The Adventures of a Part Time Professional Gypsy (and her ginormous teddy thing)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Couch

I’ve made really good friends with the couch of late. There’s something about being the only unemployed individual in a house that leads you to find this kind of companionship. But I tell you now that it’s not a healthy relationship.

While I’ve given the couch a thorough vacuum and a lot of quality time, I’ve also given it popcorn kernels, sand, red wine, cereal and a nice bum-shaped indentation.

And whilst it has comforted me through the pretence of novel writing, the plottings of my million dollar empire, far too many Tarintino movies, and the aspirations of job hunting, it has also lulled me into a deep slumber on far too many occasions. It’s an evil couch.

The couch and I have become so close that yesterday, when the gigantanormous plumber walked in to fix our shower, I actually felt it squirm. And, when the plumber sat down to catch his breath after climbing two flights of stairs, I shared it’s agony in seeing its cushions pancaked to the floor. It pained me mostly because I’d never felt such a close connection to a couch.

And so, when plumber man finally left, so did I – it was exactly the motivation needed to inspire a jog.

And with my life potentially ending tomorrow with me boarding a flight (that’s right, I said the ‘F’ word), I need to put some distance between us (it makes tomorrow’s farewell easier too) and get out and make some real friends. Besides, couches offer no guidance in the ways of airplane survival and that’s what I need most in life right now (apart from coffee).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rotted Milk

There are two types of choices: good ones; and bad ones.  Life’s a whole lot better when you make the good ones…

I should have realized this last week already. But I didn't  No, instead I didn't smell the milk before I used it on my cereal and coffee… At first I thought it just tasted bad because I had brushed my teeth first… Half way through I thought it might just be a new brand…

I thought I’d be a nice sister and cook dinner. But apparently chilli sauces aren't all the same.  Side-of-the-road-Mozambiquan-chilli-sauce is a force to be reckoned with. Dinner was severely diluted with milk. I forgot the milk was off…

3 hours into the document search....
And then came moving to Cape Town.  In an attempt to find one very
very very horrendously very important document, I took a trip to Benoni (Think mullets and wife beaters and children who are older than their parents). While it was lovely seeing family and having my first braai since 2010, I knew my mission. It took the better part of five hours, and courage I never thought I could cough up (I also coughed out a lot of dust and cobweb) – but I fought through four households of stored ‘stuff’ (our family being the first to have invaded the cousin’s garage) and came out with not only the document, but a lot more of my earthly belongings than I ever thought I owned. I’m pretty sure they bred and had offspring in my years of absence.

All my worldly possessions...
and the bicycle...
This made relocating home a lot harder than it should have been. Flying was out of the question. I had a full car load of ‘stuff’ so driving was out – not only do I not possess a car – but there was no way I’d drive the 1400 km alone. There are too many luggage limitations on the bus and well, I’d never taken the train…

Sunday morning I rocked up at the train station hoping there would still be tickets. “Sorry” said the friendly Malawian behind the counter “sold out till mid-Feb”. But I pleaded – “there’s no tickets at all??” and that’s how I bought my R340 third class hard seat on board the Shoshaloza Meyl to Cape Town. Like I said, it was a week of bad decisions.

The Zimbabwean next to me was under the impression that it was a 5 hour trip. I probably shouldn't have said anything about the ETA – I’ve never seen a black person turn that white.

Look at all the happy faces!
For every grown up on board there were 37.5 infants and for every seat between Klerksdorp and Kimberly, there were 3 grownups…

The toddlers joined their vocal chords to create a sound track to stay awake to and the plastic non-reclining seats made sure we did. But it could always be worse…  By 3am our carriage was full of police to break up the fights bought on by excessive quantities of alcohol and seat/ floor space reclaimage.

I made friends with 6 year old Kabelo who taught me all about fairies and princesses and marveled at the giftings her 3 year old sister possessed in finding and eating second hand chewing gum. I discussed business plans with people from 4 different African countries and finished reading a book I’ve carried for the last 3 months. But ask any person on that train and none of them will ever take it again. Not economy at least….

A very hot and smelly toilet overflowingly 29.5 hours later – past some breathtaking scenery and some sheep and 3 ostriches and a plethora of other stuff - we pulled into Cape Town. I felt like I’d just single-handedly fought the Vietnam war or run the comrades marathon… and won… and to make it even better, all of my belongings survived too.  

I suppose bad decisions are all part of life and they help you learn and become a better person… but they also get you upset stomachs and sleepless nights and possible diseases… From now on I aim to make only good ones. Life’s too short for 29.5 hour train rides…. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How to make a Million... Maybe.

It was a bright and sunshiny Sunday evening. The pizza was ordered, the black label drafts were flowing… across from us sat a man with far too much butt crack showing, but the alternative views were Cape Town traffic or the smoking mob of under-agers out the back. It was the perfect setting for an epiphany. They always come when you least expect them.

I’m no exactly sure how you take five and a half years of random gypsyism and turn it into an exciting income generating backdrop. I can’t really remember all that much from varsity days and I’ve been out of touch with the real world for so long that I’m not sure I can return to a former type of employment. My major skills are falling, licking things, not dying, and generating random meaningless conversation with strangers. My CV has gaps. But this year I will make a million bucks. Or at least that’s the New Year’s resolution.

I’m nearing 500 days of absolutely no income (and proud of it) – it’s the perfect foundation for my quest.

Minimum wage comes to about R26 000 a year – which is only R974 000 short. If I sell everything I own and my second kidney I can probably push that up to R27 400 so it looks like I’m going to have to be getting crazy creative on this endeavor!

I’ve looked at the figures and will probably rule out cake sales and begging at the robots (traffic lights) but to succeed, it’s going to take every other sort of everything. I’ve decided to make Cape Town my base and also decided that I’d prefer not to be arrested, lose my soul, or die – but everything else goes.

I have no idea who ever takes the time to read these blog posts (if anyone) – but if you (whoever you may be) have any suggestions, please send them my way – I will give them a shot!

I tried really hard to make New Year’s resolutions this year. But I’m a goal orientated person… I need them.  And that’s why this is the year I become a millionaire…

Could this be how I make my millions...??