Sunday Times Books LIVE Community Sign up

Login to Sunday Times Books LIVE

Forgotten password?

Forgotten your password?

Enter your username or email address and we'll send you reset instructions

Sunday Times Books LIVE

Tsireledzo Mushoma

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Too Fast, Too Furious, On Fire

As someone who has had more than their fair share of using public transport, I thought I had seen it all until today. Today was one of those days that seem to go on forever (otherwise known as Thursdays), so I was quite relieved when the time to go home finally arrived. At this point I wouldn’t have imagined that in a short while I’d be sitting in a taxi going up in smoke (the taxi, not me).

Unlike most days I didn’t have to wait long, I should have known right there and then that something wasn’t right with that taxi!
When my seat started to heat up I didn’t think anything much of it as most taxis tend to have that problem with front seats. Before I knew it, there was smoke coming from somewhere under the steering wheel! I panicked, thinking something must be very wrong with this taxi to just go up in smoke.
At this point the driver was angrily muttering something, probably assuring me it was nothing to worry about, but my heart was beating too wildly for me to care about what he was saying. I was busy thinking about how fast he could pull over before everything burst into flames.

A few seconds later I realised he had no intention of pulling over, he kept on going fast in the middle lane, busy swinging the steering wheel this way and that way in an effort to stop the smoke. I was sweating, not so much because of the heat from the seat but because of the realisation that I was the one sitting closest to the driver. No wonder no one else was showing concern except to mention the smoke.

It occurred to me that this was probably not the first time that something like this had happened to this taxi or this driver. He would know how to duck and dive in case things got worse. Then I thought, what about me? What would I do in case things got worse?
By the time I realised that the driver somehow had the smoke under control my nerves had already had their fair share of working under pressure.

Thankfully I arrived home in one piece, and the heat therapy was free, my back has never felt better!

Going Nowhere in Noord

Being stranded and unable to get to work in the morning can be a nightmare. It’s even worse if it’s in a city you don’t know very well. You don’t know whether to wait or leave, and leaving is not a very attractive option if the only place you know where you can get transport is the taxi rank. So you end up waiting until the most indifferent things like your toes start complaining of the cold air.
I was stuck at the Noord taxi rank this morning for a good couple of hours. I don’t know about other commuters, but I had been unaware about the taxi strike until I was at the taxi rank. Maybe if I had known I wouldn’t have bothered going there in the first place, I would have made alternative arrangements to get to work. It’s at times when something like this happens that I wonder why commuters don’t have someone or something looking after their rights. Something like a Commuter Protection Act.
The Commuter Protection Act would ensure that whenever bus, taxi or train drivers go on strike:
– alternative transport is provided for commuters, and
– commuters are informed well in time to prepare for the possible delays (but never to be stranded in the cold).

There are a lot of things that could go into the Act, but those two should definitely be in there!

Miss KIA

Everyone in the office knows by now that Lulu likes to give her opinion on everything. It doesn’t matter what it is, Lulu will have something to say about it. I suppose because Lulu is my friend I don’t mind her expressing herself, but some people don’t like people in their business all the time. And this is something that Lulu seems to be unaware of.
She was also unaware that people in the office are starting to call her Miss Know-it-all. Nobody calls her Lulu anymore unless they’re talking to her.

Somehow today she found out about this name she’s been given, after all this time. She was obviously very upset and was very quiet the whole morning. Eventually she asked me if I knew who came up with the name, because she was sure she could come up with a better name for whoever it was. I obviously wasn’t going to say who it was, so I just told her I didn’t know. Then she laughed it off, saying she understood because everyone was so stressed about work. But did they have to come up with such a name like Miss Know-it all? Couldn’t they come up with something fancy? Like Miss Kia, for instance?

Tshivenda Book Feature

I thought I posted this yesterday, but it appears there was an error. This was supposed to go up before my Tshivenda post yesterday.

I’m aware that the majority of people on Book SA don’t speak (or read) Tshivenda, but I thought it would be great to have a monthly feature on a Tshivenda book I have read or I am reading. The posts will be in Tshivenda, so when you come across them please don’t think I’m boycotting the site!

Tshivenda Book Feature: AZWIDIHWI nga RNC Mapholi

Azwidihwi ndi bugu ya nganeapfufhi dza malo. Tshithu tshine nda funela tshone nganeapfufhi ndi uri a zwi dzhii tshifhinga tshilapfu u fhedza u vhala. Lutamo lwa u toda u tavhanya u divha uri mafhungo a fhelisa hani ndi lwone lwo no nnyita uri ndi funese u vhala nganeapfufhi.

Tshitori tsha u thoma kha hei bugu, tshine tsha vha Makhulu na vhaduhulu, ndo tshi fhedzisa u vhala ndi sa tsha kona nga u sea. Havha makhulu a vha seisi zwone, nahone ndo pfa vha tshi nkhumbudza makhulu anga vhane na vhone vho dala mafhungo a u seisa.

Hei bugu yo wana dzina layo kha tshinwe tsha zwitori, Azwidihwi, tsho no amba nga u sa fulufhedzea ha khomba kha muthannga wawe. Hetshi tshone tshi khaula mbilu ya muvhali musi musidzana wa vhathu a tshi fhedzisela hu si na tshe a fara.

Zwitori zwa hei bugu zwi na thero dzavhudi u fana na u sa funa tshikolo, u sa thetshelesa vhabebi na u sa fulufhedzea; fhedzi zwo talutshedzwa nga ndila yo no sengenedza muvhali.

Afha fhasi hu na tshipida tsho no bva buguni iyi, tshe nda tshi nanga u bva kha Makhulu na vhaduhulu:

“Zwishango zwi ngaho Turkey na Saudi Arabia na Israel na China na India na Iran na Persia, ndi zwi divha nga vhudalo. Nahone ndi vhona uri a hu na muthu ane a nga funza u fhira nne kha hezwo zwine na khou amba ngazwo.”

“Ngoho makhulu Divhashango vha a i divha inwi! Henefha hune vha tou amba zwothe zwe mudededzi a ri funza!” ndi Matodzi a no ralo.

Maluta a tshi fhindula a ri ngoho makhulu vha a talukanya u fhira ene.

Mukalaha vha tshi dadzisa vha ri, “A hu na hune ndi si hu divhe lini. Na henefho hune vhe ndi hone Divhashango ndo no ya nne.”

Nicely bronze, and I’m not talking about my tan

I don’t have a tan, but instead got sunburnt. I look like a half-baked clay pot. I’m not too worried though, not after getting a bronze medal.
I couldn’t believe that I made it in time to receive a medal, I’m very proud of myself. Everyone here at the office is very happy to know a bronze medallist. But I wish Lulu would stop telling everyone that it was her skills as my coach that got me the medal. She keeps saying if it wasn’t for her, who knows…
I’ll tell you what I know. If it wasn’t for Lulu I could have done better, I could have received a silver medal. Who knows? But Lulu did make the last and most important week of my training very difficult. The least thing she could have done was to remind me not to forget the sunscreen. I bet she’s having fun seeing me looking like baked goods.
But on the bright side, I have a medal and Lulu doesn’t.

This is one freebie I don’t want

I love freebies, but not when they come in the form of Lulu wanting to be my running coach. She feels bad that she’s let me down, and thinks being my coach is the best way to make it up to me. But after only one day I’m regretting ever starting to run.

She says it’s not about how much I train, but that I need to change my whole attitude. I need to look on the bright side of life if I want to go as fast as I was made to go. That I should stop being so miserable. She mentioned something about endofins (inner fins? Because maybe Lulu is forgetting that I’m taking part in a marathon, not a swimming competition).
She has confiscated my running shoes, she says if I want to be a strong runner I must train barefoot.
She has also trashed my training programme (the one she gave me in the fist place), saying in this case a “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t work. Apparently my custom-fit programme should only include running sessions, with no walking in-between (barefoot!).

I’ve told her that I was doing fine without her help, then she told me pride is not going to get me anywhere near the finish line. Now my clever plan to shake Lulu off is to tell her that I can’t have a coach who just tells me what I must do if she’s not going to be running alongside me.
With her supposedly broken leg Lulu won’t have a choice but to put in her resignation.

I can see right through you, Lu

I knew Lulu was so unpredictable, but I never saw this one coming!
Lulu came to work today with her foot heavily bandaged. The same Lulu that is supposed to be running the half marathon with me in less than two weeks’ time! And to think it was her idea in the first place!
I obviously had to ask her if she thought she would still be able to run. Then she got upset and called me insensitive, selfish and all sorts of names that don’t help me at this stage. But I don’t think I’m being selfish, and I definitely don’t think I’m being insensitive. Everyone knows that Lulu is not really hurt. Lulu is healthy and well and shame on her for bandaging a healthy leg.
If that was not bad enough, she moans the whole time about how much she wanted to run and how she couldn’t anymore because of her leg. Then she turns around and tells me we should always look on the bright side of life. That at least I won’t feel bad if I also don’t want to run anymore. So I told her that unlike some people, I like to finish what I’ve started.

On Track

So Lulu and I are doing the Two Oceans half marathon this year. I was very nervous at first, quite understandably because I’ve never run a marathon before, not even a 5km fun run. But then Lulu kept telling me that there was always a first time for everything. As if I didn’t know that, and as if knowing that would make me feel better.

I suppose all I can do is to do my best. I try to run four times a week and if I’m not just fooling myself I think I’m stronger. I am very pleased with my progress because I’d really like to beat Lulu.

I wonder though, if I should trust the programme that Lulu gave to me. It’s a “Half Marathon Training for Dummies”, this alone makes me want to chuck the programme. The one thing that makes me most suspicious is that Lulu will be competing against me; why would she want to help me by giving me a programme that works?

I bet this is Lulu’s great plan to sabotage me. She has probably tampered with the original programme, probably halved the training times. I bet if it said run for 30 minutes and walk for 30 minutes, she’s changed it to run for 15 minutes and walk for 15 minutes.
But I’m a smart girl, so whatever it says on this programme, I’m doubling!

Miss Reasonably Miserable

Sometimes I just don’t believe the things that come out of Lulu’s mouth. This morning she told me I’m the most miserable person she knows! I mean, excuse me! I can’t help it if the lift always seems to ignore the 6th floor
Or if the sugar always finds its way into the coffee (especially now that I’m trying to stay away from sugar!)
Or if the packet of chips I want is always behind the one I don’t want at the vending machine
Or if, whenever the packet is in front, the machine decides to keep the change
I’m not even going to start talking about the shorter queue suddenly not moving anymore because I moved there!
So I don’t think I’m miserable, not without good reasons.