Sunday, 26 July 2015

Soundtrack of My Life ~ Make it Bun Dem





Hello Rockstars!!!

I hope you are ready for another Soundtrack of my life post! I am sure you guys understand that some songs and memories are tougher to share than others. Initially when Guy and I broke up, I felt like I had nothing to share that didn't involve him (Since he was part of the last 7 years of my life) which was hard because he was kind of the last person I wanted to talk about and seemed to be the only thing some friends wanted to know about. Add to that that some friends decided I was a threat and might possibly want their husbands after being friends for so many years, which just sucked because it couldn't have been further from the truth. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with men for a while. 

Anyway, since then I have made new memories and some new friends, even reconnected with some old friends and it is a bit easier to share a memory or two, when it comes up. I have taken time out to heal and started living a life I want to remember and am proud to share and say 'Yeah I did that!' 



Make it Bun Dem by Damian Marley & Skrillex


Make it Bun Dem is linked to such a random memory and yet it is one of my favourites that always brings a smile to my face. Two of our friends, Anzette and Roché (Also known as Ranger Roach) came to visit us for the weekend in Summer. Guy Still had his company Jeep and we took the top down and decided to take a quick adventure trip to the beach. Since this was Guy, it was never a simple trip, it would normally involve some off road trail (We ended up in some interesting places to put it mildly most of the time) and hopefully not getting stuck or sliding down a dune... you get the picture... 

While we were travelling down Sardinia Bay road and listening to 5fm, Make it Bun Dem played on the radio and we just blasted the song and were all jamming to it. It sort of became like a running anthem for a while. When Guy and Roche were together, you are always guaranteed a ton of laughs.  





Even though so much has changed, this is still one of my favourite tunes and I am grateful to have had such awesome times. 

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me!

Peace out
x



This isn't a blog hop but feel free to join in and visit the very awesome blog of Robin @ Your Daily DoseThese are posts where you write about a song and the story linked to it. 

StMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS
Cherdo on the Flipside 
Holli's Hoots and Hollers 
THE DOGLADY'S DEN

Your Daily Dose

Friday, 24 July 2015

MWYA Random Ramblings ~ Life




Hey Hey Hey!!!

Have you ever thought about the difference between knowing something and realising it? There is a huge difference between the two. There are times to contemplate life and then there are times when you just need to live it! 



I believe this - l also believe life is also about balance. I love discovering new concepts and learning about life and expanding my spiritual knowledge and I admire the zen people who have this ever lasting calm about them and they just seem to be vibrating above the rest of us normal people - But sometimes I just want to be human. 

Generally I am always reading some form of enlightenment book and sometimes I can go 2 or 3 months without reading anything of the sort and am just living and being human. 

Sometimes I just want to be silly and carefree and all of the things that go with that. I want to laugh about stupid stuff until I cry with happy tears and my stomach aches. Or go chill on the beach and just listen to the waves soothing my senses and soul.

I find that if I don't take these time outs or go through these phases, what should be 'enlightening' becomes heavy. Just being, instead of searching has it's own beauty. What's the point of doing all this searching if you are not going to enjoy who you have worked so hard to be and not taken time out to appreciate who you are and how far you have come. Even when you are not actively searching you are still learning. I am the eternal observer, I love to people watch and contemplate. I do it without even realising it. We are always connected to the Source/God/Spirit.  

I found some great wisdom while going through a course called the Gem, run by non-other than the fabulous, Donna the Fairy Godmother. 

She talks about the 4 'A's of life:

Awareness, Allowing, Acceptance and Appreciation. 

You need to feel it, before you can release it. These past few months I have been part of the flow experiment, even though I haven't been an active participant on the Facebook group, it is always at the back of my mind. When a situation arises, I contemplate how I can flow through it. I read other people's stories and this is my way of learning as well. The flow of life is beautiful, I have learnt to go with the current instead of swimming upstream. If I have a lot to do, I think to myself, what do I feel like doing now and you know what, sometimes that is nothing and I just want to sit in the sun and soak up the rays. Other times I am active and motivated and I fly through the 'to-do' list. 

Balance helps me create a more stable life and I have found the content space when I have needed it. Yes, to a degree I have been frustrated that things are not happening as fast as I would like, but this has taught me a few things, patience and to let things happen when they are meant to, just to name a few. Not everything is meant to work out and there is probably something better waiting to take place. Sometimes things happen in sequence, so that something fantastic can take place, and sometimes good things fall apart so that great things can fall together. 

That's life. 
Life  happens, move on, stay positive. 

Life can be difficult. Life can be hard. None of us can escape pain, grief or loneliness. They never said it would be easy, only that it would be worth it. Worth it to fight for. Worth it to live for. It doesn't matter what happens, only how we decide to respond to it. 

My wish for you is to find a happy balanced space and to start living a life to remember.

Peace Out
x



Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Soundtrack of My Life - Santeria




Hello Beauties!!!

I hope you are ready for another Soundtrack of my life post! This isn't a blog hop but feel free to join in and visit the very awesome blog of Robin @ Your Daily Dose
These are posts where I write about a song and the story linked to it. 

An all time favourite song of mine I am quite excited to share with you is Santeria by Sublime. This song takes me straight back to the USA and an amazing bunch of people!

I have always been in love with the USA. In High School all my friends had these huge plans to go to the UK. There was initially a small group of us who were going to the USA but by the end of the year it was only me who was still committed to going. 

My parents made a deal with me, they said that if I planned and arranged my way to the USA, I could go. Deal!!! I was writing my finals in October / November 2003 and making trips to Cape Town on weekends for either interviews with prospective employers or the US embassy. I was determined. My parents would pick me up on a Friday afternoon after whatever exam I wrote, we would make the 8 hour drive to CT, I would learn somewhere in between for my next exam on Monday, do whatever was needed to do on Saturday, make the drive back on Sunday and be back at boarding school Monday morning. 

It was intense. It was hectic. It was worth it. 




I got a job offer, which placed me at the Westin Resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. There I was, 18 years old, climbed on a plane to go live in the USA on my own. What the hell was I thinking? I was either brave or stupid, but it was the best year of my life! 

Santeria by Sublime

So back to this awesome group of people. 

They were:

Cinzia - Was just awesome and she just brought her own sunshine where ever she went. She was just always happy. (We have lost contact over the years)
Nadia - Nadia was just as awesome, crazy and happy as Cinzia. She never conformed to a box but made her own space. (We have lost contact over the years)
Marlise - The awesome sweety-pie of the group. You could just see and feel that she was sincere and a great person. (Still friends and she is still awesome)

(For reference purposes I was a very shy and quiet type person back then. 
Naive and innocent - I know right, if only I knew then what I know now)

From Left: Andrew, Cinzia, Me, Ethan, Roy, Guy? and Marlise
Andrew - I just thought Andrew was awesome. I had labelled him my favourite American when I was there. He dated Cinzia and they were just the cutest couple ever! He was just always really nice to me, never let me feel left out.  (No clue where he is in the world)
Roy - Hmmm where do I begin. We were friends even though we didn't speak much? I think I was just to shy to actually talk to him most of the time. (Still friends)
Ethan - The party boy of the group and life of a party. Sweet and fun. We got along quite well and I always had a good laugh and time whenever he was around. (Still friends)

There were other people around but for the life of me I can't remember who they are or how they fit into the equation. I look through my pictures and sorta go 'Who the hell is that?'

Anyway back to the story! I either heard this song at one of the parties we were at or in the car on the way to a  party - one way or another. It stuck with me and I think of these 6 amazing people every time. 




Thanks to good ole faithful Facebook, I get to connect with these peeps now, 11 years later. Do you have any friends that represent a huge life altering period in your life? 

Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me!

Peace out
x



StMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Cherdo on the Flipside 

Holli's Hoots and Hollers 

THE DOGLADY'S DEN


Your Daily Dose

The Soundtrack of My Life ~ Glycerine




Hello lovelies


So one of my blogger friend, Robin @ Your Daily Dose has a series of posts where she writes about a story or memory from her life linked to a song. I was thinking about doing something similar a while ago (before I discovered her posts) and totally loved this idea!



Initially I found it hard to think of one particular song as I love music so much ad have tons of memories linked to so many songs. Where do I start? So I consulted my good friend iTunes and found one of my all time favourite songs and realised it would be a perfect first post. 



My stories might not be as awesome or interesting as Robin's, but I will be sharing some songs that have special places in my heart and on my ipod. 



Glycerine by Bush

This is one of those songs that I will literally stop whatever I am going and listen to. It takes me straight back to my teenage years. 

The first time I heard this song, one of my friends, Chase, was playing it on the guitar and I just fell in love with it. After that, every single time there was a guitar close by I would ask him to play Glycerine for me. Eventually I didn't even have to ask #MyBad #ThanksDude. 

Then - 2003
Plus there is just something sexy about a guy who can play the guitar. Some of my best memories are just around a bonfire with the guys taking turns to play. The good old days with a great group of friends: Chad, Chase, Brett, Anna, Claire and myself. (Since I am Thailand I am unable to post a pic of all the peeps!)

Maybe this is one of the reasons I love acoustic versions of songs so much. 





I have known Chase since I was 14. It was one of those friendships that seemed to make it through everything, plus throughout the 15 years I had a crush on him many times, I never told him though. 


I am thankful though that nothing ever came of it, because I am glad to still have him around. I am not his type and he isn't my type anymore but he is an awesome friend who will always just tell you how it is - no nonsense. 



Now - 2015
So as you can see, Glycerine has a special place in my life and one that will stay with me forever. Do you have any of those friendships that have made it through a lot and you are grateful to still have them around? 

I am looking forward to sharing more memories and music with you!! 

Peace out
x



StMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Cherdo on the Flipside 

Holli's Hoots and Hollers 

THE DOGLADY'S DEN


Your Daily Dose

Saturday, 18 July 2015

My 2015 Adventures ~ Some more about Thailand





Hello lovelies

There are some days where I literally have to take a step back and just breathe. I am in Thailand. Part of that statement still feels so surreal even though I am working with the kids, having challenging communication issues and catching a scooter to work everyday. I cannot remember the last time I even wore a jacket or jersey and I am slowly adapting to the Thai Baht currency and not converting as much as you do when you first get here. 

Life is different. I have gone from living in a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, massive lounge, kitchen, double garage and undercover braai area - townhouse, to a one bedroom and tiny bathroom - hotel room. I don't need much more than that. It's really just more to clean at this point. 

The frustrating points are balanced out by the beauty of this adventure. I don't care if I'm here for one month, 3 months, 6 months or a few years. I can say I have lived here as resident and not a tourist. The entire mindset is different as well as your interactions. Quite often the time difference can suck, especially when you want to share something funny with someone and realise they are probably sleeping. It takes quite a bit of effort to keep friendships and relationships going but it is always worth the effort. 

Sometimes there is so much that goes through my mind it is hard to put it down into words. I have a few videos I would like to share on the blog. It is easier to record a video than to type as life just gets so busy, who knows I might move into the world of vlogging. What do you think? I even took a video on the scooter the other day just for fun. You guy's want to see it?

So the other day I was going through a bit of a rough spot (well I have been through a few actually) and put a few of my 'mood lifter' techniques to the test again! It is amazing what a change in mindset can do for you. I woke up kinda stressed out, and everything felt challenging. It felt like I was at odds with most people due to the culture barrier... (This is a bigger thing than most people give it credit for when it comes to Eastern and Western society) I was sitting on the scooter on the way to work and I just decided I love my job! Just like that. Everything changed and became easier for the rest of the day and week. I was so proud, together with Mr P we put together a awesome Power Point presentation (Which was altered daily since then). At times it feels hard because they haven't told me the 'rules' but I get into trouble for breaking them... go figure... 

On the weekend (even though we were working) we went to the Walking Weekend Market and I realised how little clothes I actually have! Now, all my friends know I have no shortage of clothes... Sigh it's a tough one and I need to wait to earn my full salary before I can really go out and buy more stuff. 

We have done a few fun things since I arrived. I went for a trip up Tang Kuan Hill, did the Love Lock thing. Yeah it's my little wish being put into the Universe. Let me tell you it was a cooker day - what can I say... permanent summer for me! I actually have a standard adventure kit: My Mercedes peak I bought in Germany, my RayBans and my good old faithful fan!  I am so proud I remembered to bring it with. I have gone to the beach a few times (obviously... #HappinessIs) as well as seen the statue of Naag. 

I must say I am amazed at the small town syndrome that goes on where ever you go... I know I stick out because I am pale, blonde and well just a foreigner in general - but wow! We went for a foot massage and it was the first time I met these Thai girls. They already knew what I had been up to (like going up the mountain) and I had only been here a week!

You know you are learning the lessons of life when you can recognise certain things when they arrive next time around. Here is one that has made it's way onto my radar... again: You don't marry the party boy. You can date him. You can have fun with him - but nothing serious! It just different packaging with the same set of problems. I know there are exceptions to the rules... Anyway moving on. 

It is so important to try and find happiness in every moment. Sometimes all people need is your love and support. Not your advice and to try fix whatever it is. They need to figure it out on their own. They need to work through it on their own. This is tough when it is in our nature to want to try and fix everything or give advice. I don't always want advice - sometimes I just want my friend to listen, go 'hmmm' or 'uh-huh', then when I am done.. ask 'Do you feel better?' That's it - no advice necessary because 90% of the time.. we answer our own questions while venting. 
PS don't ever mistake my silence for weakness. 

So there is this thing that confuses me here.. It can be offensive to show your shoulders in public... but there are girls that wear skirts so short that they could be classified as belts... it does not leave much to the imagination at all! This is acceptable? I don't forstance... really I don't!

The thing about travelling abroad to a country that is so different to yours and something we take for granted is respecting cultures. In SA, we have a few different cultures but they co-exist. When you travel you realise that as South African's we actually only have one culture and it is very difference to the rest of the world. I have observed and there are two types of people when it comes to cultures: 
- The people who demand respect for their culture while disrespecting yours
- or the people who silently respect your culture regardless of where you come from. 

The thing about travelling is that we get to experience just how different the world can be. There is so much beauty in it if we choose to see it. 

Initially when I first came to Thailand I thought the traffic was chaotic! What robots? People just go... it really felt like there was no system to it at all. Only over the past few trips to school did I start to see the sort of ebb and flow of the traffic system here. 

One thing that is still really funny to me is that I see and find.. random shoes everywhere! You would think the people would be inside 'said' room but nope... there is no one in sight! Nolan was telling me one story where one of his friends was staying in a hotel, got drunk and went around collecting all the shoes he could find. When he woke up the next morning there was pure chaos everywhere. I know I know #FunnyNotFunny but it gave me a good laugh. 

You know how I know I have started to adjust to Thailand? Here is one of my status updates from this week: 


July 16 at 11:08am · 
How I know I have adjusted to Thailand: ready for work... ipod check... hop on scooter taxi (no helmet no worries) check... buy patongko check... eat patongko on scooter like a pro holding on with only one hand while navigating traffic check... arriving at destination... hair has a windy type look, pay taxi! Greet students - change into skirt, ready for assembly!

Wrapping things up... When you have a goal, there will always be challenges. The bigger the goal, the harder the challenges. 

Thanks for catching up with me <3 

Peace out
x



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

2015 Adventures ~ First look at Thailand!


Hello lovelies!!! 

Wow can you believe I have been in Thailand for 2 weeks already... Time just flies! I have been having fun but also working very hard. Hopefully I will be able to enjoy Thailand properly soon enough ad explore a little bit further than the local Songkhla district soon. I will be making a trip to Malaysia soon enough, don't worry I will blog all about it <3 

These posts won't be day for day but more a general post about Thai Life. A few of you might have seen some pictures on my Facebook in the 'Totally Thailand' album or on Instagram. If not, check out the link on the side of my blog. 

So wow... Man it was hot! It's more humid and hotter than Durban and I think pretty much
the same level as South Carolina. Humid is actually an understatement! Adjusting to the time difference was quite a hectic process since I arrived on Wednesday the 24th June and was at work the very next day. I was awake when I should be sleeping and tired when I should be awake!


One of the first things I tried was a Phatanko (which is fried bread with some sesame seeds) on my first morning trip to work and caught my first scooter taxi! Wow that was interesting, which doesn't even begin to describe the insanity of it. Firstly I was wearing a skirt, secondly the passenger doesn't wear a helmet. Yeah... NO Helmet!! So there I am hanging on (side-saddle) for dear life, my taxi driver thinks he is Speedy Gonzales, It's peak traffic.... and his cellphone rings... yeah you got it... he answered and then proceeded to send a text! Who needs two hands right? 

I was a bit frazzled and well... I arrived in once piece and that is what counts. Maybe a little high on adrenaline. My hair was not in the same state and it really doesn't matter what I do with it in the mornings because it never looks the same when I get to work anyway. 

Daonairoi is quite a great school and I believe in their system they use when it comes to a balanced program for their students of Spirituality (Whether it be Buddhist or Muslim), Military training and Academic studies. 

Right, so... if you know me, you know I am an organised and prepared type person. As long as I know what I am doing, I am confident doing it. Winging it - not really my style. So when I was told I needed to get up at assembly and address the kids... *eek* yeah it was short sweet and felt like it lasted a lifetime. Having 300 kids (it was only 1/3 of the school) staring at you and actually not understanding much... I almost died. 

Ok, so here is an interesting thing that I have had to get used to... (one of many things). Toilet paper is not a common thing here... you get it.. I insist on it, but they use these spray water pipe thingys... REALLY! Yeah I still haven't come to terms with it. It's not part of a 'westerners' type bathroom, which is what we are referred to as. For some reason most people think I am American. Or just call me an American South African. I find it amusing since that is where my heart is at the moment. I just own it and take it as a sign. 

Ok so I found my first love *sigh* ICED-COFFEE. I have never really tried it before but it is just too hot to drink normal hot coffee so I thought I would give it a shot. It was love at first sip. Every one here has a nickname and my coffee lady's nickname is 'Gun'. She is just so cute man, she even gave me a jade bracelet as a gift. Every day I go there she practices her English and I practice my minimal Thai.

Communicating with people who do not speak the same language as you (Not even remotely) has been the most interesting and entertaining part of this adventure. We really do take for granted this little gift and it is soooo funny when you need to start reverting to sign language. This is linked to one if the main reasons I am here in Thailand. Teaching them English is hopefully changing their lives and futures. 

On the other hand, at school... the children and staff are fascinated with me, as well as totally scared of me! They stare at me because I have a paler skin (even though I am tanned), have blonde hair and green eyes, they are scared I talk to them  and they might have to speak English back to me. There are few people who basically told me they are going home to prepare something so they can talk to me.. wow... really! I am not that scary. The kids dare each other to come up and say hello to me, then run away laughing. It is so cute and entertaining. I have had so many 'I love you's' and 'I hope you are my teacher' speeches #FeelTheLove. 

So the next challenge.... apparently they do not believe in knives here - well barely. I think the last time I used a knife was in South Africa. Every meal is eaten with  spoon, fork (or both) or chopsticks. Yep that is it. Apparently this is entertaining for a few people as I even had one person taking a video or me eating lunch.Thank goodness I had some good sushi practice back home. People just randomly come up to me and take photos with me! 

I have basically been eating vegan food as I have not been too brave to try some of the meat as I don't know how to ask what exactly it is. I have had KFC twice as well as one or two things either at work or at the market. 

I love the transport now, from the scooter taxi's (Which has become the favourite part of my day) to tuktuk's and some other funny names transport I have no clue how to spell (Songtow or something). 

Tesco Lotus is the place to go when you want basically anything!!! I have bought a few odds and sodds that I need like a hairdryer as well as a multiplug. Coming here with only one suitcase... you don't realise how much you don't have. The little things you take for granted like a bowl to eat cereal or a glass to drink something. 

I got a local number after about 2 days, so that I can keep contact with friends and family back home. And I love the free Wifi... it seems it is only SA that is behind and slowly catching up with this.

Well peeps that is it for the day. I'll save some more for my next post. 

Peace out
x


Thursday, 2 July 2015

MWYA Random Ramblings ~ Job Scams



Hello beautiful people!

So I wanted to share a story about something that happened to me last month. This came as a huge surprise and once again I am so thankful that I ask so many questions and am naturally a thorough person. 

In my mission to try and find a way to the UK I started applying for positions through job portals such as Careers24 and Careerjunction. I have heard so many good stories about these sights so I decided to give it a shot. 

I found two companies that were looking for international recruits and applied for both. I checked out there websites and they were real companies. A day later I received an email from the first 'Said' company requesting more information and an interview form with quite intense questions. They explained everything beautifully! From how they support international sponsorship and support you every step of the way. I took my time and completed it like a pro. I was ecstatic! I sent off the forms and waited in anticipation. I researched the company thoroughly and everything was legit. 

Three weeks passed but I was patient. Eventually an email arrived with more information than I had patience to read in my excitement with an offer of employment, my day was made!!! Yet, s
omething was itching at me which I couldn't quite put my finger on. 

I noticed the two emails were from difference HR managers... Why were there two Human Resource managers? Was the company that huge that they needed two? 

So I did some investigating. I couldn't find these people on LinkedIn (it seems to be a huge thing overseas). Plus the telephone numbers on the emails were not the same as on the website... Plus I was a bit confused why the visa process wasn't going through the UK embassy like all other visas? 

Things were just not making sense. I decided to ask my Cousin to call the Company over there and ask if they were both HR managers. She got back to me saying that the company had never even heard of these people!!! Yikes!!!

My heart literally dropped to my stomach. A legit company would not mind me verifying them and the offer as well. The contract really did cover all grounds... since I worked in the Payroll department for 5 years and saw quite a few contracts it seemed like a normal contract. The  perks were amazing! 

So where do you think the money part came in, if everything was paid for by them (other than the possibility of being sold on some form of black trade market). Personally the only conclusion I could come to was through the visa process as that was the one thing I would have had to pay and they would 'reimburse' me upon arrival. Since visas can cost up to R6000... yeah I thought so too...

Instead of sitting there feeling sorry for myself for even a moment... I looked up a few International recruitment agencies and applied for as many jobs that could suit me as possible. 

My University applications are still the process, so I haven't lost out there either :) It is good I caught this early.. I will be calling every company that sends me an offer directly to verify everything... like I said, if it is legit, they shouldn't mind. 

So I live and learn!

Scary but glad I followed my instincts... 

Peace out
xxx