Gaijin Tomodachi Tachiyorimasu (Laura & Troy’s SA Reprieve)

P1040818Recently, a good friend of mine returned to South Africa for a brief 13 day reprieve. Laura, along with her fiancé Troy, have spent the last two years abroad in Japan teaching English to the natives. Although they have both been enjoying the unique experience, they, like Dorothy, could not wait to tap their heels because, no matter how short the stay, “there is no place like home”.

If you are wondering about the title of this post, it is supposed to translate into something like: “Internationalised Foreign Friends”. For all I know it could mean “Tasty Octopus Nipples”, what with the dubious reliability of some of the Internet’s ‘translation engines’.

My poor Japanese skills aside, it was great to be able to spend time with both Laura and Troy. Thankfully we got to see them a few times before returning to Japan.

The most memorable evening took place on Saturday night, 8th August 2009. Upon my recommendation, myself, Mik, Nicholas, Laura and Troy, made our way to the Nelson Mandela square in Sandton City. Those of you who know me personally, can attest to the fact that I always like to try new and exciting places or events. As a result, I managed to persuade almost everyone to try Lekgotla), an African styled restaurant, with the hopes of getting to eat a gastronomically unique dish. We were not disappointed.

P1040800Lekgotla is Tswana for ‘the meeting place’, and what a meeting place it is. The place is beautiful. There are no two ways about it. Think traditional African symbolism meets modern European contemporary art. The perfect place to bring foreigners for a taste of African culture.

Thankfully we arrived before the dinner time rush and were thus able to procure and be seated at one of the restaurant’s exclusive ‘gotla’ – one of only two hut-like structures that are able to seat eight people comfortably.

To be frank, the food was simply spectacular! All the way from the Crocodile Carpaccio, Peanut Butter Calamari and Vetkoek starters, to the Ethiopian Coffee Steak, Glazed Pear infused Ostrich fillet and vegetarian platter main courses, and finally all the way to the stomach distending three Crème brûlées degustation dessert; not a single dish was a disappointment. Honestly, a part from being absolutely divine, the food also served as a form of entertainment value for the evening. Discussing the strange delicacies and varied tastes made way for interesting conversational elements and, in some cases, the food prompted ‘hands on’ action as well as the often unexpected, and rather loud, oral expulsion of digestive gases. It was definitely an evening to remember!

Furthermore, throughout the course of the evening, we were constantly impressed by the level of service, but even more so by the welcomed yet unexpected amenities. To begin, we were all offered a cleansing vanilla infused hand wash, with vanilla scented towels to boot. Our hands smelled delicious, unfortunately they did not taste that way. After that a cart was brought over with an opportunity to try out a traditional ‘cocktail’. After come impressive bottle work, we were handed the crushed ice, vodka, honey and lemon juice cocktails. Although the drink sounds like something which could clear ones sinuses, it was actually rather good. A short time later, after the starters, we were given the chance to bare tribal markings upon our beautiful visages. Unfortunately, no one was keen to have their face painted, no matter how ‘unique’ the experience on offer was. Next time though! To top it all off, we were eventually asked if we would have liked our shoes shined. Once again, no one obliged. Although this time it was not for lack of trying, but merely because no one was wearing shoes which could have been shined. To conclude, the service at Lekgotla was excellent. From the moment we arrived we were greeted warmly and made to feel as if we were the only people there. Granted we were at the time, but the level of service did not decline even though the place eventually filled up faster than a rush hour taxi.

As a result, Lekgotla is the perfect place to take foreigners and it is the ideal location for individuals who are willing to embrace their ‘African’ roots. We would give Lekgotla a rating of 9/10.

In essence it was really very good to spend time with everyone, especially Laura and Troy. They have both grown tremendously as a couple and we are all looking forward to their big day – possibly in 2010. We miss them both quite a lot, but we are immensely thankful for the time we were able to have together. The venue just made the experience that much better. After all, nothing is better than creating highly memorable moments, with unforgettably awesome people.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

Bookmark and Share

Read More

‘Blast’ from the ‘Past’

Hans Haupt - High school Yearbook Photograph (2003) I know that a lot of people wonder what they will look like in several years from now, but have you ever wondered what you may have looked like if you had grown up in a different time?

Well, the website tentatively known as ‘Yearbook Yourself’, has a rather ingenious solution to his problem.

Using simple, yet effective, facial mapping techniques; ‘Yearbook Yourself’ allows you to take any forward facing photograph’s of your beautiful visage and turn them into time period specific yearbook portraits.

The specific time periods on offer currently range from the century splitting year 1950, all the way to the millennium bug ridden year 2000. You may view my ‘Blast from the Past’, courtesy of Yearbook Yourself, in the following album:

An interesting thing to do, is to compare your original High school photograph (you can see my real one at the top of this post *cringe*) to those of a potential yesteryear. Truth be told, I am incredibly glad to be a child of the ‘00 High school graduating generation. Some of those ‘founding’ styles were simply horrendous (1986, 1988 and 1990; I am looking at you)!

Unsurprisingly, we all have High school graduating photograph’s, including celebrities:

Celebrity Yearbook Pictures

I hope you all have fun with this post and I look forward to seeing your ‘creations’ *rolls eye’s at the multitude of new ‘old’ Facebook profile pictures*.

Until the next time “Milieunairs”!

Bookmark and Share

Read More

Erase and… rewind?!

Okay, seriously. How many times am I going to say this?!

I have had an epiphany, of sorts. Well, I am not sure if you could actually call it that, but let us just go with it for now.

Over the last few weeks I have come to the shocking conclusion that I am no longer one of a handful of South Africans to have a blog. Yes, I know, how naive of me *rolls eyes and slaps own wrists*. Where once upon a time, almost four years ago, that statement may have wrung true, it is bewilderingly no longer the case. The feeling, I would imagine, is similar to discovering that one has not one, but several illegitimate children, all battling it out for attention of mother superior.

Consequently, will, for the umpteenth time, be sent to the operating table for some slight nipping and tucking. However, this is not to change the visual style of the blog (although that is not entirely out of the question), but merely to re-evaluate my writing style. As it so happens, I will be reverting back to my original ‘style’ of writing, the personal no hands barred kind. Really, this will be a breath of fresh air, not only for myself, but, most certainly, for you the reader. Subsequently I will make it my goal to breathe new life into this ageing blog of mine.

For the keen eyed among you, you will see a South African Blogger Award badge to the left of . If you click on the badge, you will be taken to the SA Blogger Award website where you can submit a nomination for yours truly. I have already submitted a nomination for myself, go figure, as well as for Louisa and Freddy. For those who have been with for all of these years, I would just like you to know, that I would appreciate a nomination. Okay, that is enough grovelling on my part :-)

Something else I have been thinking about recently, is how should I end off my blog posts? I have noticed that some people use signature phrases, like Freddy’s “light and love to all”, whereas others just end the post, without any kind of conclusion. Personally, I would prefer to have some kind of signature. Then again, is one really necessary if the blog only has one author?

I do remember, what feels like a lifetime ago, that I used to use the phrase “until the next time Milieu Pals”… Okay… I just had a nostalgic moment. You know what?! I actually still like that phrase and do believe that I will continue to use it.

Anyway, I am off to torture my body now… the perils of the gym await…

 

Until the next time Milieu Pals! (Ha Ha! I really do like that)!

Read More