let's start off with an unusual sort of ** WARNING ** shall we? the following contains accurate accounts of people of differing origins, cultures and colours who are quite comfortable with who they are more than what they are being in their minds. none of the below carried any malice, judgement or prejudice. not everyone in the world is like that, and can indeed be sensitive or uncomfortable with what we consider perfectly normal conversations to pass the day. i respect that, and thus ask you to respect the option of right now ceasing to read this post if you think it will upset your day.
right, are we all cool now? good.....
today was one of those days that i shall long treasure and remember with a smile and a laugh. many, many ace things happened, all of which shall be documented in good time. in the mean time, though, there's the business of my class new jacket, delivered courtesy of a perennial favourite of readers of this blog, the most excellent chap they call Zama.
Zama frequently wears a most excellent jacket to verk. i mean really excellent. i asked him if the place where he got it carried the same style of jacket in what can only be described as "big bastard" size. he said he would see what he could arrange, and what he could arrange is the jacket you see me wearing here as i stand with Zama!
where is it, you may be asking, that Zama obtains such class jackets? this, dear reader, is not a question that has a straightforward answer. as far as i can ascertain from the somewhat coded way in which he answers such questions it seems that they are purchased from an entrepreneurial gent of no fixed business premises in the traditional sense, but can be found in and around the back of taxi and bus ranks in downtown Hillbrow.
Hillbrow is not a natural stopping off point for me for any sort of shopping, to be honest, but Zama seems to know the lay of the land rather well. anyway, the jacket itself purports to be of the Levi's brand. or so the label says.
Zama assures me that it is "legit", despite small things like the "made in Bangladesh" label, the Levi's red tag being frequently upside down around the jacket and the fact that the chap behind the taxi rank sells them for R150, which translates as £10.70p or about US$16.30. yep, OK, Zama's word is good enough for me on that front.
there is now something of a widely held view at verk that as i am now the owner of a jacket purchased in downtown Hillbrow i am, some might say at last, officially black when i wear it. far be it from me to question the veracity of the biology of such a view, but all the same it has seen Jayson, my dear friend, colleague and most trusted chief mechanic, make a special badge for me when i am wearing the jacket.
don't say you were not warned earlier on in this post, by the way.
Trigger, my personal photographer, was battling a little bit with the bizarre number of flash options my shiny new Canon camera has. to this end, Jayson was most concerned that the special new badge i have for my jacket might not come across as clear as it should in the pictures. Jayson doesn't have problems in this world, only solutions. thus, the below sign was created to make certain that all knew of the magical power of this jacket.
nice one Jay, much obliged! and bloody hell, i really am massive compared to most others at verk honestly as i wander around it always feels like i am pretty much the same height as everyone else. must be one of them subconscious thingies.
let me try and get on to possibly more offensive things for your pleasure. here is your humble narrator and Zama prepping for some more of the art of photography by Trigger.
you may well observe something of a sense of despair about young Zama in the above picture. it looks like i am busy doing one of them blueberry message thingies, and that's possibly the cause of Zama's despair. i am no doubt using English in the message i am tapping, when Zama has gone to great lengths to teach me Zulu. or rather, Zama has gone to great lengths to teach me the Zulu language according to Zama.
Zama's view of Zulu is that one simply sticks the letter "e" in front of whatever word you want to say in Zulu and there you go. so you get eComputer to refer to a computer, eJacket to refer to a jacket and so forth. quite straightforward, and it works fine for me.
it does not, however, work at all for my dear friend Khanyisile, pictured here.
Khanyisile is passionate in her defence of the Zulu language, if one accepts "passionate" as "violent". she describes, being polite, Zama's approach to the Zulu language as "nonsense". when she catches him trying to teach me the "e" trick to Zulu, she beats him senseless with a ruler and reminds me of what the Zulus did to the British, advising me further to go and get a red coat and try again if i want to continue with that rubbish. i tend to rather not go and fetch a red coat.
this whole episode today reminded me of one of my favourite ever exchanges with Zama. we were discussing something or other, and when i asked for clarification, he simply said "you know how it is in the 'hood, Mr Ricketts". after a pause, i said "no, Zama, actually i don't". we then discussed how whereas my life was all white picket fences surrounding perfectly cut lawns, with cream tea being taken on an afternoon, Zama's was a world of crack whores, crystal meths and drive-by shootings.
both of us tend to consider each other's realms considerably more exciting and interesting than our own. we really should do one of them "life swap" things for a week or so. i suspect Zama will tire of scones with cream and jam on them long before i get bored of his downtown shenanigans, but you never know.
anyway, here's a last pic, for now, of me trying to look hip and down with the stuff that the kids are down with. although i should stress that neither looked in any way interested when i told them that something called a JLS had split up.
i believe, thanks to the jacket, i do not look as out of place in the above picture as i would if i did not have it on.
Trigger, when not wrestling with the numerous flash settings, took a quite frankly obscene number of pictures today. it would, on the whole, be rather inappropriate to share a number of them with you right now, but soon i promise they will be here.
thank you for reading and, presumably, not taking too much offence.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!