Sunday, September 16, 2007

Only in Africa Part 2: "Ammonia Fresh"

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Handy Andy cleaning cream is like Jif (now known as Cif) cleaning cream back home. It comes in all kinds of scents - including "Ammonia Fresh". EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

S.Africa - 36 : England - 0

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The Rugby World Cup's going on now and the country's gone mad. People love their sports here (even the office receptionist paged everyone over the company intercom "Remember there's a major game tonight at 9pm, support the Springboks and watch the rugby!")

So even though I know nothing about the game, we went with a bunch of people from work to the Neighbourhood Pub (that's what it's called - it's not really in our neighbourhood... it's actually smack in the middle of the CBD where no one lives, so it wouldn't really be in anybody's neighbourhood. Silly name.)

Anyhoo - brilliant game! S.Africa - 36, England - 0. It got boring towards the end coz you knew we were gonna win... the rowdy crowd got less interested in the game and more interested in the booze by the end of the night. Go Springboks!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Remember to breathe

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We have these amazing stairs at Ogilvy that sit right smack in the middle of the office, linking every floor together. It's been featured in many design magazines and photo shoots and yesterday we had another feature of a different kind.

A performance artist came to the office and she sat on the staircase, in the middle of everything, and proceeded to blow balloons for a whole 6 hours while someone recorded it. The footage will be played at some exhibition somewhere - reminding us that "in our busy lives today, we often forget about our breath and posture"... or something to that effect. (and she was slouched over her stool the whole time. ha!)

It was cute at first, but annoying later when you had to rush up or down the stairs to give someone something, and either she or the balloons would be in the way. And it's amazing she didn't faint after blowing that many balloons too - only taking 1 or 2 breaths between blowing the next one.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Only in Africa Part 1: Highway to Nowhere

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Right in the middle of town, there's a highway that's half-completed, so it just stops and drops off into nothingness. It's been there for more than 20 years already. Lots of film crews have shot special effects movies here coz of the dramatic backdrop, right in the middle of the city.
Talk about no proper planning...

We've got plants!

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Took a trip to the nursery today and came back with 3 plants: Lavendar (I LOOOOOOVE LAVENDAR! it's the first time I've seen a REAL lavendar plant), Polygala (the one with mauve flowers; it flowers throughout the year), and a Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (they smell good and have purple & white flowers).

They came unpotted, wrapped in plastic, so we also had to get pots, dripping stones (to line the bottom of the pots), 3 huge sacks of soil and bonemeal as fertilizer... after hauling all this stuff up 3 floors, we proceeded to make a right mess of the entire balcony - soil and dirt EVERYWHERE!!! (and there was an earthworm in 1 of the plants)... ick! We really don't have greenthumbs at all - this is completely foreign (we had 2 plants die on us in Singapore).

It's an experiment to see if we can take care of plants (we kept telling Isaac the nursery sales guy that we wanted "hardy plants that can withstand abuse... or lack of care"). But they're GORGEOUS!

Kelly's Motto

Sunday, September 2, 2007

It's Spring!

YAY! September 1st is the official 1st day of Spring!! Even though it was still cold and yucky and wet yesterday, today was gorgeous and the weather's starting to feel like it's turning... tourists will be here soon and I'll no doubt have more photos of that in a bit.

Johannesburg Part 2: More Pix!

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More pictures from Johannesburg! There are mine dumps dotted all over the city - you see them from the highways driving from suburb to suburb. They're starting to re-mine some of them again coz apparently the technology nowadays allows them to get more gold that slipped through from back in the day.

Tried to get as much greenery as I could in these pix to show the world's largest man-made forest... and even in Sandton, the new CBD (and richest area in Jozi - this is where the most carjackings takes place coz of all the nice cars in the area), the buildings aren't really that high and built-up, and it still feels very American-suburbia.

The township in the 2 photos here are on the highway turn-off into Sandton, and it's a nicer one coz the houses have proper walls and roofs, built by the government (not shacks made up of billboards/ zinc/ any recycled material people can get their hands on).

It was hot on the trip there this week and the suit on the job was driving our rented car with the windows rolled down. She thought I was mad when I kept saying "KEEP YOUR WINDOWS UP! LOCK THE DOORS! CARJACKERS CAN SPRAY MACE THROUGH THE CRACK IN THE WINDOW!" ... even though we were driving a crappy little Hyundai Getz... I am a kia-see Singaporean after all mah.

Windows Live Spaces

Healthy Breakfasts here

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In Singapore, my daily staple in the mornings would be fried bee hoon, nasi lemak or mee tai mak soup. And I used to wonder why Erik (my Dutch boss at the time) used to look at me like I was mad when I had chilli with my greasy Asian breakfasts. Things have changed quite a bit... would be nice if I could have some yu char kway or that famous greasy rice cake with chye poh on the top from Tiong Bahru market (forget what it's called now..)

These days, I either eat Oat Clusters with soy milk or Jungle Oats Energy Crunch (it's like muesli, but it's wheat-free & gluten-free). The BIG BIG BIG thing here for breakfast is oats. Everybody LOVES their oats in the morning - "low G.I. and good for your brain!" is what I've heard from no less than 3 people already. Jungle Oats ("proudly South African" it says on the box) is in practically everyone's kitchen larder (i don't like regular plain rolled oats - it's more Kelly's thing)... I think I'm just a sucker for its packaging with the Tiger on the box.

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