Thursday, 31 January 2013

Looking into Vensters

I slept at 1:05 this morning. Only to wake up at 7:30. I tried to go back to sleep, but as soon as I wake up my heart beats faster, I get uneasy and I start feeling out of place and nervous. It's the weirdest thing because I know I'm OK, but my head doesn't want to switch off.

I'm am now tired of not sleeping well.

Moving on... Last night i was at MAD (square)'s Vensters.

I know people enjoyed it and I know it's for a good cause and I know a lot of prep and labour went into the night's performances and stalls, but from where I stood the night left me wanting. I can blab on about the performances and so on, but what really got to me is that you can be in the middle of the biggest crowd, and still feel lonely as hell. I wondered past all these people and all I kept thinking was that I'd much rather be sitting around a bonfire with a few close friends. I felt lost and alone.

I guess it's good that i can form an objective opinion on varsity life from the side lines. That way I'm not commited to stay here for the next few years. But at the same time I'm not a part of it, so my opinion comes from a lonely, sad place.

I don't want to sound so hopeless but all I want today is to be in my Dad's house and in my Mother's arms. I just want to feel like I belong.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Die Bos as seen from my flat window...

These Streets

This morning (like every other morning so far) showed no sign of hope at first. The sun woke me up before my alarm. A weariness creaped over me and the day of work stood like a mountain in front of me. I made a decision not to force myself back into an restless sleep. I got up and told God how I felt about life, my parent, my friends, my whole world. I thanked Him for this journey, for everyone who is behind me, for my job and this world. After that, the sun shining into my room was a sign of life and a brand-new day. I got up and started the usual morning routine.

Work is getting better everyday.

I walk out every morning and as I walk to work I pass all the regular security guys. I've started to remember faces (still working on the names). There's Bongani on the corner just outside our flat - he always smiles and asks me how my day is looking. Then there's the jolly guy at the shop that helps me carry out the heavy steel chair (he loves talking too much). Fernando is my go-to-guy. He is the head of security - Always there. I'm getting the hang of the credit card machine. Today though it broke and I had to call the help line. I felt so...legit!

Last night I had an Asian duck dish - a first for me. It was delicious. I've never been so close to restaurant that offer such a wide variety of cuisine. I enjoyed my meal. After that I had tee. And to top it off I had Wakkaberry Frozen Yogurt for pudding! A pretty peachy night of exciting flavours. (although the frozen yogurt and candy ensured that I only fall asleep at 12:30 this morning).

This is the part where I say: Don't worry Mom and Dad, I am still coming home. BUT I have to say that this Stellenbosch's vibe it growing on me.
Every now and the there is a band, or a man singing opera, or two guys gumboot dancing. I know it's for the tourists - but I love it. It excites me to see people doing something they are good at.

At the moment Stellenbosch University is busy with their Mad Square program; This is exciting too! On Thursday it is Vensters - But more on that later. It's so cool to hear the first years sing their songs as they march in a group down the street. Last night I heard two hostels greeting each other with their 'greetings'. It is insane, you can actually see and hear the traditions of all these residents. Pretty cool i must say.

My point really being that I'm starting to like it here. Who knows... Maybe Il'l be here come 2014. The possibilities are endless.

Lesson of the day: Give everyone, every place, everything in life a chance. YOU CAN'T JUDGE ON WHAT YOU'VE BEEN TOLD. People, places and opportunities might surprise you. You can learn something from everything- you can either learn what to do or what not to do, what you like or what you don't like.

Thank you for the journey You have placed on my path. May I learn. Every. Single. Day.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A Spontaneous Moment

One of my first blog posts was about "a spontaneous moment". Tonight I had one of those moments. This is personal, but I want to share it with you because it is a part om my life story. If you are one of those judgey tipes, I kindly ask that you take your critisism somewhere else. Thank you. If not...

Here's the whole story.

One of my best friends (who will not be  named for... uhm security purposes...?) is a first year at Tygerberg this year. For those who still don't know: I am currently in Stellenbosch. This afternoon I was strolling down the street when I suddenly had an urge to call my friend. I called him and told him that I miss him terribly. In the background I could here a lot of people screaming.
"Where are you?"
"I'm in Stellenbosch",  he answered. I thought: Oh ok he is probably busy with first year stuff. We ended the call.

Back at the flat I sent him a sms telling him that i miss my friend and if I find out he was is in Stellenbosch with a few minutes to spare, that he didn't tell me about, I will personally kill him.

My phone lighted up and and a friendly face was on the screen. I answered...
 "Where are you?"
I hesitated to answer because i was lounging on the couch, not expecting a call. "In my flat.... ok wait! I'll meet you at the church!"
"Which church?"
"The big white one man! The NG looking one! I'll meet you there," I told him as if I have been living here for years and as if i couldn't believe he didn't know the big white church.

Anyway I rushed and put on my sandals, grabbed my handbag and just like that I was on my way. This might seem like a simple everyday situation, but to me it was a situation that brought i massive smile to my face.Basically running down the street I spotted my friend. Here was someone who knows me like very little people here do.

Just this afternoon I was walking alone down the same street, my head filled with memories of home. Tonight I was walking with someone, someone who was part of my memories of home. I couldn't stop smiling. I was so happy.
He made me notice the beautiful town, the beautiful streets and the beautiful trees. I guess I felt secure and at home, and that is why i could appreciate everything around me. The beauty that surrounded me every single day.

He told me that he actually lied and told his HK that he was going to the bathroom. His fellow mates called and told him that the bus was leaving. He had to go. He told them that he "got lost and found someone who was very nice (me) and who gave him directions". Who does that?? He said goodbye and he went running down the street to catch his bus.

This is for the man who lies just so that he can give a friend in need a hug.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Hello world...

This may come as a shock, but yes... IM ALIVE! I guess I owe an apology for totally bailing on my blogging duties.

First Excuse:
My old laptop had died a slow and painful death.
It left me on the edge of the world, lonely and isolated. Ok maybe I'm being over-dramatic. I had to check my mail and all those other daily habits on my phone! Didn't know it could be so laborious. "This file is not supported by your mobile... please download..." and "This file is too large to send". Ive never been happier to have a laptop.
I'm Berna van Zyl reporting from my Dell Inspiron in the Cape!

Which brings me to my second excuse:
Remember all that talk of not knowing what I'm gonna do in 2013... "I'm just gonna be at home... blah blah blah". WELL PLANS CHANGE. In December I got an SMS from my lovely Aunt who stays down in the Paarl. She said that she has a job offer, or rather she knows of one. A cousin of my cousin (didn't know one could be so vague... hmm) studied fashion design and has a little 'boutique' shop in Stellenbosch and she is looking for a shop assistant. Only for two months, while they will go oversees to look for new things to sell. PERFECT isn't it? SO I told her to give me a few minutes to ponder on the thought of going down to Stellenbosch. I talked to my parents and consulted with my friendly adviser (Zesu). Then I rang my Aunt saying she can SIGN ME UP!
I've been here and there, finalizing, packing and saying goodbye to Wian (who is also starting a new chapter). Before I know it I was on the plane - O.R Tambo to Cape Town! It was terribly sad saying my goodbyes. There is no way to prepare yourself for leaving home. Even if it is just for a few weeks, it is still heartbreaking.

On the plane I say next to an odd, old man who smelt of booz and rambled on about his daughter and her second husband from Iraq. I mostly nodded (even though i did not always heard what he said) and filled the silences with "oh ok"s. Coming over the Karoo, the clouds became fewer and i could see a new world below me. Then over Sutherland, where the statistics were anounced to 'amuse' the passengers...? Apparantly we were flying at a tremendous speed (I tried not to think about how fast exactly we were going). The Pilot announced that we have reached our destination and that he hopes to see us again (I was humored as I though that he hadn't actually seen us... silly man). And by the way don't judge me on what makes me laugh. I keeps me sane. And it's either laughing or breaking down and crying.

My Aunt picked me up at the airport. It is comforting to know I'm in capable hands and that I have family close, who will always be at my side. We drove to the Paarl and I was taken back by the view. It's just something else. The mountains that climb high into the sky and the beautiful houses. Paradise.

I stayed at my Oom and Tannie's house for a few days and then set off to Stellenbosch. Here, I'll be staying with my Cousin. More about Stellenbosch will follow soon. Right now I'm still figuring it out for myself.

On a slightly less jolly note... I am still having occasional moments where everything becomes too much. Then I write down all that mopey-mopey stuff in my beloved journal. I pick myself up and smile... until the cycle repeats itself. With this I'd just like to send out a warning that some serious depressing posts might pop up every now and then. When you stubble upon such a post of mine, send me a message with Bob Marley's words "Dry your tear, have no fears"... or use you imagination and come up with something better.

That's it from me folks! Thank you for reading this post (or skimming through it like I know some of you do...)


Sunday, 13 January 2013

A sonnet for her brother

Tonight the crescent moon hangs alone in an empty sky.
It proclaims the start of a new beginning-
A sign of hope to meet my empty heart.
I listen to its sad song in silence.

The road signs indicate progression.
Although, as the roads carries me away into the darkness
And the clouds cover the moon,
I feel a part of me left behind on the horizon.

May the Light fall on his path.
May the morning sun drive burn all his fears.
With the full moon we will meet with happy tears,
The house welcoming us with out stretched arms.

Until then, keep my brother safe,
Never let him loose his faith.