Thursday, February 14, 2013

v day and headlines

My second favourite ring of all time. (Street vendor, Venice. About two euros.)

Happy Valentine's Day folks.

Bit of a tragic day, if we're going to be honest. But more about that later.

First, the sweet stuff. I got my Brit a pair of running shorts and one of those aerodynamic sweat-reducing running shirts! I know! It's like we're already married!

The Brit is gyming as much as I am, and as a result, has these lovely new, very manly-looking biceps cropping up. He's taking this quite seriously, which helps given I'm on a derriere-reduction mission myself.

Bless, he was much more romantic. He bought me one of these awesome Lego boxes:
He filled it with beautiful Victoria's Secret underwear - beautiful bra and pants, and other little things.*

He took the box, put the stuff inside and then painstakingly wrapped it up in it's covering again.
Cute eh?

This Oscar thing is awful. And amongst the throng of bad press and reports I am seeing about South Africa at the moment, it leaves me feeling quite sad and drained.
I am aware that being overseas, and knowing how the media works (ie: don't believe anything you read verbatim. Ever), I know I only really see and hear about the sensationalist bad stuff.

News headlines are NEVER a true reflection of a country. And that's what frustrates me the most.

It happened when I lived in France too. I returned from my year there expecting to be mauled.
I'm just feeling sad. All I want to hear is something fucking positive for a change. All I see on my fucking Facebook feed is bad news, or I get my mother saying how bad it is, or I read terrible headlines.

Is it literally bad, or am I being pummeled by negative reports?

I spoke to Dove about it this morning, for my sanity. We compared news headlines.

Peas: This is a very naive question to ask you - but am I being ridiculous to ask whether the country is in fact going to the dogs?

Dove: No. It's the same. The usual news, but you don't see the good stuff. You're only reading the bad. It does look like it is though.

Peas: So all the 'negative' shit I hear or read is not worse than normal.

Dove: At the moment, maybe it is. A lot of stuff has happened recently that's not helping it's reputation. But life here is still the same, day to day.

Peas: OK. So the rape crisis, the shooting today, bribery and corruption...Same as about 3 years ago you'd say.

Dove: It's hard to say. But probably.

If I compare headlines, this is what is roughly going on in my new country, and my old:

South Africa
Oscar Pistorius alleged shooting
Gang rape crisis
Zuma's corruption and State of The Nation speech
Mandela in better health
Woman gored by rhino while posing next to one 
Hunt for thousands and thousands of escaped crocodiles (now that's more like it)

One in eight Brits own a onesie (Yes. I am one of them.)
People have been eating 100% horse meat lasagnas, thinking it was beef
Should we stay in the EU or not
Are we in a triple-dip recession or not
There's a pile-up on the M25
The Palace is going mental over pictures of Kate Middleton in a bikini on holiday

Let's look at another comparison.

South Africa
Car traffic
Lots of space
Lightning storms
Outside a lot

Grey. When sunny, it's like Jesus has arrived
Human traffic
No free space. You get creative with storage/where you stand/where you walk/get used to people up in your face
Inside a lot

On that fine note, it looks like it is half sunny today. Jesus isn't coming, but it is a good excuse for a nice romantic meal with my Brit tonight.

* Really lovely lube.


Anonymous said...

Personally I like to look at the news as an indication of better reporting. Yes, things are shite, but at least they're being called on it. Sort of? I don't think it's measurably any worse day-to-day than 3 years ago.

Sometimes I wonder if the cracks in UK/Europe are being swept under the carpet behind reports of TS Elliot letters and horse-meat.

po said...

Joh, I did not know about Oscar, that is nuts.

I used to get really scared coming home to visit after reading the news in the UK about SA. Now I am back. Living in Cape Town and walking the streets seems pretty idyllic and safe, but the truth lies in between the two extremes.

po said...

@cestlavie: while I was in the UK the EU debacle was reported on all the time. It was all that was on TV. I guess it is like background noise, but the exciting horsemeat and bikini princess stories pop up now and then for variety :)

Secret said...

SA is no worse - or - better now than it was 3 years ago, for serial. Petrol is, however, farks loads more expensive, which grates my cheese, but otherwise?
Then again, I live in Cape Town, where we are all, apparently, shielded from the rest of the going on's in SA.


Flarkit said...

Jhb feels like it's on the forefront of whatever crap is hitting the SA fan. It's tough to keep up a brave chin when there's so much of it flying around, and yet, we go to movies, spend time in parks and hope for the best I guess.

I miss CPT. sighz.