Thursday, June 28, 2007
Let's see - there was the cyclist that got flattened by a tram. That wasn't pretty. Then there was the poker evening. Then there was the night of wild, animal monkey sex. There was also the team building barbeque-dinner on the beach with my new workmates, my first pay check and my first successful placement.
One of those sentences isn't true.
And it's not the tram/cyclist incident, the BBQ, the pay check, or the placement. I'll leave you to decide.
"A successful placement". That's what it's called when you find a person a job. To me, it sounds like something Borat would say after a trip to the toilet.
In other news, we're off to Croatia tomorrow. For a week. On a boat. Along the Dalmatian coastline.*
Here's a link to for the local weather. Just in case you're wondering. Feel free to click on it now and again in the week coming.
Tot volgende maand... fijne week! Doei!
*Disclaimer: come November, I do not want to hear anything about sunburn, beaches, bikinis, cocktails, sundowners or anything vaguely summery from the southern hemisphere. Kapish?
And now, I'm off to Croatia. Did I mention that we're gonna be on a boat, for a week?
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Everyone who comes to visit, gets a cycle tour of The Hague. I've got the hop-hop-swing start waxed. I've been known to take one hand (left OR right) off the handle bar to adjust my clothing, or balance something on the back of my bike.
I happily hop on the back of my boyfriend's bike if we've only got one bike to travel on, and I think... yes, I think... that I might be able to take someone on the back of my bike (although I haven't found anyone brave enough to try it yet).
You've got to understand.. this is big for me. This is the same person who wheeled their newly-purchased bike home and didn't get on it for two weeks. The same person who had to have a sneaky refresher course in cycling.
This weekend, Miss B came to visit and after our obligatory trip into Amsterdam's Red Light District - where she seemed truly shocked to see a "real, live hooker" - I took her on a bike tour of The Hague. And I was singing the praises of how easy it is to get around by bike. Me. Promoting biking tourism. Look at me, Ma... no hands!
Oh god, I hope this isn't tempting fate.
Moving swiftly on: the fat ginger goldfish seem to be doing well. Freaky (the near-death experience fish) has moments of insanity where he chooses to float to the surface and then attack the bottom of the fish bowl with a crash. I've heard of goldfish trying to jump out of their bowl, but ours is trying to burrow his way to freedom. He also manages to get himself wedged behind the filter on a fairly regular basis.
Does anyone know of a good fish-doctor? Because I think ours has suicidal tendencies.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
On Saturday, somewhere between the rugby, a pub crawl and a house-warming, I managed to become the proud owner of a pair of goldfish. The previous owner has relocated to Morocco and was putting them up for adoption. I offered to take them in... and sent Mills to fetch them.
He returned with two buckets and a 20litre-capacity fish bowl. Bucket1 contained fish food, AquaSafe water cleaning stuff, filters, carbon, air tubes, other stuff that we still haven't figured out, and operation manuals - in Dutch of course. Bucket2 contained one and a half fish (fish2 was not looking healthy, he only just escaped a flushing by giving a last-minute wriggle). I quickly pointed out that the half-dead one could be Mills's. Shotgun the healthy dude.
Putting it all together was eventful... particularly trying to pick up the round glass bowl, after filling it with 20 litres of freshly-treated water. While we were cleaning the filter, we happily noticed that the half-a-fish was looking increasingly healthier. He's a fighter, he is.
Fish bowl. Check.
De-chlorinating water stuff. Check.
Fish. Check (x1,5... almost x2)
Of course, there is the all important matter of naming them. I wanted to call them Bag and Gel, because both words go with Douche. I was also in favour of Poen and Gwarrah, taking them back to their SA roots. But in the end, it was Mills who named them. While transferring the fish to their final location, he called them freaky-deaky. It stuck.
Meet Deaky. Freaky insists on hiding from the camera.
ps. Bring on the fat, ginger kid jokes... it's like destiny!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
And then there's this woman, who does NOT have violent tendencies. I bet her ex-boyfriend begs to differ, seeing as she "caused my underpants to come off and I found I was completely naked and in excruciating pain..."
I'm not sure what he did to deserve that treatment, but I'm guessing it was something stupid - like point out that she was acting irrational, or asking if it was 'that time of the month.'
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
"Ter uitreiking van uw (nieuwe) verblijfsdocument zult u hetzij door de ambtenaar burgerzaken of de ambtenaar publiekzaken van de gemeente waar u woon... blah blah blah.... aan betrokkene wordt een verblijfsdocument afgegeven met een geldigheidsduur van vijf jaar, geldig tot 7 Maart 2012"
According to dictionary.com:
"For distribution of your (new) stay document you or by the civil servant Department of Civil Affairs or the civil servant publiekzaken of the municipality where you live… blah blah blah…. to person concerned a stay document is delivered with a validity of five years, validly up to 7 March 2012."
After a few months of uncertainty, my semi-legal alien status has been revoked.... and replaced with a five year work permit. By some glitch in the matrix, I have been granted a residency permit.
In short, Ik ben officiaal... beetch!
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Flick. Blank screen.
Change channels. More blank screen.
Look at remote. Bash remote between hands.
Nope, still blank screen.
Wail, "why does this keep happening to meeeeee?"to no one in particular.
Call TV-service provider. Apparently we have managed to sign up with the only cable provider in Northern Europe who cannot provide TV signal when it's wet weather. Which means that we should have TV for another 9 days this year.
I did feel sorry for myself, but then I remembered Mills is sitting under a tent on the side of a cricket field, hoping for a dry patch long enough to put the bails on the wickets. Jammer, neh?
So I got over it.
I've discovered that my desk at work has the best view ever. No mountains, trees or even a canal... in fact, it's just a busy intersection used by trams, buses, cars and bikes alike. What makes it so great is that I've been sitting there for two weeks and so far I've seen three bumper-bashings. My desk brings the ambulance chasing to me.
Fortunately, most drivers here are so wary of hitting cyclists (I've been told that drivers are generally held liable if they take out a two-wheeler), that when a collision does happen it's literally a bump. *Donk*
The squealing tyres gives me enough time to turn around and witness the collision. I watched a cyclist getting bumped. The car stopped, the cyclist got back on his bike, they shook hands and both rode/drove away.
My favourite incident so far was a fairly substantial bashing between two cars. The drivers pulled over to the side of the road, inspected each other's damage, exchanged details... and then borrowed a broom from a nearby cafe so that they could remove the glass from the middle of the road. Civil duty at its best.
While trying to prove that Schalk looks like a Middle Earth monster, I came across this website dedicated to my love... http://www.bryanhabana.com/ Not enough pictures there, for my liking, but still a nice idea.
I may have mentioned this before (a number of times) but I want to have Bryan Habana's babies. I want to see his offspring making flying dives and tackles all over the place. I would call them Little Bryan Habana, Little Bryan Habana 2, Flying Bryan, Bryan Habana, Jnr and Bryan Habana, the Younger.
See, I'm already one-third of the way to making my own rugby team. Maybe Heddles could add Die Burgertjie and The Schalks 1, 2, 3 and 4 to the baby squad. But then we'd still need a donor for the other five positions - any kickers out there?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
IT sends Bart. Bart presses power button. Looks surprised when computer doesn't turn on. "Hmm, it doesn't seem to have any power, have you checked the power source?" No. I was hoping I would be able to turn it on using nothing but mental telepathy.
Eventually we establish that the wires in the plug have pulled loose. What are the chances? Change plug. Computer working.
Open Outlook. Try to access shared folders and shared calendar schedules. Nothing. Call IT. All my shared access is gone. "What do you mean it's gone? Have you tried to click on the icon?"No, after years of computer competence, I thought that licking the screen would open the program. YES I CLICKED THE FUCKING ICON.
Hi Bart, how've you been since you were last sent to troubleshoot at my desk... 50 minutes ago? Good, good. Bart: "Hmmm, your shared folders are gone. It's not your fault, your rights have been removed somehow..." You don't say.
Do you ever get this feeling that everything is out to get you? I think technology hates me.
Sit down to make a phone call. Pick up nerdy headset (yes, I look like a call centre/Madonna gimp), no dialing tone. Check phone connections, jiggle cords. No dial tone.
Call IT/General Fix-it people. Hi Bart.
Bart tests headset. No dial tone. You'd think I was making this shit up. He certainly did. Jiggles cords, checks connections. Headset replaced.
Get home from work. Switch on computer. Click on Internet Explorer. Wizard function pops up. "How would I like to connect to the internet?" it asks me in convoluted Dutch. The same fucking way I've been connecting for the last two months please, I reply through clenched teeth.
Would I like to install my ADSL connection now?
No, I would not like to install my ADSL connection now, because I in fact made my ADSL connection TWO MONTHS AGO. With a great amount of translation-frustration, I might add.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH. Mills tries to calm me down with a hug, and is treated to a string of expletives furiously muttered over his shoulder.
Technology hates me. If there is something random to go wrong, it'll happen to me. I'll admit that sometimes it is my fault (like repeatedly disconnecting myself from conference calls), but what are the chances of my computer's plug randomly disconnecting? The damn cord sits behind a set of drawers... it's not like someone could've dislodged it with a big toe. And what is with my computer suddenly deciding to uninstall it's internet connection? And who designs a computer program in Dutch anyway?
Computers hate me; it's a global conspiracy of 9/11 proportions. Or maybe it's just an acute case of persecution complex.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I remedied this situation last night by breaking his finger. How'd you like dem apples, bitch?
See, we were playing football. I took a close-range shot on goal. Jimbo tried to stop the ball but mistimed it. He bent his fingers back as the ball snuck under his hand. I celebrated in true footballer tradition (pretended to be a plane and pulled my shirt over my head), while everyone started to congregate around Jimbo. I thought they were commiscerating the fact that he'd let a girl score.
Incorrect. Without consultation, Big J's ring finger had chosen a different direction in life. Pale and yellow to look at, his first knuckle was completely disinterested in staying in line with the rest of his hand. Instead, the metacarpal jutted out a good few millimetres above where it should have been. I tell you this in detail because when I saw it, I reeled back. Maybe it was more shocking because he was so blase about it.
"Bloody 'ell. I think my finger's broken."
Um, yes. I think so. Sorry about that.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
On Saturday, we made our way into Amsterdam to fight the throngs of stoned tourists through the Red Light District. I was very well behaved and only manhandled one family of orientals.
We refrained from any sexual interactions in the RLD, but we did spend quite a lot of time skipping through the many sex shops. I learnt about the ins and outs of the notorious Rabbit. Peaches learnt about fetish porn. At one stage, she turned around to be greeted by me shaking a gelatinous black gwarrah in her face. Classy are we.
Peaches was determined to invest in something from her visit to the RLD, so purchased two rude t-shirts... but not before trying them on in the sex shop's 'dressing room'.
The dressing room turned out to be a porn viewing room. TV, chair, mirror and a sign that read "No pissing in the cabin." Feeling sufficiently violated, we made a hasty retreat.
Sleaze and smut aside, the highlight of my weekend was taking Peaches cycling. With me as her guide we made quite a sight. I'm still not sure of where I'm going in The Hague and we had to pull a few impromptu u-turns. Peaches does more spinning than cycling, so she hasn't figured out the whole staying on the bike to turn it around. Instead, she dismounts, picks it up and physically changes direction by 180.
That alone was funny enough, but coupled with the fact that I am likely to stop without warning, and Peaches was unable to stop without warning, hilarity ensued.
At one point, I was lucky enough to witness Peaches - blonde locks flowing in the wind - coming to a dead stop... thanks to the streetlight she had just connected with. For the next half hour, I couldn't look at her without getting the giggles as my brain replayed the incident over and over again.
We made it up to the beach for poffertjes (THE best way to put on a tummy-tyre... pancakes, soaking in butter, smothered in icing sugar, served with dollops of cream and ice cream). Enjoying our cholesterol on a plate, we took in the scenery - which largely consisted of topless tanning. Bloody continentals.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Stolen from www.joblog.co.za, who stole it from someone else.
Friday, June 08, 2007
It concerns me that I don't have a biological clock. I can't recall ever feeling an inclination to squeeze out a spawn. Does this make me really abnormal? I've been thinking about it quite a lot because a) a lot of my friends seem to be reaching broody age b) a lot of people around me seem to be pregnant.
Baby clothes leave me cold. I can't do the squealing that most women seem to communicate with when they see them. Baby takkies are cute though... mostly because I like to pretend that my fingers are the legs, doing the can-can with really big shoes on them.
When I see a pregnant lady, I don't think: "Aaaaaw... you're gonna have a baaaabeeeee." I think: "Oh my god... do you know that your belly button is inside out?"
One of my new colleagues was showing off a picture of her three-year-old kid. This is honest-to-god the ugliest mo-fo I've seen. Think Kobus Wiese, with moles on his chin... Poor bugger is in for a tough life. Fortunately, before I could pull back in revulsion, another colleague jumped forward with enthusiasm and assured the adoring mom how pretty her kid was. I can't lie like that. I can barely manage a grunt.
We went for dinner with one of Mills's cricketing pals and his South African wife. Lovely couple... and boy, can that man cook a fine meal. The Saffer wife is about 9 and a half years pregnant by the looks of it. She was enthusiastically showing us the baby room, and the furniture, and the clothes and the colours and blah blah blah... all the time my brain was screaming, "OH MY GOD, HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT THIS CHILD IS DOING TO YOUR BODY?"
What happened to my biological clock? Don't the laws of survival state that, by nature, I should want to reproduce? I think puppies are cute. I go mushy at the sight of baby animals. But when I think offspring, I think distented torso, cankles, sweating, labour, screaming, crying, pooing, feeding, exhausting... what an effort.
And then after all of that, you risk the chance of the child turning into a terror, a mass killer, being kidnapped, or a red-head. (sorry, had to throw one ginger joke in there)
Seriously? People seriously want to make babies? Why?
I'm not trying to be all hard-core and unfeeling about this. I genuinely don't get it. Some people don't get why I don't get it. It's not a case of keeping the human population alive, 'cos last time I counted, China had that covered. If it's a case of evolution needed to be reproduced, it's fairly narcissistic to presume that my genes are that important to human survival. Don't you think?
I know it's selfish and insensitive. I know people out there are actually trying to have babies. But I just can't relate. And I feel like I am a freak because I don't squeal when I see a pair of booties.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Excuse me while I have a good early morning laugh. Again. I don't know about anyone else, but when I first saw the promos for the London logo, my reaction was, "what the fuck is that supposed to be?"
"...The new logo for the event, which is a jagged emblem based on the date 2012, was unveiled on Monday..." I thought it read: ZOO, followed by an R below it. Good one, guys.
If you don't - Keep It Simple, Stupid - the masses may react in fits of violent seizures. Admittedly, the poms can be hyper-sensitive about these things, but for once, I'm in full support of the nannies.
Anywho, so I was sitting on the couch last night - being lazy - when I got an sms from Mills's colleague asking if I wanted to join for a game of friendly football. I jumped at the chance, even though the last time I attempted the sport, it was called soccer and I was playing in a dustpit outside my Std 4 home room.
Being work colleagues there wide band of skills... ranging from completely shit to absolute show off. I was somewhere in the middle. The Argentinian (Argentine?) was the biggest show off. He reminded me of the guy who's not good enough to play with the big boys, so he plays with the little boys and doesn't pass the ball... otherwise he takes to being a self-important ref.
Short man. Chest, knees and butt out as he ran, stubby arms pumping frantically.... Think about it - it's a very unique running style. He would get the ball and dance over it a few times without moving forward, backward or sidesways. If someone shit was marking him, he'd get past. If the Italian was marking him, he'd get tackled. Every time he started running, I wanted to trip him. And he was on my team.
My game was actually not too bad, although it was more about fitness and reflexes than any form of talent. If the ball came at me, I put my feet in the way and tried to send it in another direction. Fortunately, I play hockey and get my feet in the way often. I also tried to catch the ball once. That was bad, and not so subtle. Oops.
My biggest embarrassment was squealing and ducking every time the ball came past me at shoulder height. Two thumbs way up for behaving like a pre-pubescent girl. A proud moment in the women's recognition struggle... good thing I wasn't around for the suffragette movement.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
We were leaving work on Friday afternoon. It had been a nice day of training, I was walking to the tram stop with two of my new colleagues - admittedly, two young, very good looking ladies. I can understand why a drunk imbecile would decide that he should talk to these three woman, because he is a drunk imbecile, basically.
So he broke up our conversation to throw himself in the middle of our circle and started telling us how pretty we were. We smiled and turned our backs on him. He repositioned himself in the middle of the circle, breathing his drunk fumes in our faces. Persuasive argument, but we still - oddly enough - weren't interested.
"Nay, dank u," I said sweetly (patronisingly) and waved gently in his face, "Totziens."
Time to fuck off, dude.
My passive-aggressive actions pissed him off. He got on the tram with us and sat down next to me. I moved, trying to ignore him, hoping he'd get bored. He moved with me. I tried harder to ignore him - he was now muttering in my ear about how rude I was for dismissing him like that. We eventually managed to pretend he wasn't there and he lost interest. He turned his attentions to patting another guy on the head.
It was a stupid little incident. God knows where he had been, to be that wasted at 5pm. But it really pissed me off. It was all I could do, to not send a swift elbow into his solar plexus. He wasn't violently threatening us, he was just being annoying. But it's the arrogance of the whole incident. The arrogance, aided by alcohol, that we should be flattered because he told us we were pretty.
I mean surely, we should've been swooning at his feet?
It's this attitude that makes me want to react violently. His leering at us, albeit drunken, speaks of a certain mindset. Well, it made me think of a certain mindset. The arrogance that he can presume to interrupt our conversation, because our entire day had been a prelude for this interaction with The Male Speciman.
Actually, I don't really know where I'm going with this... but it made me want to shove him in front of the approaching tram. Most guys don't realise how threatening they can inadvertantly be. It was three girls and one drunk guy - and he was still able to threaten us by his body language.
It was only after The Speciman got off the tram, that all three of us visibly relaxed. By that stage, he wasn't even paying us attention anymore, but we were all consciously NOT making eye-contact with him. We were being submissive by not being aggressive. Maybe I get angry for letting myself feel threatened?
Or is it because I want to remove the threat before it becomes a reality? Even when drunk, and although his reactions might be slow, a man will be stronger than me. It's a fact. Maybe it's a survival instinct that gives me (us?) that adrenaline rush in such an seemingly innocuous situation? Maybe it's my heightened awareness from growing up in SA?
All I know for sure is that I hope The Speciman feels very, very shit when he wakes up from his drunken stupour. Because up until being forced to breathe his exhaled fumes, my day had been lovely. Training is going really well and I think that this position might be something that I can get stuck into... even if they won't let me online during work hours.
ps. Remember the Organ Donor furore going on in Holland? The show was on last night - and guess what... it was a hoax to raise awareness. I'm amazed that no one let it leak, which would also explain why the publicity for the show and the show itself happened within the same week. Two thumbs way up to them.
Friday, June 01, 2007
First impressions: my new colleagues are really nice. Joking, light-hearted, welcoming... Awesome. Not so awesome... there is a total ban on all webmail use. No gmail, hotmail, yahoo. No msn. No network websites. And most definitely, no blogging. Use of these websites is a sackable offence. My blood circulation went into complete shutdown at the thought. I tried not to show it on my face.
The solid day of very intensive training was broken with a feast for lunch, and the highlight of my day... cupcakes. Yum. The sugar boost almost made up for the news of my complete cyber embargo. I'm still struggling with the concept. What do these people actually expect me to do all day? Work? Pah.
But the most interesting thing about the day was learning how common my name is - especially seeing as the company I've just joined totals about 30 employees. With my addition, there are now three 'Koekies' in the small company. There is also a Koek, Koeks, Koekmeister and Koekalina.
Can you see where there'd be a problem? I'm going to name my first child, Seventeen.. or Nine. A name like that should successfully avoid any double-naming confusion. And before you start shouting at me about how unfair it would be to bless a child with a name like that, remember that my kids are going to be fat and red-head (okay, this is the absolute LAST time I'm using that joke... this week), so they're going to have to be strong characters anyway.