Category Archives: Personal

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The South African Medical Condition: Constructive Begging

I am not oblivious to the fact that legitimate, decent employment is difficult to come by in South Africa.  The main reason in my opinion?  Illiteracy.  People simply cannot read and write even in their mother tongues.  Some opt to commit crime.  Others will get by on a stall somewhere busy.  Some will venture out to their nearest traffic light intersection to make the best of our free-flowing peak hour traffic.

‘Car Guardian’ Beggars

There is this South African perception that you can’t expect to park your car in parking lot, or busy street, and expect to find it there when return back to it – even if it would take all of 5 minutes for you to pop in and out of a building.  Car guards approaching me at the point of parking, or sometimes departure, grates my moobs (male boobs) to the nth degree.  Normally I’d spot the open parking spot anyway, but because he swings his arms for my Boeing A380 aircraft it’s going to cost me.  It’s also likely that if criminals want to take my car for a spin – the car guards would conveniently not see anything now would be anywhere to find on my return to the pleasant surprise of me missing an entire vehicle 🙂

How about when some idiot gives your car a kiss with their bumper?  Of course they saw him, but didn’t think to take down the vehicle registration of the said idiot.  They also don’t care to have a “15min free parking” clause – Savages!  All you ever seem to hear is: “I’ll keep my eye on it, mlungu!”  Where mlungu is slang for ‘white person’ even when you’re chocolate-brown like me.  To make things worse – so many of the cars we drive nowadays have PDC (parking distance control) in the front and back.  Yes – they do not guarantee the utmost prevention of bumping a curb, but now the car is beeping out of control because Mister Car Guardian is standing next to a sensor!  Kill me now!

‘Run of the Mill’ Beggars

Do you think traffic light beggars realize how many other traffic lights and beggars there are in Johannesburg?  I for one think not.  Now I may be sounding like I don’t have a gram of empathy for homeless/struggling people, but I do.  I just don’t have money, drinks, food nor jobs to give 99.99% of them.  Even then – sometimes they only care about ‘the money’, and not so much for your drinks, food nor jobs because them being there reaching into the deepest ventricle of your mind’s heart to get some cash out of you is the only objective.

Blind beggars, the disabled, seemingly single mothers with their young, the white lads who stand there without moving an inch, the lads on their knees in peak hour winter traffic, the youth forcefully washing your windscreen, the chaps trying to collect every bit of trash out of your car for some change and of course the lads with the incredibly animated (and dramatic) walks.  I feel out of all of these that the mothers who use their toddlers to manipulate you out of money break my heart the most, man.  I’m still on the fence about soon-to-be-married bachelors being at these already clogged up intersections.  What if this is an introduction to being a beggar later in life?  No man.  The choreographed dancing lads – oh I cannot forget these!  It just seems as though the poor procreate the most. 😦

Anyway – I can’t just complain about the entertainer lot.  We really need reasonable, entry-level jobs for most.  Ones with reasonable entry requirements.  I keep thinking that if public transport was better, cheaper and ran later we could see shopping centers (where money seems to go die) hiring nearly double their numbers because of shift systems that would need to be in place.  Not all in the stores, but some being cleaners and so forth.  Uniform providing jobs that people can make a living off.  Only if beggars don’t make a good 8 to R10 000 or more per month at these traffic lights, of course.  I wouldn’t be too surprised.  A part of me sniffs massive syndicates being behind some begging groups to be quite honest…

‘Traffic Light Small Business’ Vendors

These are the lads I actually tolerate, but to an extent.  They sell charger cables, super glue, thumb drives, sunglasses, safari hats, children’s toys, wall clocks, DVDs of on-circuit movies, cool drinks, and my most preferred – fruits and vegetables.  Fairly inexpensive and biodegradable should you want not feel like having them.  Do you want to know the one trick I use especially if you struggle to say no like I do?  Here’s what to say: “I already have a few of those in the house.  Thanks!”  Thing is that sometimes, when you have shown how you already have what they’re offering, they will still ask for some ‘change’.  They might even offer you some of their merchandise for ‘free’. Of course you’ll give it back, but not without offering some silver.  This leaves me depleted.  It all feels like a scam.

Don’t despair!  ‘Having’ everything on offer will have you escaping most street vendors, but regarding the ‘rest’ of the beggars – you’re on your own, mlungu!

At-a-Traffic-Intersection-Johannesburg-2011

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The Top 3 Things That ABSOLUTELY Get To Me

It’s fair to say security is important in ways we sometimes tend to take for granted – be it financial, personal or physical – we all have a need to feel safe and sound.  Living in an ever so slightly ‘interesting’ country like South Africa means you always have to look behind your back to make doubly sure that the ‘coast is clear’ and safe to proceed.  I will however argue that South Africa is a stunning country to live in, but the problem?  SOME people. Those marks on a fairly clean table cloth at your favorite restaurant.  Like spilled gravy. Very messy and in need of a full washing machine cotton-appropriate cycle.  Sadly some of these people are our friends and family.  well, at this point in space and time here are the top 3 things that ABSOLUTELY get to me:

Forgetting a Password

Working in the field of information technology introduced the idea of having to memorize some 20+ passwords and personal identification numbers (PIN) for my phone(s), bank account(s), email accounts (in excess of 10 in my case), iTunes accounts, bicycle chain, travel suitcase, multiple social media platforms, and not forgetting the dozens of keys, access control cards and tags at any given point in time.  The only thing that gets close in burden intensity are loyalty reward program cards.  I for one carry a fairly small card holder and in there you barely find room for a medical insurance card, but what will you catch me dead with?  A loyalty card.  I can appreciate a good discount, but where do people find room for these hundreds of cards?  How do they even keep track?  No chance, mate.  It’s just a clever ploy to obtain your personal information and sell your information to companies you’ve never even heard of.  If that’s your thing, accumulating points, then I think it’s cute 🙂

The only solution to ALL this mess?  Biometric access control for absolutely everything.  My fingers (paired with a waterless sanitizer and/or wet wipes) are ready to take control over all entrances, vehicles, mobile device(s), notebook(s), ATMs, travel cases… you name it!  Between your finger prints and retinas there’s a combination there that is actually completely unique in the world.  An actual ‘one of a kind’ feature most people have. I am willing that these are 1st world problems, but imagine you no longer had to remember more than 5 of any form of password.  BLISS!  Now all you’d need to do is not lose your fingers and/or eyes.   Be safe now!

Living in Diepsloot, South Africa

Many who ‘know’ me would be aware that I currently call Diepsloot, in the North of Johannesburg South Africa, home.  In reality I live about 5km from Diepsloot, but the encounters with the taxi drivers on that route, Along William Nicol between the N14 and N1 Western Bypass freeways, on a daily basis has welled up a new level of hate towards taxi drivers.  I choose to use the word hate because they have complete disregard for other road users – including pedestrians and their own passengers.  They simply don’t consider you.  You don’t exist.  You’re in the way.  You have to give them the right of way.  In fact I believe I have now developed full blown road rage, and I’m ready to get into a physical fight if I must.  One that will probably end me, but see if I care. 😦

Besides that bit – we have Steyn City, only one of the most expensive residential developments in Africa when you requirements like your net worth being over R10m in order to qualify to reside there are a must, going on just a kilometer down the road.  I’ve had the pleasure of being in there for lunch, and despite it being incredibly scenic and well-thought out – it has required expansion in the form of: roads, water and electricity.  As a result of these expansion requirements in the last 2 years of residing in ‘Diepsloot’ I have experienced power and water failures so often that I was only left to console myself by remembering that ‘this is Africa’ after all.  All I need to do to remedy this is to move into the parts of Johannesburg I can’t afford to live in… great.

Lending People Money

I think I’m a sucker.  I think I’m a fool.  I think I am absolutely ashamed at how much of my hard-earned money is ‘out there’ in the world and now home with ‘daddy’.  Spent on satisfying the temporary needs by people who don’t give a damn about where I am and if I am in need of my money.  Perception is what continues to betray me.  The perception that perhaps they need my money more than I need it myself.  That and the trust I have that hearing ‘I’ll pay you on Wednesday.  I promise!’ is a real thing.  It hardly ever is.  Often it’s a Thursday or in the distant, unknown future.  I am above exposing someone in a social or public space, but I am not above burning bridges knowing that I won’t get that money back.  I’ll sleep better knowing I never have to ‘deal’ with that person ever again.  One less problem.  The part I hate is that some of these people are family members.  You’ll see someone buy a whole new outfit, showing it off to you, as if no exchange of money ever took place.

In fact my mind is heavy with how I have continued to be ‘that sucker’.  That I always seem to have bothered to tap into that box labelled ‘sympathy’ when they plead for help.

Then you have to go practically ‘begging’ for your own money like you have nothing else better to do.  Become a debt collector, mate!  They won’t explain why they can’t pay you as agreed!  They won’t have the courtesy to agree to new terms that suit them better!  NO!  You must wait in that abyss of nothingness.  Makes you wish you had forced them all to sign acknowledgments of debt just so they know you can come for them legally if they mess you around.  Not because it would be worth it, but for the principle.

So – if you’re going to ‘lend’ someone money?  Be willing to write it and that person off, unless it’s someone worth keeping.  A rare type of person that so… rather say no.  Be the asshole.  Go spend your own money on ice cream if you must!  It’s worth the peace of mind. B-)

Genesis1 Pin-Pad Fingerprint Scanner
Genesis1 Pin-Pad Fingerprint Scanner

Not So Common Courtesy

There’s a seemingly difficult area between different types of relationships between two (or more) people I would like to call ‘common courtesy’. Whether we are talking people in business, neighbors, complete strangers or even lovers is actually irrelevant, but the basic understanding that you need to consider someone else in your decision making is far more important than most people realize or even wish to acknowledge. I can think of a few common areas of my life where courtesy becomes very important.

Traffic
I spend a great deal of time, like most people, in traffic. What I have observed all over the world (okay, some parts of the world) is how much time people spend on their phones whilst behind the wheel. It’s more so alarming in SA. It is as though there simply isn’t enough time to wait before we get to a complete standstill before we act on the urge to satisfy this incredible desire to respond now.

What I have found even more interesting is how you can get away with so much nonsense if the driver you’re offending/cutting off/not letting in even though they’ve been indicating/not moving quickly enough from a green traffic light is if that poor soul is on their phone at the time of being wronged. It’s fair to say many people struggle to concentrate fully on commanding a vehicle and fiddling with their device. I’ve seen near misses myself and I have to say – it’s pretty inconsiderate to be on your phone in traffic. I may find Bluetooth headsets quite ugly (so sad that I owned one nearly 10 years ago 😦 ), but they allow you to show some courtesy in paying attention to your surroundings a little bit better. It would be a damn shame to see life lost simply because you couldn’t wait to reply to that message that could have waited…

Neighbors
I’m a bedroom disk jockey (DJ) and with this hobby, seeing as I hardly get booked (boohoo 😦 ) means my neighbors have no choice but to be schooled into starting to like my particular taste in house music. I sometimes will have some friends over and of course there is actually never a time the allocated visitor parking lots are sufficient or conveniently located as such. That’s in fact one of my issues with sectional title housing. Firstly they cost as much as a standalone house (likely in a ‘cheaper’ area) and secondly these walls seem to be ever so thin, fam.

At some point we will all experience the baby that will absolutely never stop crying, the fighting couple (I say NO to domestic violence), the bass-bumping on max to test the new sound system guy next door, the lady preparing that extremely fragrant African dish, the braai smoke that is CONVENIENTLY blowing in through the tiny gap under your door to terrorize the hunger dwelling in you, the neighbor who got home slightly (read completely) inebriated and parked halfway into your allocated parking lane, the neighbor who very well knows you can see that they’re walking about butt naked in their apartment, but they don’t actually care about you, the angry neighbor who seems to not like you which obviously means they need to get laid to the old couple which call the security every single time they hear any form of noise coming out of what they have figured out to be your apartment.

These reasons and more are why I would prefer a full title deed house someday soon. I love people all in all, but I need my space to just be free, enjoy my house music, cook what I want, braai when I want to, be angry at my walls when I want to, and perhaps just be butt naked when I want to be.

Workplace
I frankly think it’s very inconsiderate to set up a meeting for any time after 3pm on a Friday (can I get an amen). Once that meeting ends at 16:45 you now need to now go be nice and peaceful during Friday peak hour traffic? Talk about being tested.

How about that bastard who not only decided to use your clearly marked milk, but didn’t care to wipe the milk that spilled along the side of your milk container (load all the sadness in the world right at this here moment) so now not only do you seem like a pig, but a stingy pig 😦

The loud, inappropriate mobile phone ringtones? Oh man oh man… How about guy you want to spill a specially purchased bottle of English Blazer, read Doom, all over since it’s become apparent they conserve water by not showering? Because the dynamic of people in a business environment are so vast and wide I can recall that colleague that would be spraying some hair spray before their lunch time date, the one leaving spilling sugar granules all over the small kitchen counter without it seeming like a problem at all to the rest humankind to the 22 degree Celsius air conditioning settings that obviously don’t work for black people because we’d prefer 24, but 23 would be a fair compromise! Hahahahahahaha! So many things can be observed in a large office space.

A loud playing radio in a bank was my most recent ‘strange’ experience. I walk into ABSA bank at OR Tambo and since it’s pretty empty at the time 2 ladies behind the teller counters are playing music off a small radio. Audibly enough for me to obviously fail to ignore it. Now, I know black people are generally more comfortable around other black people, as can be expected with any racial group, but as soon as a while lad walked in? Radio off. I felt a notch disrespected as I wasn’t there to loiter. I mean… REALLY?

Relationships
You know that friend that lies about being 5 minutes away when they’re actually just leaving their place that’s a good 30 minutes or more+ away from yours? Don’t be this person 😦 People respecting someone else’s time, and concern, really need to up their game. It actually is not fair to have someone unable to reach you simply because what you may have to say at the time was not convenient for you. I cannot tell you how easy it is to worry about someone else’s well-being if I care about that person. It’s also the reason why I am likely easy to reach on at least 2 mobile devices regardless of where I may be. It’s considerate to myself, in case one dies sooner than expected because nowhere to charge the damn thing, or I simply consider the next person that if for example one line is out of signal range the other one is and I can easily brief them on where I am and that everything is okay. How about her hair all over the sink, the unwashed dishes you left, shoes you left in the lounge the entire day… A little consideration goes a long way when it’s no longer just about you.

Be it your sister, parent/guardian, friend or partner – always try exercise some courtesy. It gives one an incredible peace of mind, and will also buy you one important thing money can’t really buy – trust. It’s a pity that each and every day, even when you avoid human interaction, common courtesy is clearly not second nature to many people. You know what’s cool? It’s something everyone can learn. Fantastic.

*Texts boss to say I’m running 5min late because ‘traffic’ when I know I actually overslept* 🙂

Not so consider... Hahahahahaha! Shame man! :"D
Not so consider… Hahahahahaha! Shame man!

😀

Street Vendas*

This here post has nothing to do with the Venda ethnic group in South Africa, but everything to do with a chap who went onto the South African Idols back in 2010.  Being welcomed into the room he gets asked by Gareth Cliff about what he does.  He explains how he’s running a small business selling sweets and stuff.  Gareth therefore asks: “So, you’re a Venda?”  The very surprised young man is surprised and replies: “No, I’m not a Venda.  I’m a Zulu.”  I absolutely died.  Actually – watch the 22 second clip here.

I LOVE SOUTH AFRICA SO MUCH! 

Now, imagine you were a street vendor.  What would you sell and where would you be located?  I have to admit – standing in the sun all day, ducking all kinds of vehicles and taxi driver stunts in order to make ends meet would be a tall task for many of you!  Especially those of you who are physically bigger targets… I JOKE!  What would you sell if you could sell something though?  From the crew selling “cool time ice lollies” for this here African sun to Lewis* Vetton* bags at the intersection of William Nicol and the N1 Western Bypass to swimming pool inflatable jackets to wall clocks to news papers to mobile phone accessories to battery-operated toys for children to fruit basket to coffee and tea to soft drinks to sporting team outfits to selling dance moves to selling jokes… MAN!  What pushes this to be all viable?  Only two things (I think) – traffic and putting food on the table without resorting to crime.  

Yes, of course the police will confiscate your goods every now and then – that comes with the territory!  Especially the fake DVDs, my guy.  I would definitely sell fruits and some vegetables.  Perishables aren’t something I’m fond of keeping in my residence, but they’re healthy!  Healthy people are smaller targets!  Smaller targets are easier to duck on the road!  I JOKE AGAIN!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!  I take it back.  Location?  Anywhere really.  I’m quite fond of corner William Nicol and Fourways/Sunrise Boulevard though.  Traffic aplenty – vehicles and pedestrians.

“Grapes Thirty Rand!  Grapes Thirty Rand!  Grapes Thirty Rand!” – me.  At my corner.

 Well packaged.  Fresh.  Rocking my sunscreen (skin cancer in SA is ranked #2 in the world – for real!  See here)  and working my best whistle.  Making that R200-800 profit per day when the weather and traffic allows…  then to sing on Idols SA in 2015!  *insert air punch here*

FullSizeRender

Women and Flirting…

“Beep Beep” – the arrival of a flirtatious text on a lady’s phone.  From you, my guy.  Something lousy about how amazing she looks and how you’re into her.  

Problem is that she feels this much for you: 0.

Don’t sweat it!  It happens.  People want to attract the attention and affection of those they consider actual ‘potentials’.  Some even after they have settled down… The rest of us?  We are mere humans!  There seemingly isn’t a way you can put a foot right with the target.  Not in the foreseeable and desirable future anyway.  A time you won’t get to reach because you’d be deflated.  Fuel runs out!  However… if you’re the right person for ‘the job’?  Mannnn… you will even hear from this lady about how others are failing to meet the benchmark you didn’t even try to reach.  Good going, my guy!  Life is tricky and (un)fair like that.  What is even more weird?  You’re possibly not attracted to this lady.  Not like that anyway.  She is very much deeply embedded in the swamp area of your friend-zone.  Also pretty cool?  The guys she doesn’t deem ‘good enough for the job’ are in the same position.  Knee-deep in that mosquito-infested water.  Life’s little joke.  You were expecting to read and see something about the content of this flirting?  It actually doesn’t matter.  Demand and supply – don’t do it and you’ll find that the market is suddenly begging to hear you say sweet nothings, my guy!  WIN!  That said – keep at it, but leave our women alone, you bastards!

 Sleepy-woman-checking-messages-on-cell-phone

 

I’m b(l)ack!

This isn’t some deep post.  I’m back from my blogging vacation.  I’m also wearing all-black clothing right now.  So, I’m b(l)ack! I have realised that writing long pieces put me off being here, but enough of that!  Now straight to the point pieces.  Like a chicken drumstick.  I love chicken drumsticks.  I’ve also time travelled to a few time zones and back.  Which reminds me – I love the 80’s science fiction trilogy “Back To The Future” directed by none other than Stephen Spielberg!  One of my all-time favourite science fiction movies.  You know what’s cool?  The years they travelled to back then?  They’re round about now :’) “Great Scott!”

Back To The Future Posters

This is my idea of giving birth…

Few things I enjoyed a few years ago like creating websites. Graphic design a bit, but giving birth to a website fills me with great pride and some form of technical understating. Attention to detail. And no other website is better to put together, as a ‘creative’, such as your own. You’re literally free to do anything you want. And so I did. I am silly in a way so I had to throw in some silly lines here and there. Also, now I have a single point of reference for my hobby of being a DJ as well as a page I can point people who would like to access my mixes to.

This new site incorporates a design style I founded (or rather one I’ve never seen anywhere else in the world wide web) which is a single page. Accessible from any platform such as phones as well and I had to consider the likes of computers with mice as well as touchscreen devices when designing it. Yes, it will look similar to the F5 Website, which I also put together a few years ago, and the idea is to navigate the entire web page on the landing page. All ‘sub-pages’ are actually low-resolution images so that the site can open easily and quickly on even a slow net connection.

Now, this does NOT mean I am now looking to become a big shot DJ. No. It hopefully indicates that I am serious about life.

Sunday evening, 19 January 2014, I gave birth to this here baby that you can visit at this link:

vnmstr

Check it out. Book me. I need the moola! Lol. No, for real (-_-“)

Our Times versus Their Times

Why the times have really changed.

I believe that we are not far off from the sort of way our parents were in their heyday. Fair enough – we consume far more media and have access to that angelic demon called the internet where one can learn to create a bomb using household contents or find the words to express how they feel about someone.

I’ve observed how mobile communications devices – tablets, cellular phones, computers, etcetera – pose a huge risk to many a relationship that are business-related all the way to the most personal of relationships. The reason is because, well, it is fairly simple to reach people in different places and therefore just as simple to breach many forms of ‘contracts’. Don’t get me wrong – there is the human element. People make the errors and not the devices themselves in the same way that guns don’t kill people, but people kill people. Well, regardless, the very device you can’t live without results in you living without certain people and things it affects.

Another big difference in ‘the times’ between our parents and us? Travel. It is now no longer a full day’s drive to move from Pretoria to Polokwane. From 3 to 5 hours you can essentially move halfway across the country. For a few hundred rands you can be in Cape town in 6 hours or less. What does this equate to? The ability to reach an infinitely larger audience. Sometimes this audience is in the form of the opposite sex. The opposite sex which is likely easy to conceal whatever you ‘left behind’. Therein lies the problem.

Essentially I have only identified 2 things – travel and communications. Two things that literally and figuratively drive the entire planet. And many relationships apart. From toll gate slips, SMS messages, emails or merely sending a message to an unintended recipient. These simple examples are the downfall of many.

Car Cellphone. Quite… Fitting.

Imagine how much simpler our lives would be if we could not date girls in the next city? Okay, the thought of that is quite sad, but you get my point. So, stop comparing us in the here and now with them in the then and there. Some of “them” are in the now and the divorce rate is a clear indication thereof. Oh, people need to exercise self-control and be responsible for their actions? Well, it is not by chance that people from every kind of walk of life land up with similar relationship challenges. From the very rich to the poor. In cities and in remote villages. The opposite sex and in some cases the same-sex who actually do the responsible thing 9.9 times out of 10, but it is without a doubt that as any goal keeper can’t keep every shot at goal out that 0.1 times out of 10 one will bypass your last line of defense.

I am of course not condoning nonsensical behaviour, but merely stating my observation. Play safely!

MixMeister Vol. 2

Can’t quite use SoundCloud this time around, but here’s a link to my latest house mix.

MixMeister Vol. 2
Track listing?

1 Close Your Eyes – Miguel Migs Feat. Meshell Ndegeocello (Osunlade Yoruba Mix)
2 Gabrielle – Emkyu feat D.D.B. Feat. Guy Robin & DJ Leo Mixes (Qualifide Remix)
3 Gabriel – Joe Goddard Feat. Valentina (Original Mix)
4 Time – The Realm ft. Tony Momrelle (Frankie Feliciano Classic Vocal Mix)
5 Upon Ourselves – Argy Feat. Bajka – (Yoruba Soul Mix)
6 Amaphoyisa – Dj Fresca & Black Motion ft Tuna
7 London Roots – Vega Feat. Johnnydangerous (Main Mix)
8 Tonight – Miguel Migs (Fred Everything Lazy Vocal Mix)
9 Your Body – Josh Milan (Louie Vega Eol Mix)
10 Father To Be – Black Motion Feat. Dr Malinga
11 Far Away – The Copasetic (Main Mix)
12 Never Felt So Fly – Rasmus Faber Feat. Melo (Original Mix)

Do enjoy!

MixMeister Vol. 1

I don’t know where I get the time for this, but zissss is me first house mix! Give it a listen/download and lemme know what you sink?

DOWNLOAD MEEEEEEEE!

MixMeister Vol. 1
Track Listing

1 Falling – By Dj Kent
2 It’s The Music (Rocco Dub Mix) – By Dj Pap
3 Real Love (Rocco Dub Mix) – By Jake Island
4 I Love The Night (Louie Vega Roots Mix) – By Rocco
5 Summer Breeze (Atjazz Original Concept) – By N’Dinga Gaba
6 Love Song 28 – By Jullian Gomes
7 Home (Harness Taboo Vocal Mix) – By Simply Red
8 Do Better (Vocal Mix) – By The Layabouts
9 Love Is You (Cajual 20 Year Anniversary Mix) – By Cajmere & Russoul
10 Please Me (Original Mix) – By Gregor Salto, Florian T
11 I’M So Hung Up On You (Infinite Boys Mix) – By Nastee Nev
12 What Happened To Us (Original Soulful) – By The Jinks
13 Hooked On You (Rocco’s Deconstruction Mix) – By Dj Le Roi
14 Moments (Atjazz Inst. Mix – Qt Edit) – By Musaria