Access-A-Hut's Blog

December 20, 2011

GLBTQ and Catch 22s

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 9:59 pm

I have been meeting with someone from the GLBTQ community here–to see what the political situation is.  Most folks are actually comfortable about me talking about my wife, even given the uncomfortableness of death (What do you say after half your soul is missing?).

And here, it is legal for same sex couples to marry. BUT… wait for it… remember how in the U.S. it is sometimes ok to get an RU486 pill for a “morning after” abortion–except when the hospital, pharmacy, pharmacist, insurance company, or just whomever can say, well, that is against my values, so I won’t prescribe it for you?  Yep.  Every single registrar just happens to hold very dear and precious and high religious values that preclude them.  That would be ok if it were not every single, solitary one so that you, in practice can not marry.

How nice to know we aren’t the only ones with odd Catch 22s.


We don’t have Xhosa to English Dictionaries because they don’t want them

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 12:48 pm

Says the antique bookstore owner to me.  I want one for the Jerusalem Center, because English, unfortunately is the language of trade and opportunity.  And the Center wants one.  BUT all I can find are dictionaries going from English to Xhosa.  (And don’t get me started on the 1930s one that ONLY had information for a factory–so you could learn to say, make that widget but not how are you, who are you, what are you thinking!).  So I’ve now looked in several bookstores, and can only find one online.

So this bookstore owner says, nope, Xhosa to English dictionaries don’t exist  because the Xhosa people do not want to learn English and improve their lives.  You will be very very proud of me. I was not politically incorrect at all.  I simply smiled and nodded.  I actually haven’t blogged this because I am still … um… in shock.

December 18, 2011

I got kissed by a penguin

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 1:06 pm
And the penguin eats my hair after kissing me.

And the penguin eats my hair after kissing me.

I got to hold the penguin
Me holding a penguin

I could talk about how the place is unfunded, how I hooked them up quickly with the microchip research Reclamation is doing for anadromous fish (if it works on salmon, it should work on penguins), and explain that that is why I got my picture taken with the penguin.  Or talk about how soft penguin feathers are.  Or how there were only white folks at this Bayworld.  But I am too tired and I have been on this damn compuer for 16 hours straight. Good night.

December 13, 2011

It’s a very scary world here. It’s a very friendly world here.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 6:58 am

First, let me assure you I am fine.  But, I tell you, the “vibes” in this place are terrifying.  And I am in the nice part of town. Maybe that is the problem, but don’t worry, I am not about to find out!

So they had a mower going and I really didn’t want a migraine, as I am in the midst of having to actually *think* in Marble Springs. So I packed up and went for a walk around the block. The blocks here are HUGE–maybe 20 “estates” on one block.  There is no one around. Then there is a guy with a pit bull. Each house is an armed enclave of barbed wire, brick walls, etc. (Denver’s zoning code preventing fences from over 4 feet tall would NEVER EVER work here. 14 feet, maybe. But not 4.)

I remember hitching a ride with the yakuza in a small town in Japan–with a couple of  blonde gaijin.  I was scared then–especially since it wasn’t until AFTER we got the ride that I noticed the guy’s pinkie finger was missing.

I remember getting attacked and dumped in a rural road in Thailand when I took the wrong type of taxi and landed up hurt.

I remember waking up in jail in Thailand (after getting slipped a mickey and then being charged for drugs).

I remember being attacked when I taught in a tiny town in Japan that no other gaijin had ever gone to.  (And I was the one facing charges… because rape is not a crime there). And I went back the next week.

I remember the big burly West and East German cops grabbing me by the arms when I was taking pictures (that one ended well–they gave my camera to a passerby who then took our picture, handed me back the camera, and we all went on our merry ways).

Gotta tell you, I was never as scared then as I was today.  Part of it is that everything is scary when you can not walk far. But most of it was… the barbed wire. The alarm systems.  The knee-cap scoopers. The conversation I’d had with the B&B owner–their “Make My Day” laws are a bit weirder than ours–and you just basically have to make sure the “intruder” is dead before you call  the cops.  Yes, South Africa is a gun-toting nation.

But I kept going.  Then I saw this incredible maroon-magenta bougainvilla that actually made it all the way to the telephone pole.  So I went over to take a picture.  The people there were outside, in the midst of taking down an enormous fica tree (yes, ficas grow over 60 feeet tall here–and I have been SO very proud of the fica in my office that reached 2 feet tall).  So they invited me in, I admired their garden, and chatted with them.  Very nice. Very friendly.

This is a very strange place.

December 10, 2011

Lychee seeds explode in microwaves.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 11:20 pm

You probably don’t want or need to know anything more than that.

Elephants can love, why can’t we?

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 1:20 pm
elephants holding trunks

I took this at the Addo Park

Because, silly, elephants don’t have to worry about insurance.  Seriously, I was playing with my photos tonight becaues I finally got a nifty cool techy thing where you put the sim card into a USB port.  And Move On was asking for family pics to show that ALL families deserve health care.



Love makes families.


lychees… ohhhhhh

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 9:47 am

Ok. I should write about the fascinating and basically horrifying state of South African politics, now that I have been enlightened. I could also write about the beach, as I had a “day out” which was very wonderful.  And the car parks–they actually HIRE people–real human people to watch the lot and call the cops when a car is stolen (it takes 20 minutes for the cops to show, apparently…) and there are actual human beings running gas stations, cash registers, parking lots (only to make sure you park your car right, they don’t care if it is stolen), etc.  Weird.  Four separate people handled my fruit at the fruit and veg shop!!!

But no… the beach, the fascinating conversations  yesterday and today, count for nothing. LESS than nothing.  For it is lychee season in South Africa and I have fresh lychees.  Oh I can not tell you how wonderful these fruits are.  I know most of you have never seen one, and some of you have heard me dream on these for years. I loved them in thailand. In Thailand, they were more red and they had hairy things on the shells.  Here they are pale, but the sweet flesh is just the same.  And the taste.  I have never had ambrosia, but this must be it.

I remember when I left Thailand and flew to Poland on Aeroflot lo these many years ago now–in 1990.  Aeroflot didn’t care at all that it is illegal to transport lychees (some pest or other).  I didn’t really realize it at the time, myself.  Then I get to Poland with my treasure–and I realize that lychees only last a few days!  And I am cold cold cold.  So I go out into the market, which was literally under a bus station and the people were ready to flee at the first sign of a cop.  I spy a jacket and try to convince this woman to give it to me for an entire 5 pound bag of lychees.  She had no idea what they were.  I ate one, and my face broke into that happy dance.  She tried one. She smiled. The cops show up.  NO one moves.  I speak no polish. No one admits to speaking English (remember, the wall just fell that summer, and English tourists were not welcome.) We make the trade.  I go off in a jacket 2 sizes too small, but warm.  She shares the lychees with everyone.  (Oh, also, I had no money, because I had traded $50 into 1,000 zlotys, but by the time I got out of the airport, the inflation had increased prices, so $50 bought 3,000 zlotys and 1,000 zloyts was not even enough to get me to the hotel.  It was a bit weird to be in a place where prices trebled in an hour.  So no one used money, really.)

December 9, 2011

Sorry about worrying you. I can’t delete the post.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 8:40 am

oh DAMN!!!! Posting here is NOT revocable!!! I am so sorry I worried you guys.  Really, really, I am ok now.  I will reinstate my web server here (which I have not done) and post that way.  Look, I really am doing ok. I just made a stupid mistake and ate something new, which I should not have done.  And I’ve got the whole place cleaned up now.

But everything is ok now.  Now I am checking to see if posting works before I post all my new drafts to Marble Springs.  Posting here is easier than over in as I am being watched over there by a guy helping me to do my templates.  So, don’t worry. I’ll delete this post.

I win! Sort of.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 8:00 am

I have been deliberately keeping a messy room, as I like to have an unmade bed and dishes out when I work. It is just one of those writer things–I work better that way.  (See, there is HOUSEWORK to do, and you certainly DO NOT want to do that, so why don’t you just finish the next ten client-side image maps instead.???)   Trust me, my best writing happens when I am under an awful deadline or moral imperative to do something else.

However, the maids and I have been in a running battle against this.  I have lost every single time. And today after I did my laundry and hung it up nicely on the ladder outside, my laundry disappeared.  They still haven’t given it back.  And they took my towels.

BUT I got to keep my messy bed and the undone dishes.  So, I win. Mostly. Damn. They are knocking again.

UPDATE: They did it again. They stole my laundry and folded it again. Neatly. Including, yes, the underwear.  Ok. ok.  I have been feeding these guys, sneaking food under the nose of the B&B owner, who does not have nor will she have this URL.  But I have to make a deal with these guys.  Take my laundry again and there will be no food. or is that too tough?

Prison mentality–repost

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 7:54 am

Somehow, this was supposedly posted before–like two weeks or so ago–, but you know me and technology.  Ooy, Deena, how can YOU be so @#$@#@ stupid when it comes to cell phones and blogs and posts my elit(e) friends are asking.  It’s because I like links, images, sound, etc. and the multiplexities of complexity you can get with electronic literature (see my textbook.)  But I hate the way I have to get to them.  So I sabotage myself.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, I was checking and saw I had not actually posted this.  Sorry about that. As MaJe would say, we need to stop apologizing–as women we need to take back our power. Right. Sorry about that.

When I got to J-berg, I was in so much pain from the dislocated hip, knee, elbow, shoulder, and stupidly enough, two  fingers, one on each hand, that I did not notice the surroundings.  Got into taxi, got into hotel, accepted help from the people there to get to the room and get into bed, thanked the Lady for looking after me.

Then when I got up to go to the airport for Port Elizabeth, I noticed I was in a medium security prison neighborhood.  There was razor wire on all the fences, and every building was behind a fence. They even had a shopping mall in this rather nice prison–you could see the sign out front and then you went through security and two sets of brick walls topped with razor wire.

I asked the taxi driver how far the prison extended, as we had now been driving for five minutes and we were still driving along the walls of the prison.  He looked at me very oddly.  We have not passed a prison, Miss. He said.  I looked out.  Brick walls, about 6 feet high, with either circles of razor wire or things that scoop your knee caps out along all of the tops of the walls.  Bars on every window that was visible from behind the walls.  Big thick bars.  Um…. but isn’t that a medium security prison there—I pointed.  No miss. That is a school. Ummmmmmm…. ooookayyyyy,…

All of the “nicer” houses are like this, the taxi driver said.   I nodded. What the hell have I let myself in for???????????

I am now settled at the B&B. I am to keep my doors locked at all times.  There are fat skeleton keys which I am to use.–somewhat like the ones at the Zang Mansion where MaJe had her office, but apparently “safer”  There is a gate which doesn’t work well that I am to open with this remote.  The walls are only a fence with spikes, and the bars on the window are not thick.

hmmmm…this is a bit… welll…

Ahh, I thought, Carolyn Forche would have been intrigued, as it is not just the Colonel’s house:

Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man’s legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores.

and how many colonels are there behind these doors?

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