Kids, as you know Halloween is my absolute favourite holiday of the year… not least of all because it is when the undead rise in the Mother City for the annual Zombie Walk Cape Town event!
My zombie personality had been everything from a cheerleader to a nurse to a bride so what to go as in 2017? Well…
I was a precocious five-year-old who a) was convinced that big school would be like an episode out of the Wonder Years and b) was determined to be a police woman.
Never mind the fact that this was pre-1994 South Africa and women, let alone women of colour, were not allowed to be officers of the law.
Your Grandpa, though, liked to encourage my big dreams and, in addition to getting me a toy cop police set with handcuffs and a baton, let me tag along on his early evening neighbourhood watch patrols. Man, were those exciting times!
Fast forward to 27 years later, and with a little help from your godfather Leon, and I was ready to embrace my inner Zombie Cop:
My more-than-willing rocker zombie prisoner was your aunt Lee-Anne and damn, was she dead hot:
It’s actually quite intoxicating. So much so, that when it is time to leave their beautiful city, one really does want to say “Don’t cry for me, Argentina!” :
Be in the pursuit of magic always:
I’ve seen jaw-dropping magic shows in Las Vegas and New York so I was quite keen to see one in South America. As my journey came to an end, time constraints were real and it didn’t seem like I was going to find my taste of magic in Buenos Aires.
During a night out at the Tango Porteno, in the middle of a tango extravaganza, female magician Inga Savitskaya appeared and dazzled us with her Invisible Partner act. Lesson learnt: always be in the pursuit of magic!
Embrace your sensuality:
From shamelessly indulging in dulce de leche, the sweet caramel treat Argentina is famous for , to giving into the erotic tension of a tango show, the Argentians are decadent, hungry and sensual beings.
After watching the intensity of dancers on a lunch time wander through La Bocca, a colourful downtown neighbourhood, I wandered down the cobbled streets of Galerías Pacífico .There, the most handsome, well-built men made a point of stopping what they were doing to openly stare and appreciate the sight of me.
Bearing in mind that I was in work travel mode and didn’t do anything fancy to my appearance, other than tie my hair up in a braid, I was equally flustered and flattered at the same time.
Far from being creepy, these men’s visible appreciation of me made me rediscover my sensuality. I made a promise to myself then that from that moment on I was going to embrace my inner sensual self by wearing sexy underwear and make-up and styling my hair everyday. Not for any guy but for myself – to celebrate the strong, independent, creative, free-spirited, beautiful, sensual, world traveller and woman I was.
To paraphrase your uncle Herman, I was in the prime of my life and I should be out in the world, swinging from the chandeliers ( or at least taking life by the horns!).
I nearly went nuts at the sight of this cute onesie at the local mall!
I’d have bought it there and then but you guys were still at least two years away from being born so sanity prevailed!
Fairytale palaces really exist
In the heart of Javim Botanical Gardens lies this picture perfect palace of a greenhouse and I fell deeply in love…
The Garden itself is beautiful and reminiscent of Central Park. I loved how locals and tourists alike roamed about and enjoyed the scenery, even during a work day!
Street art is love
My must-haves for cities I travel to are simple: food, magic, theatre shows and street art.
In Curitiba, street art is everywhere you go and this one was by far my favourite.
A relaxed vibe permeates everything in Curitiba – from the unhurried way people speak to their late meal times and more. I was learning to love this laidback way of life and I was sure I’d be back for more.
Next on How I Met Your Father: A fiery love affair with Sao Paulo!
From superhero themed jewellery and glitter tattoos to endless geek memorabilia and opportunities to meet our favourite comic book authors, there was just SO much to see and do at FanCon.
Kris went nuts for all of the cool jewellery at the Treasure Box stand, picking up a really lifelike looking Horcrux, from the famed Harry Potter series, while we snagged a gorgeous Tardis print for Leo in the Art Alley:
Here are few of the awesome social media posts by fellow geeks of the event:
Kids, every now and again, when the horrors of online dating got too much for me, I’d pack up my bags and hot foot it to another city to clear my head. Johannesburg, or Jozi as it is affectionately known, and a visit with your godfather Leon beckoned in March 2017…
In celebration of Lee’s 29th (again, haha) birthday and so that I could be his personal photographer all weekend long, we sampled all of the city’s ample delights including:
Your Spirit Mom Leo and I have been to the Cape Town branch of Beefcakes so often, we have our designated table so it was only right for me to pay the JHB restaurant a visit too…
And boy, was I delighted with their considerable, uh, assets:
My imaginary love affair with the hot AF theatre legend Jonathan Roxmouth was well documented on social media and so I just couldn’t miss the opportunity to watch him again in the local production of the iconic musical, West Side Story.
To 2017, my favourite Tony has my heart:
@FazielahW much much appreciated Fazielah. Thank you
So it’s that time of year again and you find yourself Bridget Jonesing through life, do you stay at home and hide or do you celebrate?
As tempting as it is to stalk your crush’s profile for the umpteenth time…don’t do it for the love of your own sanity. You know that he knows that you’ve been watching. So put down the ice cream and step away from the computer or close the app on your phone. There is only one option for us single gals and that is to throw yourself a Big, Phat Party and celebrate! How? You ask. Here are my Top 10 survival tips for single gals on Valentine’s Day:
1. 50 Shades Darker – oh come on now let’s not be coy you’ve read all 3 books so go grab a group of your nearest and dearest gal pals and go watch the damn movie!
2. How about a good old fashion book club (*wink*wink*)? Discuss the 50 shades book with your girls whilst imbibing copious amounts of bubbly and discussing at great lengths why piercing blue eyed Ian Somerhalder was not cast as Mr Grey.
3. You know those 2 for one happy hour specials? Now you can have BOTH 🙂 Get your Carrie on! Yay you! (please don’t drive if you choose this option)
4. How about a Movie Marathon? Jacob and Edward vs Carrie Bradshaw ? Take your pick…or why not watch both…?
5. You know that ridiculous amount of money you would’ve blown on a romantic weekend away for two? How about that awesome pair of Manolos that you have been eyeing since well before christmas? Go BUY those damn HEELS!
6. Hop on to The Entertainer App and find a great spa deal for you and your BFF…or take the whole gaggle of girls. What could be more fun than being pampered with your friends?
7. Travelstart has some great domestic local flights for only R499 one way, so perhaps you should still take that weekend away for yourself! Enjoy the Dolce far niente….’the sweetness of doing nothing’ on your own weekend Eat, Pray, Love.
8. How about spending some time with your loved ones? Prepare a nice home cooked meal for your family, crack open that bottle you’ve been saving and share some good laughs.
9. Do something you’ve always wanted to do. That chocolate truffle making course? Abseiling off of Table Mountain (not me) ? Learning how to surf (maybe)… cute instructor included 😉 #Justsaying
10. Last but not least, most importantly, is make time for you. Don’t get so swept up in the day’s activities that you forget the greatest love of all is self love. Take time to nurture that with perhaps a quiet stroll on the beach to gather your thoughts. Or pen your thoughts in a journal. Create a Vision board of your goals, dreams and desires of where you see yourself in the next few years. Don’t be so hung up on not having a romantic partner that you lose sight of the most important person in your life……YOU!
There you have it ladies, whether you’re a Carrie or a Bridget wishing you a fantastic Valentine’s Day filled with Love!
I was absolutely mortified for a split second, thinking that I had now further endorsed Americans ‘views on African citizens being uncouth. Then I realised, well f*** it, at least one other person had seen my fabulous ass in the Big Apple, and that’s ok with me.
“Say you’ll share with me one love,one lifetime /Say the word and I will follow you”
Kids,as my solo trip to New York came to an end in early January 2017, I was no where near ready to say goodbye to the Big Apple.
More importantly, I wasn’t ready to take my leave of the person I was there – a confident, free-spirited traveller who wasn’t afraid to take on new and amazing adventures or experiences.
The girl you see in the picture above is radiant with satisifaction; has a lust for life and most importantly, she is happy …
Happy,guys, honest-to-the-gods happy – the black moods that sometimes dominated my Capetonian nights and days;the insecurities that overwhelmed me at home didn’t exist in New York.
And while I know I was living in a bubble because life isn’t all subway rides and walks in Central Park; I wasn’t in a hurry to get back to the Mother City to be the awkward singleton who doesn’t get invited to her godchildren’s birthday parties because her status makes the other guests uncomfortable.
In New York, I grabbed opportunities to be the centre of attention by the balls (including being the fake VIP guest on an NBC Tour show):
In Cape Town, I was so used to being second or last choice, I didn’t even bother volunteering for shit at all.
In New York, I rode the subway often and only got lost a few times -in Cape Town, the train was a last-minute,I’m fucked and I need transport resort:
I fit in New York – for the first time,it felt like I fit my surroundings.In Cape Town, I was always a beat or two behind everyone else -people who had their shit together; people who shared the same sense of humour and the same boring plan for life; people who effoetlessly met their spouses/co-parents/lovers/partners and lived the picket white fence lifestyle. I couldn’t catch-up and I was tired of trying.
I wanted to stay in New York where I belonged,Kids …
But all good things must come to an end and,though I had to leave , I made a promise to myself (and one that would set me on the path to meeting your father and finally having you!) : I’d live every day of 2017 as fearlessly and passionately as if I were in New York!
Kids,in December 2016, I travelled alone to New York City and people,who should have known better,kept asking why?
Them : “Why would you do that? And alone too? That’s crazy!”
Me (thinking it internally but I should have said it out loud): “I’m f***ing off to the other side of the world because I am sick to death of your narrow-mindedness; your gossiping about my sexuality; your assumptions that I must hate men and children because I have neither when it couldn’t be further from the f***ing truth and you don’t know how hard I have to work to keep my desire for having a baby under control; because you assholes talk about me maliciously on Facebook where the world AND I can see it and you don’t even think about my feelings,do you?!!”
Like I said, there were many reasons why I travelled solo to the Big Apple but ultimately only one really mattered …my happiness.
In the space of just one week, New York quickly made me feel at home by:
1) Making me feel like a local:
Sure,I got lost so many times but somehow I always ended up where I was intending on going later,like Central Park, so it worked out!
2) Inspiring me on the daily:
There were so many things to see and do in New York that inspiration was seeping into my pores all of the time.I felt re-energised and motivated for the first time in a long time and I wanted to write again.Not just about one attraction as I had been for the past two years but about a variety of topics!
Staring out at the city line from the Top of the Rock, I knew it was time for a career change.
3) Putting me at ease about difficult choices I’d made previously:
When I left a side project as a theater reviewer in 2015 because my family needed me emotionally, physically and financially to help with my dying grandfather; people didn’t understand and so many of them faded away from my life because I was no longer available to be frivolous and fun at a red carpet opening night three times a week.
It felt like a horrible thing at the time but I do not regret spending 2016 taking care of Pa ,our family or dedicating myself to my magic career that year either…both elements thrived because I was focused and I am eternally thankful for it.
As I took in a number of Broadway shows in December, I realised that things had come full circle and this,this opportunity right here, to see award-winning international shows was meant to be all along.I have always been a theatre lover -I didn’t need to be “famous” to prove it.
4) Seeding a sense of wonder for myself :
Thanks to the mind and emotional f***ery of He Who Must Not Be Named; being dumped by my travel buddy; warring family wanting Pa’s estate and all of the malicious gossipers; my sense of self-worth was f***ed royally.
Having my wits and determination to depend on to guide me and keep myself safe in the Big Apple rebirthed my self-belief.
I felt imbued with new-found confidence in the Wonder Woman I know I can be. I worked hard to get to New York again and I could do that and so much more if I just tried.
F*** the haters in my world, I am f***ing AWESOME!!
I loved New York,where I was free to be me SO much, I didn’t want to go home …
Kids, in 2016, New York City was stalking me like my all-time favourite musical character, The Phantom of the Opera…
“In sleep he sang to me In dreams he came That voice which calls to me and speaks my name “
Yes, yes, I know, being in love with a dark, mysterious man and hoping he’ll lure me to his underground lair indicates a seriously weird view of love but I was six when I fell in love with the Phantom, ok? You can’t undo a lifelong passion for Erik ( not coincidentally the name of my other forbidden love Alexander Skarsgard‘s character in True Blood!) …
As I toiled through a seriously f***ked up year with my dying grandfather, losing friends and general adulting f***ery, the Big Apple was appearing in my dreams on a regular basis – showing me visions of hosting my baby shower in a hipster-styled warehouse in downtown Manhattan, with the Backstreet Boys performing as special guests ( don’t ask!) and walking beneath Brooklyn Bridge with that jackass.
I didn’t have to be a shrink or a psychic to figure out that my dreams were wish-fulfillment, fantasies of wanting to escape my current situation and longing to have you but damn, did New York look enticing in my slumber!
In September of 2016, I unexpectedly received an invitation to accompany a friend and her family to the Big Apple for Christmas and I was totally floored – my secret wish to return to the concrete jungle was coming true… OMG!
Three months of planning and making arrangements for my daily life followed and by the first week of December, I was SO excited, I couldn’t wait to jet off to my dream city.
My travelling companion cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances and it devastated me. I felt like the same rejected kid I had been my entire life – always chosen last by friends, family, colleagues for everything.
It totally threw my life balance out of whack and I turned into this scared Moaning Myrtle who was suddenly too afraid to travel solo …who was this insecure person and what had happened to the fearless adventurer I had been before?!
After a few days of indecision and agonizing, I decided f*** it, I was still travelling to New York City … I was stronger and braver than I knew, I could do this.
Solo travel had always helped me discover myself before and helped me fall back in love with the independent, free-spirit I knew myself to be.
After a year of putting my family’s needs, my clients’projects and my friends’dreams before my own, I needed a time-out to just be me – to break out of the constraints I’d put on myself, to live, to breathe, to be me.
And that, Kids, is how I re-met New York.
Follow my Big Apple adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook from Thursday 22 December, 2016 to Tuesday 3 January, 2017!