Monday, 28 January 2013

Wide Angle Lenses

Friday: Great Dane
We started off this whole adventure with a trip into the depth (not really) of Town. We had origionaly planned to go the Kitchners Carvery Bar, but instead ended up at a place called Great Dane. I had never been there and therefore had no idea what to expect. I made a great first impression on the door man by handing him R20 in about fifty coins, half of which were coppers. I know right - My life. A little chuckle with the Door Man later - Weather at me or with me I'm still not sure- we entered the Bar Slash Club into a sea of people from the hipster-est of bald black twenty something wearing polkadot bow ties to the 'poppie' girls wearing the same denim shorts and white chiffon blouses.
After pushing our way through the crowd at the bar, Zamelek and a glass of water in hand we found our way to the outside area. Tables and chairs lined the walls, but we made ourselves comfortable on these cool barrels and, what looked like, life sized cotton spools. Above our heads hung lanterns in the form of old lampshades in many different shapes and sizes. I felt like I was inside the Far Away Tree or some sort of other warped children's book where the lead characters spent their nights getting unfathomably wasted in dingy bars.
The floor is made of Fife Cent Pieces, and I bet you didn't know that.

Saturday: Neighbourgoods

Sunday: Lily n Rosa Birthday Party
Its been an incredibly long time since I've been to a house party. Here in SA we sure do know how to throw one hell of a rager. With the Black Label flowing and the awkward vibes of sober teenagers getting over their hormones nearly disguised by inebriation the party had only just begun.
People were scattered all around the garden, clad in swimming costumes, high fashion and hippie pants all around me people were getting to know each other a little better. I sat in a circle of about six people who were engage in deep, intellectual conversations. If he wasn't gay, and she wasn't so proud I'm sure they would have hooked up. I felt a little bit lost and out of my depth in these kinds of situations. I walked around, a little haze-y as to where I was going but soon found a few people that were familiar enough for me to invite myself into their group and relax a little.
It was a strange night indeed.

Monday: Dinner at Rainbow and Ice creams
Rainbow is a small Sushi Restaurant in Norwood where my Netzer Friends and I regularly attend for some delicious sushi and good times. I truly enjoy the company there and mostly what Sushi at Rainbow represents for us. I remember almost exactly a year ago to the day and even one before that, just after camp we all go get sushi and ice cream and talk about our plans for the year. Last time it was Rosa, Lily, Mitch and Myself talking about when we would all be meeting up over the course of the year in the Middle East and Northern Africa. This time we reminisced about our plans and how they had in fact come true. It was a crazily circlic expirience. This time, were all going to be here and the ice cream machine had no ice cream. Im trying not to read too much into this.

Tuesday: Greenside, Ten Rand Tuesdays, Gin and Bob Rocks
Well, for ten Rand, how could you not expect me to get unfathomably drunk in a very short space of time? We started our night at Gin playing a weirdly distorted Camp Only version of Never Have I Ever around the small table in the corner. I'm sure we all looked like a bunch of Crazies laughing and sharing intense stories. The rest of the night I spent with Marni either talking animatedly about life in Bob Rocks or on the bench just outside. There was also a little bit of cleaver Ex Boyfriend and Creepy Guy avoidance which I'm quite proud of/don't really remember.
Also, we saw Ninja. Just casually. #namedropping

Wednesday: Made Collages, The Bo and Greenside 
Recovering slightly from a hang over and just spending time with Marni doing something fun and creative was absolutely lovely and refreshing. I was making Cute Little Books for the kids leaving to UCT while Marni made a birthday card for one of her friends. The sun was moving slowly around the earth as we sat neatly under the umbrella outside, drinking tea and hanging out.
The Bohemian is a great place to make new friends, which is exactly what we did on Wednesday Night. It started off a little rocky when EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the Bar, mostly creepy old men, were giving us shit. This is probably because, despite my amazing hair and disastrous good looks and life experience. I still look 15 apparently. I disguised my shock by making a witty comment asking weather he wanted to see my fake ID or my real one. There were no bands playing so it was pretty quiet except for the rowdy table next to ours that soon joined forces and many discussions about Life, the Universe and other big round things commenced. All before heading back to Bob's for another round, and a sneaky bathroom break which clarified the myths of people bonking in public Bathrooms.

Thursday: Farewell picnic at Zoo Lake and Carlo Mombelli at the Bowls Club 
It was quite an intense day of work at the office followed by a farewell picnic in Zoo Lake. There was much too much food and drinks and cakes and sweets and chocolate and by the time 6pm rolled around we were all too excited to head over to the Bowls Club for a refreshing Beer and some good ol' Shnat Reunions (Marni not me). I was dieing of tiredness and sleep deprivation. We sat at the back of the club against the Trophy Case eating chips and watching Mr. Mombelli play his music. There were a few blurred people around me, but I wasn't really in the mood for conversation and just let my brain get a little bit molested by the Jazz Music. It was rather nice to just stop for the first time in a while
Carlo Mombelli either plays really good music or really bad music and I'm not sure if I like it.


Gin and Tonic

The sun was setting as the six of us settled into the small but aptly decorated apartment we would be calling home for the next week. The view out the window was beautiful and the smell of fresh ocean air filled the room with more oxygen than I had been able to take in over the past month or so. Before we all took turns to have the first shower after camp, a shower that is not to be taken for granted, we separated our dirty clothes into communal piles of colour. Oh, how I missed every decision being made with the consensus of all the people involved.
After my shower, short, but refreshing I joined the hobo camp that was starting on the small expanse of grass just outside the large window of the master bedroom.
Sounds of drumming, laughter and the gentle scratch of creativity against paper filled my ears as I gazed out at the end of the world. The sun was setting and it was getting chilly out. We decided, again communally, to make ourselves a well earned drink of Gina and Tonic before heading out, glasses in hand, to the large rocks that scattered the shores of Cape Town.

We sat on the rocks, rather nostalgically for a while, crunching on chips and contemplating our futures, our pasts and the dreams and aspirations we would soon be fulfilling, half inland and the other by the sea. We didn't stay seated for long and soon enough we were all lying with our heads to the horizon waiting for the Green Flash that would signify the end of one world and the beginning of another.
Hunger. Something we had almost altogether forgotten about. The mission was made and soon we found ourselves sitting in a Chinese Restaurant perving over the beautiful, Filipino waitress and pondering how everyone keeps identifying us as Jo'burgers so quickly. We decided it was our mannerisms and not our accents and made a pact to only do the "Cape Town Walk" from then on.

The quaint little street so dubed "Obs" was the destination for our next mission. A kombie taxi and a Train ride away we found ourselves walking the quiet street and peering our curious Jo'burger eyes into book shops, little cafe's and strange shabeen type restaurants in search of coffee. The last place that fell victim to our, almost, aimless wondering happened to be a Milkshake Place. They didn't have coffee, nor would they make coffee milkshakes but the allure of their grassy outside and Lilys inability to ever wear shoes was all too much. We shared milkshakes on the old wooden benches. I was pre occupied in dealing with minor existential crisis's about the stray we had picked up. A friend, but maybe more, maybe less. The milkshake was good though.
The kombie ride home was a new experience all together. From changing taxis about three times and hurriedly wondering through the centre of town before finding familiarly and a ride home, we squished onto back seats and through crowded streets, not loosing anyone before we made our way safely home.
Song lyrics filled my head as I thought back to the last moments with Jade. As if by some weird twist of fate in the universe the exact song came on and as trees and buildings rushed by, turning into ocean and back into buildings, my mind wondered through months of memories.

Shabbat Evening
In a mad scramble we managed to get dinner on the table and friends around it. While the wine and Gin flowed so did the conversation. The rowdy bunch that had emerged from the moderately fancy dinner found themselves with stickers on their foreheads guessing their identities based on Yes/No questioning. Hilarity ensued, as I'm sure you can imagine. This is when the Couch Incident occurred and to Rosa n Lily's parents, I do greatly apologise  Somehow in all the commotion I managed to drop my phone into my glass and, in my completely clear and rational thinking, pour out the contents of my glass onto the couch. I'm still not sure how life escalated to this point, or when, but I am truly sorry.
I was soon in bed after saying brief goodbyes to our friends.
Oh the life of sue-do grown ups.

Saturday Morning
The split. While the Would Be Capetonians took a tour of UCT and saw their new accommodation  the Continuing Jo'burgers took a little walk up and down the promenade of Sea Point. The sun beat down on us and the world looked a little better through my sunglasses. We walked to see, and to no particular point of interest. Just dawdling and while the floor was hot beneath our feet the sky was blue and the cool ocean breeze made it more than bearable  At this point, I would like to note that I'm not too fond of Cape Town. I hate wind and despite the fact that I've been telling people my favourite season is summer for longer than I can remember, I think I like rainy summers and not hot summers. I prefer cooler weather and have started to think that Autumn is better for me.
Despite all this, the Cape Town streets and people were quite enjoyable and after an ice cream and a little trip inside a shopping mall and through some weird foam we found on the grass it turned out to be a rather enjoyable day.
I spent the afternoon almost alone in the apartment.
I've come to realise that my stories and adventures of Shnat and Israel are harder to tell to strangers, but when someone from the movement or who has been on Shnat too asks, its not because they're being kind or curious  Its because its a wonderfully fulfilling felling to be able to tell your stories and have the person who is recieveing them know.

The large window next to the couch was open but the sun shone bright;y through it and onto the white, leather couch that took up most of the left hand side of the living room. Two bodies, sprawled but comfortable took up the empty space between the ceiling and the couch. They talked animatedly for what felt like ours, and probably was. Eventually the light faded and the wind became stronger and previous engagements caught up with the bodies and their time was cut short. They said goodbye.

No holiday is complete without an extra long day at the beach.
You may think us weird, but that is the nature of us when we are in groups. We dug holes to confuse humanity and collected rocks and sand in chip packets. The day was hot and besides the water being ice-y cold there was no escape from the elements. Looking off into the distance and seeing four friends, tall, short, built and hairy in the distance across the beach put the world into perspective. The strings of my ukulele rang out in the open space of the beach. A deep voice, that I soon realised came from a friend of mine seemed out of  place but comfortable. Maybe I've become to comfortable with being out of my comfort zone. Maybe its so uncomfortable its comfortable. Maybe I've just learnt to deal better with it.
Half Price Sushi is beautiful.

I did my hair and make up extra carefully. I sat at the opposite end of our disastrously long table, but before long, we had mixed up the language divide and I was engaged in an animated conversation with him. We spoke about the untold beauty of Johannesburg and plans for me to show him what I see and he doesn't once we both got back to Jo'burg. I leant on my elbow, legs crossed listening to his deep voice as he told me all about his time in south Africa so far. For the life of me I cant remember what on earth he said. 
Later I moved to a different part of the table and found myself engaged in one of those identity guessing games (honestly, why do they allow us into public places?) and enjoyed my sushi with minimal conversation with my seating neighbours. A sneaky exploring "Bathroom Excursion" and a few hugs goodbye, with promises to meet again and we were on our way to the infamous Long Street.
The street was crowded with party goers and after the initial confusion as to where we were to meet our friends we found them on the top floor of an old style building. The banisters were painted white and filled with swirls of metal. The floors were wooden and there was a really old, bearded man that was dancing in the doorway. We bought beers and stood watching the jazz band for a few, short minutes. The band was loud and the bar tender a beautiful, tall dark haired man. I was instantly in love. 
Outside we sat on a small bench watching the smoke curl up from cigarettes and other smokable objects around us. The smell was potent and reminded me of high school. Conversation flowed in accents so different from my own. New York, Israel, Cape Town, South Africa and me, slightly mixed up and Australian. I remember the street, filled with people, pushing and shouting. Scantily clad girls that hung onto boys that they supposed would please them for the night, weather it be rewarded, pre-conceived or completely unabashed. I remember rambling on about over analysis and saying things in a more expanded way than necessary. I remember glassy eyes and spike-y faces. I remember dancing in the crowd in Jo'burg and laughing because Pretoria was empty. I remember the flashing lights of the bad trance bar and convincing ourselves that we had to be home. But mostly, I remember the three of us, together again, like it hadn't been in such a long time, and wouldn't be for a while. 

The aftermath of last night was apparent in Long Street early that morning, but even more so in the darkened bedrooms of our flat. Mitch and I set off on a kombie taxi back to long street for a little day time exploring. We walked along the street and as we walked we were abruptly confronted by a bustle of people in the direction of an African Craft Market. We walked the narrow pathways between the stalls, looking at all the different objects and clothes that one could buy. We stopped to admire the jewellery and the shirts made of  African Material while Mitch entertained my senses with stories of when he was volunteering in Ghana. The Coca Cola hats, radios and bags of assorted sizes caught my eye. We excitedly tried them on and joked with the Stall Owner about the hazards of a metal hat before making our way to the book shop we had been looking for. We gazed around the book store in awe at the sheer amount of books for, about, in, from and around  South Africa.
A phone call later and a bit of light browsing and window shopping later we found ourselves sat at a restaurant eating delicious burgers and sandwiches with our friends who had managed to find us. The restaurant was really something. the walls were graffitti'd with artwork in a variety of different styles and the bathrooms had been tagged like there was no tomorrow. The menu's looked like old style newspapers, the contrast, although it didn't hit me then, was brilliant, and the food deliciously refreshing to my empty, rumbling stomach.

It was Mitch and My last day in the mother city, and time, coming again all too quickly required us to return to the apartment and pack up our bags for the final time. We stuffed our suitcases and ourselves into the front seats of the kombie taxi, holding them tightly so they wouldn't fall. We drove slowly in the streets of Cape Town, it was late afternoon and there was quite a lot of traffic. We got off at the train station without too much difficulty  smiling to ourselves about how much easier that had been than we expected. We made our way through the station and down the road until we got to the bus station, and that's when the wind began.
The trees were nearly bent over fully, and we were just about being blown into the street. I couldn't see for the life of me. We crossed the street, the wind doing most of the walkrunning for me, and I nearly couldn't stop the wind was so strong as it picked my feet up, my shoes unable to keep hold of the ground. Almost gravity defying.  Safely, we got to cover, our heads bent, smiles still, unfathomably so, plastered on our faces as the wind whipped around us. The bus was empty and the staff were helpful.
I fell asleep almost immediately on the plane after demolishing my first Kikat since being back- My favourite aeroplane snack.

My/Our journey had officially come to an end, almost exactly one year since it had all started. It was the last leg before being home for real and getting back into our 'normal' lives. We reminisced over the weeks and months we had spent together overseas and our shared and individual experiences  We remembered people and how much of a cyclic experience this had all been. It truly has.


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Bush Fires and Such

Here's a little music playlist I made today on 8 tracks. Its filled with some Australian artists and some artist that aren't Australian but were suggested to me by my lovely friendsies from Down Under. It's a mixture of Rap, Hip Hop and some slow smooth Jazz just to mix things up again.

Hope you enjoy them. It pretty much sums up my life right now.

Josh Pyke- No one Wants a Lover
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- Thrift Shop ft. Wanz
KK Jacob- Another Night Nelly Furtado Mixdown
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis- SDame Love ft. Mary Lambert
Josh Pyke- New Years Song
The Cat Empire- Days Like These
Josh Pyke- The Summer
The Cat Empire- Rhyme and Reason

"...In summer, the bush fires raged and raged and raged, on such beautiful days, and we fight them with water that runs through the cracks - Water were desperately trying to save. 
So I'll just live on wine and water my vines, and sleep on the wind with the fires right behind, and sing on the beaches and dance through the night 
Oh we'll cry 'pass the wine, pass the wine, pass the wine..."

Ye Olde Hipster Central

We've all heard about Neighbourgoods Market that has cause a massive ruckus in the streets of Johannesburg. Its the place to see and be seen by all of Joburg's trendy-est citizens, and if you haven't gotten yourself down to New Town yet, then you better get there soon. There's amazing home made food and coconut and rum drinks and the biggest and best fashionistas in the city, showing off their finest threads. Not to mention us photographers who skulk around the market snapping some tasty pictures to put on our blogs.

That's what I did this weekend.


Friday, 11 January 2013

I Have Always Loved Stickers...

Hanging out on the internet as one does, one comes across all sorts of fun and innovative ideas.
These are giant, or nor so giant, depending on your taste, stickers that you can use for home decor. They're super cool and African Inspired. They're called Fantastick and their products can be ordered online in a variety of different colours, or check out their website to find the stores they sell at near you!
Here are a few of my favourites:


Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Flawless Floral

Floral Blazers.
I'm truly in love with them, all I need now are some High Waisted Denim Shorts and I'm all set to rock what's left of the summer.


South African Inspired #3

Rings are my new favourite accessory. 
I've started my own collection, here are a few of my favourites, although they're not from South Africa, they remind me of my time exploring the world, and I want to showcase them with some things that really make me Proud to be a Saffa.

Camera and Material Rings from Istanbul, Turkey
(Not to mention the delicious Buttermilk Rusks from Ouma...)

Right to Left: Single Band Ring from Ha' Shuk B' Eilat, Israel
Fottprint and Batman Rings from Jerusalem, Israel
Black Wooden Ring from The Karmiel Dance Festival, Israel
 Fun Fact for the Day: Milo was orrigionaly made in Australia. Bet you didn't know that...
Chamsa Good Luck Ring from Jerusalem, Israel.

South African Inspired #2

The next Crafters Market on the list to tackle before I was swept off to Cape Town for some fine friends and screaming eleven year olds, was The Parkview Market. 
There, the only treasure I found, although there were many, many talented people selling all sorts of things, was this ring. Its made by the Izimbali Group of Women from SOWETO. These women are inspired to empower themselves and started this initiative, helped by the Wire Workers of Johannesburg. You can find these rings in all different shapes, sizes and colours in Big Blue stores.

Natural Greens Button Ring

South African Inspired #1

On my arrival home from the northern Hemisphere, I was confronted by the sheer enormity of having to entertain myself for the first time in over a year. A whole week spanned in front of me, completely void of any plans. After a few days of being bored to tears, My Brothers Girlfriend treated me to the wonders that were Christmas Markets all around Jo'burg and Pretoria. These are the little beauties that caught my eye and of course, my purse strings.
Tiffany Blue Vintage Inspired HandBag

Mustache Earing Studs from Trinket

So these are my new pretties, all the way from The Karmers Vol Geskenke Market in Pretoria. You should check it out when it rolls around in the summer, and support the creative women of SA!


Thursday, 3 January 2013

Jozi- My Lover

Ah yes, the sweet, sweet smell of pollution.
While its not the crisp dry air of Jerusalem filled with bustling people, or the sunny capital that blows you away both with breath taking views of the ocean and the gale force south easterly winds, it is the dusty grey city I call home and I'm glad to be back.

It's a whole new year, one where Im sure I'll find myself faced with many; many new challenges. This last year I learnt more about myself than I even imagined possible within the space of 365 days (and counting). Im excited to get back to blogging all about my life, and other funtastic things that I deem acceptable to put on the internet. Fashion, which now isn't confined to the six hours on a saturday night whne I was allowed out of the house, but rather to the everyday catwalks we call pavements.

Im culture shocked by my own country.
I find it hard to understand colloquial lingo, and the multitude of different languages and accents are just about lost on me.
Im stuck.
In a fantasy of life before this one, where I was a part of a group that has now been split over two separate continents.
Im scared.
Of the person tht I will have to become, I do not want to leave behind the person I am. Its been too short.
Im alive.
I have a whole world to get to know.
I am ready.

Breathe it in.
Carbondioxide for the soul.