A topnotch site

Month: April, 2013

25/04/2013 – Day 82

“And we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo, adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them; usually their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t.” Sam Gamgee, Lord of the Rings.


I use to think that adventure and fun went hand in hand. When you went on an adventure, you automatically stepped into a realm of fun, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Adventure and interesting experience which craft the best memories go hand in hand; sometimes they meet up with fun, but not always. A part of me feels like Sam, I thought adventure was looked for and here I am in Dubai, unplanned and unexpected, but not unwanted.

One of the things I love about living in Dubai is that just to go buy some embroidery thread is an experience and an adventure. I went into a neighbourhood called Satwa this week, searching for thread and beads. In Bloem I’d know where to go and not think about the road there. This week I got into a taxi that dropped me off at a Mosque and then found my way around a ton of really interesting shops. The people around me couldn’t speak good English, just enough to get by and do business. I guess when you’ve lived here for a while the magic of stepping out your door will fade, but for now I’m enjoying it and I hope it never fades.

I’ve been searching for a university, but Monday and Tuesday I went out and lost myself on purpose with the goal to find myself again. When you lose yourself in a new city you get to see things that you would normally avoid. In Bloem I knew my place and I stayed in it, maybe sometimes missing out on some great things, but here I don’t know my place and I get to reinvent myself.

The stereotypes that where built around me are being broken down. My friends in Bloem knew me very well. They wouldn’t invite me to certain parties, knowing that it’s not my scene and that I wouldn’t enjoy it, but here people don’t know all my likes and dislikes. I get invited to places and events that normally I wouldn’t go to and I’m realising that I like some things that I thought I wouldn’t. I’m still me and some events I’ll avoid the next time they come around, but at least I got the chance to experience it and make up my mind again.

I went out to find myself by losing myself and I found myself where I’d always been, just with a wider horizon and a more open mind.


20/04/2013 – Day 77

‘n Mens kán jou krisisse oorwin
‘n Krisis is ‘n tyd waar alles omgekeer word; die fondamente van jou lewe word geruk, alles voel onseker, dinge is moeilik en dit kan van ergste pyn ooit wees. Dis iets wat jy alleen moet hanteer. Dít is een van die goed wat dit so moeilik maak…
In krisistye huil ek myself nie aan die slaap nie, maar dis my trane wat my laat ontwaak. In my drome was weer karakters en dinge wat ek in die werklikheid moes groet, begrawe en laat gaan. Ek het weer met die mense en diere gepraat en gespeel. In my drome het alles bedaar, dinge het weer gevoel soos dit wat ek geken het as ‘normaal’.
In krisisse laat elke tree vorentoe my terugdink, die verlede lyk skielik só blink! Nou is alles anders, oogkontak word vermy en kommunikasie is afgesny. Dis asof die lewe die seer wil vererger, maar dis nie nodig nie! Daar is genoeg pyn, seer en lyding as gevolg van al die skeidings.
Ek het my krisisse oorwin deur die vryheid te vat wat dit vir my gegee het. Dit was, soos baie dinge, ‘n keuse wat ek moes maak. Vryheid in so situasie is soos die son, as jy dit aanvaar, dan kan dit jou laat blom. Dis een van die lesse wat ek die moeilikste leer, om te laat gaan. As jy laat gaan kom jy vry, met vryheid kan jy aangaan. As jy aanhou vasklou dan vreet die pyn jou weg soos roes op yster…
Op ‘n dag het ‘n vriend van my deur ‘n krisis gegaan. Hy het my vertel van al sy seer en gevra “Hoe gaan jy aan as jy nie weet waar is jou volgende tree nie?” Ek het vir hom gesê: “Dié seer kan jy nie keer nie, maar jy kan dit hanteer…”
Vandag wonder ek hoe dit met hom gaan. Ek bel en vra “Hoe voel jy?” In my gedagtes wonder ek of hy teruggly. “Weet jy wat?” kom sy antwoord en ek wonder hoe duidelik klink alles op hierdie telefoon. “Ja?” vra ek in afwagting, “Ek is okay!” Dié woorde klink of dit vir hom ook is soos ‘n verrassing.
Ek wil lag, want ek ken en verstaan wat hy voel. Ek het gewag vir die dag en ek sê dit nie, maar hy het nog swaartye voor. Dinge gaan beter, dit weet ek, maar hy is nog nie op die regte plek. Dis ‘n plek waar jy opdaag wanneer jy nie meer smag om daar te kom nie. Jy moet self leer vryheid is die son, want dan breek die tyd aan en dit voel normaal vir jou om te blom.

Ek’t hierdie opstel in 2011 vir ‘n Afrikaanse taak geskryf, maar ek dink nie daar’s ander woorde om beter te beskryf hoe dit voel om hier in Dubai aan te pas nie.

12/04/2013 – Day 69

This was a week for managing stuff for the first time: I bought my first webcam. I had my first Skype chat with my best friend. After almost 6weeks of struggling I downloaded my first series and movie. I’m starting to do things automatically, not thinking about every move.

I made my first jacket. I took a pair of warn out jeans and cut them up to make a light jacket. I don’t own a sewing machine, so it’s all handmade. It’s going to be like a sisterhood of the travelling pants jacket, with memories documented on it…

I got a mirror put up in my room! So now I don’t have to get up onto the edge of the bath to see myself in the mirror.

I struggle making decisions. About once a day I declare that I won’t make another decision for the next 3months. I change my mind back and forth and I doubt myself about the things I chose. I’ve always been doubtlessly impulsive, but here I think things over too much. I bought a desk that I was very excited and happy about, but now I’ve started wondering if it’s the right desk for me… My desk in South Africa was huge like almost 2.5meters long and about 1.5m broad! So owning a tiny, but practical desk feels very tiny, but I think anything would feel wrong and small compared to that desk.

Tomorrow we’re yet again checking out a new church. Third time lucky?

Thank God for phones and Skype! Talking to Carina the other evening felt so normal, like a little piece of “true home” here in my room in Dubai. Hmmm. My capital d key doesn’t want to work!

Monday spring break is over and mum goes back to her office. I’m not going to study anything, I’m just going to do some Bible Study, I need it.

08/04/2013 – Day 65

A dining table has been bought! Finally! There was a closing down sale at an extremely nice store and we got some really good things for a cheap price. Living on white tile floors is different than I expected. I always thought that tile floors would be nice, easy to clean… but these tiles show everything. I cleaned yesterday and already I can actually see the dirt assembling in the corners. Also tiles are cold, I never use to wear shoes at home, but now my feet freeze.

I went to Hard Rock Café the other evening for a birthday party. It’s an awesome place, but it’s not really my scene, I don’t think I’ll go there again. I don’t care for music or at least not for the music they play there. It was a fun night out though, meeting new people…

The local money is called “Dirham’s and the cents are called “fills”, so 100 fills = 1 dirham… Pretty easy. The smallest paper money is D5 and whenever you buy something for less than D5 they always ask “You haaave coooins, maaaa’aam?” People address you here as “ma’am” as in “farm”, not “ma’am” as in “ham”.

Around me are so many accents. Some are understandable, some are hard. People speak English, but still misunderstandings happen, because to most people English is their second language.

I am a punctual person, which leads to frustration. Most things start an hour to an hour and a half later then the starting time that was originally given. I mean you start something for 10am people show up at 11 and things start around 11:30. Now me, I’m there 9:55. Right on time to grab some coffee and be ready to start at 10h… How do you keep a schedule in a world where nothing works on time? I really need to learn to be late.

Dubai apparently has an amazing night life, now I’ve never ever been a night life person. However this statement was made in Bloemfontein that probably has a crummy night life compared to Dubai. So I headed out to a few parties. I wore my hair down and my attitude high. Yeah, it’s fun. But I really, truly don’t understand why some people build their lives around getting home at 1am. I like going out, but I live for more than that. So again I say I’m not a nightlife person, I do reserve the right to change my mind though.

Most of the Indian people here say the words “no problem” very often. You ask a taxi driver to drop you somewhere “no problem”. You want your pizza delivered, “No problem”. Whatever you ask if you’re being helped by an Indian man your answer will be “no problem”. Maybe I should learn from this “No problem” philosophy, I probably worry too much about things that are “no problem”.

If I could move here again I wouldn’t start buying stuff for the house, I’d start in my room: bed, pillow, duvet and curtains. You can buy better things when you’ve had a good night’s sleep.