Archive for June, 2010

The XXX desk policy…

June 29, 2010

They took all my cupboards way a few months ago. What’s next? The stapler? Apparently it’s part of 24.com putting the Clean Desk Policy in place. It didn’t work out for me. Not only did everythign that was in the cupboards simply end up on my desk, but also, the things that were in the cupboards were in the closet for a reason. Like this photo of a band, naked. One of the people in the band actually works in the office. Actually it’s worse than that… he’s in my team.

The Three Bored White guys. They're four and they're not all white. Now Three More White guys. Same issue. Technically it's a sign, because it was taped up somewhere.

But not for long. I’m leaving (no, I wasn’t fired for sexual harassment). Which means finally I am actually cleaning my desk, and realising how little of the crap on my desk I really needed. This picture, however, I had to scan. And post on the web. It’s actually pretty tame compared to what Marie Claire printed, apparently without the band’s consent according to the band. According to Marie Claire, celebs let you photograph them naked and then get cold feet when their relatives freak out after the pictures are published.

The not-so-clean desk of Jean Barker. I take a positive attitude to change. Just don't make me tidy the future.

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This time last week…

June 29, 2010

A week ago, Bafana hadn’t played their final game of the World Cup, and I don’t think we were expecting the fantastic game we got. My life is about to change completely – so completely that i still don’t know exactly what bed I’ll be sleeping in in a month. Even from week to week, my plans change. Last week doesn’t seem like a 7 days ago; it feels like years ago.

She's called Lili Radloff, not Lili Kakloff, cause she's RAD. Snapped at the final Bafana game at Buena Vista Social Cafe.

Still I’m not whining. I’m just panicking. And to have spent my last few weeks in SA enjoying this amazing world cup is such a gift. It’s like Grahamstown Festival, but with happier people and better weather. The streets smell of caramelising Boerewors and woodsmoke, every second person is drunk, hung over or sick from drinking other people’s saliva out of Vuvuzelas, and although the soccer teams keep losing their clothes (they claim robbery, but really, guys…) I think it’s been a safe and exciting world cup.

welcome World Cup

Why I love the Vuvuzela

June 23, 2010

I remember saying – a few weeks back – that I wished we’d chosen a more musical cultural weapon than the Vuvuzela. But now I really don’t think football could ever be the same without it. When the games begin and the vuvus break out, it’s magic. And then there’s the other thing: FIFA branded everything, made their buck out of everything. But they missed the vuvuzela. How did they miss it? They’re like all the record companies that only started trying to sign Die Antwoord after they’d already been offered a three album deal with a top US label.

A friend said he bets they’re busy redrafting their agreements to state that the a portion of the proceeds from the sale of all musical instruments that enter the stadium must go to them. But until they get it signed and sealed… BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARP!

I love being part of the loudest sporting nation on the planet.

And this LOLcat made me laugh. I think it might be French. Beating them yesterday was awesome, even if they were broken already. Apparently they’ve been sent home on a plane in disgrace – economy class.

Lolcute...

jean barker

I was crazy happy when this photo was taken. Can you tell? At the Italy Vs Paraguay game in Cape Town on June 14.

The Big Safe Cafe

June 19, 2010

The Big Safe Cafe used to be a porn shop. Then it became, very briefly, a coffeeshop aimed at busy horny execs in Cape Town’s polite little red light district. It was called Caffeine… but nobody went there, probably because they didn’t want to be seen parked outside Adult World. Now it’s the Big Safe Cafe. Another example of why Coca-Cola whipped Pepsi’s arse. Below the line, which sometimes includes online, usually wins the battle these days. And coke goes everywhere. Caffeine, on the other hand…

Big safe cafe cape town

When they say Cafe, they mean corner store. They sell fake cigarettes, soft drinks, popcorn, milk, newspapers, and other essentials. Not coffee, though.


I love these names. I have issues with Coca-Cola, but they warm my heart. The way they leave the apostrophes in, and let people who might be forced to leave soon have signage a week after they open.

June 19, 2010

There are three main reasons I love Beluga. 1. It’s right next to my office, so most of my friends can be found there most evenings. 2. It’s very hard to get thrown out, even if you … well we won’t go there right now. and 3. This picture.

She's hot, right?


Sure, it’s been hidden away in the depths of the Ladies’ toilets. But when you’re surrounded by other pictures of women all looking as seductive as strippers with their clothes on, as perfect as the chicks who bullied you at school and also, FUCKING SOBER, this chick makes me happy. Sometimes I go and stand in front of the far stall and just stare at her.

Real women have lumpy legs


Although I’ve always wondered why she’s eating sushi in the toilet. Maybe the other girls won’t let her “hang” with them at the bar.

Nandos offers free coke to Uruguay – if they lose

June 15, 2010

A brilliant campaign. Pity the chicken is factory farmed…

nandos free coke

No, not that kind of coke - we're a family restaurant. We will, however, give every Uruguayan players and their fans a free coca-cola with any Nando's meal purchased, if they lose to Bafana Bafana. It's the least we can do to keep our visitors in high spirits.

Eish! And more mzansi World Cup gems

June 14, 2010
eish

FYI for foreigners: "Eish" is South African for "shit", "blind" or "$%*@&%"... but it really means something different to all of them. I guess it's funny. When you say "Eish", you smile. You say it when you drop something, or something is a shared problem. As in "eish... that boy" about a guy who's always screwing up. Or "eish..." when you realise you left your ticket at home.

After the match, I walked a mile with the happiest people on the planet. Seriously, if you’re not here, you don’t know what you’re missing. The stalls that line the Cape Town fan mile are painted in bright colours like beach huts, and african-themed, selling local foods to soak up the beer and fuel the fever.It was amazing.

jean barker

Ok, not my best look. But it's hard to take photos of yourself in the dark while moving at the speed of a an amped-up crowd.

At some point I got tired, and jumped in a taxi. A comedian, I think Loyiso Gola, says “When it’s full of black people, it’s called a taxi. When it’s full of white people, it’s called a shuttle.” Which is hilarious and so true. I once paid a fee for a “shuttle” in Mozambique. It was full of white people, and cost R250. The local taxis went just as fast, were just as dangerous, and cost R50 for the same journey.

interior of a taxi at world cup South Africa

Decorated with love... this guy went crazy with little plastic jewels glued to the roof, miniature flag broaches... interior decorating for people on the move.

Turns out when some white people ride them, they’re still taxis. And this ride from the stadium home was one of the best of my life.

Hey you doubters! We rocked that game.

June 11, 2010

We didn't lose! At this stage, we still hadn't scored a goal.


I’m living proof that you don’t have to know what’s going on, to know when you’re winning. Amazing vibe here in South Africa. A celebration of African pride and heritage and hope.

Football fever – we’re all down with it, with no sign of recovery

June 11, 2010

Brazilian doggies photographed on the Sea Point Promenade, Cape Town, South Africa.


It’s ceraaaaaazy. In our office, a bunch of chicks just ambushed some dedicated workers with their Vuvus. Everyone’s wearing yellow – even the white people who look universally crap in yellow. And I can’t help it. As my friend Selwyn said, shortly after buying a stolen car flag from a bergie woman, “It’s like the day before Christmas.” Selwyn LOVES Christmas even more than I do. I think being Jewish he gets all the fun, and none of the slight religious guilt. Anyhow, I gave him shit about buying stolen property, but when some people on a roof of the flats opposite the wine bar we were in started blowing their Vuvus at us, I waved the flag in response. It was already stolen, anyway, right?

Well, not EVERYbody.

Tweeted by @comicaltshepo and not because he agrees with it I don’t think – thanks for the photo.

Yep, there are always the people who don’t want to enjoy it, for fear that having a bit of fun will instantly transform them into Nazis when they feel that swell of patriotism, that opiate of the people. But I’m not going to let Hitler’s fuckups or whining South African afropessimists ruin my World Cup. If drugs were as harmless as this, I’d do them. Another friend (and colleague ) Anton Marshall agrees. As does Dorothy Black.

I hope we win. But even if we don’t, as Selwyn said, we do.

Nandos plays Chicken with FIFA again

June 10, 2010

The jokes are out: “Don’t do the Mexican Wave – or even the ripple” and of course, Nando’s new campaign, in which they offer all Mexican fans a free lunch IF THEY LOSE.  Some would say they’re betting against Bafana here… and I say it’s worth it if they lose the bet. I’ll type up the small print in case you can’t decipher it…

Dear Mexican players, Most foreigners think S.A. is rife with bribery and corruption. To live up to your misconceptions, we're offering you and your spectators a free lunch if you lose on Friday. Just bring your valid Mexican passport into any Nandos between 14h00 and 17h00 this Saturday and we'll give you a delicious flame-grilled 1/4 chicken and chips. Free.

P.s. If you don’t have a passport we’re pretty sure someone can arrange one for you.