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Failing our women & two super sisters who are fighting for them


I have some pretty amazing friends, as I mentioned before. Today, I want to push Marelise Van Der Merwe in the spotlights. Why? Because she – together with her sister Amelie – is determined to save the Saartjie Baartman Centre (SBC) in Cape Town from forced closure. How? By raising a R100.000 in ten days – R500 at a time.

What is so special about the SBC? The center – situated in Manenberg, an area ravaged by violence, gang warfare, drugs, and poverty – is very simply the only option for many women and their children to escape the chronic physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. It is therefore the only chance to rebuild their lives. It is either that, or sleeping on the streets, or staying with their abusers. It is the horrid truth.

This center is now being threatened with closure after the Lotto has failed to pay out (other NGOs and charities are facing similar circumstances). The organisation’s immediate needs are R100.000 to get through the next couple of months. The money needs to come in before the end of May. No money = closure = 20 to 30 women and their children (all traumatized by the abuse they suffered) will be forced onto the streets or back in abusive households. Simple.

Marelise and Amelie are determined to prevent this from happening and are on a mission to raise R100.000 in the next ten days or so – R500 at a time. How? They need 20 people a day to pledge R50 (47 euro / 59 US dollar). So far, Cape Town’s two newest super heroes seem to be on track (check http://100-grand-in-ten-days.blogspot.com !!!)

One of the latest people who donated, was my own mother (Marijke Mannak) by the way. She donated R500 (well, the equivalent in euros as she lives in The Netherlands) and knowing her, she is busy spreading the word RIGHT NOW!

How can you help? First of all: spread the word. The more people know about this, the better. Secondly, make a donation. R500 is ideal, more is even better but less is fine too.

The account details are: ABSA / savings / 9156133936. Please use the reference ‘BAARTMAN’ and send proof of payment to marelise@gmail.com. Those who prefer to donate straight to the center, use the following details  but please don’t forget to let The Super Sisters know about your pledge so they can track the donations and post updates)

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children
First National Bank 201509
Current account 62028179415
SWIFT Code: FIRNZAJJ

I have written a press release about, which can be found here. Please download it, use it, and send in on to everyone you know! Let’s not fail these women!

 

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Confessions of a childless 35-year old spinster


I turned 35 last week, and I hated every second of it. Well, not really every second. Look, it was great to hang out with my parents of course, but for various very defined and specific reasons I felt a bit crap. I never envisaged myself spending my 35th on my own. If it were up to me, I would have had a family by now. The thought that my ex and I were supposed to start the whole ‘trying for a baby’ thing sometime around NOW (a plan he single-handedly canned after he decided to stay on some island at the arse-end of the world) does not help much.

Instead of having a family in the pipeline, and someone who loves me to its, I am on my own. An 35-year old freelance spinster with two cats. No, I do not look old if I say so myself. But I have to face the fact that my ovaries are over a third of a century old and that I therefore do not have all the time in the world.

Of course I will meet someone else somewhere down the line, but if I want to realize my family plan I need to make sure that a) he wants kids, b) wants them fairly soon (No, I don’t want them tomorrow but I dont fancy the idea to be a 65-year old mother of a teenager either) and c) is a nice guy (which could be an ominous task, when looking at my track record of assholes and fuckwits).

Another option is to do it on my own. Gazillions of women have done and are doing it alone: having and raising a child. I am sure I would be able to do that. There are some problems though.

Firstly, I am a freelancer and I am not earning heaps of moolah. In addition: South Africa’s living costs are increasing by the minute. Secondly, my folks live in The Netherlands (I imagine I would need their mental support). Thirdly, I would love to do it with someone else. No, I do not have to be in a relationship with that person. A very involved donor would be very cool too.

But finding a sperm donor who is nice and who wants to be involved in the child’s upbringing as a father figure seems to be a task from hell. Then again, there must be single men out there who have not been able to find a partner but who want to become a father. Or not?

Another option is to form a commune with other women who are in the same position. You know, the whole “It takes a village to raise a child” thing.

So yes, indeed, I feel a bit stuck. Do I realize my dream of becoming a mom? Do I give up on it, seeing there are so many issues involved? Do I give myself a year or six months before I make a decision?

Anyway, I was wondering if there are other people out there who are in a similar position. Please send me your comments or drop me an email.

 
 

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Confessions of a Coffee Slut, I mean: Snob


Hello. My name is Miriam Mannak and I am a coffee snob.

Coffee. Hmmmm. *smacks lips* That sweet, nutty, slightly bitter smell of a cup of freshly brewed coffee. *sigh*. There is nothing in the world – especially in the early morning hours – that beats that. Well, there are quite a few things that blow coffee out of the water, but that is not the point. The point this morning and of this blog post is coffee. Capiche?

“No, you are not a coffee snob – you are a coffee whore!” some people would say. Well, I have to disappoint these pitiful souls. As opposed to popular belief, I am not prostituting myself to the first hot, dark, steamy liquid in a cup that comes along. Not a chance. I only sell my body and soul to the real stuff – not to the instant crap that is sold and promoted as coffee.

Does this look like coffee to you? REALLY? Seriously?

Newsflash: Instant coffee, my friends, is not coffee. It might look like coffee in some way, but that is where the similarities stop. “Oh but it does taste the same!”, coffee amateurs would say. Well, I kindly invite you to my flat where you will be served a cup of instant crap and a cup of lovely, freshly brewed Arabica – made of beans – topped with fluff milk froth. If you are still convinced that both taste the same, I swear to drink a gallon of instant shit just to make amends.

And Chicory … Don’t get me started about chicory. This leafy vegetable, after it has been burnt to death and beyond, doesn’t even look like coffee after it has been disolved in hot water. The colour is way off. The taste? A well balanced blend of garbage juice strained through old socks. Chicory, in my world, is blasphemy of the first degree. As a matter of fact, the substance should be banned as it cannot be good for you. We need a revolution! An uprising! A boycott! Coffee is made of beans and not from leaves, damnit! AMAAANDLA!

Anyway. Over the years, I received quite a lot of coffee related emails. As I can’t be not the only coffee snob out there, I decided to share them with you. Enjoy!

 

My Favourite

My Favourite 🙂

Painful but true

He he he! 🙂

I agree! It is a Human Right too!

No comment

Coffee (man) whore!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Everyone has had / will have a Monday like this

Isn't that the truth? 🙂

Enough said

Rather clever design. Love it!

 
 

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My Last Cape-Argus-Cycle-Race-Virgin Days


Me surviving Chapman's Peak drive (trust me, it is steep where I came from!)

NINETY KILOMETERS PEOPLE! That is the distance I cycled yesterday, as part of my Cape Argus Cycle Race training. NINETY KILOMETERS! Over mountains and shit, from Cape Town’s city center all the way to Kommetjie and back – over Chapman’s Peak and through Noordhoek. Excluding four stops – one when Cycle Buddy Illie fell, one for a much-needed caffeine injection, one in Kommetjie, and a final loo break – we did it in 4 hours and 27 minutes. Yay! Click here for the link to our route 🙂

I must say that I am rather proud of myself, but also equally tired. But the legs are fine, and so are the shoulders, back, neck and ass. The only thing that feels a bit ‘funny’ is my left pinky *raises eyebrow*. It feels numb-ish.

Anyway, I think I am ready for the race >>> BRING IT ON!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 5, 2012 in The World of Mir

 

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Dear Dickhead Who Hurt My Friend


* Start rant* 

I am fed up of players and slime balls. I am. They suck. Ass.  Really. I honestly despise men who think a woman is nothing more than a walking pair of tits adorned with an ass.

Gentlemen, there is nothing fun about walking down the street and having to listen to someone shouting some profanity in your direction. Making remarks is one thing, but some guys are downright rude. It raises my blood to a boil in no time and it makes me want to bury my Havaiana & foot deep into your crotch.

The same counts for men who pretend they are ruled by the mind and heart and soul, while they are actually thinking with their winkies. Or with their ‘small head’ as my American host mom used to joke.

These men offer you a drink, compliment you on your eyes (*sigh*), and ask you things that make you believe these men are in fact interesting in what you do / have to say. They show compassion with sick little puppies, tell you how much they enjoy cooking / gardening / hiking / community work and throw in a full assortment of clichés (“I love kids”, “I love my mom”, etc). In other words, they make you believe that they are God’s gift to women in every sense of the word.

You swap numbers and he smses everyday. You decide to go on a couple of dates, and become rather smitten with this lovely individual. Not too long later, you are invited over for dinner at his place. You eat, you laugh, you kiss. And then, all of a sudden, his hands are everywhere you don’t want them to be. You politely push them away, and joke about it. You end up declining the offer to stay over, and go home at the end of the evening.

And then you stop hearing from him. Radio silence de Luxe.

This is exactly what happened to one of my dearest friends, a beautiful girl with a ditto heart and a magnificent set of brains.

Well, guess what Mister Giant Whorebag of Note: the fact that my lovely friend accepted your drinks and dinners and what not, did not entitle you to a one-way ticket to her bed. Oh, and next time you send a degrading sms (“No man. She wasn’t up for it, so I am moving on. Next, ha ha!”): Check to whom you send it before you press the green button.

So help me God: if I find ever bump into you, you would do well to prepare your ‘little head’ for a up-close and personal encounter with my flipflop.

That is all.

*End rant*

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Stuff that Pisses Me Off, The World of Mir

 

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You Have Got Soul, Mate(s)!


“Do you believe in soul mates?” Friend X asked me the other day. “Ah, never mind. You probably don’t. You are not the airy-fairy hippie type,” she continued without waiting for my reply, sipping happily on her wine.

Well, yes, I am not the airy-fairy hippie type. But I do happen to believe in soul mates. So there.

I however don’t think that one person has just one soul mate AND neither do I believe that soul mates are always permanent or confined to the romantic sphere. These special beings come in a wide variety of disguises. Some of them are friends, other mentors, parents, or total strangers. And lovers, of course. Some of these soul mates show up in your life and stick around like cheap Chinese superglue, while others pop up briefly and then vanish – *poof-gone*.

Despite their differences, all soul mates have one thing in common: they leave a lasting imprint on … well, I guess your soul. Or something like that.

I feel I have (had) several soul mates, and each one of them is playing / has played a unique role in my life, whether short and sweet or long and substantial.

Take my friend José. This chick is definitely one of my über soul mates. We have been friends since we were 13 years old, and despite the distance (she lives in The Netherlands while I reside in the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town) we are very close. She is usually the first one I call when shit hits the fan this side, and I was one of the first people she told about her pregnancy. Whenever we see each other, which is usually once a year, it is like we met just the week before. I feel safe having her in my life. I feel that there is nothing in the world I cannot share with her. José will not judge, she will not laugh at me, or make me feel insignificant. I have some more friends who fit this bill, but José is different. She is like the sister I have never had.

Some soul mates however, come and then go – sometimes in a matter of days. A couple of years ago, I was overseas for work. I was minding my own business in the hotel lobby, when a handsome man started a conversation. When I turned around and looked him in the yes, something deep inside soft collided with my soul, leaving a nearly invisible yet permanent imprint behind. I guess you can compare the feeling the soft, gentle thud when the elevator you’re in hits the ground floor. Ou know, the feeling when your tummy and briefly heart change places. There was this instant connection, *smack-bang out of the blue* I must add that I rarely have instant connections with people, so I know when it happens.

Because I was on a media trip, I could not chat for very long and neither could he. A few days later, our paths crossed again. For the life of me I cannot remember how or where. All I can remember that he offered me a lift to my hotel because I had missed the bus. He dropped me off, we hugged – and that was that. While this encounter was very brief, and would probably not be meaningful to most people, I consider this person as one of my ‘hit and run’ soul mates. I can’t explain why, but that is just the way it is.

By the time I was finished with my explanation about my opinion  re soul mates, Friend X’s jaw had dropped on the floor.

“You are an airy-fairy hippie after all! You just don’t know it yet,” she giggled while asking the waiter for a top-up.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in The World of Mir

 

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Back On The Horse?


“Come on, just do it!” a friend told me not too long ago.”You gotta get back on the horse some day, right? Rather do it sooner than later.”

Friend X was not talking about horse riding or climbing back onto my Mountain Bike after a wee accident the other week (which has not deterred me from doing the Cape Argus by the way – I am cycling up a storm). She was talking about dating. Yes, that thing you do with someone you could possibly see yourself holding hands with. Eew.

Look, I am not sure if I am ready to throwing myself into the dating cauldron. First of all, the ex still pops up in my mind from time to time, despite the fact that I am pretty much okay we did not work out in the end (The writing was on the wall from the moment I left Oz after all, with him backing off and avoiding communication. I have had some time to get used to the idea … ). We were together for 1.5 years, and despite all the shit including three or four breaks ups from his side, I have good memories about us. Too bad he seems to be unwilling to build news ones but that is not my problem.

So despite the fact that I am not 100% sure whether I want to ‘put myself out there’, I do see myself walking hand in hand with someone at some point in time. However, I wonder if I have the energy to:

1) Find someone (finding a nice, handsome, straight, tall, sporty, single, non-religious, trustworthy, honest guy who does not have mommy issues / bonding issues / changing mind issues in Cape Town can be classified as a downright Mission Impossible)

2) Get to know that someone and all his quirks and baggage – with the possibility that it doesn’t work after all (meaning ou have just wasted another couple of months)

3) Go through the entire insecure “Oh shit, does he like me?” phase (with the possibility to get dumped in the process).

4) Be dumped

5) Having to dump someone if it doesn’t work out

6) Go through stages 1 -> 3 with someone else.

So what to do?

Friend X told me I should try online dating again. I laughed. Hard. The last time I did that, I was inundated by emails from creepy uncles / convict look-a-likes / sugar daddies / old toppies / horny teenagers / gangstahs / hippies / married men / other freakshows. Yes, it was entertaining I must admit, but it was not very productive on the dating front. To give ou an example: One guy that I agreed to date, ended up in a stalker who said he loved me after date number 3. When I told him to back off, he did just the opposite by ringing my doorbell. Another one burst into tears when I asked him why he was on this particular daring site. Number three was everything but tall, dark and handsome as he proclaimed to be. And so the list continues. I did make friends via this particular site, which is great. But love? Na-ah.

“But it could be food for interesting blog posts,” she added, all innocently and chirpy. “In the process, you COULD meet Mr Right, you know.”

Hm. Mr Right. *ponders*

I hate it when Friend X is / could be right. Hm. Watch this space.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 16, 2012 in The World of Mir

 

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