Tag Archives: South Africa

Happy New Year Ya Filthy Animals. 

So I survived 2016…we all survived 2016 (unless you are some weird ghost/corpse/zombie who has somehow obtained my URL, or you are from an alternate universe where silly things like time has no meaning, in which case: Welcome!) 

Welcome to 2017, people. All that has happened is the calendar has reset itself in a supposedly significant way, the 6 is now a 7 and the 12 is now a 1 and we can all continue living the debaucherous and immoral lives we’ve been cultivating this entire time. Go humanity!

I am pleased, however, that I have managed to survive yet another routine trip around the sun, especially since this year I started driving, which has significantly increased my sense of mortality. 

My sense of morality however is still, I admit, a little shoddy. 

I spent the last few seconds of 2016 outside in the cold, walking along the streets of the Spanish town Moraira, listening to the people inside scream “Happy New Year” at each other. It was nice to feel like I was watching everybody else get on with their new year whilst mine stood still for a bit. Then I had to watch a very loud and disorganised fireworks display because NYE is full of cliches.

My first few moments of 2017 were spent in a club I have actively avoided for about a year and a half, because the last excursion ended in me puking my guts out over the side of a Catamaran into the Mediterranean Sea (holiday life is soooo hard). This time I was smart enough not to puke, and therefore I spent the night dancing awkwardly with people who were a lot more inebriated than I was. Happy New Year. 

I got a taxi home before everyone else did (because I’m old and need time for my wrinkles to reset before the sun comes up), snuck back into my dad’s house and sat on his kitchen counter eating ham by myself. We’re off to a good start if my first meal of the year was ham. 

At this point I had enough clarity of mind to consider my resolutions, or “very relaxed guidelines for the year ahead” as I like to call them, because then I feel less ashamed if I don’t achieve them. 

My guidelines for last year were as follows: 

1. Stop getting drunk on my own emotions and sending psycho messages to unsuspecting victims. 

I like to think I achieved this. I no longer send messages, I just write blogposts of subversive intent, and maybe I subtweet a little. In terms of embarrassing texts, 2016 blessed me with a few incoherent voice notes to my friends and one failed attempt at a sort of booty call in July, although I don’t think he got what I was talking about because I just kept sending weird winky faces. (Note to self: try the eggplant emoji next time). 

This success may be due to the fact that I now have a Whatsapp group with 2 other emotional individuals, so all my angst has been channelled into them (sorry gals). 

2. Actually read all my English setworks. 

I am proud to say that I read 70% of the subscribed reading material this year. I no longer skim through study guides, I actually lugged around the tombs prescribed by the English department and became that nerd who did her homework at music festivals. 

3. Write more. 

I need to stop thinking I have the diligence or the time to churn out a blog post every week. It’s just not going to happen. 

4. Actually save my money because I need a car. 

I’m really freaking proud of myself for doing this. To be fair, the fact that I turned 21 and I have a really nice and generous grandmother paid off. But at least 26% of my car came from me carrying hot plates of food to fancy rich people and heavy beer steins to sloppy drunk people. A lot of carrying for a lot of people went into paying for 26% of my car, and his name is Slartibartfast because that’s what he sounds like when he starts up, plus Douggy A is my ultimate home boy. 

5. Get my license so I can drive the car I’m sacrificing so much disposable income for
3 failed tests, 2 driving instructors, 50 hours of lessons, thousands of rands, so many panic attacks and almost a year later, I finally have that stupid piece of paper that confirms that I can, in fact, drive by myself. 

Now I really hate driving. 

6. Focus on nothing but myself because I get a little distracted and forget to look out for number 1.

I’ve done a lot of weird shit this year. I jumped about 50 metres into an old mine that was filled with water, played pool volleyball with my friends in my underpants, declared war on the neighbourhood watch because they’re self-righteous dicks who do nothing, told someone I really cared about to buzz off, hosted some really good parties, passed out in a flower bed, climbed a few campus buildings, high fived a pope, and kissed a lot of people on the forehead. 

And I did all of it, pretty much, for myself. 

Which brings us to this year. The big one-seven. Here are my very relaxed guidelines for 2017:

1. Stay away from Dangerous White Men (DWMs)

Source: Disney

My best friend Su has figured out that pretty much all the angst in my life stems from my weird interest in Dangerous White Men. The ones who are clearly up to no good and will probably tear down your land in search of gold (it’s just a reference to Pocahontas, but take it as a euphemism if you will). 

2. Get better at driving. 

It’s self-explainatory.

3. Learn to walk in heels before my graduation. 

Despite my freakish height, I really want to be one of those girls with nice calves in nice heels in her nice graduation get up. I want to look fancy and tower over everyone when I take my cliched cap and gown photographs in front of a fountain. 

4. Figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. 

Like I said “relaxed guidelines”.

5. Probably go to the gym more. 

At least I can now drive myself 600 metres to gym instead of walking all that way. 

I should probably also do more things like stop procrastinating, eat less junk food and drink less gin and tonic. But I’ll take the year as it comes. 

I hope everyone reading this has a good year. I hope you fill it with mistakes and hugs and the people you love. I hope you dance a little in parking lots and that you learn to love yourselves a little more every time you do something shameful. May you call people out if they’re being ableist, sexist, racist, ageist, bigoted or insensitive. 

Just be decent, flawed, majestic human beings. 

I love you all, 

Stay interesting. 



Filed under Adventures

Another year, another 366 days worth of poor decisions.

mugI wrote a post like this last year, when 2015 was still but an infant. I was sitting at my aunt and uncle’s toasty kitchen table, trying to be all dramatic about the hardships of 2014. It was great, I enjoyed it far better than a sloppy kiss in a crowd of strangers, and who wouldn’t? I’d rather reflect on all the first world problems the universe has thrust upon me for the past 365 days than actually BE a first world problem by jumping on the generic bandwagon. The public will see none of Tequila Harriet tonight and that is my New Years gift to all of you.

Last year, like the boring human being I am, I wrote myself resolutions that were destined to be broken by January 2nd. You can read them here , or you can peruse this very condensed recap:

2014 Harriet’s New Years Resolutions for 2015, a recap:

  1. To have fewer hangovers and less junk food. This one was broken at by week one of University. I even closed down a bar on a Monday AFTER walking 2 blocks just for a large Double Whopper meal. I’m clearly a disgrace.
  2. Blog more. We did okay in 2015. I wrote 21 new posts, which is just under 2 a month. I also rediscovered my obsession with Twitter, which is a badly punctuated, less pretentious form of blogging, I guess.
  3. Learn the guitar. LO-Fucking-L. I learnt the D chord (insert stupid “she wants the D” joke here) and then I gave up and subsequently forgot the D chord. I was not the douchey guitar guy at parties, I was clearly, according to resolution 1, the girl slurping Stroh Rum off counters on a Monday and washing it down with double cheeseburgers and extra large fries, classy.
  4. Stay single until July. I had a pact with my dear friend Richard that we would remain solitary and soul-searching until July. I am still relatively solitary and soul-searching. Around April I discovered the joys of sweatpants, Chinese food and series and decided to dedicate all my pent-up love energy towards pigging out in my underpants. I am clearly very good at being single. This is a skill I’ve decided to list on my CV.
  5. Learn how to say ‘no’. I’m so proud of this. I actually discovered the joys of telling people when I don’t want to do something, and surprisingly, no one disappeared from my life just because I told them so. “No” is my new favourite word next to “Tom-foolery’.
  6. Learn how to be angry. Meek 2014 Harriet was WAY too chilled. She didn’t get why anger was sometimes required and she was often too scared to actually tell people when she was. This year I told several sexists off, chastised a few line-cutters and kicked my house mate out of my room when he said something offensive. Anger is good and necessary sometimes. I like the notion that I am capable of such an emotion.
  7. Be happy. Despite what my relatively piney and depressing blog posts may convey, I am so happy. In the midst of all the human waste and misery, all the spilled tequila shots and the tears and the lying on my bedroom floor listening to The Cranberries- I came out content.

5/7 is a pretty decent score.

I don’t think I’ll be able to beat a 71% pass rate. That’s a solid B, I’m proud of my B.

I haven’t reflected much on what I want for this year, maybe to stop talking about myself so much and to cut down on the selfie taking (note to self: staring constantly at your own selfies is concerning and probably an indication that you’re a shameless narcissist, Harriet.)

Right so my resolutions/goals/meaningless attempts to self-improve (please improve!) are:

  1. Stop getting drunk on my own emotions and sending psycho messages to unsuspecting victims. As my mom likes to remind me “you’re not crazy- stop acting crazy.” Turns out not everyone wants to hear about how my heart feels like it’s going to fall out of my chest, it gets tedious and receiving multiple texts about my feelings probably makes people scared of me.
  2. Actually read all my English setworks. I must not rely solely on Sparknotes, I must not rely solely on Sparknotes, I must not rely solely on Sparknotes.
  3. Write more. Ugh. Every year.
  4. Actually save my money. You do not NEED that back-scratcher Harriet, nor do you NEED 15 different black eyeliners. You NEED a car.
  5. Get my license so I can drive the car I’m sacrificing so much disposable income for. 21 years old and unable to make it to 3rd gear is not a good look.
  6. Focus on nothing but myself. I get a little distracted, I forget what matters, I perceive other people in my life as being more important than myself. I am the hero of my own story, I can’t keep on tearing myself apart for people who are only looking out for themselves. Sometimes you gotta be your own little hero and save your own little soul.

That being said I hope everyone has a good year and you learn to kiss the people you love more often on the forehead.

Forehead kisses are the way of the future.


Filed under Adventures

Maybe we’re celestially compatible.


I swear you could break my heart with just a flick of your wrist. You could kiss my forehead, stroke the back of my neck and tell me I mean nothing to you but some attention and an ego boost.

How magnetic am I? Am I enough for you to swing your arrow around to point in my direction? Can I pull you in with a simple charge or is it less? Do I tug even remotely on those anxious heart strings? If I were to turn negative would we push each other away? Not quite touching, always attracting; your positive and my negative, my tears and your grin, my insecurities and your surety.

You step on flowers when you walk. And each petaled step you take towards me forces me to be a little more vulnerable, a little less careful, a lot more caring.

You scare me.

You scare me silent. I’m never silent. I’m loud and passionate. I run down boulevards shouting poetry and I tell people to kiss like they’re tasting the stars and I inhale summer breezes like I’ll die if I don’t. I’m desperate. Desperate for midnight adventures, for blankets, for stars and screams and magnetism.

Magnetism! I don’t think you know how happy that made me when you called me that. How badly I wanted to sink into my mattress and sob golden tears from the ball of fire you light in my chest.

You scare me.

You’re so right and good and lovely. You’re lovely!

I don’t get right and good and lovely. I get dark and controlling and destructive. I get unanswered phone calls and middle fingers. No Halloween kiss, no starlight cuddle, no celestial compatibility can stop the possibility of this eventually ending; for me to resume my spot on the floor, for this superlunary brief reality to get a little darker.

Maybe you’re just like him. Maybe you’re the worst person on the planet, maybe you’ve figured out exactly how to make me tick. Hold my hair, kiss me insane, call me cosmic. Maybe I’m your worst nightmare, maybe I make you tick and lose control and feel weird. Maybe our hearts are the wrong kind of magnets. Maybe we don’t stick and you break me and I’m forced to rip apart my own still soul.

But maybe we fit. Maybe you kiss me like I’m the most important person in your world and you hold my hands like they’re coated with gold. Maybe you tuck my hair behind my ears, whisper “I adore you” and sink me into my mattress only with the intention of appreciating ferociously every part of my broken being.

Maybe we fit.


Filed under Brain Poetry, Romance or something like it

The Pretoria Chronicles Introduction: Doob Dealers and The Prospect Street Creepers.

Pretoria is weird place.

This is me reporting from a Northern Johannesburg, privileged and relatively normal (as normal as it can be with a family like mine) background saying that Pretoria, South Africa is the weirdest place on the planet. The Ripley’s Vault has nothing on PTA, The Land of Ooo seems like a regular place compared to what I like to call “Afrikaans Town” or “Beyond The Boerewors Curtain”. Pretoria is nuttier than squirrel poo and I get to spend the next 4 years of my life soaking up whatever it is this city has bathed in.

You guessed it. Little Harribee is all grown up and attending Varsity. The scariest thing I have ever done besides for eat flying ants.

It’s been a whirlwind week of Afrikaans karaoke, purple-haired roommates who write deeper poetry than I do, guys who wear suits everyday, “sokkie-ing”, Residence feuds and closet racists.

I’ve been asked to buy everything from electric toothbrushes ( while filling up for petrol) to weed (he asked me through the gate of my house). And I’ve discovered that my favourite thing to do so far is to sit on my front porch with my roomie, drink tea and yell “HELLO DAMES!” to whoever walks past. We are the Creepers of Prospect Street and proud of it.

I wish I could fit my week into one blog post. But instead I just have to sit here trying to find an appropriate ending while wondering why bad things like writer’s block happen to good people.

So I’m going to tackle this in installments.

“The Pretoria Chronicles Part 1: Pik Botha; the closet racist who lives next door” will be published soon.

Until then, I have a tertiary education to attempt.


Filed under Adventures

The Curious Case of 5 Star Hotels

Hotels, what funny places! They’re a bit like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, everything runs smoothly and The hotel staff are a bit like invisible Oompaloompas, you hardly ever see them and I’m pretty sure if you beg and provoke for long enough at least one of them will stand up and perform a musical number on what a screwed up little child you are or something.

I have stayed in a couple of hotels in my life, they all smell the same, they all have the musical staff and they all have mini shampoos and hand creams that I can’t help but take home with me.

However, my most recent hotel experience is a little more eventful.

As I type this, I am sitting on a bed in The Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg. This particular place of accommodation is actually right around the corner from my house. No, I did not run away from home, and even if I did I would probably be able to afford a lovely room under a bus bench, not an en suite in one of Johannesburg’s finest hotels.

Unfortunately the reason why I’m here is not where my story gets exciting,it’s quite ordinary actually, I’m spending time with my Dad and Stepmother (hold onto your seats, that was an intense fact).

But that obviously is not the eventful part, the eventful part happens roughly 15 minutes after I arrive at The Westcliff.

I get stuck in the bathroom.

If you’ve read my post from 8 September 2010 entitled “Oh dear…there she goes again, yet another disaster story” or if you’ve hung around me for longer than 15 minutes, you will understand that I am a walking disaster zone. My most recent talent is getting stuck in Toilets.

Bathroom doors must have secret meetings in which they plot my demise, I have been stuck in bathrooms of all shapes and sizes: friend’s bathrooms, public bathrooms, my own bathroom. I can now proudly add “hotel” to the growing list.

The simple explanation for how I got myself stuck was that the lock didn’t work. I locked myself in with no way of getting out. Luckily my sister found out about my predicament and called my dad who called the hotel staff who came to get me out.

From what I could hear there was utter panic on the other side of the door, about three people told me to be calm and to breathe deeply while I really should have been the one telling them that. All I did was wait patiently until the lock had been broken and I had been set free. This, dear friends is when being accident prone comes in handy, nothing phases me anymore.

While in that small, well ventilated room I really relished in how many things I could accomplish while being on my own. I updated my Facebook status, counted squares of toilet paper and made patterns out of the tiles, it was wonderful.

One good thing did come out of my battle with the bathroom door, we were given permission to use the ” Presidential Suite” for the night…nothing should be that massive.

I don’t think I’ll ever stay in a hotel with the calibre of the Westcliff ever again and even though the doors need to be kept under control, it is a pretty groovy place to be.

Peace out, homies 🙂





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Filed under Adventures