Friday, August 28, 2009

Quotes and Expressions - South Africa

"I don't like bread/white bread/KFC/bananas/Chinese/pineapple/grapes with seeds/purple grapes/mushy apples/small grapes/chees/trees/birds/people touching my clothes/Wimpys/egg/baked beans/pumpkin/sweet potato/peas/brussel sprouts/lizards/snakes/spiders/bugs "- Aneka

"I don't like that, wait, do I like it?" - Aneka

"Let me see" - Aneka, after a photo

"No one understands me" - Aneka

"Ashwiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!" - Aneka

"I'm grumpy!" - Aneka

"I'm full. (Two minutes later). I'm hungry" - Aneka

Aneka is telling me now she doesn't say all this stuff. She hates this book now.

Mum: "I think Ajit used to work at Emirates. Was it Emirates?"
Dad: "Dubai"
Mum: "No, was it..."
Dad: "Sorry, ah yes, Abu Dhabi"
Mum (peeved tone): "No, Dad, did Ajit work at Emirates?"
Dad: "Caprisomething"
Aneka: "Caprisonne. I have a bag from there."

"Hakuna mtatata" - Abednego
"What language is that?" - Ashwin
"It's from the Lion King" - Abednego

"Skittish" - Gordon (I think skittish means jittery)

"Aneka, now he's really hurt" - Mum

"Where are you going?" - Mum, when Dad is driving on shoulder

Know the Land & Animals

Lion country

This is the part of the national park where lions live.

What does lion country look like?

  • low grass
  • high grass
  • open spaces
  • near rocks
  • ravines
  • near water

Number of lions I saw in lion country: 2

Leopard country

Where is it?

  • open spaces
  • amongst trees
  • near rocks

Time spent in leopard country: 6 days

Number of leopards seen: 0


What types of elephants are angry?


This guy is so angry that even other elephants don't want to be near him. Best to avoid these guys, as they love to show their dominance. An elephant held up cars for 3 hours in Kruger National Park, just for the sake of it, and can easily crush your car (courtesy Dad).

If you see a secretion from his eye, it is because he is feeling mushty (in heat). The rangers claim that the secretion is hormonal, and the increased testosterone causes aggressiveness. Looking at the elephant in this state, he actually looks quite sad. Maybe because even though an elephant's heart weighs 40kg, a good heart these days is hard to find.

It is hard to know if an elephant is truly alone. Dad says they communicate for 6km on a low frequency. After our escapades with the elephants in Skukuza, I'm pretty sure all the Letaba bulls were on the lookout for a guy in mauve (or purple).

Herd with calf

These mothers protect their baby elephants and are ultra-protective. Watch out for them as they take no risks. Baby elephants can walk with the herd after 2 hours of birth.

So does that mean small groups of elephants are not angry?

Sorry, but they are. We have documented evidence of elephant fighting in a waterhole. One elephant started charging and spraying another elephant and practically drove him out of the waterhole.


I think we can safely conclude that all elephants are angry.


An animal that eats the lower level of foliage. Identified as animals that look down. - similar to Aneka


Eats the higher level; generally the tips of branches and shrubs. Looks up, and head may or may not be in clouds.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why the video replay system is unfair

Humans make errors. We make errors for a variety of reasons. Referees are human too. At least I think so, but if you believe the people in Sydney FC's ultras, the Cove, some referees deserve to be beaten, and their wives are quite promiscuous.

Video doesn't lie though, as long as you've got the right angle and showing it at the right speed. The amount of times a crucial run out decision is too close to call because they are missing the definitive frame is uncanny. Then there are the times that a catch or try looks good at normal speed, but when you slow it right down, it looks like he's dropped it. But every now and then, there is a decision made by an umpire and then you see the replay and it's just amazingly wrong.

That's probably why at the football and the cricket, for controversial decisions, they will not show the video replay. When you were watching at home, before there were third umpires, there was nothing more frustrating than seeing that your team was robbed. So, it had to be that we have video replays.

The video replay system in rugby league is unfair though. The referees can only refer a decision if a try may have been scored. This ignores the fact that the lead up phases to scoring a try are just as important. It's cause and effect, by just focusing on one element of play, it is ignoring the vast majority of play where dubious calls may have happened. And if the video replay system in rugby league is an admission that human error can happen, and that video referees can be used, surely it should be able to applied to the whole game.

Of course, you could just say that if you were able to have video replays all the time, it would just slow the game down too much. Maybe there could be a challenge system like NFL and tennis. Besides, the chicken wings and grapple tackles do enough of the slowing down anyway.

But the real doosy is how phantom goals like this happen or decisions like this

Friday, August 14, 2009

Knowing your animals


Mum's favourite animal.  Aneka fell in love too, and wants a baby impala.  

They can be in small groups, or huge herds.  When they see your car, they turn and gaze, and then move away so gracefully and look back with their big, unblinking eyes.

Night safari sightings

One eyed possum

One eyed bird (about 5 of them)

From an English lady in front of Dad


- tree

- impala

- rock

And we just missed out on seeing a butterfly.

Montagu 5th Feb 2007

As navigator from Capetown, I was responsible for making a few wrong turns and missing a few turns. At one stage, we ended up at the casino, but we didn't stay there.

The landscape constantly changes. At times, it is wide open spaces with red soil, sometimes forest, or squatter camps.

Mum, having been to Durban and Kruger National Park, is still having difficulty piecing together South Africa.

Dinner was nice in Montagu. As we left the restaurant, we talked to the manager, who was coloured, about the racial problems of South Africa. Coloureds always seem to be discriminated against, because they are not white enough for the whites or black enough for the blacks. Similarly to Kevin, our Indian tour guide in Durban, he thought the current system was terrible, too much in favour of blacks and causing much of the whites to leave. This drains the wealth and expertise. 

After seeing the quaint tranquility of Montagu, it is hard to piece together South Africa.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


A friend of mine went to see Dr Phil.  She said that one of the key messages he made is that 'successful people do what unsuccessful people don't'.  I don't think he meant it in the way that successful people drive fancy cars or eat caviar.  

I think he meant that successful people are willing to do things that other people won't take a chance on.  He cites studies of successful people that show that they are prepared to take risks outside their comfort zone.  You could question the studies and say, 'How can you contrast successful people when it's self-defined?'.  Or in other words, what exactly is success?  If success is being exactly where you want to be, comfortable and content, then surely taking risks puts that success at jeopardy.  

So it seems like he's taking more of a socio-economic view of success... being in the top x% of humanity.  What stops people pursuing that, from taking those risks?

I think one of the biggest obstacles is that in life, we are always dealing with imperfect information.  We never know how one course of action will pan out, as there are so many other variables in play.  Sometimes, we don't even have enough time or energy to think about all the possible choices, let alone evaluate which one is most likely to be successful.  

You could probably argue that even not doing anything is a choice.  I think it is also a result of just not being sure of what to do, and waiting for more information to make the choices easier. Also, another reason why you wouldn't make an active choice is that you then live with the burden of the choices you make, whereas by sitting by and reacting to how things happen, you do not face the same burden.  Taking risks and moving out of your comfort zone can radically change lives, and the stress and strain of adjusting to either a success or a failure could be a significant barrier.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Different Kind of Time

Imagine for a moment, that the way we view the world is changed slightly.

At the moment, we remember clearly the recent past, and then as things get further and further into the past, we remember them hazily.  

We tend to remember only the major events of the distant past.  Sometimes it seems like there's some dodgy synapses going on and I'll remember something really random from when I was a kid that wasn't major and really has nothing to do with my current life.  It's tempting to attribute some greater meaning to these really random events, but they are just that, no meaning.

So what would this world be like, where we remember clearly the day just ahead, but they days further are hazy... maybe we can see our weddings, our kids, our major triumphs, (and also some random red herrings thrown in) hazily, the details clouded, off in the future.... and we guess about our past, and speculate on what may have happened?  

Would it be scary, or is it truly a better way to live, always looking forward and the past not really existing?  Would it be much easier in life, not having to be anxious about the future, because we can see it as clearly as our memories currently are?  Or would we lose our identities because we don't remember our past?