Posts Tagged ‘Cape Town’

feel it, it’s heartbreaking

July 6, 2010

There’s a good reason that I stopped watching soccer – I get way too invested in my teams. I became aware of this back in 2004, when the Euro Cup was held in Portugal. The stars seemed aligned for Portugal, they were the host nation, Nelly Furtado did an awesome theme song for the tournament, and it was meant to be a swan song for many of the so-called Golden Generation’s players. Except there was this runty underdog team from Greece. And see, Portugal was able to beat every single team that year except these unexpected blind-siders. So Greece took the title while white confetti (that should’ve red) rained down in Lisbon. The day after watching that final I woke up with a  totally illogical depression that took *days* to shake. It was ridiculous, and ever since I have followed soccer from a remote, safe distance. I didn’t even follow the 2006 World Cup.

But see, this year the World Cup is literally happening on my doorstep and even escaping to Seattle during June and July (a coincidence) hasn’t stopped me from getting sucked in. I’ve been visiting the Fifa website everyday and watching all the highlights videos (since we don’t have TV here). I’ve even hung up a World Cup banner in my study here and decked out my desk with a shiny red vuvuzela. But, watching all my favoured teams fall by the wayside has reminded me why I’ve stayed away from the beautiful game all these years….

world cup 2010

My World Cup shrine in Seattle/Bellevue

Bafana Bafana started out pretty well, and that first beautiful goal Tshabalala scored against Mexico was the first hint that I was in trouble, I was getting into soccer again. Then came that SA vs. Uruguay game. By a weird coincidence I went to the house of an Indian family to watch it. It happened like this: this guy that was at MSRI when I was there last year is now doing a PhD at the local university and we had connected on fb. He told me that his boss from MSRI, JJ, who now lives in Redmond, had invited him to watch the USA vs. England game at his house and that I should come. So I did and it was really fun, I took my vuvuzela along and taught their overwhelmingly enthused daughters how to “play” it and ate Indian snacks and pretended to be invested in the US beating England (what do you know, they drew!). Then while at that game I got to chatting with JJ’s wife, Chandana, who I had met once or twice in Bangalore actually. She was mortified that I had left SA right before the World Cup had started and very kindly told me that if I wanted to watch any other games during the coming week I should let her know and she would come fetch me and we could watch together at their house (on their huge screen / projector setup!). Turns out that she was watching all the games and all their family and friends nearby had an open invitation to stop by at any time to watch with her (their neighbour as a direct route to their house through a gate in their back yard for instance). I thought I must take advantage of her offer bcs the whole family was going to be gone after that week for a trip to the Himalayas or something. I was also thinking it would be good to make more friends that live close to us. So I picked the SA vs. Uruguay game which worked out great bcs that day also happened to be the last day of school here and her kids were going to be there so we made a whole plan to watch it together and order pizza etc. So Chandana came to fetch me and I thought “Yee, this is so much fun, making a new friends and going to watch soccer on a big screen and the game is going to be *awesome*”.

Then the game actually happened. It was horrible. First Forlan did his physics-defying free-kick (I’ve watched this guy in subsequent games and he has just mastered how to take a free kick in a way that it arches over every defender in the ball’s path and then nips into goal right at the top post of the net). Then, as I started to get the feeling we weren’t going to equalise, out of nowhere our amazing goalie got red carded!! For something that was TOTALLY not a foul!! Who red cards a goalie?! By this point I think was yelling a lot and the other ppl in the room  were looking at me with some sympathy. Then Uruguay scored their (totally undeserved) penalty against us and I really thought it couldn’t get any worse. Then, during injury time, something even worse then our inevitable defeat happened: SA fans start to leave the stadium in droves. I felt pretty ashamed to be a Bafana Bafana supporter at that moment. Watching the stadium get emptier and emptier made me feel profoundly sad. But there was no time to be too sad because the final kick in the pants was being delivered- a third goal for Uruguay in the dying moments of the game. Out of all the games I could have chosen to watch with a bunch of strangers, this must be the worst; it did not bring out my socially acceptable side *sigh*.

I didn’t watch the SA vs. France game but I hear we played well and that makes me happy. I can’t help but speculate that we might have inched past Mexico in our group if that Uruguay match wasn’t such a disaster. With Bafana Bafana gone after the group stages I thought it was time to go back to supporting my “ancestral roots” and I made a special plan with AmyGeek to DVR the Spain vs. Portugal game. To make this work I had to stay off *all* internet for the whole day to make sure i didn’t find out the score. It was harder than it should be, no Facebook, no entertainment news – never realised how often I check these during the work day. But I managed and I had high hopes for Portugal – dangerous hopes, hopes reminiscent of those Euro 2004 hopes. Before that game they had not conceded any goals in the World Cup yet. And then they played terribly compared to Spain and lost off of one goal. And I couldn’t even be that mad because really, Spain played the better game.

After all that I thought “No, I’m not watching any more games, it just gets too upsetting!”. So on the day of the Ghana vs, Uruguay game I was innocently sitting at my desk not even paying attention to it. Then Jak comes online and tells me the the game is happening and starts giving me running updates from time to time. When he updated me with “Gooooooaaaaal from Ghana!!” that was it. I got so excited that I loaded a live matchcast and started following, getting sucked in once again, biting my nails and chatting to Jak about the game. When that awful diva Suarez batted away the dying seconds golden goal that belonged to Ghana, I was LIVID. And then when Ghana’s Gyan missed the resulting penalty I wanted to throw my laptop against the wall! Two days later, I am still trying to recover from my seething sense of injustice and ill-will towards Suarez and trying to remind myself that this is all just a game and it’s not cool to hate on a guy you don’t even know (even if he is a hand balling ass clown). I am officially neutral-ish for the rest of the World Cup – I am an ABU (Anyone But Uruguay) supporter (a phrase helpfully coined by SuperSarah). And I also think that from now on, that its a good idea for me to stay away from sports in general and soccer in particular.

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better-than-bacon mushrooms

June 16, 2010

People. You have to try this place in Salt River, Cape Town for brunch. It’s called Superette and it’s a charming sun-filled spot decorated in tones of white, yellow and grey bursting with amazing food and coffee. Kudos to Ben for not only telling me about it but ensuring that he introduced me to it personally when Rebecca was in town. I have to confess the food was so good that I managed to take a picture of the food but not the people on our outing! So when I went, I was actually not that hungry on account of having made poached eggs at home for breakfast. So I purposely chose a light option on their menu: Sourdough bread served with rocket, butter, cream cheese and avocado OR mushrooms. On a normal day I would totally order avo, but I was trying to walk on the lighter side so I went with mushrooms – hardly the exciting option one would think:

better-than-bacon mushrooms

Sourdough, butter, cream cheese and better-than-bacon mushrooms

But guys, those mushrooms… those mushrooms were such a surprise. A warm, close-your-eyes wonder-what-that-salty-amazing-taste-is surprise. Usually if one wants to make mushrooms special you fry them with garlic and butter, maybe some white wine. But these mushrooms didn’t taste like *any* of those, they were definitely salty and almost tasted like good bacon. So what was it?? Eventually we all theorised that they may have used vinegar and pepper, maybe even fried them in bacon fat? I’ve since gone back (on my birthday in fact) with Cara and we ordered those mushrooms (I had to share the joy) again and also tried this:

Ben's order

Breakfast sandwich

… a breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, bacon and tomato. If you appreciate proper scrambled eggs that are fluffy and non-runny I think this will please you greatly. So people. Seriously. Superette. Nom.

Jessy Beatriz

September 25, 2009

After getting back from India I spent an outstanding two months at home in Cape Town. It was great hanging out with my family and friends again after basically five months away. It was a pretty busy time full of good and bad: I agonised over the direction of my PhD, had warm sunny work days at C & A’s, attended the funeral of a very controversial relative, and the 80th birthday of another, drank green tea with S, had D & R’s kitten scald me with hot coffee, hung out with S & little C, took J (intern friend from US) around Cape Town and spent most weekends hanging out with my sisters. But the first and most important event of the 2 months was meeting my first every niece. I missed her birth by, what like week. But its all good because I am rather chuffed that she, like me, is an April baby and I did get to see her the day she was born over Skype (“Look that’s your Tia Ilda in the laptop!”). So here we are meeting for the first time:

first timers

first timers

Yes, we both look a bit confused! Her: “Who is the new face?” Me: “Is she going to barf/cry on me?” I’m not much of a baby person (don’t love ’em, don’t despise ’em) but I did get attached to her very quickly. She has very large ambiguously coloured eyes and silky, silky hair. One of my favourite things about her is her repertoire of sounds: grunting, gurgling, murmuring and her..erm.. burps, which are rather phenomenal and usually lead to much giggling when they emerge from something which looks so like a cherub. So here she is, Jesse Beatriz:

cherub

cherub

a typical absence

September 7, 2009

Well some things in life are unfortunate and come with high probabilities – good TV shows will get canceled, Lindsay Lohan will wear leggings and/or booties, charming politicians will probably disappoint us and new bloggers are likely to lapse on their updates. Even though I hoped to keep this blog going with at least a couple updates each month, I have to face facts and admit that I am in the herd of “lapsers”. I haven’t peeped in 2 months and 2 days! So what has been taking up my time online? Researching XNA game studio and narrative linguistics (for the FiD) and getting through my stupidly large collection of pictures from India. The latter is finally done and I’m trying to get most pics tagged. They can be found on my flickr stream…

sari shop girl

sari shop girl

Heftier things have been taking up my time in real life – I got home from India and met my gorgeous niece and hung out with my gorgeous friends. Then, two months later I came to Seattle  to see Dave (after a way-too-long 5 month separation) to embark on the long-in-the-waiting adventure of house hunting, buying and moving. For all these events I will be putting pictures up on flickr and blogging. I also plan to blog a bit about my MSR India internship and a few snippets from India itself … ok?

Hello?

Anyone there?

Oh well serves me right for making this space so uneventful lately 😛

ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANGES!

September 7, 2008
the bear is mine

the bear is mine

Ok so I went to all the trouble of creating a blog and now I should post something of substance on it. One of my motivations for getting a blog is that, for a while now, people have been asking me what’s happening with Dave and I moving to Seattle. Well, one can get tired of telling the same story over and over, so now I hope to say ‘Read my blog M*#&)%F*(&^%’ – although probably more polite than that. I have some other motivations for setting up a blog like keeping track of my research and other mundane details of my life.

So the current state of affairs looks something like this…

If you are very outdated on my life in general: at the beginning of the year Dave landed a sweet job with the Exchange team at Microsoft. And even though most people thought he was a confirmed old academic already, its turns out that sometimes one needs to diversify. Even sweeter is the fact that this job is based in Redmond, which is basically in Seattle which is, like, Dave’s favourite city and is also where his brother lives. I’ve been to Seattle for a month or so and liked it a lot, so I’m pretty excited about our adventure there. Sadly, I still have my PhD do to so I can’t go with just yet 😦 This is bittersweet for me as I’m going to miss my family, friends and city very much and I get to delay leaving them behind but also I will miss Dave and have to delay us setting up our life in Seattle.

The latest update is that in just under two weeks a lot of big things will be happening. Movers will be coming to our place and packing up about half our stuff, the half that will be going to the States. Then two days after that is the day that Dave leaves. On that day an animal travel agency (one of those things you don’t realise exist until you need them) will come fetch the scottie and koko (a.k.a the bunnies) and they will fly to Seattle via New York. We realise its considered kind of peculiar to take bunnies half-way across the world like this but we don’t care. We love our bunnies!! Anyways, on that same day, Dave will leave for Seattle via Amsterdam in the evening. I will be very sad. But I won’t have too much time to dwell on it because the next morning me, my sisters, my mom and my aunt (who’s a nun in Mozambique) are flying to Cairo to begin a pilgrimage of the Holy Land. This is something we have been planning for a while and we are all looking forward to a lot. We will be visiting many of the holy sites and… well I will blog about this quite a bit later I imagine.

When we get back my lovely sis, Luisa, will be moving in with me (well the flat actually belongs to her 😉 and we are going to have a good ol’ girly riot in Cape Town which will consist of such scandalous adventures as going to the Neighbourhoods Goods Market on Saturday mornings, sipping homemade lattes regularly, inviting Isabel over and, most importantly, falling asleep in front of the television nightly. In between all this I’ll keep trucking and hope to get my PhD done around 2010.