Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day 9: A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

My sister, Lynette 

On February 13th 2005, I lost my best friend in a motorcycle accident. It was 2 days before her 20th birthday. I was devastated. Everyone was. She was like a sister to me, and basically grew up in our house. Suddenly this amazing person, that was such a big part of my life, just wasn't there anymore. It was a really tough time for me, and I didn't know if I would be able to live with the unbearable sadness forever. I had to accept the fact that she wouldn't be there with us when we graduated, or at my wedding one day. I didn't think that I would be able to get through that hard time, but somehow I did.

In July 2008, my sister lost four of her best friends in a car accident. I can't even begin to imagine what she must have gone through at that time. Very few people can. To lose someone special is extremely hard, I know, but to lose four of your closest friends at once, there's just no way to even try and imagine it. Needless to say, she was heartbroken. It must have been a terribly hard time for her. I can't even think what it must have been like for her, I doubt if I would've been able to pick myself up again after that.

But she did. If you meet her now, you would never know that she had lived through a tragedy like that. She has the most amazing and positive outlook on life. Love and light radiates from her, and you just feel happy when with her. She sees the good in people when no one else cares to, and make friends wherever she goes.

She is a symbol of strength to me, and whenever I go through a hard time, I only have to think of her, and what she's been through, and the inspiring person that she is now, to know that I can get through any tough time in my life.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Day 8: A picture that makes you laugh

Everyone has them. Awkward family photos. And just to be clear, this is not a photo of my family. Although, unfortunately, I know that we have similar gems at my parents’ house (hopefully someone has burned them by now.) This photo is from the book Awkward Family Photos.

For Christmas last year, my brother gave me this treasure of a book. I have it on my coffee table in my apartment, and I can’t help but to laugh out loud every time I look at it. It is the most hilarious compilation of those dreaded family photos that gets displayed, oh so proudly, at your parents’ or grandparents’ house. You just got a mental picture of that embarrassing one of your family, didn't you? 

It seems to me that the ‘90’s was the decade to take family portraits. Unfortunately, the ‘90’s was also the decade of big hair, big clothes and big glasses; the perfect recipe for a humiliating, family portrait FAIL.

In this book, they have captions with the photos and people’s “behind the photo” stories; these are sometimes even more hilarious than the photo itself. Go see for yourself. WARNING: If you think it can't get any worse, you would be wrong.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 7: A picture of your most treasured item

I have this little, green book that literally means the world to me. My passport. It is by far my most treasured item. It represents so many things to me; freedom, opportunity, exploration and belonging. It’s been my gateway to the world since I started traveling after university. Without it, I would never have been able to go to the places I’ve been to.

I know I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to travel, but it’s not always about being lucky. Sometimes you have to be brave, take chances, be fearless and just go for it! You probably have a passport, too? Stop making excuses and start using it.

I’m very proud of my South African passport. Yes, it’s not the “best” one to have, and yes, I can’t just stroll through immigration in every other country like The Boyfriend with his passport from the States, I need to get visas. But I do love when other travelers see my passport and ask me questions about South Africa, and I can shamelessly brag about our beautiful country.

It’s not just about where this little book can take me, but also about where I can always go back to. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Day 6: A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day

Obviously, I can have fun with this one. At first I thought, definitely someone very rich and famous in Hollywood, so that I can drink Dom Perignon and live the good life for a day; late morning Swedish massage, lunch at The Ivy with Paris and Nicole, the paparazzi hot on our heels, followed by a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. In the evening, I’ll roll out in my Bentley, dressed in something fabulous that my personal stylist has picked out for me, for dinner at Koi with my good friends Madonna and Beyonce.

But, that sounds just a tad too shallow. I mean, I can be anyone! I can change things. That’s why I decided that I’d want to trade lives with South Africa’s controversial president, Jacob Zuma, for a day. But please, only for a day, because I won’t be able to keep up with all of his wives and children.

With only one day, I will have my work cut out for me. I’ll start with the corruption. Fire all corrupt officials (which will probably take most of the day), and hire competent people that have good educations and are experts in their fields, no matter their race and gender.

I’ll make Grade 1 to 12 education compulsory for all. I’ll make some adjustments in the budget; less money for ridiculous government spending like traveling, parties and expensive German cars, and more money towards health care, education and housing.

I would also have to deal with that clown, Julius Malema, and put him in his place. Ugh! On second thought, maybe I should just trade lives with Justin Bieber.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 5: A picture of your favorite memory

That's me on the left, with my two older brothers and my younger sister.
Another impossible decision! My favorite memory!? I can't choose just one. I have lots of wonderful memories, especially from my childhood. I had a really happy one, and I have very fond memories of my days growing up in a small town, with three siblings and amazing, supportive and loving parents.

We were very good at entertaining ourselves and I don't really remember watching TV a lot. We loved playing outside. We were allowed to play outside until 6pm, at which time my dad would whistle at the front door, and we would run home as fast as we could.

I loved growing up in a big family. There was always something going on, and it was like having your friends over at your house all the time. We learned so much from each other, and if I ever have the opportunity, I would like to have a big family, and I will do my best to give them the childhood that I was lucky to have had.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 4: A picture of your favorite night

Wow, this is a toughie. In my lifetime, I’ve had some pretty crazy, fun, memorable, not so memorable, amazing, spectacular nights. By the time I was 6 years old, my favorite night was the previous Christmas when I got the new Hollywood Hair Barbie. I really thought that life couldn’t get any better than that.

Little did I know that in 20 years’ time, I would be traveling the world and having all sorts of incredible evenings. Yes, even more incredible than getting a Barbie whose hair you can dye pink, and then wash it out again. And not even to mention her white and gold sparkling outfit. Anyway…

One of my other favorite nights, was an icy cold winter’s night during the 2009 holiday season. The Boyfriend and I were in New York City for the first time. It was awesome! I’ve always wanted to see the Big Apple, and there I was, standing in the middle of Times Square. Now, I’ve seen Times Square on TV and in movies hundreds of times, but to see it, and hear it, and smell it in real life is truly an amazing experience.

We sat down on those famous red stairs to take it all in; the bright lights, huge billboards, yellow taxis and the thousands of people. It was surreal. I had to pinch myself; was I really there? My arm hurt from the pinch, so yes, I was really there! I'll never forget that night, it was magical.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 3: A picture of the cast from your favorite show

I’m totally addicted to TV shows, and with all the good ones there are nowadays, it really is very difficult to choose a favorite. So, I had to think; which show can I watch over and over? Which show always makes me feel good? Which show will I make my children watch one day? And the answer is Friends.

I started watching it sometime in elementary school. I used to record it on VHS and watch it over and over and over. Those tapes were, by far, my most prized possessions. The best present I ever got was the Friends DVD box set.

Sadly, since I’ve been living in Taiwan, I haven’t watched a lot of Friends. I will put on an episode occasionally, when I’m cooking or doing the dishes, just to hear it in the background.

I often quote lines from the show in random conversation, and people will either think I’m really funny, look at me funny, or say “Ah, I love Friends!”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 2: A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest

This is me and my bestest best friend in the world, Inge. Although I have lots of friends whom I love dearly, Inge has been my closest friend for about 10 years. Before we became friends, I only knew Inge as the cute, tomboy-ish little girl that came over to our house to play with my sister. Being two years older than them, I was obviously too cool to play with them.

Years later, when we were in high school, my friends dragged me to Inge’s house one night because she was having a house party. I was hesitant to go, because I didn’t know her very well. We had so much fun that night and discovered that we both shared a love for commercial hip-hop and FRIENDS. We were inseparable after that

After high school, I went to university and only saw her occasionally on weekends when I went home. Two years passed, Inge started university, and we moved into a house on campus with 10 other girls, where we lived for two years. We had the time of our lives and did everything together.

After I graduated, I came to Taiwan. It was hard to leave my best friend behind, but I knew that we would be okay. After a year, Inge graduated from university and joined me in Taiwan for two months. What a wonderful experience it was for the two of us, living in a foreign country together.

Every time I go back to South Africa, we just pick up where we left off. I cherish our special and effortless friendship, and I couldn't have asked for a more loyal, generous, supportive and loving friend.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Day 1: A Picture of yourself with ten facts

  1. I grew up in a small town (population 13 000) in South Africa, where there are no traffic lights (which, by the way, we call “robots”) and no movie theaters. I now live in Taipei City, Taiwan (population 3 000 000)
  2. I love the smell of books. For me, there’s nothing like taking a whiff from a new book. I also enjoy reading and collecting them... which of course, is less weird.
  3. My younger sister lives in Dubai (UAE) and my two older brothers live at sea (they work on cruise ships). My parents still live in South Africa.
  4. I think it’s good to have a general idea of what is going on in the world, so I read three online newspapers everyday and watch CNN religiously. I also read Perez Hilton and E!Online to stay on top of  entertainment news. Yes, it is important to know who is running for president in the 2012 USA elections, and which products I can’t buy in Taiwan at the moment because of DEHP, but it’s also important to know who will host the MTV Video Music Awards and what Lady Gaga wore to dinner last night.
  5. I met my boyfriend at an Oasis concert in Taiwan, after the band was banned from performing in China.
  6. I teach English as a second language. English is also my second language. My first language is Afrikaans, and there are about 7 million native speakers in the world, mostly from South Africa and Namibia.
  7. I love high heels, but I hate wearing them.
  8. I want to see as much of the world as possible, and so far I’ve traveled to Namibia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, USA, UAE and the Philippines. My favorite so far has been Thailand, and I will be going there for my second time in July 2011. Next year, I will travel to Europe for the first time.
  9. I’m an obsessive list maker, and get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when crossing things off it.
  10. I’m a dog person, and our family has two black French Poodles, aged 15 and 16. Yes, they are small and most people hate them. They are not ankle biters, however, before they got old they did tend to aim for the crotch area.

30 Days of Reflection

Inspired by one of my friends on Facebook, I am going to reflect on my life in the next 30 days. Actually, it will be the next 30 posts, as I will be in Thailand for a week in July. (Don't hate me too much).

I think this is the perfect way for me, Miss Newbie Blogger, to introduce myself to you. Listed here are the things I will be reflecting on:

Day 01 - A picture of yourself with ten facts

Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest

Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show

Day 04 - A picture of your favorite night

Day 05 - A picture of your favorite memory

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day
Day 07 - A picture of your most treasured item

Day 08 - A picture that makes you laugh

Day 09 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most

Day 10 - A picture of the person you do the most ****** up things with

Day 11 - A picture of something you hate

Day 12 - A picture of something you love

Day 13 - A picture of your favorite band or artist

Day 14 - A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without

Day 15 - A picture of something you want to do before you die

Day 16 - A picture of someone who inspires you

Day 17 - A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently

Day 18 - A picture of your biggest insecurity

Day 19 - A picture of a letter

Day 20 - A picture of somewhere you'd love to travel

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change

Day 25 - A picture of your day

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you

Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

Okay, now let the reflecting begin! ...oh, and nice to meet you, by the way!


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