happy.me

There’s a new kid on the block, and you’re going to want to be friends with him. Trust me.

1381173_205021099677189_1275088989_nhappy.me is a South African Bubble Tea shop that has opened in Greenside, JHB. The owners spent 3yrs developing the brand and traveling from South America to Asia to discover different teas and find out how Bubble Tea started. I had my first encounter in Cape Town, but it’s nothing like what these guys have got going on. I liked Bubble Tea when i first tried it, but after my trip to happy.me, i now LOVE it!

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Besides Bubble Tea, they do excellent coffees and ridiculously tasty smoothies too! The guys have also got free wifi on the way, and there are even plugs for your laptop. The Bubble Tea choices also range from super healthy… to super decadent, it’s all up to you! Their opening times are also super convenient: 7am – 7pm, which makes it the perfect spot to stop on the way to work, over lunch or after work 🙂

1377088_205021546343811_1185555630_nI’ve been given the store to run for one day next week with Miss Leigh Crymble as my partner, we’re taking on 4 other teams in a race to see who can promote/run the shop the best! So… if you’re in the area next Tuesday (29 Oct, 12 – 6pm) PLEASE pop by and support! We’ve got some pretty cool things planned for the day 😉 AND we’ll give you an opportunity to tweet for a discount on the day! Join us in store to get involved.

If you can’t be there, and want to show your support, please tweet the HECK out of our hashtags! We’re being judged on social media reach, etc… so if you could add #HappyMetre and #TeamSL to a couple of tweets, that’d be swell 😉

General

NUGTELLA!

Before i share with you this magical MAGICAL invention… i have to say: I am by NO MEANS telling you to break the law, or setting out to make ‘breaking the law’ look extremely delicious.

Nugtella is a “medical marijuana hazelnut spread”… so basically, it’s Nutella + NUG (hash).

ULTIMATE FOOD PORN!

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Of course, it’s from the U.S.A… California to be precise. You can also only get your hands on the stuff if you are a California State Medical Marijuana Card holder. When are we going to allow the same to be done in S.A?!

If you’re interested in reading more about weed in SA… check it:

“Unlike Americans, South Africans do not have the luxury of being allowed to decide our laws at a provincial or national level via policies that have been petitioned and qualified for a public vote. We instead have our freedom and liberty defined by politicians who consistently display how out of touch they are or how little they care for the citizens of South Africa, often using our Constitution as little more than an occasional guideline that can be ignored if it does not fit their agenda.”

More on: belowthelion.co.za

Daintree Rainforest And The Luck Of The Irish

Guest writer Joe Crann shares an experience from his travels in Australia:

I write this as my skin peels from my body like PVA glue from a school kid’s fingers and feel fully satisfied for the first time since I arrived here in Australia.

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I woke up on Friday morning, prepared to embark on my first real Australian adventure, up to the Daintree Rainforest to find some crocs, snakes and god knows what else. I was genuinely excited! I got on the bus and plonked myself at the back next to three extremely hungover girls; two were English (the worst kind) and one was Australian. I humoured them for the journey down while we rolled down the beautiful coastal roads of Northern Queensland.

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Our first stop was a river cruise to look for the modern day dinosaur that is the crocodile. It wasn’t long until we found them, the scary looking reptiles sun themselves on the banks of the river and are never too far away. To see them in their natural habitat is really something, especially knowing the power that they have and what the morose looking creatures are capable of if you get just that little bit too close.

When we finally hit the rainforest, the landscape changed dramatically. You only see small and winding road that you’re on and then trees, trees and… more trees, all the way to the jungle “lodge” where I was staying.

As I waited in reception, completely alone, I got talking to a group of Paddy’s; Conor, Lucy, Katie and Fiona. Little did I know that I’d end up spending the majority of my weekend with these guys. We ended up rooming together in what can only be described as a shack, with only three bunk beds… Well, you get what you pay for don’t you.

Meeting the Irish turned out to be a stroke of good luck… Two of the girls seemed to have blood the equivalent of caviar for flies, and as a result, I escaped the weekend 100% mozzie bite free! Secondly they had free food tokens, which Lucy decided she’d trade me for beer, fair deal to me. I also got a free breakfast due to their impressive tactical breakfasting skills. I was really hard up for cash at this point, so these guys were a godsend. More importantly they were really cool people and had an awesome sense of humour.

First up was jungle surfing. This consisted of me zip lining over the Daintree Rainforest canopy marveling at it’s beauty from above before taking to the next tree at breakneck speeds. I’d have felt slightly more comfortable with the whole experience if my brains hadn’t simply been covered by a flimsy orange helmet with Tarzan written on it.

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That evening I had a night walk booked. With only a torch, 11 others and myself wandered deep into the depths of the rainforest, completely at the mercy of whatever was hidden inside. I felt like Dora the Explorer as I held my torch at head height, watching out for the telltale glint of a reptile eye as we made our way over logs and creeks, through the dense rainforest undergrowth.

We saw frogs, snakes, rats, enormous bugs and sparkling fish in the rivers, all the while knowing that, though we couldn’t see them, there could be something just waiting for us to take that extra step. At one point our guide told us to all switch off our torches, and it was that dark that you couldn’t see your own hand in front of your face, then, as our eyes adjusted, we started to see why he’d asked us to do so. All around us were glowing fungi, blue in colour, they shone in the darkness like fireflies as we all admired these beautiful gifts of nature.

It was during this trip I met up with yet another German and following it’s conclusion we shared a look that seemed to say “Fancy a Beer”, so we did, joining the Irish folks at the bar as we drank whilst being continually baffled by the locals lack of dignity as they danced the night away.

Joe Crann on a night out in Australia.

Joe Crann on a night out in Australia.

I slept surprisingly well to say that I was sleeping on a mattress with about as much cushioning as a sack of straw and in the knowledge that I was sleeping in a room surrounded by a few creatures that could easily kill me, and that was only the Irish, never mind the things in the rainforest!

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This post is an entry to the Travelstart Blogger Experience competition, more information can be found here: http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/blogger-experience-contest/

 

White People Problems

I have no doubt that there will be immense backlash after i’ve written this piece, but…

4db77_ORIG-look_at_all_the_fucks_i_giveI will be the first to admit that i am not anywhere near an authority on rhino poaching or environmental affairs… but i hadn’t quite realized, up until now, that there were people who stood against the preservation of animals (and anything that isn’t human). I just took it for-granted that everybody was just as outraged as i was by poachers sneaking into our beautiful country and murdering nearly-extinct animals for unproven medicinal uses.

I was browsing the internet, devouring as much as information as i could, when i came across a post on Reddit about the Western Black Rhino being officially extinct. I did a little research just to check that it was true, there’s nothing worse than jumping on a band-wagon that has no wheels. I took to Twitter to share the news, this was my tweet: “The Western Black Rhino is officially extinct. Well done humanity.” With this pic attached >

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Little did i know that a shitstorm was brewing. At first, i got the replies i was expecting… other tweeters who were just as saddened by the news, people who were outraged that we live in a generation that has seen the extinction of such an amazing creature. In all honesty, we have the right to be even more outraged than anyone else around the world, this is happening on our doorstep! In our own country! For the benefit of Asian penises!!

Then… i got the first reply: “We doing okay without the Dodo, we’ll be fine.” And the second: “#whitepeopleproblems” and lastly: “Its evolution,this has got nothing to do with humanity. Dinosaurs were extinct do you blame humanity too.” There were a couple other choice tweets, but these are by far the best worst.

What. The. Fuck. I thought it was “us” against “them”. I hadn’t realized that the problem is just so much bigger than Asians poaching Rhinos. It’s that people in our own country couldn’t care less, and that nature conservation is seen as a #whitepeopleproblem. This makes me wonder whether the reason that Rhino poaching has gone on for so long, and nothing successful has ever really been done by Government is because the people making the decisions, in Parliament and the like, actually don’t see what the big deal is…

I can see it now, some fat cat sitting behind a desk gets another letter/email pleading for funding to help save the Rhinos by hiring more border guards or a helicopter to patrol the area, and he laughs quietly to himself while thinking “white people *sigh* “.

There are loads of reasons as to why we are sitting with people who think this way, but i don’t want this to get any uglier than it already is.

I suppose i’m just a little confused. Disappointed. What do we do to not only fix the rhino situation, but also to make everyone understand that we’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful country… but the only reason that it is still beautiful, is because there are people FIGHTING to keep it that way?

I’m going to leave you with another story, make of it what you will… It is paraphrased, but the sentiment is still spot on, and i tried to remember the quotes as accurately as possible.

A friend of a friend is a lecturer at one of the top universities in the country. After a class, she was chatting to one of the young guys about homework or something. Two of his friends were standing with him, waiting for their friend, so they could all leave together. While she’s chatting to him, she notices the other guys needlessly throwing away some unused paper. Being a “teacher”, i suppose she saw this as a teaching moment, and said to them that they shouldn’t throw away so much unused paper… that they could save money if they were more sparing, and “what about the trees?”. A phrase you’ve probably heard a thousand times in your life, rainforests, trees, paper, etc. You get the idea.

*laughing* “But what about the trees, Miss?! Why do we care about trees? What about humans?!” (then something about the fact that everything is for humans to take, and we don’t need trees)

“Well, guys, trees provide oxygen… and without oxygen, we can’t breathe”

*all 3 guys in stitches laughing*

“TREES DON’T GIVE US OXYGEN!! That’a a lie! If trees give us oxygen, then how do people on boats breathe?!”

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The above story is NOT a joke. This actually happened. At a University. And University students are supposed to be the most educated. This implies that, possibly, a lot of what is being taught by schools, isn’t being believed.

Remembrance Day – What Should We Remember?

Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, is a memorial day mostly observed in the UK and some Commonwealth countries. Just in case this is all news to you South Africa is, in fact, a member of the Commonwealth. So what/who are we supposed to remember? The day has been observed since the end of World War 1 to remember the members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty.

We live in a country where we have so much of our “own” recent, and not so recent, history to celebrate, commemorate and remember… people that died fighting, not in war, but fighting for change. I saw a couple of tweets yesterday (11 November) about the relevance of a day remembering people who died in a war that had nothing directly to do with lil ol’ South Africa.

The thing about World War 1 was that it really was a world war. It might not have happened on our doorstep, but i can guarantee you that our doorsteps might look a little different if the Allies hadn’t won.

When World War I broke out in 1914, the South African government chose to join the war on the side of the Allies. General Louis Botha, the then prime minister, faced widespread Afrikaner opposition to fighting alongside Great Britain so soon after the Anglo Boer War and had to put down a revolt by some of the more militant elements before he could send an force of 67,000 troops to invade German South-West Africa (now Namibia). (wiki)

In total, more than 146,000 whites, 83,000 blacks and 2,500 Coloureds and Asians served in South African military units during the war, including 43,000 in German South-West Africa and 30,000 on the Western Front. An estimated 3,000 South Africans also joined the Royal Flying Corps. (wiki)

What kills me is this: the total South African casualties during the war was about 18,600 with over 12,452 killed – more than 4,600 in the European theater alone.

Remembrance Day went by in South Africa with hardly a nod to those that died. So here i am, for what it’s worth, remembering them. They were a generation that had courage and bravery in excess, they went and fought a war in another country with the knowledge that they might never come back and enjoy the life they were fighting for. World War 1 has almost completely dropped out of living memory, as far as i know, the last living veteran from World War 1 died in February of this year.

If another World War broke out, and the call came for all able-bodied men & women to step forward and sign up to fight, would we? Scores of 18 – 25 year olds jumped on a boat to go and fight to protect their families and homes. Something tells me that the response would be less than overwhelming. Sacrifice isn’t something that our generation knows much of.

Justin Bieber was the top trend on Twitter on Remembrance Day. 

Lest we forget.

The Problem With Bucket Lists

NOTE: I apologize for the nonsensical writing order, it might not make sense, but i need to get it out. Also, if you could keep abuse to a minimum, that’d be great. I’m real, there’s a human behind these words and i need you to see that and just let me be.

I have a bucket list of the 5 music makers that i would love to see most in concert, in no particular order: Taylor Swift, Incubus, Snow Patrol, Bon Iver & Linkin Park. Snow Patrol i was lucky enough to see at one of the most beautiful venues in Somerset West when we still had the MyCokeFest, it was epic and lived up to every expectation.

I’ve been more than just a fan of Linkin Park since they released Hybrid Theory in 2000. Meteora then went on to be probably the most listened to album i have ever had… playing the soundtrack to my teenage angsty phase. I even followed their side projects, i supported Fort Minor and Dead By Sunrise with a fervency reserved for the mentally unstable. I’ve lived through more false announcements of Linkin Park coming to SA than i care to remember. I didn’t even believe that they were really really really coming until i had those tickets in my hand.

Things are tough for me at the moment, it’s no secret what with Twitter and all. If you follow me, you might notice an out of character tweet here and there… but i have a lot going on. I keep up appearances as much as i can, and regardless of what it might look like on the outisde, i’m barely scraping through. I don’t think i need to try and hide it more than i have already. Everyone goes through periods where it’s hard to pick themselves up and carry on, but it’s easy to forget that you’re not actually alone in whatever you’re going through.

We passed under the scaffolding, i paused in front of the DJ to see if i could recognize him. It was so so windy and there was dust flying everywhere, so i took my beanie and shielded my eyes and carried on walking. I picked up a drink from a promo girl, so did Joe. Mixi, who was with us, realized she walked past without one and so she ran back to where the scaffolding was, got a drink, and came back while we waited. We turned around, and heard a crash and saw the dust cloud. I saw the scaffolding and then i heard people screaming. Joe ran. I was in shock. I ran 2 seconds later behind him throwing down the drinks in my hand. I ran past people standing dumbfounded, people taking photos. I saw the blood on the inside of the scaffolding. I looked for Joe, and couldn’t find him. I panicked. I was worried he would put himself in harms way to help someone else – he would. I looked around the corner – more people on the floor, more blood. A girl lying on the stage. I felt helpless. I had St Johns ambulance training, but how was i supposed to help with people that had been crushed? Rob Forbes went on the mic and asked for people who knew CPR… a few rushed forward. Why would they need CPR? I started to feel sick. I couldn’t watch people die. I knew it was serious. I looked at the structure and it’s thick metal poles and knew that people weren’t going to be ok. The paramedics arrived in record time. we’d walked past them not 5min earlier.

I hate myself for not doing more. I know there’s nothing i could have done to physically help anyone, the paramedics were there. But maybe that nameless girl who died needed someone to hold her hand? Or to pray for her? Or just to hold her.

2012 saw me lose an Uncle and a friend, both deaths hit me hard. I still cry about my friend when i remember him and his rollerblades and sparkly scarf. My Uncle was so kind and gentle and loved flying kites at outdoor parties. I want you to know them, just like i feel like we should know the girl who passed away at the concert. She was a Linkin Park fan, like me, she was just 1 minute later. 1 minute. I could have lost the love of my life or my best friend. Someone lost their daughter yesterday. I can’t stop thinking about her family and friends.

You might call me indulgent or dramatic, but the truth is that i am just so fucking sensitive to everything right now. I always have been, i probably always will be. It means that i am insanely sympathetic/empathetic and if you talk to me about something that has happened to you, you can bet that i’m feeling it right along side you too. I couldn’t just enjoy the concert after what had happened. I couldn’t switch off. I was watching a band i had waited over 12 years for… and i just couldn’t stop seeing the people lying on the ground.

I cried until 4:00am this morning. I had to put a movie on to try and distract myself. It didn’t work. I eventually fell asleep with nightmares of people getting stuck in things and crushed. I didn’t lose anyone yesterday, but i feel like i did. As i’m writing this, i can’t stop crying for long enough to put some make up so that i can carry on with my day. The rest of the world doesn’t stop – life never stops. Sometimes i wish it would.

I can’t have any more of this 2012. I’m ready for you to end.