Gum control

This is the poll currently being conducted on the web page of South Africa’s largest selling Sunday newspaper down here today. (You too can vote, click here)

What’s it all about?

I simply had to investigate, apparently two ladies were asked to remove and discard gum they were chewing whist waiting for The Gautrain (remember my trip and pics? Here’s my Gautrain post) A row of sorts ensued and they were apprehended / detained for somewhere between 2 and 4 hours before being allowed to proceed with their journey. (report here)

I voted, results on next page.


Continue reading “Gum control”

Unnatural Selection

I was in the supermarket the other day buying toothpaste, it’s not something I do very often, it’s not that I don’t use much, I probably would consider myself an average user, but toothpaste is one of those things that is always there. The tube can always be found, even on the bleariest of mornings waiting on its shelf, and when it gets to the point where mechanical devices are needed to extract the last helping, another fresh tube can be found in the second drawer down. Toothpaste is clearly the responsibility of someone else, someone organized, in this household it falls in the same category as clean laundry, some is always available when needed.
Continue reading “Unnatural Selection”


I woke up early on my second full day in Korea. My old friend had arranged for me to be guided through Seoul by two of her old friends, both Korean men in their mid-20s. One, like me, is a Korean history graduate student. The other holds a degree in kinesiology and is a certified swim-instructor. Due to my inability to read signs clearly written in the Roman alphabet I was 15 minutes behind schedule, having travelled north instead of south and only realising it 4 stops later.

After a few hours of discussions on topics ranging from Korean history to the universal commonalities of prehistoric implements we went to have lunch. For those who do not know, I am quite fond of Korean food. Nabchae bokum, octopus in a red chilli sauce, is my absolute favourite dish.  The two called around to find the best restaurant serving that and my favourite new alcoholic beverage, makgeolli. The Nabchae bokum really was excellent, and fresh. After receiving the order the cook went to the octopus tank and took out three mid-sized and lively octopi killing and cleaning it just before chopping it up to cook with the sauce and spring onions. The lunch was incredible. It’s difficult to describe the sensation one gets from eating a fresh, properly-prepared Korean meal. Whatever it is, it is magical. They refused to let me pay, or even contribute. My attempt was met with insulted looks and a brusque refusal. Continue reading “Transitions”