You have to associate with them. There's no way out. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. You see them coming, brace yourself, and leave the rest up to some higher power if you are thus inclined, or to that miniscule part of the brain that also tells you to lock your car doors, to not eat that funky-smelling shrimp, or to wear a sports-bra while doing sprints. Whatever you think keeps you safe from a steep spiral into insanity, a serious black eye, the vortex of general doom, and/or a dangerous demise.
There is nothing at all for you to do when those people open their mouths, but to attempt to bite your tongue and think of sandy beaches, calming waves, and cold margaritas made with the proper kind of tequila, and en las rocas, naturally. A nice, 'largish', cold tamarindo margarita is what does it for me, anyway (although I am allergic to tamarind, which should help to really drive home the point...).
Unless you wish to unleash the beast of course. Which you sometimes have to do. Just to, you know, keep yourself on the side of the seemingly sane. There are things one doesn't have to or shouldn't stomach, after all.
But most times unfortunately, to stay on that very same side just mentioned, involving outerwear not confining any motor actions (do they still do straitjackets? I'm not sure. Seems awfully One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, particularly Nurse Ratched, to me), and in order to avoid spending precious time and strength and vitality (it is always away from you to fight the windmill, isn't it?) on pure stupidity and ignorance, one has to....
Yes, I am going to just come out and say it.
...pick one's battles.
Now, I know that all you adult people out there in the world probably know this, were brought up to behave in this 'keeping the peace' manner (as I probably was too, but some things just didn't take, I guess), and think that I am excruciatingly and perhaps even slightly embarrassingly slow to catch on.
I mean, the whole 'turn the other cheek' whatnot is like totally ancient. Biblical, man.
But I am picking my battles. Finally. Or at least today.
However, there's nothing in the rules about me blogging about it. Is there now?
Because, even if one is not out to get one's teeth or any other part of the body kicked in (or in some cases kick anyone else's teeth in. I am, quite large and powerful, after all) sometimes it just happens that South Africa, or usually, more correctly, one of its inhabitants, metaphorically nunchuks you in the groin with such force that you are left wondering how uncomfortable it must be to be a man and why men don't habitually wear protection over their nethers just to be safe and pain free. But then you start musing about whether you would just laugh at them if they did, and decide that that is exactly what you would do and loud too, and then, well, you think of Lady Gaga. Because she is fun in that nethers sort of way. And you really enjoy singing to Bad Romance in your car.
But the pain always returns. Gaga or no Gaga.
Still, whether you are picking the battle or not, the following statements should never, ever be allowed to be uttered by anyone, anywhere (So I guess, I'm blogging the battle instead?). And any such attempts should lead to such bad karma (now that I think of it, they might already have. Hooray, karma shoots with verbally abusive husband, and scores with a divorce and extremely low self-esteem. Karma walks all over the racist.) and utter misery falling on the utterer's path, that no one would ever want to utter them, or even think them. Ever. And everyone should just smarten up, get a proper education, and stop spouting the worst ignorant shit I have ever heard:
"At least during Apartheid the hospitals worked."
"I don't think the races should mix."
"Apartheid has been over for 16 years and nothing has become better for the poor blacks. The only difference now is that the whites are suffering too."
"It has already been 16 years! How long do we have to keep thinking about and blaming the past?"
"They are just so different from us."
The tip of the iceberg. Only the very tip.
The day before yesterday, this magnificent country celebrated Freedom Day, a day on which, 16 years ago, South Africans were, for the first time in history, able to vote in a legitimately democratic election. On that day, 16 years ago, South Africans chose the great Madiba - Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - to be their president. They voted to end the suffering many of them had endured under the gruesome and truly horrific regime of Apartheid. They voted for freedom for all. They voted for a better life, and a new beginning.
But now, as the nation's awkward teenage years roll on, the government and the ruling party, Mandela's party, the ANC, haven't quite accomplished what they set out to do for South Africa, and instead they seem to be okay with potentially very dangerous individuals (read: raging lunatics) holding important positions within the party, and so there seems to be some backlash, to which I'm personally privy.
Backlash, in the form of more and more people feeling as if they can and perhaps even should voice their misguided racist tendencies opinions, and educate the poor foreigner (POOR ME!) who obviously doesn't understand that "the blacks are fucking up this country," and who'll "soon realise how things really are in South Africa."
"Just you wait and see for yourself."
Well, after almost two years in this awesome and beautiful country, I'm still waiting, and the biggest problem I see is your ignorant, racist ass, complete with nasty cellulite.
Unfortunately, often there is no talking reason. There isn't even a battle to pick. Just horrifying comments to block out, to be let into the consciousness only long enough to be blogged and thus hopefully diminished of any power, a tongue to be bitten into small chunks amidst a completely red view, and complete and utter faith in the ways of Karma.
Of reaping what one has sown.
What's in a day? Just leisurely picking thorns off my butt, thighs and sides.
What are you, dear reader, sowing today? And what will you reap? Tell me. Help me take my mind off of this shit.