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by ant101

Techno wizz or techno snob

November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

As per previous posts, it’s pretty obvious that when it comes to technology, I am a bit slow on the uptake. It’s not that I don’t fully enjoy the benefits that come with new developments in technology; it’s just that it takes me a while to actually want to learn about it. Lucky for me I am surrounded by people who are first of all willing to try new gadgets and second of all, patient enough to teach me.

This, in turn, has led me to the use of what is known as a “smart phone” to which I have indeed become addicted to – and here I thought I was going to be the exception to the rule…

Look I’m still no techno wiz and don’t have a lot of apps (yay, I actually know what that means now) on my phone, but I have come to realise that I might be turning into a techno snob.

Let me explain:

I have grown quite fond of the free use of BBM and WhatsApp and this is pretty much how I communicate with… well, just about everyone really. Gone are the days when you meet someone and ask for their number so you can call them, now you get their number so that you can WhatsApp them or even better still, get their BBM pin. This is just how it’s done and how us mere mortals stay in touch. So imagine my surprise when I met someone who went all old skool on me and sent me an SMS. That’s right, you read it – SMS.

I was so confused that for a few moments my fingers forgot how to type and don’t even get me started on running out of characters or pressing ‘send’ before finishing the message. It got to a point where I eventually told him he needs to seriously make a plan and get WhatsApp because this was just ridiculous. I also found that I wasn’t as eager to reply as I normally would be which led me to question whether I have become a techno snob.

To test this theory, I went through my contact list and realised that the people who are not on any instant messaging App, are the same people I hardly speak to anymore (luckily only a few). And in an interesting twist of events, I also came to realise that many people who are on my BBM contact list are not in my phonebook – does this mean that one day telephone numbers will become obsolete? Another ponder for another time.

So yes, it’s official; I have indeed become a techno snob.  I should probably change that hey?

OR, everyone should just get instant messaging!

Yes, yes, much better idea (insert instant messaging smiley face here).

 

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by ant101

Skinny Brownies – whatever!

June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

Om te bak en brou is iets waarvan ek baie hou – oe kyk hoe lekker rym ek nou!

Maar OK, op ‘n ernstige noot of altans ‘n semi-ernstige noot, wanneer die bak gogga my byt dan bak ek graag en so vind ek myself toe mooi in die kombuis met al die gereedskap van ‘n “master chef”.

Nou omdat ek ‘n meisie is, is ek mos bang vir die ekstra winter kombersie wat om ‘n mens se dye kan pak, so ek kry toe nie net enige gewone brownie resep  nie, o nee, ek kry vir my ‘n spesiale “skinny brownie” resep. Die einste belowe om soos die “real deal” te proe maar dit bevat baie minder kilojoules en ook minder koolhidrate as ‘n gewone brownie. Dit klink mos nou soos ‘n wenresep as ek al ooit een gesien het!

Hoor hier maar ek slat daar vir jou los en jy sien net bestandele vlieg en hoor klitsers klits en ag dit is net chaos! Kort voor lank toe is die mengsel in die verroverhitte oond en ek stel die “timer” vir 15 minute want die resep se 15 minute en “careful not to overcook”. Ek begin toe die soet ding doen en ruim my, nou baie deurmekaar, kombuis op terwyl ek wag. Toe daar nog so 6 minute oor is op die klok toe meen ek, ek kan mos deur die oond venstertjie loer en kyk hoe mooi alles bymekaar kom.

Nou wat verwag jy om te sien? n Koekerige ding wat mos mooi geleidelik reis of ten minste iets in daai lyn, maar nee, al wat ek sien is ‘n bruin mengelmoes wat bietjie borrel. Kyk daar is nog 6 minute oor so ek gaan nog nie huil nie, maar die knop in my keel begin al vorm. Nee wag-wag, daar lyk dit my ‘n stukkie gaan op – phew!!

Ek draai terug en maak verder skoon en toe ek weer hoor toe is die 15 minute verby. Julle moet verstaan, as ek lus is vir iets, dan is ek LUS vir dit en hierdie brownies soek ek nou al ‘n rukkie. Ek stap ewe trots na die oond toe, sommer met so huppel pas, maar toe ek nog so loer toe stop ek dood in my spore. Binne in die oond wag daar nie ‘n mooi, lekker peuselhappie nie, maar liewers iets wat uit ‘n Stephen King boek uitkom. Die ding het hoeke wat by die bak uitklim terwyl die middel nog plat le. Daar is sulke groot tennis bal hompe wat lyk of hulle enige oomblik gaan ontplof en geboorte gee.

OK, haal asem… Ek maak die oond oop en haal die “alien” uit. “Careful not to overcook” se moer man! Ek skud die bak en my kastige brownies doen ‘n “belly dance”…

Ek sit dit toe maar terug vir nog so 10 minute dinkende dat die 15 minute eintlik 25 moet wees, maar nee, al wat gebeur is meer tennis balle wat vorm en hoeke wat hemel to styg terwyl alles anders agter bly.

Ag nee man, mens kan nie so aanhou sukkel nie. Ek sit maar die oond af, pop die tennis balle en toe val al die kante ook pap. Goed, ek ken ‘n paar mense wat op hierdie stadium die hele ding sal weggooi, maar ek is mos nie iemand wat so maklik opgee nie. Nee wat, ek vat daardie rubber ding, gooi hom in ‘n bord en verdrink dit in room – toe was dit sommer baie eetbaar!

So ja ek het nou nie heeltemal gekry wat ek wou he nie, maar ek het darem een goeie lewensles geleer en dit is dat brownies en skinny moet  nooit in dieselfde sin gebruik word nie. Ek kon mos geraai het hierdie “te goed om waar te wees resep” is te goed om waar te wees.

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by ant101

Men are waffles and Women are spaghetti

November 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

In school we called it slumber/pajama parties. At university we called it ladies/girls night. Now that we are somewhat older and supposedly wiser, we call it book club/recipe club/basically anything you can attach to the word club. But no matter what label you slap on it, we all know that it’s just code for “come on ladies, let’s get together.”

What goes on at these shindigs follows the same rules as Vegas – what happens at …club, stays at …club, however it’s pretty obvious that when we go to book club or recipe club, we don’t spend 4 hours discussing books or recipes. In fact, that is just a small portion of the evening.

I’ve had guy friends look at me with confusion as I get excited about meeting up with the girls. They don’t seem to understand the hype and normally think it’s just an excuse to gossip and drink wine. Well if you’re one of these guys, here’s a bit of insight. Don’t worry ladies; I won’t break the golden rule.

As most people know, women are emotional beings. We get attached to people, animals and any object that could possibly hold sentimental value. We also enjoy talking about pretty much anything and everything that’s happening in our little worlds. And when our friends tell us their stories, we are genuinely interested in what they have to say and pay close attention.

Men, on the other hand, are more of the “get to the point, lose the frills” kind of breed. Come on guys, let’s be honest, how many times have you zoned out while having a conversation with a woman? Ladies, how many times have you accused a man of not listening to you? How many times does a girl get excited about a new pair of shoes to add to her collection while a guy shakes his head because he’s had the same pair of shoes for 2 years? I can go on, but I think you get my point.

This is, of course, nobody’s fault as it’s simply just the way we are. Like a friend once told me: “Men are like waffles and women are like spaghetti.” Men think in blocks, they focus on one thing, get it done and move on. Women, however, tend to start with one thought and then move straight into another and another and back to thought one again without missing a beat or causing confusion.  It seems relatively straight forward, yet it is very often the cause of petty arguments. Enter ladies night!

When we get together we can talk about all those things that are not really interesting to a guy. We discuss life, swop stories, laugh and cry, get advice and give advice. It’s pretty much a therapy session without the hefty bill and afterwards we feel fresh and ready to take on whatever challenge life throws our way.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that women should only talk to other women – we all know that communication between male and female is key. What I am saying is that sometimes, spaghetti needs spaghetti before having waffles for dessert.

So guys, next time a girl gets excited about hanging with the girls, just smile and nod and be ready for dessert.

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by ant101

Zzzzzz…..

November 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

OK let me just put it out there – I like my sleep. In fact, I’m one of those people who can’t function properly unless I’ve had 7-8 hours of sleep the night before. I pretend that I don’t need it over weekends when I go out with friends and family, but as soon as the hype is over, I crash and burn with a bang.

Now this doesn’t mean that I’ve been blessed with peaceful nights. Oh no, I’ve had my fair share of tossing and turning and everybody is able to see it the next day. I’ve been the recipient of “you look tired” followed by that sympathetic head tilt on many occasions. Normally the only thing I can think of doing at that point is smack the person against the head, but the effort it will take to lift my arm is simply too great.

My worst however, is when I am having one of the best dreams ever and my alarm decides to go off. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to ignore it or how many times I push the snooze button, I simply can’t get back to that amazing dream. If it was a bad dream though, I probably would’ve picked up where I left off.

That happened to me the other day. I was in the deepest sleep possible when my alarm started with its persistent wake-up call. It shocked me into so much confusion; I thought I was still sleeping. The fact that I only had 4 hours of sleep didn’t quite help the situation.  Now I’m already a slow mover in the morning on the best of days, so can you imagine how bad I was on this particular day? Seriously, any slower and I would’ve moved backwards.

I tried everything to get me through my working day. In fact I had so much coffee that my body was starting to produce it. It took all of my power to keep my head up and I believe that I snuck in a few bathroom breaks just so that I can close my eyes for a minute or two. Yeah, I was a wreck and even though I was only working a half day, it was the longest half day of my life!

Honestly, I don’t know how people do it. I have friends who work ridiculous hours and they hardly sleep, yet they always look fresh and well rested. They say you get use to it, but I have my doubts about this theory.

Right, that’s enough for now – I need to go rest my eyes…

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by ant101

The Crackberry Generation

October 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

For those of you who know me or have read some of my earlier posts, you will know that making decisions is something I’m not very good at.  So when my trusty old phone’s charger broke and I received many looks of pity when I tried to buy a new one (apparently they don’t make them anymore) it was officially time to get a new one.

I thought this won’t be too hard because all I want it for is to send and receive messages, make and receive calls and set my alarm. But then just about every other person I know starts telling me that I should get an iPhone or a Blackberry for this and that reason. I eventually give in and decide to get a Blackberry.

So off I go to go get this new piece of technology. Again, I make the mistake of thinking that this is going to be an easy procedure. I make myself comfortable in the chair facing the freshly faced sales guy and before long he whips out a bunch of phones and asks me which one I want. Which one do I want?! What do you mean? I want a Blackberry.

I see that all too familiar look of pity as Mr. Salesman explains to me that all of the phones are Blackberries. You can get a Blackberry Bold, Blackberry Curve, Blackberry Pearl, Blackberry Torch and I think you get what I’m saying here. But it doesn’t stop there, because now I have the option to have this application and that application and I end up downloading every application under the sun except the one I want – I’m gifted like that.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not regretting my decision at all. In fact I can slowly but surely feel myself getting addicted to the wonders of this little device. Even trying to figure it out is now becoming a challenge I take on with vigor and I don’t even mind the fact that Blackberry was down the same day I finally crossed over.

I like the fact that I can chat to friends overseas and it doesn’t cost me a penny or I can send one message to a group so that all of my friends get it at the same time. I enjoy reading my emails when I’m sitting somewhere waiting or standing in line to pay for my groceries. Yes, I like having the world at my fingertips!!

OK, reading back on this last paragraph I realize that things may have gone a bit far.  I fear that I’m hooked and so I will soon be going to meetings…

Hi, my name is Antoinette and I’m a Crackberry addict…

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by ant101

Who am I?

October 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Who am I? It’s a question I am asked.

Giving you a simple answer, is proving quite a task.

I wear a lot of red, yet my favourite colour is blue.

Even when I have all the answers, I still don’t have a clue.

I sometimes make you happy. I sometimes make you sad.

Sometimes I’m a good girl and other times I’m bad.

I like to go out and play, I like to stay at home.

I like lots of people, I like to be alone.

I want my indepndance, I want someone near.

I want to go there, I want to stay here.

I like to be impulsive, I like to think things through.

I like to sit and relax, I like to get up and do.

I get bored very quickly, yet I like my comfort zone.

I want to see the world, I want to stay at home.

Do you know who I am? Is it that hard to see?

I am all of you, except that I am me.

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Wine connoisseur?

September 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

Sitting on a plane on my way to Turkey, I start to read an article about “How to choose the perfect wine” and all I can think is, as long as it comes in a bottle, I’m happy. It is also at this point where me and my travel buddies decide that it si time to open up some bubbly, or more specifically , sparkling wine.

While we wait for one of the charming air hostesses to look in our direction I start to think to myself about the value of a good bottle of wine. A few years ago I decided thatI wanted to learn more about wine, difference in taste and aromas. How to swirl your wine properly and what the “legs” mean as they run down the glass. 

I wanted to be one of those people who can smell and taste a glass of wine and tell you exactly what’s in it. “It’s woody with a hint of cherry”. So I started to read up on what those who know has to say and realised taht the beste way to learn will be to put theory into practice.

So there I am with my bottle of… um… I can’t quite remember the name, but according to the price it was a good one. I pour the glass of wine to where the picture in the book tells me to. Normally I thought that half a glass was good but filled to the brims is better, clearly I was wrong.

I swirl my glass, spilling a few drops on the carpet – whoops! I manage to get the “legs” but can’t figure out what they mean. I smell and then taste the wine. I try to figure out what’s in it, but all I can taste is what I’ve come to known as red wine. I try again and heavens me, I swear I taste cherry or some kind of berry. I’m so proud with my expertise, I drain the glass and pour myself another one.

As I put the bottle down I see the label on the back describing the wine. Something about it being full bodied (does that mean fat?) with rich, plum flavors. Plum? Plum? What about the cherries/berries? Needless to say my wine connoisseur experience didn’t exactly go too well, so I’m back to my days where as long as it comes in a bottle, I’m happy.

Right, now where is that air hostess wit my sparkling wine? I wonder wha it will taste like…

Fizzy, sparkling with a hint of bubbles?

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So many options, so little time

September 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

Decisions, decisions, I simply don’t know how to make them. When I go to a restaurant (and choosing one is a mission on its own) I can sit there for hours trying to decide what it is that I want to eat. Do I want steak, chicken or fish? Or maybe go for some nachos, or pasta, or salad… I warned you. Now I’ve tried to figure out why this is and here is my theory: In life these days, we are simply spoilt for choice.

I remember when I was a little girl and my mom asked me to go to the shop on the corner to buy some milk and bread.  I literally had to go in and buy milk and bread and that was the end of it. Lately it’s just not that simple anymore.

Go into any supermarket and you have the option of fresh milk, long life milk, full cream, semi-skimmed, 2%, fat free, lactose free, goat’s milk and don’t even get me started on the flavored milk options. Bread is no longer white or brown, now it’s white, brown, whole meal, whole grain, linseed, soya seed, rye, fruit and nut and I think you get the picture.

It’s not just general groceries that have become complicated but pretty much everything out there. Do I want my jeans to be skinny, boot cut, straight, wide, hipster, high rise or low rise? Having a phone that makes and takes calls and perhaps sends and receives messages is no longer enough. Now it has to have all these different applications that, if I’m perfectly honest, confuse the living daylights out of me.

 I understand we are all unique and we all want different things, but don’t you think that there is a slight chance that the reason we want so many different things is because we have so many options? Think about it, you use to have the option of having tea or coffee, now you can have flavored coffees, herbal teas and so on and so forth. All of a sudden that normal, generic cup of brew is just not good enough anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy having the option to choose what I want, but with so much variety, determining what I want is somewhat problematic, hence the reason I take so long to make up my mind. Sometimes I wish we could just go back to the days of Henry Ford where “People can have the Model T in any color – so long as it’s black.”

 

Right, well I’ve got to go decide what it is that I want to wear today and whether or not I would like an iced café mocha with cream or if I should go with the French Vanilla Latte with a caramel swirl.  Or perhaps I’ll have the…

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Paella is confusing business… apparently.

August 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

Do you ever get the feeling that you just want to tell someone to lie down before they hurt themselves? You know those times when the question being asked is so ridiculous you don’t even want to waste your breath answering it? Well I feel like that pretty much whenever I work at the Paella stall on a weekly basis. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my dumb moments just like everyone else, but there should be limit to the amount of these moments you can have in one conversation.

Let me start from the beginning shall I? Paella, for those of you who don’t know, is a Spanish rice dish, I repeat Spanish RICE dish. Now take a wild guess what the main ingredient is over here (trust me, I’ve been asked if I was serving pasta before). We have two kinds of Paella – chicken and seafood. The chicken has, wait for it… chicken in it and the seafood consists of prawns, mussels and calamari. The prawns and mussels are still in their shells and each Paella is prepared in a huge pan, so visibility is pretty clear. In addition to all of this, we have big signs also known as menu boards, explaining in detail what the difference is between the two dishes and what each one contains. It really shouldn’t be hard to see which is which, or so one would think.

So there I am, it’s a typical Saturday afternoon and the market is buzzing with patrons. A lady comes up to me and looks at the food in front of me. I smile, greet her and ask if I can help. She smiles back, looks at the menu board, turns back to me and says: “What kind of Paella do you have?” It is still early in the day so I still have a sense of humor. I smile and politely tell her that we have chicken and seafood, pointing to each pan as I mention the type. “OK.” She says as she continues looking at the food. “So what is the difference?” And so my sense of humor goes down one notch.

Another patron points to the menu board, which is facing away from me and says: “I’ll have one of those please.”  

“Sure sir, which one would that be?”

“A Paella.”

“Yes sir, but which kind would you like?”

“That one.” He says pointing to the board.

“I’m sorry sir, but I can’t see which one you are pointing to as the board is not facing my way.”

“Well surely you should know your menu board.”

It’s at this point where I’m tempted to throw rice at the guy. Obviously I know the menu board there are only two things on it, but how am I supposed to know which one you want when all you do is point to the board? Whooossaaaahhhh….

Oh and you simply have to love those conversations where you find yourself talking in circles.

“So what is this then?”

“It’s Paella ma’am.”

“Paella… what is that?”

“It’s a Spanish rice dish.”

“So this is rice?”

“Yes.”

“What is that at the back?”

“That is where we cook, so it is the beginning of these two I have in front of me.”

“It looks like chicken to me.”

“Yes, that is going to be a chicken paella.”

“OK, I’ll have some chicken then.”

I start to dish up when I get stopped.

“No, I don’t want that, I want the chicken.”

“This is the chicken Paella ma’am.”

“No, but I don’t want rice.”

“I’m sorry, but Paella is a rice dish, we don’t just serve the chicken on its own.”

“But I don’t want the rice.”

“OK, I’m sorry I can’t help you then.”

“But what about the chicken at the back? Why can’t I have that?”

I can carry on, but you can pretty much figure out how the rest of this conversation went.

There are those moments though when someone comes along and you see the light bulb.

 “Ah so you have chicken and seafood…”

“Yes we do.” Finally!

“OK, I’ll go for the chicken then.” He says, pointing to the seafood.

“Um, that’s the seafood.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

Because I wouldn’t know the difference…

One of my favorite incidents happened at that point in the day where I thought nothing could surprise me anymore.  A guy comes over, looks at the board, looks at the food, looks at the board, looks at the food. I think I can see steam coming out of his mind as he’s trying to match the pans with the names. Finally he gives up and asks me which is which. I decide that I’m in the mood for some fun so I tell him to take a guess. He seems eager with this little game and takes one more look at the pans and the boards, clicks his fingers and then points to the seafood paella and says: “That is chicken.”

The look on the guy’s face was so proud that I couldn’t be blunt and tell him no so I decide to give him a second chance.

“Why don’t you try again?” I say.

“OK.”

Eyes to the board, to the pan, the board, the pan. Again, that same excited look, the same clicking of the fingers and unfortunately, the same wrong answer. It was not his finest moment.

The thing that gets me the most is that these are not isolated cases. In fact, it is pretty much a guarantee that it will happen every week and definitely more than once. Like I said, I get my fair share of brain farts just like everyone else but come on, this is just ridiculous.

Well at least work is never boring so I guess I can’t complain too much.

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Things that bug me

May 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s that time of the year when the cherry blossoms have bloomed and I can officially hang up my winter clothes and let it gather dust until the next season. I love the fact that I can now walk to and from work, wearing my flip flops and feel the sun dancing on my skin. It’s great, it really is, but there is one thing (or more like a thousand things) that really bug me – those tiny little bugs that eagerly greets me whenever I decide to do the healthy thing and walk.

I don’t know where they come from or why they are there (I seriously doubt they serve any purpose aside from annoying me) but what I do know is that they are changing my exercise routine into a choking hazard. I’ll be walking along the river, blissfully minding my own business when I’m suddenly caught in a cloud of bug eyes and fluttering. The result is that I start waving my arms wildly and try to sidestep the attack. It looks like bad dancing, but in fact it’s an attempt to save my life.

Apart from keeping my eyes firmly on the path and no longer on the scenery, I also have to be cautious when I breathe. As mentioned in my previous blog, I am sometimes in an unfortunate position where I will walk through a Kimchi contaminated zone. I thus try to take a page out of the CSI guys’ books and breathe through my mouth. Bad idea.

I was having a delightful stroll one day when the stench hit me, so I opened my mouth to suck in some air; unfortunately, air is not the only thing I got. For some reason, a bunch of those little critters decided to launch a kamikaze mission into the back of my throat and the ones who didn’t make it all the way in, somehow managed to lodge themselves firmly between my teeth. Like I said, they were on a mission. It sorted out the protein part of my dinner, but unlike most things in life, it did not taste like chicken.

Well, at least I now know why so many Koreans wear those masks I use to only see on medical dramas. In fact, I’m thinking about getting myself one. Or perhaps I should just go on a killing spree armed with bug spray and more bug spray and more bug spray… Aaaaarrrhhhh!!! OK, calm down. Deep breath in… and BAM! Another mouthful of buggy deliciousness – AWESOME!