Motorcycling- the love… and the danger…

First the sad news- while I was away, taking my mother in law back to her home, there has been another tragic accident. A schoolboy in our town has lost his life on his motorcycle in the past three hours.  He has apparently lost control in a S-turn, and collided with the rear tire of a huge brick lorry.  It always is heartbreaking when children lose their lives so young…  I really pray for his parents, this must be really bad…

Our family has also yet again became crime statistics in this wonderful new South Africa. My daughter was involved in a smash & grab incident behind Menlyn Shopping Mall in Pretoria yesterday. South Africans know this crime well.  The criminal carries a spark plug, with the one end sharpened. He is looking for a vulnerable looking victim, usually female, who has some items on the passenger seat, while sitting and waiting at a red traffic light. He then smashes the passenger window, and grabs the items and just casually walks away. This happened yesterday, at 15h30, right behind the largest mall in Pretoria. And he just casually walked away with my daughter’s new jacket and handbag…  He has showered her in glass fragments, the whole car was filled with pieces of glass. As a father, this makes me furious! To replace the window, and to install anti Smash & Grab clingfilm cost me R2500 today (US $ 250). Which I really could not afford this month…

While returning from the other side of Pretoria, where the only available window was located in the whole city…! I passed the Heart Hospital where Nelson Mandela is fighting for his life. Our beloved Madiba will probably pass through the river Jordan soon. It is so sad to see how big a media circus it is becoming to be already… Madiba has done so much for our country. But every two bit politician is now trying to claim his legacy… sickening…  The whole world’s media are waiting like vultures outside the hospital to give the breaking news to the world…  I really hope he recovers and kick all the necessary  asses! From ABC to Zuma…

All was not gloomy… me and number 3 walked into a motorcycle shop. A mechanic at Klerksdorp’s Suzuki dealer has taken the very ugly AV 100 motorcycle, and pimped it like this:

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So there you have it- I am home again. There is sadness and fury in my life. But all my family are safe tonight.  There is also grace. Speaking of Grace… Sleep well, Madiba!

 

PS. Ok you guys don’t get it… 🙂 The bike above previously looked something like this:

When you really need your Ride…

 

 

 

What do you do, when you really really really love your Italian Bike, but the engine seizes?  And you are a diesel mechanic, who was boarded for medical reasons while still relatively young- you just can’t afford to fix this bike the right way- by the very very very expensive Italian motorcycle dealership?

Well- this is exactly what happened to Ben in our town. He loves his bike. But the engine has blown…

So- he fixed it. With what he had an could afford. He fitted a Daihatsu Charade 3 cylinder engine into his Moto Guzzi’s frame.  And so Ben and his wife are still happy Bikers, still going out for a ride whenever he wants…

Die hard Bikers like Ben deserves our respect, for doing whatever they can to keep on Riding.  Woe to you rich-*ss *******s who laugh at Ben and his Motohatsu Guzzirade…

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At the end of the Day… a la Naas Botha

Daily Prompt: No, Thank You

by michelle w. on June 22, 2013

If you could permanently ban a word from general usage, which one would it be? Why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us NO.

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I am sorry, but this post will probably only be understood by my fellow Saffas, and some of the British Commonwealth nations who play rugby.

It was triggered by this: in a few minutes our national team, the Springboks, will take on Samoa at Loftus in Pretoria, in the beautiful gentleman’s game of rugby.  Not that silly stuff that Aussies play in Aussie Rules, and not that other silly game that the rest of the world want to play in Rio soon with round balls…  Especially not that American game where you need a knights armor suit to go on the field. No, plain old rugby…

Well, there is this one South African who some people see as a legend in the game. His name is Naas Botha, and he was a long time ago a flyhalf who could kick really well, but could not tackle worth a damn. This gentleman is the but of many jokes, and our nation’s prankster, Leon Schuster, loves to portray him in his movies.

Naas Botha is a television commentator at Supersport these days. You usually, like today, will see him on the panel discussing the game during halftime, as well as the post mortem at the final whistle.  His English did improve a lot. But he started saying something, that you will now hear ALL South African rugby players echo in post match interviews. It is not a word as such, but a phrase…  You will hear it at the end of nearly every sentence by the boys from the Orange Free State- the Cheetahs, for whom English really is torture.  Much more than for me!

It is this phrase: At the end of the day…

A famous rugby couch echoes Naas regularly: At the end of the day, looks (sic) at the score board…

The interview with a Bloemfontein boytjie who were made man of the match after a Super 15 game:  “At the end of the day… ugh, ugh, oom weet, ugh… I played lekker… so at the end of the day we beat them up because our coach said to keep it tight at the end of the day. So, you know (the other phrase in this category) hey (ditto) at the end of the day we won. Né oom. It was very lekker, and now we are going to celebrate at the end of the day…”

For all you who doesn’t know the word yet: “LEKKER” means it is very nice/good/awesome/fantastic/ orgasmic/ delicious/ tasty/ all of the above and more. It is the one Afrikaans word accepted in our version of English in South Africa, and all our expats of whatever mother tongue uses it. It is just not possible to translate into one English word, you need a lot. And it is very lekker to say lekker. So that is the one word I would like to add to international English/ At the end of the day, you know, hey?

Images of Naas Botha:

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rugbydecuyo.com.ar

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I do not think this is Naas Botha, but the picture did come up in Google… I Image

This is the dude today, at the end of the day…

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pessimistincarnate.blogspot.com

And now, like all middle aged white South African Afrikaans speaking males  I have to hurry to attend the kickoff whistle, due to start at 17h15 GMT + 2…  Have a good Saturday, wherever you are, at the end of the day…

Safety in the storm

Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

by Cheri Lucas Rowlands on June 21, 2013

IN A NEW POST CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PICTURE OF THE WORLD THROUGH YOUR EYES.

Maybe this is not exactly in line with the challenge. But it shows something of the world through my eyes…

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It was really bad weather- a day of big storms in the old Cape of Good Hope… But as the storm was raging, my wife and I sat at “Ons Huisie”, a lovely old Cape Dutch style restaurant at Bloubergstrand. This image was how I felt that day too, inside here it is warm and cosy, but out there rages the storm.  On a beautiful day you would see the Atlantic ocean in all it’s splendour outside this window…

The joke was on me…

Daily Prompt: Ha Ha Ha

by michelle w. on June 21, 2013

Tell us a joke! Knock-knock joke, long story with a unexpected punchline, great zinger — all jokes are welcome!

Photographers, artists, poets: show us FUNNY.

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After a traumatic morning, I am not in a mood for jokes… So I will rather tell a sad story- OK with you?

It was during my High School Days. (Secondary School- age 14-18 years, whatever it may be called in your little corner of the world…)

There were three different High Schools in the large industrial town where I grew up. There was the Black/ White School where I attended, there was the Green School, and the Blue School.  As it goes in a large town, different High Schools do not like each other. Teenage boys are full of testosterone and bull… We hated the other schools’ boys, but we loved their girls… As it happened, the Blue School’s guys loved Yamaha motorbikes. The Green School loved Suzuki. And we- we were the Honda fans…

I was the proud owner of a Honda MTX 50 when I was 16. This one, remember?
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She was a beauty in my eyes, the most beautiful Bike in the world, for she was mine…

In the part of Kwa Zulu Natal where I grew up, it rained a lot. Summer or winter, rain or shine, hail or frost- we rode our Bikes to school.  There was this long down-hill from our house, to a T junction, where I had to turn right, go over the bridge, and then through the Central Business District to our School.

One rainy day I was late for school. It was really pouring down…  As I neared the T Junction, I saw a Green Guy on a Suzuki Gamma waiting at the red light. The light was green for me, and I entered that turn just like Freddie Spencer would have- our MotoGP Hero that time- elbow out, knee bent, footpegs scraping on the ground. As I went through this impressive curve, I decided to show the Green One what I think of him/ his Suzy/ his school- I flipped him the Bird- the middle finger. And then… oh boy- my rear tire slipped on a oil slick in that turn. I proceeded to slide across the tarmac, with my Bike sliding right in front of me. We missed the steel barried, and slid into the grass and a huge pool of water. Damn, that hurt! But not as much as seeing the Green Guy laughing his ass off, and then racing of to his school.

Fortunately, the most damage was a broken indicator light, and some paint lost. No- that is not true- there were much, much more damage. For I had the only MTX in town. And for the next few months the Green Guys on their silly Suzukis would point at me and laugh when I passed them by…

The Shortest Day

Today, I think, is the shortest day here in the Southern Hemisphere.  I am glad. That today can pass me quickly by!  For I have to bury a young single mother this morning. She is leaving 2 kids behind, aged 5 and 2. It feels like one of the worst thing I ever had to do in my ministry.

On a lighter note- someone from Ireland said a couple days ago they were having nice hot weather- 22 degrees C.  In the summer solstice week!  Well, here in the Bushveld it is the winter solstice. Today’s weather for our town is 3 C minimum, 23 C max…

The winter school holidays start today, and now we have to cope with 3 teenage boys for 3 weeks. They are HUNGRY and BUSY…

I am busy with an excellent book- David Baldacci’s newest- The Hit… really good!

And that is all the news for now, for I have to go and shower, and then walk over to the church…

Kindness to a Stranger

Ok, take II on this subject…

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My feet were killing me on the Camino de Santiago. Bad blisters were forming underneath older blisters.  It was a hot day in Spain. I was on the stretch to Astorga.

In the heat I came across this guy. People said in the Albergues later on that he left a professional career in Barcelona to come and set up this Oasis of Kindness on the Ancient Pilgrim Trail.  He just greeted me with the words “Anything is possible”, and continued reading his book. But on his stall there were cold water and several fruit juices. There were various fresh fruit. He did not ask a price for anything, if you chose you could leave a “donativo”- a donation. It was so good just getting out of the sun, sitting beneath his battered blue sail, drinking cold water, resting, before the last stretch to Astorga.

This man wanted a life in which he just serves the Peregrinos with love and kindness.

I salute him for his kindness to a weary stranger two years ago…

I was hungry, you gave me food, I was thirsty, you gave me water, I was tired, you gave me rest… Matthew 25

Buen Camino to you too, my friend!

I like my Bike

I like my Bike

Daily Prompt: Moment of Kindness

by michelle w. on June 20, 2013

Describe a moment of kindness, between you and someone else — loved one or complete stranger.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us KINDNESS.

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I know- I am stretching the boundaries a lot on this one…  bit of a hectic day here…

But: My children are so kind as to travel with me on my Bike, and I am so kind to let them…  My Aprilia Pegaso is so kind to carry us both…

It’s a kind of magic… 🙂