Friday, March 28, 2008

House-Hunting in Cape Town... Would NEVER wish it on my enemy!

This is Beach Road, Sea Point. This is where I live. Beautiful isn't it? My flat is somewhere amongst those flats on the right.

Going for walks by the Beach every Sunday after church always had a soothing effect on me. But living where I am right now has had anything but a calming effect on me.

I'll tell you why.

I've lived in the same house since I was 2 years old. I always thought it'd be cool to move house. Well since I came to Cape Town, I've moved almost 10 times... from hotels, to flatshares, to flats... and don't forget I've been here for only a year.

I recently moved from my flat, 3 days after my Bday, because the unreasonable owner sold the flat before my flatie and I got back from the Christmas holidays. So I moved, without my flatmate for various reasons, into a nice FULLY FURNISHED 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment.

I had all I could wish for. A fully furnished flat right next to the beach and my church, my own en-suite bedroom, 2 parking bays, my peace, proximity to everything.... I mean what more can a gurl ask for. All I needed to do was find a flatmate... how hard could that be right?


Well... the 1st person I interviewed was into some serious scary stuff like soul-searching/getting in touch with your inner spirit or some shiz nit like that.

The 2nd person changed his mind the day he was supposed to move in and decided to get his own place.

The 3rd person decided to get a flat with some guy she met at a Backpackers.

The 4th person confessed to smoking ONLY weed!

My goodness.... by then I was thinking... would I ever get a suitable flatmate?

BUT how many of y'all know that things always happen for a reason. Of course, I never saw the silver lining behind the grey cloud until....
...a portion of the ceiling decking fell!

And THAT, my friends, was the beginning of my nightmare!

That's the ceiling... ...and part of it on the floor
There was.... IS a leak somewhere in the building!

The leak is so bad that the roof decking is soaked and falling off....
See the water spreading across the ceiling...
... and water's coming out of the switches in this health and safety hazard of an apartment!
water from the switches...
As if that wasn't bad enough, the geezer was so bad, it had to be replaced. SO guess who was without water for a while and who had to have her bath with cold water with her tiny CUP of a bucket!!!
And of course the smart plumber left the board covering the geezer in the shower...
And the SMELL!!! Gosh.... you always have to brace yourself for the smell!
Who would believe, something as horrid as this existed in the lovely apartment. I live everyday in morbid fear of a fire or electrocution. But I know God loves me so nothing dey happen! But imagine if someone had moved in? I'd have been in a deep RUT!

I dare not open the windows not only because I'm on the ground floor but people you should see the RATS around here! As massive as the VW Bug cars. Those creatures will literally eat you alive! And for the first time since I got to Cape Town, my lovely smooth body has been battered by the mutant mosquitoes. And BOY do the bites ITCH!

And y'all don't even want to know how much I paid for the flat! An expense I bore on my own since no one in their right mind would share this flat with the obvious defects.

So why did I move in you ask? Well.... when I came to view the flat, it was NOTHING like this. Kofo can confirm this 'cos we viewed the place together. She was SHOCKED when I told her about these issues.

Obviously, the peeps staying here cleaned up the mess before we arrived. I should report to the authorities!

Anywayz, I decided to look for another flat! Meaning I had to move by March 31st.

My goodness... you literally have to clear your bank account to get a decent flat here.
Seeing time was runnning out, I decided on a flatshare.

The first place had 2 MASSIVE scary dogs who kept hitting me with their tails. It was quite painful but I dared not scream lest they decide to "fetch" my leg.

The second place had a room smaller than a Smart Car.

The third place was so far from the Main Road I felt I was crossing the Sahara Desert.

The 4th place, though nice, had an owner with an attitude.

SO I place an ad on Gumtree asking for like minded people who were interested in leasing a place together to contact me. That didn't work out.

SO I reexplored the flatshare option.

Well... people... you'll be pleased to know that I FINALLY found a lovely flatshare, with a balcony larger than my previous flat RIGHT NEXT TO THE SEA and the Main Road!!!!!!

BUT.... the owner has a HUMONGOUS (if there's such a word) German Sherpherd Dog (as big as a horse), 2 sinister-looking cats and she smokes!

BUT I'm moving there anyway. The friendly dog kept bugging me to play with his ball (BALL people BALL not balls...) Dunno about the cats though...
It will be a temporary arrangement till I either find my own place or feel I can cope with the pets and the nicotine!

God help me!!! I know He will. He always does because He loves me!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Is Expensive Necessarily Good Quality?

Remember this picture? The Halle Berry look I told y'all about last year. The cut that my top notch highly expensive salon told me was a piece of cake to achieve. I mean.... how hard can this cut be right? Hmmmnn...

Like every girl I could spend any amount to get the perfect look. I have always believed that a brilliant hairdresser and make-up artist were all that was needed to achieve "that" look. My business teacher once told us, you wear your hair everyday so any amount spent on it would be fully utilised. One could always get away with a pair of jeans, a tee-shirt and a pair of flip flops. Besides, you can't wear them everyday of the week, unlike your hair and "face". This is probably why people charge an arm, a leg and 3 ribs right for both services and the accompanying products.

However, many of us suffer from the misconception that the more expensive a product or service is, the better the product or service is. Well my experience this past weekend proved otherwise.

Check this out:

In the quest for that famous Halle Berry crop, I went to my top-notch salon because I assumed they were good. The decor, the smiles, the cappuchino, HECK you feel they definitely must know what they're about. So imagine my shock when, even with a picture, I got an absolutely horrid haircut! And then I was charged R430 for the nonsense!!!! People, the hair was SO nasty, I fixed a weave the very next week!

Well..... 6.5 months down the line, I risk another haircut after seeing this really amazing creation on a friend. It was simply gorgeous. BUT.... to get the haircut, I had to go to a salon in the "township"!!! My goodness! The township is not where anyone wants to go. I would have a fit if I heard my sister went to the township. BUT a week later, I decided to go to the salon in the township simply because I could not get over the hair cut.

SO.... yesterday, I went to the township, looking as plain as ever, without jewelry, to ensure I came back in 1 piece. After enduring 2 agonising hours on the bus, I arrive at the salon. Hmmmnnnnn... ok let's fast forward to the good bit!

PEOPLE.... R170 and 5 hrs later, I look like a million bucks! I could not believe it! Y'all should see me now. DARN I look good even if I do say so myself! I mean though it was stressful, it was really worth it. And I am going back next week to add colour to my hair! Ok... I may go back...

BUT really people, a lot of us know deep down we're actually paying for the facilities rather than the service. A lot of us (me inclusive) need to change our mind-set that the more expensive a service is, the better the service. Cheap does not necessarily mean low quality.

I leave you with this text message my sister sent me after her trip last year:

"It is quite interesting to note that your so-called cheap clothes which you dissed me for buying do not shrink, fade or stretch after several washes. I have worn them several times and they're still as good as new. I wonder if it is just a bias..."

I have thought about this ever since she sent it to me and after my experience, I think she might be right.

Shame I didn't have this cut before my TV show last week...