I was talking to one of my siblings who has a friend with three dogs of varying sizes and shapes who are all an integral part of his lifestyle. The dogs often go travelling around with him as part of a rambunctious furry family. This has, however, lead to aspirations of human grandeur among at least one of them.
One of the dogs apparently flat out refuses to sit on the floor. He will always gravitate to the nearest chair and failing that, if kicked out by an ignoble human, will contemplate perhaps the dog basket. But never the floor.
‘But what,’ we asked, ‘does he do if he is out and about, surely there must come a time when he’s (dog) tired and needs to sit down?’
Apparently he flat out refuses to do this and will wander around forlorn for ages looking for a vacant chair.
Sometime though even this proves impossible as there just isn’t anywhere to sit, whether dog or human.
But apparently he has come up with a solution to this – the floor STILL not being an option.
He simply sits on top of one of the other dogs. I’ve been told that they have become accustomed to this situation occurring and have learned to live with it.
Whatever means must in order to be kept in the manner accustomed…
So someone pretty close to me – I shall not say who because it’s frankly idiotic and embarrassing – upgraded their phone.
I complained the day I synced my fingerprint to my work phone, I clearly had really rough skin or a big cut or something on the day. But it does not recognise the whorls about 90% of the time. Fortunately, the technology allows for five fingers to be imprinted. And my other finger mostly works.
So this other person says but they don’t think five fingers is enough… We all looked confused. Most people have a preferred finger or two per hand so four is usually more than fine with a spare for a loved one to get into your phone.
The phone this person used to use was just touch activated. Apparently (and we had a demonstration of how this worked) they sometimes use the one hand or the other. And almost all digits, including the RING finger. ‘HOW,’ demanded their other half incredulously, ‘are you using your ring figure on your non-dominant hand to activate the phone? Why wouldn’t you use your index finger, or maybe your middle finger which is longer? And why use the hand you don’t use for anything else?’
‘Oh, you know,’ said the person, ‘sometimes you are sitting there working and then the phone rings and you choose the closest finger.’
‘And it is your ring finger?’
‘Yes and then you know, sometimes the phone is on one side of the table and then maybe it’s on the other so you want to use your other hand and then when it’s IN your hand you want to use another finger… the phone needs to be able to accept more fingerprints because this is confusing to me.’
Perhaps, my dear. But only confusing to YOU. The only person I know who tries to apparently hit all sorts of random digits at random locations to activate their phone.
I was standing on the platform last Friday, waiting for a train. The notice board tiresomely said ‘next train not in service’. Which seems to happen a lot on that line. It’s like at that junction point they remove a third of the trains from service because they think there is a lesser population stupid enough to go northwards to nowhere.
Which is sort of true except an INSANE number of people, including myself, want to go one stop north and we want to get out the barriers as soon as possible which is at the front of the train. So I shuffled to the head of the track and tried to position myself near where an entering door might ultimately stop. This was not helped by the fact that, as usual, what are usually young east European or Asian (see ‘Indian’ if you are South African) women – not to generalise of course – tend to quite aggressively calculate where the space is and then park DIRECTLY in front of it. So they bump backwards into you when a train stops and people have to get off to let them on. They stand as close to the edge as is possible without you pushing them onto the track and elbow outwards with their oversized tote bags to maximise surface area (of very skinny girl) in front of the doorway. There was one there on Friday.
The station master was getting quite fed up with staring across a cold platform at what were clearly, to him, mentally deficient people. ‘The train on Platform 2 is terminating here. Do NOT get on the train. It stops here. If you don’t want to listen to me, at least try observe and notice that when everyone gets off, you should not get on because the train won’t go anywhere.’ And when it pulled in, ‘To the people ON the train, get off the train. This train terminates here. Follow the other people who already got off.’
So the train departed and the top end of the platform crowded up with all the idiots like me trying to get on a carriage near the exit on the next stop, bunched up together like penguins in a polar gale keeping warm.
‘There are two minutes until the next train, I’d advise all of you squashed up at the top to move down the platform. You have a better chance of boarding if you move down the platform. The train after the next train is not in service and this next train will be full. You have a MUCH better chance of getting onto this next train if you move now. You have two minutes and you have legs, I’d advise you to use them and move down while there is still time… or you can just stay where you are and ignore me.’ (Obviously we were ignoring him.) In all fairness, he had guessed right, the next train WAS full and it WAS very hard for people to get on. I was just lucky to be hot on the heels of the crazy chick as I’d actually been on the platform before her and before most of the crowd of people.
Oddly enough I seemed to be the only person on the platform who was amused by the conductor’s sarcastic personality. The rest of them didn’t seem insulted either. They all seemed to be deaf to what he was saying. So maybe he was onto something when he questioned our general listening capability and/or understanding of English?
The Pokemon-go thing seems to have calmed. There have been less incidences of my being run over by random hipsters standing in spastic clusters pointing from their phone to spaces of air on the roadside. Funny how quickly some trends blow over. I thought it would last at least as long as those terrible little elastic bands loom band things that even the British Royals were seen wearing at some point. (No doubt gifted by some little child at a function instead of a more easily disposed of posy.)
One trend that still seems to be going strong is Candy Crush, more than two years on. I’m not going to lie, I play it sometimes on the train as it doesn’t take a lot of brain and uses up time when I’m too tired to read or have nothing to read. (I’ve also been stuck on the same level for weeks now so the allure is paling.)
I tend to try not to let people I know know I have it on my phone though. It’s like admitting to frequenting those dodgy no name brand fried chicken shops they have here, picking your nose, shopping at Ackermans and, in the Big Smoke, admitting you voted Brexit.
It was therefore astounding to me that two young strapping Aussies sat opposite each other on the train yesterday leaning over a communal phone. I think one of them was teaching the other about the game. Frequent exclamations of ‘ahh yeah’, ‘yeah, ah yeah’, ‘ah, that’s a bummer those chocolate blocks,’ emitting from the two of them. The guy who’s phone it was admitting with pride that it was a great little time waster while travelling.
Candy Crush, despite it’s name, it’s brightly jewelled graphics and cheesy cartoon characters, has transcended both genders and a huge age demographic. I’ve been surprised at who else has been playing it next to me on occasion.
Still, those two put me off a bit.
It might be time to find the next big thing.
Highveld Summer (Suburbia):
- The prickly feel of grass beneath the feet outdoors, cool tiles indoors
- The scent of watermelon, fresh cut grass and chorinated water
- The buzz of mosquitoes and chirp of crickets in the night (And the endless itchy from the former all through the next day)
- Endless blue skies and fluffy clouds viewed from the silky coolness of the swimming pool
- Heat sizzling off the pavement and sharp hard pellets of rain hitting you after the deep rumble of thunder that almost makes the earth shake and flashes of blinding lighting
- The smell of wet earth and ozone after, cleansing the earth
- A burning blazing sun, fading the washing on the line, bleaching blonde hair white
- Christmas beetles drowning in the pool, crashing into light fittings, being chased by the geckos
- Braai vleis smells in the evening
- Slip slop and swimwear tans
- The scent of jasmine on a hot wind and jacarandas squishy underfoot
English Summer (Inner City):
- Humid heat coming off the hard surfaces
- Half naked lobster red bodies on sunny days, in parks, in pubs, on balconies
- Pork sausages and burgers on a bbq
- Hot heat inside the train tunnels, condensing into static air inside the actual trains
- Warnings to carry bottles of water in case of dehydration
- Cloudy days and cold rain interspersed at random
- Long summer evenings filled with glowing endless twilight late into the evening
- The smell of cigarettes and stale beer as pubs and bars overflow into the streets
- Softball in the park, along with picnics bought from the supermarket nearby
- Strawberries and tennis somehow being associated
- A whole week being able to wear open toed shoes
- Outdoor theatre and children shrieking in water fountains
Personally I still miss the summers of my childhood…