Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Week That Was

I feel like I came into this weekend recklessly speeding, complete with smoke and wheelspins and thumping bass, and using my gonads as brakes!
Wow! What a week it's been.

On Tuesday my good friend from Cape Town arrived with her hubby & kid for a few days, planning to stay until Saturday when they left for a holiday in Zanzibar. I think I mentioned her in a previous post.
I love having my home filled with friends and laughter. It's my version of Utopia.

So my week was off to a flying start until I got a call from a family member.
Yeah. One of those. Amazing how the people that derail your awesomeness are always the one's you care about  the most.
In a nutshell, it boiled down to me offering my time and advice as best I could whenever they needed it, and them thinking I just wasn't doing enough.
Did I mention that I give of my time and advice freely?
Honestly, I'd rather they just said Thank You and shut up.
Seriously, why do people alway's assume other's were born simply to serve them?

* here endeth the rant *

Having survived the Wednesday call of suckiness, I knew the week could only get better... and get better it did.
My favourite awesomely amazing aunt from Australia arrived to stay for a few months.
She's about the only thing I like about Australia, and with her no longer there until December, Australia has officially become crappy again. No offence to the kangaroos.

On Friday more Cape Town visitors arrived, intending to leave with my friend Badeeah and her family on the Zanzibar vacation of greatness.
I may have come pretty close to maintaining my 100% record for getting people late to the airport... sometimes even having them miss their flight as a bonus.
Thankfully this was not the case this time around.

Here's the thing : For as long as I can remember, whenever I was asked to either take somebody to the airport, or pick them up from the airport, it would trigger a little virus in my operating system and cause a malfunction!
It's become a standing joke in the family, and everybody who know's me knows about it.

Fareed's name is never to be used in the same sentence as "Airport".. ever

Honestly it's not even something I can consciously control.
I remember a few years back I had to pick the missus's sisters up from the airport and it was going to be our first meeting. We weren't married yet so needless to say I was still in the phase of putting on a good impression and trying to score brownie points with her family. Come to think of it, that phase never really ended.
Moving on.
So they were scheduled to arrive at around 8am, and I had to make sure I was clean and shiny as a new penny, and on time.
The drive to the airport from my home would take about 30 minutes, so I figured leaving at 7am would give me plenty of time to make this operation a success.
I was doing so well and everything was going superbly and according to plan, until 7am that is!
My lifelong friend and most dependable stalwart let me down at the most inopportune time: my car wouldn't start :(

I knew the Airport Curse had struck again.
My average delay-time has been around the one-hour mark.
After 3 hours of having the sisters wait at the airport, I knew my first-impression had been shot to crap.
I finally got a friends car and arrived to pick them up at the airport 8 hours later.

The Airport Curse had now affected an entirely new family, outside of my own and my circle of friends. Sometimes I'm amazed that I still have a circle of friends. On the plus side, they know better than to ask me to   pick them up or drop them off at the airport.

Over the years I've had random people ask me to do an airport run, and either learn of the curse and change their minds at the last minute, or hope against hope that it will be fine. The latter group invariably ends up on a later flight, or catching a bus.
You would think that this curse would have some respect and decorum in it's selection process, but it's like the common cold, affecting everybody with no regard for status or relation.

A small sampling of my unintended victims and the reasons for missing their flights include :
* My father-in-law. He missed his flight due to sudden traffic congestion. True story.
* The missus. Numerous occasions. Numerous reasons. (See how it has no regard for rank or file!)
* Numerous friends throughout my life. Various totally valid reasons.
* A 2nd-tier member of my in-laws. This one was not my fault. She was too busy making out. True story.

The latter was quite an interesting story, and almost led to me going corporate with my Airport Curse.
I had taken her to the airport on the day, and we both suspected that she may be a tad late to check-in as we were really cutting it close. I was nothing more than the designated driver, and we would seriously have been on time as scheduled if she had cut her make-out session with her man down to one hour instead of two.
You would think that after an hour of swopping spit and sucking face, she'd had enough.
Apparently she was expecting fireworks in the second hour. All she got was numb lips and dehydration.

So there she was at the airport, having missed her flight and checked in on a later flight.
All was well, or so I thought.
The next morning I received an email with her flight details from the day before, and a copy of the ticket for her missed flight.
I wasn't sure why she had sent this mail to me. I thought it was to treasure her memories online in some weird way.
It's only when I got to the bottom of her email that I realized she was expecting me to reimburse her for the cost of her missed flight and having to purchase a new ticket.
Suddenly I was in the Flight Insurance business.

After the shock had worn off, I decided to discuss the matter with said crazy woman.
You'll be glad to know the story has a happy ending.
I didn't go into the Flight Insurance business, and she ended up being a test-dummy for a pharmaceutical company specializing in mental disorders.

Thats my story on the Airport Curse, and I'm sticking to it.

This morning I was booked to play golf at 7am.
I woke up at 10am and that's usually a good indicator that I may have missed golf for the day.
My aunt from Australia asked if I would take her to her luncheon venue which turned out to be a rather sizeable event with about 100 guests at a family members home.
I figured there was no need for me to shower and don the spiffy Sunday garment as I wouldn't be getting off my car.
Oh how wrong I was!
We got to the house and there were cars everywhere.
Since I was not planning on parking, I simply pulled up at the entrance expecting my aunt to scurry on inside.
Except that some of the folk lingering about at the entrance to the home recognized me, and them being elders I was expected to go over and greet them.
It's an Indian thing.
A wave and hoot simply wouldn't do.
If you going to do the wave and hoot, you might as well show them the finger.
Caught between an army of elders and an unshaven pyjama-party driver designate, I had no option but to get off my vehicle and walk the 50-odd meters to where they stood.
Disheveled, unshaven, wearing threadbare shorts and a fake Diesel T-shirt with beach flip-flops will never be a fashion statement. Not in my lifetime, and not in a 100 years.
I thought I carried it off with style though, until I started hugging the aunts and saw them pulling their noses funny.

That was my cue to hightail it out of there.
I got home and realized I had a hole in the back of my shorts.
Seriously. Who goes to bed in designer pyjamas? Not even Jack Osbourne.
Thank goodness I had my Ben10 boxers underneath my shorts! That could have been so embarrassing!

It's now Sunday night and I've just finished watching this show on the Animax channel called "Next!"
Americans must really have run out of ideas for Reality TV shows!
It's like a speed-dating show, except all the contestants are in their late teens or early twenties, and they have a history of skankiness about them. It seemed to me like the producers found these kids on or the Jerry Springer show.
Today they had this Indian girl from Durban, who introduced herself as an East Asian girl.
Just because the show is shot in America doesn't mean that us South Africans are not going to see it at some time.
She looked like she was fresh out of Verulam or Chatsworth. Not that there's anything wrong with people from Verulam or Chatsworth, but they do have a certain look about them. She aced that look!
So there she was with her totally fake accent, about to speed-date 5 American guys, and she introduces herself as Vin Mari.
Vin Mari?
Who the heck is she kidding?
I'm no rocket scientist, but even I know that Vin Mari is short for Vineshree Marimuthoo!
Keep it real girl. Be proud of who you are.
Anyways, she tells the first guy a little about herself, and proceeds to invite him to a game "commonly played back home in my country, South Africa."
Finally! Some honesty and 10 points for keeping it real Vin Mari!
I'm thinking a little bit of Rugby... maybe some Soccer or Cricket.
Wait, hang on. There's just 2 of them?
Ok, a game commonly played in South Africa by just 2 people?
Now I'm thinking Monopoly... maybe Tennis... Cops and Robbers... a casual mugging even?
Nope. None of the above.
She takes him to this garden and says "Have you ever played Croquet?"
That's the game commonly played in South Africa?
Thanks for the waste of a good 10 minutes Vin Mari.

Time for Idols.
At least our infamous Idols judge Mara keeps it real!