Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ending the year covering a state funeral and working through the countdown

I decided to start blogging again. I've been planning to document my PMB 'adventures' for a while but life and laziness continually got in the way. Tomorrow morning I head off to India, a trip that was organised in the last two (extremely stressful) weeks. Tonight, I'm trying to finish stories that I was meant to hand in last week... But I'm avoiding it (as you can see).

For me, 2011 was a rather epic year. I didn't expect it to be; I thought it was just the year between the 2010 Fifa world Cup in South Africa and the end of the world as we know it. In fact, it took me months before I even accepted that it was 2011... Ironically, the year that I was not looking forward to turned out to be one of my greatest years yet. It was a year of major growth and self discovery; a year of first times and random adventures and a year of experiences that I never believed I would ever experience in my wildest dreams.

For example, in high school, I was crazily in love with Coldplay. Their CDs were my study music and in grade 11 and Matric I would play them on repeat (along with James Blunt) until someone in my family couldn't take it anymore. I remember watching their video for Clocks (see below) and thinking how amazing it would be to see them perform live.  Another band that I was madly in love with in High School was U2 and in 2007, I wrote as my Facebook status "I wish I could see U2 live... then I could die peacefully". This year, I got to see them both... Wow!

In fact, thinking back, all my memories from this year feel somewhat surreal - good, bad, ugly. It was a year with as many laughs as there were tears, and random adventures that taught me to see life in a different way. I blame my job for many of the experiences. There are days when I really hate what I do, but half of what made this year great wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for my job.

On Thursday, I worked until after 9pm trying to learn everything I could about a man I barely knew to write his obituary. It was the first time I every wrote one and, of all people, it was about the politician and Minority Front leader Amichand Rajbansi. Reading through all the newspaper articles on him I couldn't help but despise him. He just seemed so corrupt and manipulative and devious and all those other negative adjectives that generally follow politicians. But then I attended his funeral today and sat among the plebeians to avoid the rain and I saw a different side to him - I saw the lives that he changed and the people that he had impacted... people who didn't mind sitting in the rain for 5 hours with just a thin shawl to protect them from the rain "because he deserved that much". It was moving...

Here are some photos that I took from the funeral:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A funfair... IN a mall

I'm all for great ideas and new ways of doing things... but a funfair in the middle of a mall... surrounded by restaurants... that's crazy.

While sipping on an amazing cup of coffee trying to enjoy a chilled conversation with my friend from work, I found myself continuously saying, "Sorry, what?" It didn't take long for him to get frustrated. His fist banging on the table, he said, "This sucks. Now we are forced to listen to kids screaming every time we want to go out and eat."

And, that was the problem. With funfairs comes noise and within small enclosed places, things echo. But hey, the mall wasn't the best ideas in the first place, I mean, its a straight, one level, long ass mall... who the hell builds a straight mall with only one floor?!

Gateway shopping mall also has one of these Funtubbles funfair things but its among the games area, away from the rest of the hustle and bustle in the mall. I guess it is a great idea considering the high crime rates and the rising level of impatience among humans thanks to the advancement of technology. It's giving kids the opportunity to experience a real childhood, away from computers and xboxes and playstations... but it's no where near the same as the funfairs that would come around every year as a child - the cold wind beating on our face, the bright lights spinning in the darkness and that intense fear mixed with pure excitement... Hmmm...