Category Archives: Uncategorized

Say no to the club

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It has finally happened, that thing I was convinced would never happen: I no longer have the energy to go clubbing. I have the energy to dance (dancing is the main reason I go to clubs). I even have the energy to drink (drinking is the main reason I exist). But I no longer have the energy to deal with some of the people that go to clubs. I’m not discussing all club goers, I’m discussing a few of them. Men. And again, I’m not discussing all men, I’m discussing some of them. And again, I won’t discuss all of the “some men” I’ve had issues with while out clubbing, I’ll be discussing one of them.

Once upon a time, ouside a club in a land far, far away, a friend and I stood waiting for a taxi. The alcochol was wearing off, we were tired and ready to go home.  A man neither of us knew walked up to us and said: Hi ladies.
My friend caught my eye and gave me a look that said: Get rid of him please.
I turned to him and said: Hi, I hope you’ve enjoyed your night. My friend and I are exhausted; we are just waiting for a taxi. We are not the best company right now. Sorry.
Him: But I haven’t said what I wanted to say yet.
Me: I know and I’m very sorry but whatever it is you wanted to say my friend and I do not want to hear it.

I turn back to my friend to strike up a conversation in case the man did not fully comprehend that he was being asked to leave us alone. I opened my mouth to speak and before I could get a word out he asked no one in particular: Why are mixed race girls so rude though?
He must have really wanted my attention. When his polite approach did not work, he decided for an alternative approach. I aim to please, so I gave the man exactly what he wanted: my undivided attention. A few moments later his friend removed him from my presence because according to reports (heavily biased reports I might add), I was behaving like someone possessed and everyone was slightly terrified.

The next day I thought about what happened the night before. I was still enraged but I needed to pinpoint what triggered it. So I ask you ladies and gentlemen of the jewelry: is it rude to politely decline speaking to a man you do not know and/or want to know? And if it is rude, does this mean if a man you do not know from Adam apporaches you politely, you must listen to what they he has to say? (Let us explore the answers to these questions in a future post).
I do my best not to be rude when people approach me because I believe in many cases it is possible to make a point without being rude. I am a mere mortal and I admit I may come across as rude on occassion -shrug- but I was not rude to the man in question.
When he accused me of being rude, I would not have felt anything. He asked (in sheer frustration?): Why are all mixed race women rude?
It must’ve been the mention of my race that angered me. Because he was implying the reason I did not wish to speak to him was because I was mixed race (he was black). I imagine he thinks I consider myself above others because of my mixed heritage. He could not be more wrong. He could not have said a more insulting thing to me. My mother was a dark skinned black woman, my father is a white man. They never once spoke to me about race or any issues related to race, or perhaps they did and I cannot recall. But I saw how they treated all the people they knew (various races involved); with respect and tolerance. When they disliked someone it was based on something that someone had said or done, never that someone’s race. So I grew up in an environment which taught me that we are all equals. To have a black man suggest I was rude because of the white half of me (it can only be this half the issue lies with as we know many white people believed and still believe themselves to be superior to others) was enraging.

But now perhaps I should step into his shoes. What if he has approached some mixed race women in the past and they have looked down on him because he is black? I hate the thought of that even more than what he said to me. I appreciate that historically, nonwhite people of lighter complexions were viewed more favourably by white people. I know it still happens today. But what is most tragic is that some light skinned people, and perhaps some dark skinned people as well, today still buy into it… they still think being lighter is better. I am here to tell you it’s a foul lie. As I have said in a previous post, there is no superior race. Being white or light skinned does not make you better than anyone nonwhite or dark skinned. Dark skinned people out there, know that I have never and will never look down on you just because you are dark skinned. My own mother was dark skinned and I think she was perfect and taken far too soon from me. She would haunt me mercilessly if she even suspected her daughter had a problem with someone because of their race. BUT, she would understand if I ever had a problem with someone based on what they said or did to me, regardless of their race.

In conclusion, I say this: I hope we continue to realise that the colour of our skin should not affect how we treat one another. I hope we treat one another with respect and tolerance. I hope we can appreciate that not every person we approach wants to speak to us, listen to us or get to know us, and that is their right. I hope the live-action Mulan will be amazing. I hope my ramblings made some sort of sense. And last but never least, I hope I never recover the energy to go clubbing.

 

I’m back, I think

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I’m back. If those two words don’t make you think of Arnie I don’t know if there’s any hope for you. In fact, if you didn’t read them in his voice, I say again: I don’t know if there’s any hope for you.

But never mind that, I have good news – I’m back. Back to what, you ask? I don’t know. I’m writing again, for the first time in 3 years… so I must be back. I missed this place and I missed writing. Sometimes things disappear from your life for a while and you wonder why you made such a fuss of them in the first place. When I stopped writing I asked myself: why was it such a big deal anyway? It’s not as if I was a famous blogger and or even a really good one. But now as I type I shout to myself (inwardly of course because I am sat on a park bench typing this and I can’t very well shout at myself here) HOW COULD YOU THINK THAT WRITING WAS NOT A BIG DEAL?

Writing is a big deal, and though I sometimes stop (for years at a time apparently) I do hope I never stop entirely. So I gladly say: I’m back. I went through some strange times, I stopped writing (alarm bells ringing) and then I stopped reading (dials the police). I knew it wasn’t the greatest time in my life when I stopped writing, but when I stopped reading I was forced to ask myself: Chama, if you don’t read and you don’t write… who are you? I’ve read and written all my life (yes even in the womb). So when I stopped doing both… I was terrified. Then slowly, I started reading again. And finally today, I have started writing again. So I am back.

Yesterday was the day that my mum passed away 20 years ago. And I think even she is looking down at me proudly and saying: yes that foolish girl is back. Will I stay? I don’t know. But for now, all you need to know is I’m back, I think. And I reckon this is the beginning of a series of interesting posts.

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H is for…

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Hunger. I feel this post is best explained with a tale, and like most tales, this one begins with the phrase: It all started with

It all started with a visit to a prominent fast-food outlet. I had no cash on me and my purchase was made with my debit card. As I was leaving, a homeless boy whom I often see hanging around, asked me for some money. I told him that I was sorry but I didn’t have any money. [Not entirely false; I didn’t have any cash on me.]

He said ‘Sorry doesn’t help my hunger.’ He then added rather nastily, ‘You are not a good person.’

I was too far away to hear him clearly, and it was only after proper reflection that I realized what he’d said. Naturally I was livid. Of course I am not a good person but I don’t need to hear that from a f*cking tramp, do I? As luck would have it, I had my revenge the very next Friday. This time, I had money on me. I was about to hand it over when I realized who he was. I couldn’t very well not give him the money, but I also couldn’t not tell him how offended I’d been. [Feel free to stop reading this altogether due to double negatives] I opted to do both.

I said, ‘You! You said I was not a nice person the other day. Well I know that but I really didn’t have any money.’

He said, ‘Ah, sister, I never said that.’

I replied, ‘It was last Friday! I know you recognize me.’

He started mumbling and then he said, ‘Sister, I know you give me [money] when you have.’

I handed the money over to him and said ‘Damn right I do!’

As I walked off I thought to myself, can I blame a hungry boy? I then considered the times I’ve felt hungry. Dark, perilous times. 90% of the time I’m hungry because I get so caught up in my daily activities that I often forget to eat at proper intervals. And the result is that before I know it, I am Kraken-like ravenous. This kind of hunger is accompanied by headaches, nausea and a desire to commit numerous violent acts. According to the World Hunger organisation, 925 million people were hungry in 2010. And unlike me, these people had no choice. Make no mistake, I am very much aware of how fortunate I am.

A little birdie told me this homeless boy buys weed with a lot of his money. This then begs the question, am I helping him by giving him money? I keep telling myself that if I were homeless I’d be brave and strong, and I’d fight to get off the streets. But if it were so simple wouldn’t there be less homeless people? If every aspect of your existence was a nightmare you wanted to wake up from but you couldn’t, wouldn’t you turn to drugs or alcohol to sweeten your dreams?

What am I doing? Starting a charity? Hardly. I’m thinking, reflecting, contemplating. Have I helped him by doing this? Not a chance. And yet here I am indoors while he is out there. How I ever thought of him as that ‘f*cking tramp’ is beyond me. I have no idea what he does to survive and he has no idea that he has been on my mind for the better part of two years.

Memory Valley

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Down yonder in Memory Valley, there is pleasure and there is pain. It is a valley worth visiting from time to time, to remind yourself what you have lost and what you may gain. On my trip to this particular valley I remembered a song from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Truly Scrumptious. Observe:

‘Our hearts beat so unruly, because we love you truly, honest Truly, we do.’

I found myself tempted to allow a considerable amount of liquid (liquids? *scratches head*) to exit my body via my eyes. But I was brave. Or was I cowardly? I do not know. But I know this: Love is a beautiful creature. And allow me to tell you something you’ve never been told before: If you love someone you should tell them.

After listening to that song I tackled my youngest sibling to the ground and professed my undying love while I laughed at his futile attempts to escape my loving and slightly asphyxiating embrace. He is still unconscious and I have matters that require my immediate detention, beg your pardon, attention. I leave you but I love you because we all need love… honest, we do.

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NB: No persons were injured in the making of this post.

Holidays are for family

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Easter. Chocolate eggs, church service, a meat-free but fancy meal, family, friends, laughter, prayer, wine, happiness, an argument or two, more wine, more laughter, argument resumes, more chocolate, even more wine and laughter, argument forgotten… It is a truth universally acknowledged that where there is a family there is a circus. Family gatherings start with warm greetings and proceed with peals of laughter that may lead to tears of frustration followed by awkward apologies. There is no such thing as normality where family is involved. There’s only varying degrees of weird: hardly weird, barely weird, fairly weird, weird, very weird, exceedingly weird, astronomically weird and full-blown X-Files. But it’s this weirdness that makes your family unique. And special. And weird. It’s when you gather as one that you feel whole. It’s also as one that you feel the gains and losses acutely. That empty chair, that missing smile, that voice you used to hear… Gone. This Easter acknowledge your losses but remember to celebrate your gains. People come and go, but love stays. If you find you have nothing to celebrate; celebrate love and it’s ability to withstand the sands of time. Happy Easter weekend one and all.

Fitness within

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While this author of all things strange and twisted was away by order of the Gods of the scholars and knowledge, a strange occurrence took place. Some people partake in the activity with great joy and gusto. Others shrug and say they haven’t the time. Others shudder and say they’d rather not. But this writer is part of those whose reaction to the mention of the activity ranges from sheer disgust to a violent allergic reaction. While this author refers to the activity as ‘dying’ others simply call it ‘jogging.’ That is correct. One has taken up dying, er, jogging. And though the first jog felt like a spot of torture from the Spanish inquisition, the rest felt … less torturous and more liberating. This jogging hasn’t led to my untimely demise but rather, to a wellbeing that can only be compared to the one induced by alcohol, except with health benefits other than ‘getting wasted’ and so the advice is this: Try some sort of exercise and see where it takes you. It may not be ‘to your grave’ after all. Jog, swim, cycle, walk, crawl- no, the line is drawn at walk. Go on. Give it a try.

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Resolutions welcome

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After an age and a half, a very prim and proper, dare I say sober Very Vodka returns to dish out free (no strings attached, no hidden costs) advice for the new year: 2013. As always, you’ll hear of lists of slightly ridiculous and unrealistic hopes and desires. These never-to-be-realised-dreams have been a part of every January of every year since before that little flaming rock laid waste to the dinosaurs. That’s right: resolutions. Just the word brings shivers to the spine that have nothing to do with lack of alcohol. So where is this post leading? To a little dollop of advice that reads as follows: Resolutions may seem foolish but darn it all there must be a reason people cannot stop making them! As silly, pointless or downright idiotic as they might be, they exist. Make them, fulfil them, break them… Do as you please. Live, live and live some more.

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