I got these friendly, well meaning sms's today:
'Ons het gedink die GO het iets oor die Toer maar dis alles oor NICK! van wanneer af is die toer 'n race en dit net vir mans!? jammer..Hy sit die pot mis. die toer was a'n spirituele belewenes wat hy afmaak as 'n macho race. Dankie vir almal wat dit anders gesien het. Studente soos JACO sou Nick stukkend gery het as die doelwit 'n race was. jammer vir hom, hy sit die pot ver mis! my eie ervaringe was baie dieper.'
If you don't understand Afrikaans, here's a quick translation.
'We thought Nick's article would have something about the tour but it's just about NICK! He's not even such a good rider, so and so gcould have beaten him. He got things completely wrong. Thanks to everyone who saw things differently (to Nick).'
Here's some background:
My article about a cycle tour through the Free State was published in go! about a week ago. The leader of the group smsed everyone to go out and read the article. The tour was actually organised to raise money for missionary work for an Afrikaans church called the NG Church. I was invited along as a writer, and after my editor decided a 'religious' story wasn't going to work, I tried to do my time justice by trying to sell the story elsewhere. I had a huge amount of beautiful photos, but in the end, who is really interested in a bunch of Christians cycling around praising God? So I gave the story a personal edge, I did actually include a few 'asides', but Andrea Weiss edited them out: even subtle nuances like "God's own country etc."
So not sure what my friend would have wanted me to do: write about what God did? Publish a song? Write her story and include her picture perhaps? Here's more:
'Ek is van die dikwielryers soos jy seker na ons verwys...Jou taalruik se dgter ALLES!'
Translation: 'I am one of those who referred to as a rider of a thick wheeled bicycle...'
And another response when I asked this childish maniac for some ID:
'Neewat, ek het nog 'n paar jaar oor in die stad, was erg teleurgesteld! Of ontnugter!
Translation: 'No, I have a few years left in this city... ' (Make sense out of that one.)
Then Lee smsed me: 'I guess you also got the sms. Dont worry I will handle it, just don't get (angry smiley).
Then an sms to Lee, cc'ed to me: 'Lee ek wou nie skade doen nie maar oor dieselfde rede wou ek na die reunie nie 'n dvd koop nie . dit het gelyk na 'n race met al die stage wenne(rs)!'
Translation: 'Lee, I didn't want to do any damage but for the same reason I didn't buy the dvd at the reunion: it looked like a race.'
How bizarre. How bizarre how bizarre. I think I know who it is though. Ag shame.
I have to say though, before I am accused ad infinitum of being an atheist, I went on the Toer very worried about my immediate future, and while on the 'Toer' I was basically given a job (teaching at Brebner) over the phone. The interview when I got back was a mere formality. That's virtually never happened to me before. Was that you God? Could be!
As for the October Octopus:
After the bakkie started hiccuping, my computer monitor failed to fire its windows impulses. Damaged during transit perhaps? My front bicycle wheel has also reopened its scar - today's cycle was okay until we had double mechanical breakdowns. Not lekker. Was actually going quite well until that happened.
Was feeling a bit slumpy (possibly in lieu of dumb mail - hate mail is too strong a word perhaps) and then realised, it's really what yoiu focus on.
I have been very lucky (blessed) to find the very first place to rent decent and adequate. I started searching for it with less than a week to go, and in a matter of days I'm pretty happy in my new surroundings. (Will upload pics soon).
My desk was also sanded down by two brats at the stadium pool - a chore that would have taken me at least an entire day. And they did a good job too. 2xR10 coming up for them.
I've also been motivated enough to step boldly out of my paradigm a bit (I tend to get quite stingy and intractable in certain areas and habits). I decided to frame 3 of my pictures, and hang them in my place. I also decided to buy a big old plant. I think I'll get an even bigger one from Pretty Gardens tomorrow.
And I've been fortunate to be offered a job also within days of losing the other.
On top of that my father offered me a huge, interest free loan to cushion my landing, and his being away as allowed me to mobilise and settle A LOT easier than it otherwise would have been. Where's the October Octopus? Come and give me a hug. You're not that bad.