Monday, May 04, 2009

Where I stay - a partly pictorial

Since you must all be wondering what's up with this woman who hasn't left her house for more than two hours this past week, while she is supposed to be all adventurous and shit, here is a novel post giving you some more or less valid reasons why her house is a good place to hole up in, or perhaps not so good.

I might even attach some of them grainy photos. (The fancy camera is with the Hubby, 'cos as you know it's all about the camera, not the talent of the photographer in the least.) 

In South Africa you don't live somewhere, you stay, and where you came from is 'over there' or 'over on that side'. And I'm from way over on that side, which is becoming quite evident.

Here I stay, for reasons not under my control, in a superduper secure compound, that actually has it's own postal code, a grocery store, two restaurants, two fastfood places (the all encompassing and important pizza and burger), an assortment of useless shops, a different kind of assortment of illegal hair and nail salons that people run from their houses, a gym, a school, and a golf course. In short I stay in a bubble of luxury and Tuscan mockitecture. I might have mentioned this eyesorish feature before? Yes, I believe I have, perhaps even more than once.

This bubble comes secure with all kinds of walls, electrified and not, and no less than three different gates, two of which have guards (must check if they're armed with something else than batons) posted at them. To enter the gate Big Brother a machine reads your fingerprint. The guards at the gates are nice, but still, they're guards. Which must mean that I'm a target, which must mean that leaving the house isn't a good idea. You see how this could happen...?

The house that we are renting for the duration of the expatriate assignment is not one of the Tuscan wonders. It is a two story military grey box of concrete, but at least it comes without carpeting, and with floors sort of reminiscent of actual wood. Laminate, I believe. There is a sizable backyard with a covered patio, a braai, and a lawn. You may also know this back yard under such signifiers as 'the last resting place of the unfortunate tree' or 'the space never used but should be to avoid scurvy or whatever one gets from lack of vitamin D'.

Now, the house for us, as expats and unable to really own anything and always choosing a house after a long hotel stay and willing to take the first decent place, is just a shell to dump our crap in. This is where the reasons to hole up come in and the pictorial part (almost first ever... exciting) of this post begins.

Why I'm holed up here (besides the obvious reasons of this is where my wine, coffee and computer are):

I like my seating better than Seattle Coffee's (which is also now closed, so double whammy).


I have plenty of creatures, who don't resist my dictator leadership, to hang with.


And of course then there's the office with a bay window, offering ample opportunities for pigeon gazing. Now with seating.


And the mandatory cup of coffee is on the table.

Aren't I all artsy and whatnot. 

Not. 

Dang.

27 comments:

stepforddreams said...

You have such lovely things! I can see why staying home is so nice.

Extranjera said...

SD - Thanks! I like them and prefer the green chair to even Starbucks seating and THAT is a huge thing.

julochka said...

actually, you're a lot neater than i pictured in light of the whole not showering/bathrobe thing. and we have the same macbook pro, which always makes me feel validated. don't you feel proud to be seen in an airline lounge with it and a little superior to all those suckers who don't have one? the only ones i feel inferior to are those with an Air, but i didn't think that i could make it with so few USB ports.

backing up to you again...i think scurvy is a lack of vitamin C. the vitamin D'll just drive ya crazy.

i love the pillows, the prickly pear frida kahlo doll and the skeleton people (are they all from mexico?)

and very impressive with the strikethrough. i take it you found blogger in draft?

Amanda said...

I am IN LOVE with your woven footstool thingy. If one day you find it missing, come to kansas, and there you might find it!

Why, pray-tell are you in SA? What kind of work/assignment is hubby on? Or is it a super secret, double identity kind of thing?

Extranjera said...

julochka - I have a maid. If it wasn't for her you would in fact be seeing a table buried underneath used tissues and coffee cups. And I took a shower today. Just to shake it up a little.

I'm loving blogger draft! 'Cept for I can't make it stick. Have to go back every time and choose it again...?

I only flaunt my MacBook Pro at obscure African hotels. In Zambia a couple on their honeymoon asked to take a picture of me and the Mac with them.

Yup, colorful accessories mostly Mexican. The first pillow I think Guatemalan.

I wish I cared enough to paint the walls though. I'm loving your atelier!

Extranjera said...

Amanda - Thanks! We're CIA, the Finnish version.

julochka said...

there should be a little box towards the top of the dashboard, which says "Make Blogger in Draft my default dashboard." and which you check and voila, it's your default dashboard.

in BiD you can also do that geo-tagging thing that i always do, but that's within the post itself.

Extranjera said...

julochka - I tick it, but nothing comes out of it. I think my Blogger is slightly faulty (Oh Blogger gods, please don't strike me down).

julochka said...

ok, that's weird. i can't explain that at all. have you checked the help or blogger blog to see if others have that issue?

Kristin said...

Thanks for the photos! After following your blog it's kinda cool to get an idea of where you live. The stuff you have is exactly what I imagined you'd have (potential stalking is ok, right?).

marathoner81 said...

I like to stay close to my wine too. Although after the weekend I've had we're thinking about taking some time apart.

julochka said...

oh hey, and you hit 100!!! yay!!!

Extranjera said...

julochka - I know, Hurrah! I'll try the blogger help thing, but am okay as long as I remember to choose BiD every time.

Kristin - as I've said before as long as the stalking doesn't cross into something ugly, I'm cool. Engage in a fair amount of it myself.

Marathoner - It's a pity when you feel that point come in the course of your life...

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I'm new to your blog through marathoner.....I like what I see so far.

I love the little skeleton people (I have a statue fetish, mind you) and your bookshelves look so inviting. I can now see why you are fine with staying in. How nice!

Extranjera said...

FG (lack of coffee=laziness) - Welcome and thank you so much!

The skeleton people are called Caterinas, and they're Mexican and not 'so' little (well, they still kind of are), averaging around 45cm in height.

Kikit said...

If I had your things, I would opt to stay in the house too. :)

I've just discovered your site. I enjoy reading your posts. :)

Extranjera said...

Kikit - Thanks and Welcome! And also a great big thank you to helping me justify my absolute hermitude. Like I need any more reasons... ;o)

The Fragrant Muse said...

I know this has been covered and responded to, but I still feeled compelled to comment: Dude, you're scary tidy.

I LOVE cactus-hair lady and cactus-artsy bench!

More please.

corticoWhat said...

You're shorter than I thought you were.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

I am in love with your patchwork ottoman. I completely understand the hermit appeal. If I could figure out a way to stay home in my pj's all day, I totally would.

Extranjera said...

Muse - Again, it's not me it's the maid. But I'll let my mother know, and she will be totally thrown off.

corticoWhat - Completely average hight.

VEG - Thanks! Although I'm thinking it's kind of getting out of hand...

corticoWhat said...

Maybe it was the camera angle
(as to your shortness)or maybe you were giving the 5" heels the day off.

My name is Erin. said...

Great windows. I don't think you actually need to leave for the Vitamin D. Just stand very closely to the window.

Does your maid work for free and is she willing to commute to the States? I could use some help. Because I'm lazy.

Love the Frida doll. I just wrote a mini biography on her for a class. Well I can't really claim I wrote it. I basically compiled information and tried not to completely plagiarize said info. It was for my photoshop class so I also did a silly little photo that was loosely based on one of her works of art. Maybe I'll share it with the world one of these days.

Extranjera said...

Erin - My thoughts exactly about the vitamin D. And like I needed more reasons not to have to go out...

The maid barely works for me. We're not currently communicating well and we have some disagreements over the vacuum and whether it should be used or not as well as Pledge and whether she can actually use it to polish the plates instead of washing them. But I'll ask her...

I don't like mounted animals, so I have two mounted Fridas on the wall instead. Please show us the photo! (and tell me how to use the flippen photoshop gadget from hell - took me 20 min to figure out how to open up a picture to fiddle with. And yes, I refuse to watch the tutorial)

Kristin said...

In honor of your continued stay-in-the-hose streak, I've tagged you with the Morning Coffee Award. The details (such as they are) are over at my blog. Enjoy!

julochka said...

i may have missed something, but i don't really get how we got any idea of how tall you are from these photos...

my WV is now gencolun. kind of appropriate in a rather obscure way in light of the gyne/o visit today (which is tomorrow from the perspective of this post, but today as i write this comment).

i think i need another cup of coffee...

Extranjera said...

Kristin - great that you approve. I was gonna consult, but you guys being a half day behind us is tough, my attention span just couldn't take it.

julochka - I think I've missed something too...

And, since everyone was so interested, I have now blogged about the gyno. Serves you right :o)