Saturday, May 26, 2007

Boy will be boys

Some days it is good to be reminded of what it is to be a child. I stumbled upon these guys while looking at low cost housing for a potential story. When I first spotted them the boy in the vest was lying upside down in the wheelchair, just checking out things from a different angle.

I remembered doing things just because... I now feel that I have to be doing something constructive, or am thinking about work. So I came home. I sat down on the carpet and then lay on my back and just looked at the nails holding the ceiling up. And when I had finished looking at the patterns and spacing of the ceiling board nails I watched my kids. I never tried to talk to them or encourage them to do anything in particular. I just sat and watched.

That was the best afternoon I had last week. I am going to try and just experience something once a week now, whether it is lying on my back (again) staring at the clouds and sky, or driving past gum plantations and watching the patterns and shapes in the trees as you speed past.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Point Road

I spent time recently on Point Road which could soon be Mahatma Ghandi Street. I was making photographs for the New York Times who are doing on a story on the name changes happening in the city. The writer, like the cops who stopped me to make sure that I was not an insane tourist wandering point road with a camera, thought that one of the roughest streets in the CBD could be named after a man who stood for peace.

I asked a couple of locals in a bar where the prostitutes which Point Road is infamous for are. And then had to explain that I was doing a story and not looking for a room to rent by the hour, which I might add you can find on Point Road. I was told by a reliable source that the Esplanade is the best place to find a prostitute. Well, he looked reliable in that I would not like to meet him in a dark alley. The dark alley which was right outside the door of the establishment I had
found myself in.

I did not find a prostitute but met some interesting people along the way. I think I will go back again sometime soon. There was something in the seediness which seemed so much more alive and real than the malls I find myself in. A sad place, but an honest one.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Blue Lagoon

There's not much I like more than fishing. For me it is a release from work. For some it is about putting food on the table.

When I am on the beach front in Durban I like to head to Blue Lagoon. If I have an hour to kill I will fish for a bit, but usually it is fairly brief visit long enough to find out what has been caught. And I am not alone. Many people stop in during their days. Men in suits possibly between meeting talk to the regulars, some of whom are subsistence fishermen. Beaten up old bakkies park next to luxury 4x4's. Rusted bicycles are chained to rustier poles

When you get there it is a bit like walking into a club. An open air club with salt in the air, where there is no dress code and no annual subs to be paid. No waiters, barmen or cleaners. There is only common ground of a fishing rod, smelly bait and an ability to natter piscatoraly for hours.

I am not sure whether this elderly couple were fishing for food or pleasure. I hope it was for pleasure. In fact I will ask them when I see them again.