Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dear Dad, I will be here...

Dear Dad,

I delayed waking up.
Took me hours to get dressed,
You had left the house by the time I came down.

I got dressed in a fumble,
Trying to put all of  my adult myself together.

In a midst of organizing my handbag, 
I accused the driver of stealing my smart phone,
a moment of blind stupid panic.

We turned the house upside down, me & my brother,
me & your son.
 I located it two minutes later,
 carelessly placed under a pile of clean clothes 
that should have been hanged in the cupboard a week ago.

Yes... Yes
I know...
 I should stop putting 'the damn thing' on silent.

Alright...since it is painfully obvious,
Let me be honest and  just say,
I really don't want to go..
I really really really don't want to go...
I mean these are all signs,
My style of resistance has not changed since childhood
 taking an unusual number of  hours to put on a decent dress,
misplacing things,
Also I forget to mention
nearly throwing up my breakfast.
Like all those times when I didn't want to go to school.

I am an adult now
You cannot force me to go
But  you're disappointed scrunched-up face from last night in the TV room
 haunted me till the morning hours
You really want us to be there.
It is my duty as your daughter ,
So I  will be there Dad.

My feet are heavy.
But I drag them ,
Into the hired grey beige super-custom.
And we finally depart.

We drive,
past Kingdom Church,
past that place where the road collapsed from the rain some weeks ago,
past Forever Business Finance,
past Faith Drug Store,
past Agar Petrol Station,
past the make shift furniture shacks,
past the shells of future homes,
past the goat imprisoned by a rope attached to a mango tree,
past A Chicken Delight restaurant that also provide wedding cakes,
Past the Equator sign.

White tents and loud speakers blasting the village choir hymns,
ensure us we have reached the right location.
 There is mud is everywhere.
It is that time of year when the rain has no mercy.
We jump over giant tire skid marks in the road as we walk to the house.

I think mass is almost done.
It seems your whole neighborhood is here Dad.
Even the guys who sell those odd calender's with photos of the deceased are here.

You are seated near the alter,
In front of the main house
There are 10 priests settled around you.
You are an important guest.
For sure there is no way I will avoid kneeling while greeting today.
You smile when you see me
I see the surprise in your eyes
I think you had resigned yourself to the fact that my millennial self would let you down
yet I am here Dad.

Uncle brings me a white plastic chair
and we all sit beside you.
You now look a little taller now,
and Dad, you sing the hymns much brighter
Cause your children are by your side.

I see the coffin of your aunt
Your mother's best friend
I see women in bursutis all seated on the mukekas beside it
And every now and them one raises her hand,
to adjust the cloth that keeps sliding off the casket.
They too must do their duty as daughters and granddaughters.

How come you  never brought us to see her while she was alive?
I never knew all this time she was here.

Final announcements are made
Mass is done.
The men of the family lift your Aunty,
and take her away,
down the foot path,
behind the house.
We do not follow.
Uncle says it's not a place we can manage.
Remember the rain has no mercy?

I know the reason for my internal tantrum Dad.
I am not ready.

I want you to be my parent forever Dad
And me forever the child.
We are adults now I know.
We are busying building our lives
But you are the only anchor left.
So I am not ready.
I wasn't ready for Mum to go.
Wasn't prepared for the last five years of her absence
Don't you see how long it's taken me to find my focus, my purpose & my direction?
I don't know if I'll ever be ready Dad.

Deep Breath.
I tell myself
Stare away.
I tell myself
Blink the tears back.
I tell myself.
Quick! Quick!
I tell myself.
Blink those tears back,
into the corners of the eyes from which they came.
I tell myself
Deep deep breath.
Don't speak.
 Your voice will betray you
Just Breath.
I tell myself.

I am keeping myself together Dad

I know my duty as your daughter
We know our duties as your children

We will be here Dad.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Take Good Care of Yourself My Dear...

When they don't CC you on e-mails that they should...
When they purposely forget to call you, and keep you informed,
When you realize they were never really your friend to begin with,
When they take your ideas and make them your own,
When they continuously invade your space so that you feel small
When they sit you in the corner and treat you like a child,
When they shout at you, and get right in your face,
pointing and spitting cause they want their way,
When they treat you like you don't matter,
When they judge you before you've even had a chance to tell them who you are,
When they try to gaslight you because you have discovered
who they REALLY are..

Just remember,

No weapon formed against you shall prosper(Isaiah 54:17)
They will not win these battles
They won't get very far.
That's why it is soooooooo important,
to take good care of yourself  my dear,
one day allllllll that you have worked hard for,
 will finally manifest right thereeeeee,
Right there in front of you,
And you need to be ready.
 Ready to comfortably & graciously take your seat at the table.
Ready to do what you have been called alllllllll along to do.

So take good care of yourself my dear,
Cause who else will? 

Thursday, 8 November 2018

EAT, SHOP, See Some CULTURE: My Time in Bangkok Thailand

Show respect for Buddha

It is a well known fact that a few days in a new place can do wonders for a person's mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health . 

I learnt this the first time I went away on a writing retreat.

And this year, that's what a few days in Bangkok Thailand did for me.

It was a work trip so I decided to incorporate some leave days to enjoy the city sights, and to catch up with a friend I had not seen since university graduation. 
After all, I thought to myself,
 "Who knows when I'll be on this side of the world again!" 

So first things first... the hotel  Novotel Platinum Pratunam was lovely. Comfortable room, lovely view and great hospitality!

It was rainy season in Bangkok. 

That's the hotel! photo taken from across the street. 

Day time view from the room.

From day one....I ate. 

I ate in restaurants, on side walks, in my hotel room...I ate!

I eat charcoal vanilla flavoured ice cream and prawns that still had legs and eyes!

 I think it is important to try new food, even if sometimes you need to google how to eat it properly .

Vanilla Charcoal Ice Cream

Chocolate Cake

Creme Brulee


Noodles with squid ink

Egg Fried Rice

Lunch plate  during the work shop 

Seafood red soup

On one of the days I had 4 cappuccinos...they we sooo tasty! #noshame

I fell in love with their savory porridge with chicken or pork and dried onion shreds 

Room Service, a result of  jet lag induced hunger pags!
I can't remember the name of this dish 

I drank a lot of ice cold coconut water!

Mango, Sticky rice and coconut milk 
A yummy curry dish, I can't remember the name 

I shopped.

Oh dear Lord forgive me,  I shoooooooooopped!

I was surrounded by 4 huge shopping malls

Including the 10 story one below my hotel and
The night market across the street!

So thank God I had been good this year with my money, I had some savings to spend on myself.

I even stumbled into a tech mall and bought some gadgets for filming at a bargain! 

It sure is overwhelming at first, just the shear amount of stuff available, so I would recommend you spend a day  window shopping  before purchasing anything. Just peruse through and see everything so that you have time to decide what you'd really like to buy. 

I think this city is the go-to-area, to buy your outfits for the year. Things may be cheap, but speaking for myself, the quality of the clothing is great. You will not regret it when you return home. 

You will find anything and everything!

I didn't buy makeup but all the brands were there and all the accessories too.

Brushes, glue and eyelashes... you name it. 

Seeeeeeeeephoraaaaaa we meet finally!

So hard to resist that red sign 

For me. it's like I met!

My finally saw Fenty Beauty with my own eyes!

I loved all the scarfs, patterns were so unique!

Soooooo many floors of shops!

The tech mall

Always take a cocktail break....

That is what I did. Only a few though. 

With dinner. 

The margarita's sassy cousin!

Some bubble gum , berry flavored contraption...

I was advised to purchase a sim card so that I could keep in contact with my friend, which I did from a 7 Eleven. Very Cheaply!

The same friend  graciously organised to show me around The Grand Palace , Wat Pho and  Wat Arun . 

I was just in awe.

They value their temples as religious and cultural places but also they are very aware of  their role as tourist attractions.

The temples are well taken care of. 

We were not allowed in sacred places with shoes, and modest clothing had to be worn. I saw people in tiny shorts & spaghetti tops being guided to purchase new clothing before being allowed to enter the premises. 

And in sacred areas...No pictures allowed!

It rained heavily that afternoon, the palace was packed with soaked happy tourists.

We were all scrambling to get our Instagram pics lol.

Ancient paints telling the stories of the Thai Buddhist religion 

So much details sometimes I didn't know where to look. 

I kept taking pictures of these men at the palace and  the temples. Fascinated 

I just LOVED the detail! 

Can you see the Jade pictures allowed we took one here.

Apparently this is the popular  Instagram photo spot

These tall warriors always protecting exits and entrances even at the airport

The trees reminded me of Dr Sseus. 

The Reclining Buddha in all it's glory 

It's huge!

The feet of the reclining Buddha

I loved the Chinese statues of the old men , they were once ballasts on ships 

Gosh the flowery details ! So lovely. There are four of them representing the first four kings of the current dynasty

Reclining Buddha in different positions. Wat Pho was the public university in Thailand. 

Sacred warriors protecting the Temple of Dawn . 

They recently restored The Temple of Dawn, was told it used to be grey but now they added colour. 

I walked everywhere and enjoyed it.

I mean I was eating and I temporarily abandoned my exercise routine 
so I NEEDED to me on that one lol. 

Took a boat once to see a temple and a taxi to the palace. 

But literally spent more time walking.

Another interesting sight, was shrines placed around the city. People would stop , pray and give offerings. 

All in all as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I needed those few days. I got some time just to rest my mind, my body and my spirit,
 but also to be inspired by the sights and sounds of the city. 

It was amaaaaaazing Bangkok! Hope one day I can return and see more of Thailand.