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
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


Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Family Drama!

I’m in South Africa for the first time in years, having the time of my life! I have my own room, no husband is gonna keep popping in, wanna be start’n sumthn or anything! The rest of my family still had no idea I was in the country, so we started with mom. I called her from my sister’s phone to confuse her.
Mom picks up,

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Africa! I'm Coming Home!

Traveling light! NOT!

It's been too long! I'm finally going back to the motherland! Tickets are booked! I already have most of my stuff in suitcases. I weighed and weighed and weighed my luggage pieces. Everything was more or less in order. I took a bunch of things from my eBay store to sell to my people back home. People had been asking me to either sell things online to them and ship to South Africa or to bring them stuff when I went back home. Well!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Fool me Once!

Shipping for my eBay store
One of the things I love about living in America is that I don't need to go all the way to The Post Office, which is always within a 1 mile (20 min) walk, so not back, but I can always just pay for shipping online, print out my label and put the package in the mailbox for the mailman to pick it up at no extra charge. Wow, that was a long

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hashtag Blessed

Enjoying the fruits of my work. You're welcome!
I was feeling so skinny this particular morning! This was around the same time, I had reached more than 100 lbs weight loss. I went and tried on a bunch of clothes, some of which had never fit me before and guess what? They fit! Case in point