy, the idea of someone perfect. I am letting go of this with the firm believe that someone out there will appreciate my sense of humour. (FYI, my WhatsApp status once read, “Does this smell like chloroform to you?” )
Feeling inspired by: The characters in Grey’s Anatomy. (I’ll take inspiration wherever I can get it.) I love how gutsy the female characters are. I love how they say what’s on their mind. I love how brave they ultimately are. Here’s a link to some of my favourite quotes from the show.

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Photo taken in Indonesia. 

I’ve slowly been editing and cataloging my photographs and have come to the conclusion that I am an awesome photographer. I am also exceptionally humble. (One of my favourite bloggers once tweeted that there was nothing humble about his brags.) On a serious note, I do realise how incredibly lucky I’ve been with regards to travel. In 2014, I was lucky enough to travel to India, Cameroon, Eastern Cape, Durban, Johannesburg, Langebaan and Cape Agulhas. This year, I attend a wedding in Worcester and will be heading to Durban AND Turkey. I simply cannot wait! Did I mention how I plan to eat ALL the Turkish Delight in Istanbul? Did I?

Anyway, let’s talk books.

A few weeks ago, I finished reading “The Rosie Project.” The book is easy to read, funny and oh so adorable. The main character, Don is a socially awkward geneticist (reminds me of Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory, and Adrian Mole). Don is intent on finding a wife and even devises a scientific test to find the perfect woman.
Here’s an extract of the novel. Don is giving a talk on Asperger’s to young sufferers and their parents.

“I decided it would be helpful to provide an example, drawing on a story in which emotional behaviour would have led to disastrous consequences.

‘Imagine,’ I said. ‘You’re hiding in a basement. The enemy is searching for you and your friends. Everyone has to keep totally quiet, but your baby is crying.’ I did an impression, as Gene would, to make the story more convincing: ‘Waaaaa.’ I paused dramatically. ‘You have a gun.’
Hands went up everywhere.
Julie jumped to her feet as I continued. ‘With a silencer. They’re coming closer. They’re going to kill you all. What do you do? The baby’s screaming – ’
The kids couldn’t wait to share their answer. One called out, ‘Shoot the baby,’ and soon they were all shouting, ‘Shoot the baby, shoot the baby.’”

The above paragraph had me laughing so hard. I just found the idea of little kids screaming “shoot the baby” so absolutely ridiculous.