Thursday, June 20, 2019

Melking it!

The paintings appear three-dimensional and looking up feels a glimpse into heaven. The impressive Baroque library houses 12,000 books from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries that were re-bound in leather with gold leaf.

The tipping point

“Knowing where to leave a tip is as important as knowing where not to,’ says Wego chief marketing officer Joachim Holte. “In the UK, tipping for food in restaurants is okay, although unexpected as service charges are included. Yet, tipping for drinks at a bar is just not cricket!”

Celestial Spectacle

Officially, the aurora-borealis comprises electrically charged particles from the sun colliding with gas molecules but the more arcane among us know these celestial emanations mark the entrance to a twilight paradise lit by a twin sun, where assorted beings, including Germans from the Vril Society, a few pixies, giants, and Lemurian descendants, have lived in perfect health for hundreds of years

Don’t write off the old rules

Who wants to do business with people incapable of stringing a sentence together? If someone has neither the time, inclination nor self-respect to check through an email before stabbing the send button, then neither do I have the time, inclination nor interest to engage with such an individual.

Hungary for more!

Budapest wears her dark Communist past lightly, defiantly mixing fin de siècle garb with modern, stylish accessories. Like a courtesan, Pest reveals coquettish glimpses of her Austro-Hungarian grandeur in sumptuous facades and Hapsburg eagles on rooftops. Scented flower stalls and roast coffee aromas entice tourists and locals alike.

Music for the road

There is not a lot to alleviate the tedium so it is up to the music to shorten the journey and stave off narcolepsy. What songs keep you awake and alert as you press on to the great escape at the end of the road?

How to win at twitter

Yawn-inducing eulogies to the awesomeness of your venue, gets old, fast. It's fine, say, every six tweets, but at least share something interesting in between. Tell us about a hen sitting on her eggs for days. Show us the chicks when they hatch. Did something amusing happen with a guest? Tell us about it

Revenge of the cupcakes

If (as I suspect) our drinking water has been dosed with chemicals that induce mass stupidity, it seems security officials have drunk deep of the poisoned well. If you must fly, I suggest you play it safe and lose the luggage, altogether. The chances of it arriving in one piece are slim, in any case.

Between a wok and a hard place

Later in a restaurant, with an instrumental version of How Much is that Doggie in the Window tinkling in the background, I  contemplated the communal spread. A steamed frog atop a pile of noodles and a chicken with the head still attached, failed to whet my appetite.

Been there, dun(g) that!

Naturally, I was on my knees, derriere up and nose down at ground level, engrossed as the beetle began digging a hole into the soft earth. I was in dung-beetle heaven when suddenly, I heard shouting: “Lowen! Lowen!”

Avian Conquests

We birdwatchers aren’t put off by bureaucratic red tape, unpleasant municipal officials or “trespassers will be prosecuted” signs.

A Dom Pedro too far

We paid our tab and headed back to our apartment.  Waiting for the lift to arrive, my reflection in the glass door opposite the elevator looked even bigger than before, like a well-endowed Jayne Mansfield

From Joburg to Salt Rock

Their shabby accoutrements belie the secrets and history they treasure. It’ll take time to find the intricate intimacies of their quiet gravel-road souls. The old trees, they’re singing something, I swear.

Calling Dr Love

I found him at the back of a Malay-owned Station Road store, selling cut-price clothing, garish duvet covers, and fleecy blankets in plastic bags.  Near the exit was a tatty sofa, and next to it a lurid lace curtain, through which issued low murmurs and wafts of incense. Sighing, a huge melancholy woman squeezed in next to me.  We waited.

Tree meals in the bush

The furious female bounds down the tree and into the bush, her evening ruined. Now and then slivers of meat and bone tumble into expectant hyena jaws. In the bush, one creature’s loss is another’s gain.

Driver’s Licence Renewal

My circuitous journey led me through dingy labyrinthine corridors and clanging gates. Eventually my attention was drawn to a grubby notice that read: ‘Search for DLTC leaners’.

Load Shedding Skills

Here is a picture of Trish Beaver naked in the shower during the loadshedding
The electricity outtages have become a way of life for us living in Hilton. The uniform buzz of generators is as much part of the local ambience as the fine mist that rolls in intermittently.

Thai Platitudes

When you see the rictus grins of rich tourists returning the smile of the Mandarin Oriental's doorman you pray they won’t commit the cardinal sin of returning the “wai” to the servant

Wind beneath our wings

Smelly feet
Recalling a flight from OR Tambo International to JF Kennedy in New York, Carol Lazar reckons it's not just jet fuel propelling aircraft along, but the profusion of passenger pongs

Fly And Cry

It’s interesting how airlines feel free to administer a level of “customer service” that only the most suicidal elements of the hospitality industry would dare attempt. Here are some of my pet peeves

Lekker in the Lowveld

Who needs dunes and dusty deserts; malls and movies or waterfronts and whales? We love people from other parts of our country. We welcome them because we Lowvelders have it all...