I got into a fight with a donkey…

Or at least, that’s what I told the Lesotho border control guy when he looked at my face and asked what happened. He responded, “my friend, it looks like the donkey won…” I can’t say I disagree!

Now, I don’t just drive into neighbouring Lesotho to get into fracases with asses. I can do that quite fine here in South Africa thank you very much. Nay, this time I was off for the annual snowboarding pilgrimage so that I could remind myself what snowboarding was like. This time however, I also managed to remind myself why hitting ramps on the first run down without checking it out first is a bad idea. Long story short, I hit it badly, I landed badly (ie with my face) and thus my face turned into hamburger.

But aside from this vital life lesson which I gained, last week turned out just great. Heading into Lesotho with Juliet (of Tokyo Rage against the Machine awesomeness) and 3 of her friends, I was reminded of why these small catches of time in which time seems to be irrelevant are so important. Once entering bokpoort and our austere accommodation very little about the giant stress cloud that is Johannesburg seems to matter. Good company, good wine/beer/hard liquor and the ability to see the milky way in a night sky so clear it’s painful, these are the things I like. Yessir!

There was ironically very little snow during the snowboarding part of it all. But Afriski know this, and make snow by the bucketload, so we were able to hurtle down the slope surrounded by brown mountainsides. The newbies learning to board for the first time all picked up in a matter of hours which was not only impressive, but enabled everyone to actually enjoy themselves rather than worry if everyone’s having fun. Everyone had fun. Even myself after I grated my face on the slope. Fun was indeed had.

Written by admin in: Africa,Things Japanese |

Ramsbury: Destroyer of Worlds

When I was in Hokkaido, I stopped by a “Hyakuen” (100 Yen) Store on one of our runs into Sapporo. Heather loves these places, so I naturally obliged. We didn’t get to see the big city too often, so we spent of a lot of the time in Sapporo driving around and shopping for necessities which the far northern tundra didn’t provide. For me, that was Ramsbury: Destroyer of Worlds.

I found Ramsbury when browsing the 500 Yen section of the store. Yes. I did stop briefly to question the irony of having a 500 Yen category in a 100Yen shop. Nonetheless, on a shelf at the front by the stairs was an array of pillow-animals. I believe the alternatives to Ramsbury were something like a lion, a scallop shell and a bear, or something to that effect. I settled on Ramsbury for two reasons: Firstly, he had dangly legs and horns which the others didn’t (they were just pillows), and more importantly, he had the malevolent spirit of our world’s ending hidden deep within his soul…

… From that Autumn afternoon onwards I realised that I had voluntary taken ownership of a beast borne of pure and utter destruction. I remain convinced that, when Ramsbury awakes from his unholy slumber, he will open his hellish maw and unleash upon us all the song that ends all our worlds as we know it. Thus, I think my 500 Yen might well have purchased my own salvation. To the rest of you. Sorry! This would also explain why I brought the damned thing back from Japan, given how grossly overweight I was anyway!

The signs of its malevolence are all there. The cute, unassuming posture. The happy/sleepy demeanour. It’s all one big ruse which shall lull us into a false sense of security. Not for me though. I hear its dark whisperings in my sleep, as Ramsbury slowing fills my head with promises of glory and power. It has become dear to me. It is… precious to me…

The Ram in question. Don't be fooled by his passive complexion.

The Ram in question. Don't be fooled by his passive complexion.

Music: Linkin Park – New Divide

Written by admin in: Things Japanese |

Crawling Out of the Pigeonhole

… is mostly what I’ve been up to in these many days hence! This is mostly because I tend to really dig listening to metal, yet this taste makes for unhealthy social conversation outside of the sub-culture. Aside from name-dropping ‘normal’ musicians and generally trying not to dress like Satan I have found the easiest way to show that I’m not completely mono-musical is to simply shove my ipod into doubters’ hands and make them browse through the library. (Album)pictures really do speak louder than words! Given how folks seem to take music so personally, yet become irked when you don’t appreciate their tastes unconditionally, it’s important that I fit in, lest I lose all my friends. Well, except the ones who also enjoy the soothing ballads of Bodom, In Flames and suchlike…

… yet at the same time I’m also trying to crawl back into some old habits. Snowboarding, for one, is something that I’m hoping to resume at the end of the year, if I’m able to get all my ducks in line. The financial duck is currently uncertain, and so too is the flight price duck, but the friends duck is definitely in line and eager to help out, which is nice! Along with this, I’m once again back in the debating pigeonhole with the ‘Jozispeak’ competition coming up in July, with ‘Jozispeak’ being the hipster version of National Championships. I make no pretence of my chances at winning the thing, but the event as a whole promises to be pretty damned ninja.

Academics-wise I’ve discovered that I don’t in fact have a holiday, unlike those damned honours postgrads. Bastards. No, instead I finish assignments in order to clear the month of June to complete my proposal for the school at large. While pirates are indeed fucking rad and I’ll be damned if I hear a convincing argument to the contrary, the humanities department at Wits can often have an unnatural leaning towards papers that have words like “discourse”, “narrative”, “identity” and other woolly inanities which the study of war neither encourage nor tolerate. I intend to tread carefully; saving the wrathful and fiery inspection of Abdi McSomali and his merry band for my paper proper.

Aside from all of these things, I have recently begun a quest to find these fabled peanut butter M&M’s which have recently emerged in SA. Americans would likely scoff at this, given how retardedly superior their ‘candy’ is to our apartheid-like selection. But for us, or rather me, peanut butter M&M’s sound delicious. Japan had a million different KitKat flavours and Wasabi-flavoured Doritos and America may have… well… everything… but in SA these M&M’s herald the coming of modern candy to SA. Or perhaps it’s because, like starved and abused children locked in Joseph Fritzl’s basement, South Africans perceive any new chocolate-like goodie to be awesome until proven otherwise. That being said, I am glad that Chomps are back, albeit in tiny pocket-sized portions.

Music at the moment: Children of Bodom – Lake Bodom

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