I live in the wonderful and volatile city of Joburg in South Africa. Sometimes I get the urge to write stuff down. This is where it lives.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Character sketch

This piece was inspired by an interaction I had with an annoying man working at a travel agent. He was very insistent about the negative aspects of my desired destination, and only as I was about to leave did he admit he had never even been there!


“Good day Travel Shop this is Dieter how may I help you?”

That’s me, Dieter. I’m a travel agent. I’ve worked at Travel Shop for three years now. I really love my job.

Travel is so exciting. I prefer the holidaymakers to the business trippers though – they know how to get the most out of it. The business traveller generally spends 90% of the time in conferences and the rest getting drunk in the hotel bar. Pathetic.

I live at home with my mother. I know what you’re thinking. That’s quite sad for someone aged 33. But it works for me. Mum lets me do my own thing – I can have friends round for drinks until any time of night… or stay out all night if I want.

Of course I never do those things. I’m quite content to stay in and watch TV or get into bed early with a good book. Besides, living at home allows me to save money for my true love – travelling.

The UK and USA are my favourite destinations. I know that sounds so cliché, but I’m just not into that whole “cultural” experience thing. Weird delicacies in the Far East or braving the depths of Africa – it’s not for me.

I know I shouldn’t knock it ‘til I’ve tried it, but I don’t need to actually go to a place to know what it’s like. The truth is I’ve never been anywhere.

You heard me. Nowhere.

I’ve never even left the city. I was born in the same house where I still live – and will probably die in it.

Of course I never tell my clients at Travel Shop this. They need to know their agent has been to their pending destination.

It’s a trust issue.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Great Lyrics... Part 2

This is what happens when I go through my cupboard and discover MORE mix tapes! I find most Barenaked Ladies songs have very sad lyrics - these in particular move me...

What a Good Boy - Barenaked Ladies

When I was born, they looked at me and said
what a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy.
And when you were born, they looked at you and said,
what a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl.

We've got these chains that hang around our necks,
people want to strangle us with them before we take our first breath.
Afraid of change, afraid of staying the same,
when temptation calls, we just look away.

This name is the hairshirt I wear,
and this hairshirt is woven from your brown hair.
This song is the cross that I bear,
bear it with me, bear with me, bear with me,
be with me tonight,
I know that it isn't right, but be with me tonight.

I go to school, I write exams,
if I pass, if I fail, if I drop out,
does anyone give a damn?
And if they do, they'll soon forget 'cause it won't take much for me
to show my life ain't over yet.

I wake up scared, I wake up strange.
I wake up wondering if anything in my life is ever going to change.
I wake up scared, I wake up strange
and everything around me stays the same.

I couldn't tell you that I was wrong,
chickened out, grabbed a pen and paper, sat down and I wrote this song.
I couldn't tell you that you were right,
so instead I looked in the mirror, watched TV, laid awake all night.