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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The red and blue coat

Once there were two boys who were great friends, and they were determined to remain that way forever. When they grew up and got married, they built their houses facing one another. There was a small path that formed a border between their farms.

One day, a trickster from the village decided to play a trick on them. He dressed himself in a two-color coat that was divided down the middle. So, one side of the coat was red, and the other side was blue.

The trickster wore this coat and walked along the narrow path between the houses of the two friends. They were each working opposite each other in their fields. The trickster made enough noise as he passed them to make sure that each of them would look up and see him passing.

At the end of the day, one friend said to the other, "Wasn't that a beautiful red coat that man was wearing today?"

"No", the other replied. "It was a blue coat."

"I saw the man clearly as he walked between us!" said the first, "His coat was red."

"You are wrong!" said the other man, "I saw it too, and it was blue."

"I know what I saw!" insisted the first man. "The coat was red!"

"You don't know anything," the second man replied angrily. "It was blue!"

They kept arguing about this over and over, insulted each other, and eventually, they began to beat each other and roll around on the ground.

Just then, the trickster returned and faced the two men, who were punching and kicking each other and shouting, "Our friendship is OVER!"

The trickster walked directly in front of them, and showed them his coat. He laughed at their silly fight. The two friends saw this his coat was red on one side and blue on the other.

The two friends stopped fighting and screamed at the trickster saying, "We have lived side by side like brothers all our lives, and it is all your fault that we are fighting. You have started a war between us."

"Don't blame me for the battle," replied the trickster. "I did not make you fight. Both of you are wrong, and both of you are right. Yes, what each one saw was true. You are fighting because you only looked at my coat from your own point of view."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Comrades Marathon

With only a few days until the Comrades Marathon, I am almost persuaded to head to town and welcome the weary runners, take pictures and grab a piece of the action. I chuckle too as I remember my BIG DISGRACE. I once ran in a marathon too, sponsored by Milo in a tiny town called Mtuthama. That was years ago, after running for miles and being so far back (the very last probably)the so-called 'support' team drove close to us taunting my friend and I: 'come on, just get into the b****y truck. You are wasting everybody's time. (and then in the spirit of being professional, adding, 'of course it's your right to run'.)

Of course we gave up, got into the truck and quit. I think we had gone way past the half-way mark and I was ELEVEN YEARS OLD. Looking back, the support staff weren't my problem, it was the house mistress. She proudly handed out awards to all in our hippo house 'who had finished the marathon'. so yours trully, probably the youngest marathon runner in the history of the institution, and who did not possess the mental ability to resist the taunting of a 'support' staff, was relagated to the margins. I felt disgraced, 'If only I had finished! I would have been recognised by my house mistress!' Years later I realise that it wasn't my disgrace, it was the disgrace of those that failed to notice the budding of a could-have-been athletic career. They could have chosen to support and nurture it. But, hey, like many of us, they chose to work with what they already had.

Lesson to me, the Big Disgrace is gone. When it comes to marathons, a lot can be learned; both from the spirit of the winner and that of the enduring runner, young and old, fit and unfit at the back of the race: for they all run the race....and finish the race. Watch 'Run, fat boy, run'.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

2 more days and school's out

Winter break couldn't have arrived at a better time......YAY!!!! I'm tired beyond description. Aiaiai! Ngikathele kakhulu kabi. Ndatopa. Je suis fatigue, ndalema. isikhathi for resting now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

South Africa 101 a letter to WGN-TV

Dear WGN-TV Chicago,

With less than a month to the World Cup let me take it upon myself to show you where South Africa really is. You see, that continent south of you is South America. The World Cup will only take place on that continent in 2014, in a country called Brazil. This year, starting next month, the World Cup is taking place in South Africa. South Africa is located on the Southern most tip of the continent of Africa (hence the name 'South' 'Africa'). You know, where all those movies use dodgy rights to tell/sell the stories of icons found in South Africa e.g. Winnie Mandela etc.

If you take your world map, it's located south of Europe which is to your east. Note to self: Now this is why I complain when Western countries report on African countries, if they can't place the said countries on the map, whatever next? Alas, whatever next?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

It FINALLY Looks like a Saturday!

For the first time in a long time, a Saturday with absolutely nothing to do but enjoy Casting Crowns on a rainy day. How grand to have the only worry of the day being missing Jamie Oliver's cook show because of other leisurely activites like walking past the highway to the library (wish it was the Silverdale Library or a Barnes and Noble ;-) ). Ah, I'll enjoy this while it lasts, Monday looks dodgy I hope I won't have too much to write. Ignoring thinking about exams by the way. Good day to you Mr. Saturday!!!!!

I hope you are enjoying YOUR rainy weather Folkert!!!!! <3


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Africa Paradis

It's after 3 am and I chanced upon a very curious movie on late night TV.
Hmmmm, I'll reserve my comments for until after years of digesting of this movie.Yes, past my coffee-induced, school assignment-fatigued experience of it right now.
Errm, where'd they throw all the North Africans and non-Black South Africans though?.....curious.......Interesting concept........
grim as in I hope vengeance is not on the minds of many; rather, an alternate life-giving future.......hmmm....(

I'm placing match sticks now to prop my eyelids a la Tom and Jerry)......

subtitles....hmmm.....OK, let me concentrate.
Good food for thought for international legislatures in the immigration debate....

ok, concentrate.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rudyard Kipling's 'The White Man's Burden', 1899

Alas, me dears, Rudyard Kipling had a point. Don't know if things are any different over a century later.....tiyeni kuntengo wa kachere tikafunsane.

Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden, 1899

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

....By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

.....And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

...But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

This famous poem, written by Britain's imperial poet, was a response to the American take over of the Phillipines after the Spanish-American War.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

I vow to thee my country

Spent quite a significant amount of time reminiscing when I happened upon a facebook page of my alma mater (first high school in a series of three). Granted I was a poor student then and was kicked out for a sorry report card, yet,the one year there indeed impressed upon my life quite a span of memories. Good to find echos of my memories from alumni on the face book group: Ecce Romani, Jardin Public, the Pavillion, the seamstresses, etc. I am most grateful to that experience, the friends that have lasted with me since then and the knowledge that has endured.

However, in the spirit of good critiquing; my Religion and Governance instructor from here will be quite pleased to see me critiquing the hymn of my days there thus, just as some might use religion for self-serving gains; so can some use governance for their own ends. And yet, as students; we sung a hymn of such a strange allegiance. The first verse below, hmmm, nie? just follow the words in bold font. What in the world was the writer of this song thinking? Patriotism is good, but asking no questions? what is democratic about that? Just a thought. And to my alma mater, thank you for always, too bad I never made it to the Appian Way. Form One's were not allowed :-(

'I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

(Right Reverend Steven Lowe, Bishop of Hulme: His view that it placed ... an unquestioning support of governments opened a debate on its wider implications--Wikipedia)