Tag Archive: friendship


what was i talking about?

A friend of mine popped in yesterday with some forms I needs to sign for her. We sat in the living room and had a cup of tea, enjoying the sun streaming through the windows.

We chatted about random things – the way friends do.

I launched into a story which for some reason started with an explanation of who another friend of mine was. Mid-way through the explanation I stopped and looked at Lynn.

‘I have no idea what I was going to tell you and why I started off with this bit.’

‘Hmm’, she said, trying to recall the start of the story, ‘me neither’.

We both tried to remember what we were talking about – to no avail

Yesterday morning we were two old ladies sitting in the watery winter sun drinking tea, not remembering what they were talking about.

This is like deja vu in reverse

Old Ladies at Tea, Linda Braucht (20th C. American), Computer Graphics

 

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randomness

i have a number of friends with whom i often have completely random conversations

this was one my friend Simon remembered us having online. i stole it from his blog

 

My boyfriend is from the USA, and I take every opportunity to teach him and his kinfolk about South Africa, leaving verbose comments beneath is status. I had an ally teacher today in Kimstories, and this is how the conversation went.

 BF’s status was:

Don’t know why people were scared to come to Johannesburg for the World Cup #wc2010. Wal Mart is SO much scarier!!!!

And so the comments beneath, for the benefit of globalisation and learning were as follows:

Simon: There’s no elephants in the USA – how can it be scary? There are loads in Jozi. That’s why I use Fourways Mall. You can park your elephant for free for 2 hours.

Kimstories: only if it has a dual saddle Simon

Simon: Hahahaha Kim are you joking? Who the hell still uses a single saddle? Durban’s not THAT far behind Joburg, surely? By the way I owe you a mail. The post wagon is leaving on Saturday. It should be in Durban by Tuesday.

Kimstories: In Durban our elephants are smaller so we do the single saddle thing. I know – its so embaressing! I iwll look out for the post wagon – i think it will be behind the milk delivery cows

Simon: I tried sending a letter with the milk delivery last week but they get a bit gumpy (it’s not really their responsibility, I suppose) so I went with the July post wagon. I am so excited. You know that big-ass building in Joburg where them silver things come out the sky to? They carry post too, but it’s expensive.

Kimstories: the milk delivery doesn’t come from jhb to durban – they tried that once and now the zuzlus think maas is on purpose

Simon: The post wagon was delayed last month because the zebra that pulls it got sick. It was so hectic. We couldn’t send out our financial papyrus. The Durban hunter-gatherers owe us three fish and two cows in interest.

Kimstories: you guys charge some scary interest rates. i have been asked to negotiate a sugar cane settlement (and thats not a place people live)

Simon: Last time we went down to the sugar cane fields the elephants wouldn’t go into it because of the cane rats. Why do we use animals who are scared of rodents as transport?

Kimstories: don’t blame the rats for the elephant neuroses
the elephants are such girls

 

And this is why the Yanks think we have ellies running down the streets of Joburg. Don’t be surprised when the next tourist asks you where the parking lot for them is.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

John Boyne

What a book! It has taken me about a week after finishing this book before I am able to write the review.

This book touched me.

 

The book is sub-titled as a fable and in many ways it is. It’s written as though for and by a child – to some extent. The language used has traces of the way a child would use it. Bruno, the main character, refers to his sister as a Hopeless Case and as the reader you can hear the way he would have said the words with capital letters.

There are gentle repetitions of things a child would repeat and the inclusion of details only kids would notice. But rather than the make the book seem immature, it makes it very readable. It kind of lilts along, skipping and jumping over puddles. The words carrying the reader through the story almost without the reader having to think about it. And this gentle breeze-like quality of the writing only makes the story more powerful.

 

The narrative follows the friendship between a German soldier’s son and a Jewish boy. They are both at Auschwitz (or Out-With as Bruno calls it) in the middle of WWII and are equally unaware of what they are part of. As historically aware readers, it is easy to see the kind of disaster they are heading for but they are completely oblivious of what is going on around them. This is not a lilting, gentle, puddle hopping story.

 

This is an awful story of innocence and brutality; of war and family; of death and destruction. But it is also a story of friendship and understanding, error and forgiveness. Of two little boys being friends despite the rules simply because the rules are so absurd that they do not even know of their existence.

 

I finished this book and wept. I cried for the reality of it and for our collective past. I sobbed for the lingering existence of the attitude of superiority of any one group of people over another which continues to exist despite history. But mostly I shad tears for the two little boys I had grown rather fond of. Not an easy story to read but a really very powerful one.

 

Maybe it is books like this rather than dusty history lessons that will finally teach humankind to stop repeating history! Sadly, I think nothing will.