I took a walk down Brick Lane today, with my heels clicking on the cobble stoned ground, as the faint sun shone down on my face. The lane as always, is a hub of activity and sensational aromas. Curry houses line the street on both sides, proudly displaying banners which are similar from one restaurant to the next. ‘Best Balti House 2010’ reads one; another says ‘Curry House of the Year 2011’; and yet another: ‘Restaurant of the year 2009’.
Clearly a marketing ploy to attract many naive foreigners, but hey who can blame them? This is after all Banglatown. Walking down Brick Lane feels like a completely different world in the middle of a very English city. There’s even touting outside of nearly every restaurant, trying to entice you into a meal in their fine establishment, while their competition across the way nudges you closer to his end of the lane.
The name is derived from the former brick and tile manufacturing that took place in the area, using local brick earth. At first the area was occupied by French Huguenots, who left their mark on many of the side streets in this area, such as Huguenot Place, where my office is situated. In the last century however, the area has been occupied by Bangladeshis.
It’s quite a popular hang out spot for trend setters, who spill over from the nearby “trendy” Shoreditch. Big hats with peacock feathers, red-dyed fur coats, thigh-high boots, purple hair and top hats are all the norm around these parts. On the weekends the lane turns into a street market, with street vendors, songstresses and Carrom Board games; providing a little ‘something’ for everyone.
The rich heritage of the area, combined with the quirky characters that hang out there and the smell of masala is what makes Brick Lane unique to me.
As the time is nearing for me to make my big move abroad, I find myself contemplating what I can and cannot live without. There are certain home comforts which I simply cannot imagine my life without and the thought of not having them at my disposal makes me slightly nostalgic. Things like ‘Wonderkroon’ and Jamaica Ginger Tonics, which my mother swears by and always seems to make me feel better when I’m sick.
Then there’s my all time favourite cereal, Pronutro, which tastes just as good now, as it did when I was five years old. Salticrax, which despite its misleading name, is the absolute best savoury snack. I’ve also got a weakness for Flings, which generally are considered ‘baby chips’ due to their soft texture, but hey who cares right? Rooibos Cappuccinos, Woolworths Marshmallows, Kauai, Mugg & Bean, Old Biscuit Mill, Eastern Food Bazaar, the V& A Waterfront and the Company Gardens are just some of the things I’m going to miss about my home town.
I’ll most certainly miss all of my favourite delights, but I’ll miss this city and the people in it the most. Cape Town has a certain spirit about it, especially around Christmas time and the people who live here are some of the warmest, funniest and downright nicest people I know. No matter where I go, this will always be my home.
So here’s to new beginnings, lasting memories and a place I can always call home 😀
Image source: http://piccsy.com/
I’ve never had a daughter before, but I have loads of experience on being a daughter. My sister and I being the only daughters amongst our brood of five have been fortunate to be raised by a modern day Wonder Woman. My Mum has loved us, nurtured us, cut us down to size, spoilt us and raised us to be the courageous women we are today. I’m not sure how she managed to pay such special attention to each and every one of us, with five kids running around, but I can only hope that if I should have a daughter one day, I’ll be able to measure up to the kind of parent my Mum is.
I’m a huge fan of spoken word and this little rendition by Sarah Kay called “B”, is one of my favourite pieces. It gets me choked up every time and compels me to aspire to be a great mother one day.
Image source: http://piccsy.com/
After catching up on some Glee episodes last night, I’m sitting in the office jamming it up to some old school, Fleetwood Mac to be exact and I’ve gotta say these folks
were are the shizz nizz. So sorry for being so quiet for the past few days, but the past two weeks have been a bit of whirl wind of activities and festivities.
I spent some time in the country side living la vie simple (a.k.a. The Simple Life) which was surprisingly refreshing, then enjoyed a lovely bout of Summer flu, finally finished my very long and tiring year of studies, celebrated wedded bliss with some old friends and now here I am back in the zone.
These past two weeks have felt like a bit of a marathon, but a fun and unexpected one that has kept me on my toes constantly. Talk about unexpected, while walking in Woolies the other day I heard freakin’ Christmas Carols playing in the store and I had to take a minute to digest this highly suspicious activity. But then it dawned upon me that Christmas is only one month away. Can you believe it?
Just when I thought I could finally get a bit of a break and catch up on a year’s worth of sleep, the festive season arrives baring great tidings of great celebrations. Well, I guess the only thing left to do in these very unexpected situations is embrace the change, slap on your cape and call upon your super hero powers to help you survive it all or just turn on some Fleetwood Mac 😀
There are few things that I find more fulfilling than a really good, hearty laugh. Hearing my 5 year old nephew’s boisterous laughter, as he squirms and squiggles through my endless tickles is one of my favourite things on this earth; and there are few things as delightful as spending time with my Best Friend and hearing the sound of our shared laughter filling the room.
There are many battles that we all face daily, but there are few things that are not easily cured by a good laugh. I often find that when I feel like life just gets to be too much, the silliest incident will have me rolling on the floor, crying my eyes out and enjoying a really good laugh; and once its all over, I miraculously feel light and rejuvenated.
Try to find something everyday that makes you laugh. Our daily lives are filled with chores, activities, schedules and meetings, so its often difficult to find the time to just take a minute to breath. But, in between brushing your teeth, remembering to take your vitamins, delivering your weekly report to your boss, picking up the kids from school, find a minute or two to have a good laugh. Because, its true what they say…’laughter really is the best medicine’ (and the cheapest)! 🙂
Image source: http://piccsy.com/