Friday, August 16, 2019

Honey, I'm Getting The Fuck Out!

Loving being back in The States!
First of all, shout out to all of you who took the time to comment on this blog, via other means of communication. I appreciate it. If yall could try and leave the comments here on the blog, so that it doesn't look like I'm talking to myself for the past ten years. k, thanks, bye!

Not long after my beloved came back from his weekend away, he reminded me that I was late on paying him

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Are You Cheating on Us?

Getting on the plane from Cape Town, United States bound, started interesting. I’d booked myself a window seat. It’s my favorite! There was someone sitting on my seat and someone on the isle seat. Meaning, They’d left me the middle seat? I don’t think so, sista!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Not Today, Satan!

Quick photo blog of my African Voyage:
On my birthday!
I celebrated a birthday just before heading back States side. This was first thing in the morning.I took front and back angles of this photo. If I show you the back side, I'd have to kill ya. And I love you too much!

Would've been nice to be with the rest of the family during this special time, moreso on my mom's birthday, but.....
Birthday outfit! Turquoise like the ocean water we were at.

My sis took me to the beach, we had a major photoshoot out there. It was so fun! I love all the photos!

That's us!
Apparently, I got a lot of stares what with my jorts (jean shorts) aka short shorts. They're not even THAT short! Not as short as the first photo, haha! They're rolled up in that one!. It's just that South Africa is conservative like that. At least the black South African community. So to speak.



Wearing a bathing suit for the first time since the naked photoshoot.
Remember that photoshoot? Click here for a refresher.

Some of the food from Durban

I eat a lot of protein as you may be aware, check out my food log on instagram here for inspiration.
Chicken livers, hearts, the works. All so good. Indian fusion

I did a lot of walking and physical work. I was doing renovations, after all.

Going for a walk in the white T and rainy day in the Converses

Note to self:L Buy rain boots!

Working! Hands peeling!

Don't feel bad for me, I loved every minute of it. It was kinda therapeutic being away from my lovely hubby, Calvin! 



Going down memory lane, means touching on the not so easy parts as well. 

Eating Durban Curry. Runny nose and all lol.

What's your favorite cuisine?

Out and about and lounging at home after homemade ice cream

The thing about being around my sister, Pumla, is that, she's a maverick in the kitchen! Who has an entire fridge filled with homemade ice cream and doesn't even eat it?

Sitting in my closet lol. That was my chair in Durban. 

I made that floppy beanie myself. That was my first time wearing to my birthday gift from Pru, my sister. She took me to the Cheetah place in Cape Town. We hung around Cheetahs and other wild cats. It was so special! We had a blast! I'll show you those pics when I can find them. 

The garage and working so hard, I sweat

The garage that someone quoted me hundreds of Rand (South African currency), to clean for me. It literally is empty and took me minutes to clean. Nah, thanks boo! People be trying to make dollars out of you when you're live in America. That's why I just do things myself and then pay myself... generously! sorry! Not sorry!

'
Mud houses and views along the Transkei / KwaZulu Natal Route

Have you ever lived in a mud house? I hear they are really cool in the summer. I suppose cold in winter!

Last moments with family. Sad to say goodbye to my room and to my loved ones

One took me to the airport, one stayed behind. The goodbye was hard. I called mom just before I left the house because I was going to leave my SIM card behind, it still had credit in it and I was going to be able to use it in The States. 

Cape Town International in front of Nelson Mandela Statue And Airplane Food

There was a guy at the airport, who came and sat right next to me. The airport was empty and dude wants to sit hip to hip with me! What the eff? Suspicious! Next thing, he left his bag next to me. I'm like, this dude got me fcked up, if he thinks I'm about to get in trouble with his stuffed back pack. I got up pronto and started walking around. When I sat back down, he tried chatting me up. Nah, boo! I kept that convo short as heck. The hair on the back of my neck was already all the way up! We were not going to be friends. Not today, Satan!

The food was edible. I ate everything but the carby stuff, i.e. rice, bun, crackers.


Aaaand we're off!


Find me on all Social Media + Youtube at Babalwa Brook


A Roach Crawling up a leg!

Enjoying my baths; day in and day out!

I got a lot done in Durban, South Africa; from getting my place fixed up, to watching lots of crime documentaries, haha! Tough job, but someone's gotta do it! To going for walks around the area, to reminisce on when I used to live there, many, many moons ago! Everything is so different now! Not necessarily in a positive way!
I had to clean the previous tenant's scum! Wonderful!
I went downtown Durban before heading back to Port Elizabeth. Mom and my sister, Pru needed some things from Durban. I tell ya, I was so nervous! I had to have my cell with me to call and confirm a few things and maybe send pics to make sure I got the the right stuff. This was going to be the first time in more than a month that I was in South Africa that I was going to take my phone out with me. Sorry, if this comes across as exaggerated... not sorry! You do what you have to do!
Taxi Rank (our version of a Bus Station)

I had the phone stuck to me, I won't tell you exactly how because I may need to use that method of operation again in the future, haha! I took a taxi from where I was, sat next to a nice lady, we had a conversation until we got to my destination. I got off at Market. Where I landed when the bus driver who molested me took me to Durbs from PE. I then walked to the market / swamp meet. Lots of vendors selling similar stuff. I went into one of the stalls and tried on one of the outfits. They laughed in understanding when they saw where I hid my phone.
Shopping Downtown Durban, South Africa
The ladies make (and gents) make these beaded jewels themselves.


Alas, I ended up not buying anything for my family, none of the stuff out there was great, unfortunately! I can chalk that up to the reason things are the way they are in SA (South Africa) in general, the economy. If they make things cheaply, they don't have to charge a lot, therefore, chances of making that sale are higher. But sucks for those who are looking for better quality stuff.
Views along bus ride
Rondavel
I found myself in the herbal area on my way out. I tell ya, the place ended up being a maze after all! The things I saw up there, I wish I never did! Giant roaches crawling up people's legs, shit like that! I still cringe at the thought.

I saw a lot of poverty in Durban, of all the cities I had been to during my vacation. I handed out a few bucks here and there, unfortunately, that's temporary.
Bus life. I woke up like this
The supervisor or whatever you call the person at the office in condos and I had a meeting. Well, there were several. Whenever he saw me, he wanted to toot his horn at how much the building needs him, blah blah blah. I told him that I had listed my place and would like for him to just walk prospects in and out and refer them back to me for the rest. My contacts were on the ad and I would just tell people the same thing when they wanted to view the place; to contact me back after they'd viewed it.
________

I headed back to Port Elizabeth, in time for my mom's birthday.

Lemon and herb chicken made by Pumla and insanely chocolatey choc cake
I'll show you more from the birthday feast when I find those pics

 My sister and I went shopping for it, cooked and all that. My other sister was at the house, she helped out in the cooking and the eating.
We ate and I did some packing, repacking and reshuffling. There was so much stuff and I was trying to fit everything into less luggage pieces. I took some of the things I had left at home forever ago as well. But I left a lot of the stuff I had brought with me. Thanks to all those who supported my business!

Bright and early, we had to get up ad head to the bus stop.

From left: Oldest sister, mom, Pru/Pumlas Food and a Facebook friend who recognized us at bus stop
 All road were leading back to America; not by bus, of course! Cape Town First! I ate junk during birthday, following morning AND on the bus ride to Cape Town! There goes my low carb diet! Haha! I didn't feel half bad though!
Halfway to From Port Elizabeth to Cape Town
Just before we arrived in Cape Town, we were hungry again. At this point, it had been about 8 hours on the road. We bought pot pies / meat pies and fried chicken. I drool  at the thought! I think everything tasted extra good cos I was hungry! We ate some and took left overs home.

We got picked up and driven home. Whew! Long Ride! Especially for me, who couple days prior was on another trip from Durban, for 16 hours. That's a lot of hours on the road! What's the longest you've ever driven or traveled by car or bus / train?

I needed to stretch my legs, so I asked Pru to come along for a quick walk. She was down! That's what I love about my siblings. They area always game for exercise. In fact, I was the one who would drag my feet, growing up! We went for a walk in the estate. It was nice and relaxing. We played swings and laughed and bonded. 
Speaking of walks! Mom and I walking downtown back home! I miss her so!

Bed time! 
Mom's trusted stomach-ache medicine: Camphor. And mine: Baking Soda. What's yours?

P.S. 
My bed in Durban. I told you, I had been camping!

Mom's sleeping bag and pillow and an old throw blanket of mine from back in the day
@BabalwaBrook on all social media including Youtube. Get at me!



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

South Africa: Cry, The Beloved Country!

Next stop? Durban!
Hey, loves! If you’ve been following my journey on Social Media, you know I’ve been on the road, all across america, lately. More on that later!
With that said, hello from Purcell, Oklahoma!

Trying to update on the iPhone because I’m so behind and there’s so much to talk to you about.
We left off at mom’s in South Africa. From there, I headed to Durban by bus. Long ride! About 16 hours! I’d a nice seat towards the back.  Luckily, I didn't have to share it with anyone. The driver came over to ‘say hi’. As I extended my hand, he did something disgusting that I hadn’t experienced since South Africa. He fingered the palm of my hand! That’s something creepy perverts do. Not that there are none creepy pervs!
I was like eeewww! What are you doing? He smiled at me.  He told me he was going to come back and chat with me. I immediately felt so violated. These are the things I don’t miss about South Africa. That sense of hopelessness. Especially around men. It’s not all the time that you feel it. But it can be a thing. Remember how on my bus ride from Cape Town, that bus driver made me feel gunny? And here we are again?

It was at night that I boarded the bus, so I quickly went to sleep.

Somewhere, in the middle of the night, I guess the driver was on break and I must have been awake for whatever reason. He told me to scoot over. Yuck! I think he had a sense of superiority because not only was he a man but he was the person in charge of the bus. He was definitely abusing that power position. I moved over and had my hands folded. He tried to ask about me. I told him I’m married. He still tried to be cute. Like, n words! Give me a mutha fcking break! It’s the middle of the night. By n word, I don’t necessary mean he was black. It’s just a pissed off expression.

Sunrise in KwaZulu Natal was gorgeous! The mountainous views, the whole nine yards! I was in South African heaven! As I was in that moment, a text came through. It was my ex. He asked me how Durban was. I was shocked. Who told him I was on my way there? He then sent a more pissed off text about Lord knows what, oh gosh! Here we go again. I can’t even get a vacation from this n word!
He sent an influx of messages about his lawyers that are monitoring me and all the monies that I have stashed all over the world and how they are going to get hold of all my accounts and blah blah blah. It wasn’t cute!

I took a few photos along the way. I’ll post them when I have my laptop.

I eventually arrived in Durban. The thing about my place there, is that, it’s right off the way , so It’s tempting to ask the driver to drop you off there. Even though, there’s no stop. Whenever I took minibuses there from Johannesburg etc, I had them drop me off at the traffic light around the corner.
I wasn’t about to ask this weird guy for a favor. Heck naw!
It was morning when we got to Market in Durban. This is some kind of a swamp meet area with strictly street vendors. I was the last one to get off, the guy watched me get off and asked where exactly I was headed. I told him where I was going to catch my minibus aka taxi. He was kind enough to tell me to get back on, he was going to drop me off. I truly appreciated that. In fact, he acted like such a decent human once the sun came out! Our parents were right, nothing good happens after midnight!

He dropped me right by the taxi rank or bus stop. I dragged my super heavy bag. It was that way because I had thrown my laptop bag and handbag in there for safety. I wasn’t going to draw attention to myself and have someone try to cut the straps of my bags and take off with them!

I got off at the aforementioned light and rolled the thing to my place that I hadn’t been to in almost forever. It looked not like I wished it would from the outside. There were a few things that hadn’t been touched up in a while. What with all the levies (HOA) we have been paying over the years. My heart wasn’t smiling. The first thought was, yeah, I definitely should sell this property!

I took the elevator to my unit and it looked sad! I was shocked at that considering I had paid someone to fix it up. I had to chin up because I wasn’t there to mope. More like to mop haha!
I did just that! Because it was still morning, I had ample time to clean it up enough that I could live in it while I did the necessary renovations. Luckily, the cleaning lady lent me some of her cleaning tools and gave me some supplies. First, she asked if she could clean it for me. I told her i got it! And I snuck in that cleaning houses is what I do in America. So why not clean my own and pay myself? She looked at me up and down. If looks could speak!

I didn’t care. You know me, I don’t get embarrassed.

I opened all the windows and doors and aired the place all the way out.even the paint job wasn’t satisfactory.  I had already arranged for handyman to come over and help me out. THis is the guy who I already paid to do the substandard job that had been done to the house but i had a good feeling about everything now that I was there in person. While waiting, I did a walk through of the place, wrote a list of things I thought and went to the hardware store. I was surprised and impressed at how much i knew about house renovations.

I had borrowed my Mom’s sleeping bag and pillow, so, honey! We’re going camping! I found a nice corner on the bedroom floor where I was going to camp. No Refrigerator, stove or microwave. This isn’t unusual for back home. I was going to have to eat out the entire time I was there. All that growing up in a house in the woods with no electricity was going to come in handy. Luckily, I dod have electricity in this case. I cleaned my bah tub good and took baths daily! It was awesome!

Handyman came the following day. By then, I had done more walking around town and found a couple more hardware  stores that charged a fraction of the one I’d shopped at, so, returns!

I bought food at Shoprite. Fish, meat, and other delicious goodies. Cheap! Cheap!

I was meeting the guy for the first tome. We clicked like a house on fire. I remember how he had told me over the phone he didn’t speak a word of English. It was so funny how he would catch himself in the middle of a full on English conversation. Busted!
We talked about all kinds of things. I really enjoyed our conversations. We both worked 50/50. I must’ve been a handyman in my past life!
He asked me to pay him at the end of the day, which I did. He didn’t make it for work the following day. That became a trend. He would spend the following day, spending his pay from the previous day. Those would be the days I’d catch up on the work myself. Not a care in the world!

The sun rises were beautiful from my balcony! I didn’t have window treatments, so The sun would shine all the way into the condo. I was taking it all in. Most of all, I was enjoying and appreciating the peace of mind I had. No yelling, nobody telling me to get the fck out of their house. Nobody belittling me etc.

I remember as more and more work was done, how beautiful my place was becoming again. How i own this entire place and i love it but i was pretty much homeless in America. Living with someone who constantly threatened to kick me out, even though i was paying rent. What kind of irony is this? If only, I could Ship that condo to the States!

I bumped into an old friend. He took my number, promised to call and never did. It was nice seeing him in great shape. If anything.

I didn’t get to see any of my old girlfriends from the time I lived in KZN (KwaZulu natal). I’d texted them beforehand that I was going to be in town. One replied, OK. The other, replied, Awesome!

I remember while i was still there, cos I was in Durban for more than two weeks. The work ended up being more than anticipated. The guy who was helping me out, asked me where my friends are that I’m in town all the way from another country, for the first time in years and nobody is showing up! He mentioned that, I shouldn’t be eating take outs in Africa, my friends should be bringing me home cooked meals, it’s the African hospitality. I was like, LOL.

One of the friends, texted me, weeks into my stay, telling me that she hoped I’d be back in the country soon because she didn’t have bus fare to visit me that time around. I replied; LOL.
Was I wrong? That sht hilarious as fck! Take another thousand dollar flight and a few buses because she didn’t have a dollar to come see me? Hahaha! OK gurl!

One friend asked me to get on a plane and visit them in another province. I told her Where ai was and that I had plenty of room there for anyone who wants to see me! I’d done enough traveling. I wasn’t going to spread myself thinner than that.

I ate from all the supermarkets, Pick n bay, they sometimes had green flies in their deli department, so I didn’t shop there a lot, SPAR, mainly. One evening, I got cornered by security at a neighborhood Spar. They accused me of stealing gum! Gum, you guys! Do you know how I stock my gum? I buy the entire box, with several packs inside. I took a few packs with me for the time I was going to be home. Gum, would not have been the thing I would’ve stolen if I were to stoop that low! I returned everything I had just paid for, once they shat on my face like that, asked for the manager, asked her if that’s how they treat their customers, and left. For good. I never shopped there again. Their food was too salty anyway lol. And I was about to take home a bunch of junk food I had no business buying and eating. That really was the universe’s way of saving me from myself.

One of the things I learned during my trip to South Africa, was that that ubuntu, or hospitality that I pride myself as a South African in, was nowhere to be found.

Cry, the beloved country!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

My African Voyage

Brother and Sister
Still in Cape Town...
afternoon express pumla
PumlasFood
Another delicious AND pretty, high protein, low carb meal by my sister.

pumlasfood, pumlas food, babalwa brook
I cooked Indian Food
My sister coached me to make an Indian curry. Lamb / mutton

Finished product! Indian cuisine

Check out my Instagram for more of what I eat on my weight loss journey @Babalwa.Brook.

Babalwa Brook creation lol
When the head chef is otherwise preoccupied, I throw whatever is in front of me on a plate and call it a meal. As long as it's very low in carbohydrate content, we're good as gold!
TV Chef restaurant food
One of my sister Pumla's favorite TV Chefs has a restaurant in Cape Town. We took an Uber there and stuffed our tummies silly, taking home lots of food. We sat outside, that's the only way to dine when the restaurant has indoors and outdoors dining anyways, in my opinion! As soon as I sat down to eat, a dirty piece of plastic, landed on my plate! I had to get another plate.

Green point, Cape Town
Restroom break with Pru, aka Pumla after the above lunch.

We met up with one of her people who was interested in buying some stuff from me. We went to a coffee shop down the street and sat there for hours. She bought a few of my bags, which was nice. Thanks for your support!

We called for our Uber, who's family to pick us up. It was rush hour traffic. He showed up and ran around to the passenger's seat, so guess who drove home and paid for it? 

Green curry
One of Pumla's neighbors runs a Thai / Vietnamese restaurant. Pumla ordered us a meal from her. It wasn't half bad. The lady was very friendly.

My crocheted hats
I gave one to Pumla's friend. He picked the pink one. Good choice!

Cape Town restroom with no running tap water
I spent a decent amount of time and got a lot done in Cape Town. Time to head out East. Port Elizabeth, here I come!

Less one piece of luggage already
I crammed everything into these three bags and put one of the bags inside one of these. Heavy As fck! I took the bus to P.E..
It all felt so surreal
Am I really back in Africa?

The Garden Route. Press Play!


Halfway on my 9 hour journey
I listened to music on my iPod, was harassed by the bus driver who wanted me to give him money under the table to cover my heavy bags. I recently told someone that story and said that the driver wanted me to bribe him. The person I told told me that bribe is voluntary, the driver was blackmailing me. I was like, OMG! You're right!

Eventually, I gave the guy money. I had no choice. Trust me! Welcome to third world life! 

Some of my favorite things 
I bought some of the things I used to enjoy before America to see if I would still think they're bomb. The chips on the right, are very much like Cheetos. Both were OK. Ghost pops won this round.

I'm a die hard fan of Cadbury's chocolate
Every now and again, I will stumble upon Cadbury's chocolate. When I do, I am very likely to buy it and eat immediately. Top deck was a fave because of the combination of dairymilk and white chocolate. Best of both.

_____

Mama, I'm home!
Waiting for mom at bus stop
Mom showed up in no time, flat. There were some interesting people on our bus who were very curious about me. It made me feel less than comfortable, so as soon as we entered my town, I called mom and told her to be at the bus stop when we arrived. She was there within a few minutes. She's awesome! I hadn't seen this chick in several years! It was soooooo good to see my mom again, yall! She looked good too!

Mother and Daughter
Mom driving and telling me stories about my father. I am here for it! 

Mom and I being silly. Click on it!


The land we grew up in. House is no longer there
A lot of memories were made in the above location. The houses you see in the background weren't there when we lived there. I was there from birth until age 10, then off and on during boarding school breaks until mid teens.Plaid shirts weren't planned.


Bought this from my mom
I have on one of the nailpolishes that I got with my room at my sister's. My mom sells everything. This didn't help my diet. I would eat so well and snack on so much sugary, junk. Everything's so cheap too. She loved it. I would be her first order of the day as she's about to head out to hustle. She would tell me I was giving her luck for the day. and you're giving me carbs for the day, mom! You're welcome!

I took mom grocery shopping and did a price comparison video between prices in South Africa and in The States. Click below to watch.

Filmed in mom's kitchen. Press play

Fried fish from shoprite
I ate a lot of fish in South Africa! All the towns I was in, were by the ocean. Yesss!

I tidied up my room. Shoes for sale!

Clothes for sale
Between the clothes my mom sells and the stuff I brought with me, child! As if all that wasn't enough, there were tons of things I had left at mom's when I went to Georgia and then when I went to The US. 
I did a video going through the stuff I hadn't seen in forever. click below.

Going down memory lane

I gave some of the things I had left at home to mom and my other sister and I took a few pieces with me. I didn't have room for extra things, so there was that! 

Eating healthy on vacation

More fried fish


Mom made us chicken feet.
Chicken runaways haha
I made her brown bread from scratch.

how to bake stove top bread
Umbhako in Xhosa
Here's how I made the above bread from scratch, so you can make your own.

Press play

The above bread came out so great. It had been forever since I had made any such thing  Mom loved it!

Chicken and split pea soup for mom
This soup was nuts! I wish I had some right now!

I went for a walk several times
Walking back home is tricky because dogs and politics. So, you're dodging streets with lots of dogs.

My oldest sister dropped by to see me
I made my sister do yoga with me like I did Pumla in Cape Town, haha. She obliged and did so great! She's very athletic! She literally runs marathons.

I wore my mom's entire outfit
Almost time to head to my third destination, so, laundry!

Hanging clothes on the washing line
It felt quite nostalgic using the laundry line after so long.

Next stop.......?

Luggage is dwindling
Thanks for coming on this ride with me. I shall update again soon!

@BabalwaBrook on all social media + Youtube

xo