Access-A-Hut's Blog

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 www.marblesprings.wikidot.com 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?

You look exhausted

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 5:17 am

is what Asanda said–she and Nelson, the other tour guide, were in the neighborhood & dropped off my sweater and had tea. No, it isn’t really that. I am resting, and I can talk!  I do not interrupt every other sentence with a fit of coughing.  It is just the food here isn’t what my stomach is used to, and my stomach hated food in America, too.

Nope, no matter where you travel, your body goes with you.  And mine is complaining.  Of course, I have to remember–I look exhausted in America, too.

December 7, 2011

Laying down on the job

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 7:00 am

I still get exhausted, and I have to lay down and rest.  One of the maids was resting the other day, and I overheard two of the other guests  remark how lazy she was.

I take about 10 -12 hours to get through an 8 hour day, because I have to rest.  But I get my work done and I get good ratings. So… I am not lazy, I am a good worker, but the maid is lazy.  Hmmmmm…. riiiiiiiiiiiiight….

Now I know why that painting is bugging me

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 12:11 am

Lynn, the B&B owner, also paints, and there is a lovely painting of african women in saris on the wall.  However, it has always been a bit jarring, and now I understand why–there are no faces on the women.  I am not good with faces-I can not recognize one to save my life and people look the same to me with upside down eyes or mouths.  But… faces mean humanity.  And the figures… do not look like they are real people.  And that sort of sums up some of the attitudes.

We do the same, I am sure.

December 6, 2011

Clinic horrors

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 1:17 pm

Lynn, the B&B owner, and others have complained about “Africa time”–where nothing gets done, and there is slow if no service at all lines. I put this down to an odd form of racism, and smiled politely.  However… customer service does not seem to be a priority–and that is a massive understatement.   Or maybe it is in just certain areas–most assuredly, the government does not believe in customer service!

I wandered into a public clinic on my way to the food store.  I need to get my updated Hep B shot as I am in Africa and somehow us Americans will just keel over if we don’t get that.  So I saw this clinic and thought I would ask.  And I wanted to see it. South Africa has “free” health care if you can not pay and “insurance-private” if you have insurance. This was a free clinic.  There were probably 50 -60 people huddled in the waiting room on wood slat benches in a maybe 20 foot square room–think half of a classroom size. And there were two people behind a bullet proof glass before you got to go into the waiting room.  Everyone made room for me (weird white woman with a new walker) and  I made my way up to the glass.  Then the people behind the glass proceeded to ignore me completely.  There were no sign in sheets. There were no people calling names for the next patient.  I could see how long this would take!  So, I looked my fill–and left.  Wow.

December 5, 2011

The maids washed and folded my underwear.

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 12:17 pm

Ok now this is officially ridiculous.  I’ve told them and told them that I can clean my own room, do my dishes, etc. and they are not to come in.  So Lynn, the B&B owner came in and said I had to let them in, it was some sort of government regulation.  Fine.  I talk to them while they are here and find out about their lives–more on that in a bit.

But I cajoled a clothes stand so I could wash my own clothes. I had it out today, and it had rained  a bit. My clothes disappeared and then reappeared washed, dried, and folded.  Even my underwear. This has really gone too far.  I mean culture is culture, but dammit I can do my own laundry for heaven’s sake!

The maids are paid less than minimum wage, and they are required to come in on weekends if there are guests–with no extra pay at all, even though it is an hour walk each way. Wow.  I will not complain when I have to work weekends. Really.

 

December 4, 2011

Even shopping is an adventure

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 1:53 am

Well, this is an adventure times two–one, I am in a totally different environment and have not the time nor the spirit to explore much.  Two, I can not walk very far at any rate.  When I travelled and explored before, I thought nothing of long (albeit painful) walks to anywhere.  Now I begrudge every step–it is as if each step before cost me a penny and now each step costs five dollars.  But I finally did get to the grocery store–it is only a 4 block walk away from here.

I then had to haul my walker up to cart.  Because I don’t know my way around a store, it took a long time to find things.  By the time I was 3/4 done, my knees gave out entirely–both of them.  I could not take another step.  And the walker I have is not as easy or convenient as my wheelchair.  (I chose not to take the chair because it is impossible to fit into most vehicles, and I knew I would have major difficulties in the road as there are few sidewalks.)  So I just sat in the middle of the store and tears rolled silently down my face.

A clerk came up to me and said, “oh, don’t cry.”  I told her what was wrong, and she said, ok. They helped me with the final items I needed, and tried to call the number I had been given for a taxi. But the taxi would not come all the way out for such a short trip.  So the manager drove me back.  All’s well that ends well, I guess.

But I have not travelled overseas since I collapsed in 2004.  I was a bit afraid. Ok ok very very afraid.  And part of this trip is to PROVE I can do it.  So, I wonder. Is this adventure proof I can or proof I can not–as I must depend on the kindness of strangers–and you know how I hate that!

December 3, 2011

The cat owns the joint

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 12:09 pm

There are two very fat cats here–and one of them has decided to spend the evening with me.  We hung out on the couch together and he was quite interested in my dinner.  Animals at least, do not change when they are half way around the world.

Of course, I heard from Jackie, who is keeping my sweet, innocent, never-hurt-a-fly Cipher.  Cipher is apparently delighting in terrorizing Jackie’s two cats, each of whom are at least twice her size.  I told Jackie to watch out for the dead mice on her pillow. If Jackie has any live mice, they will end up as… um… dead presents.

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