Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spiders are evil and want to eat your brain

I went to take a shower yesterday and found SHELOB THE SPIDER from Lord of the Rings in my bathroom. Horrified, I sent a photo to Butterfly World near my house, asking the entomologist on staff for identification and advice.

Here’s what she wrote back:

Dear Estelle
Though not absolutely clear from the photo it would appear that you have a rain spider (Sparassidae) or giant crab spider in your home. Rain spiders are identified by their legs, which are twisted in a crab-like fashion. They also have 8 eyes and are typically brown or dark grey. You are right that the spider heard you when you yelled, as their hearing is quite good...although I cannot account for the spider’s behaviour if he did, as you put it, “wave it’s little arms at you menacingly, as if shaking a fist”. The females occasionally make threatening movements to protect their egg sacs, it is quite possible that this is what happened.
These spiders CAN bite humans, although this very rarely happens and the bite is completely harmless. These are very beneficial spiders to have in your home as they feed on insects – mainly cockroaches.
I’d like to thank you for not killing the spider – many people do so out of ignorance.


M van Wyk

Here’s what I heard:

Dear Estelle,

This particular spider was genetically engineered in a lab run by Nazis. They are lethal and hell-bent on destroying all of mankind. These spiders are equipped with venomous sacs, laser rays, poisonous arrows, heat-seeking technology and have little chips planted in their brains to make them more aggressive. They will most certainly attack without provocation, relentlessly. They are simply waiting for you to be vulnerable. He will return with others. This particular spider was DEFINITELY shaking it’s evil little fist at you, NO MATTER WHAT DAVE SAYS.

I don’t want to alarm you, but this spider will crawl all over you when you sleep and not only feed on your flesh – he will also lay eggs in your skin and chew off your hair.

You must kill this spider for the sake of humanity. Immediately, and without mercy...

God Speed

M van Wyk

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Really, I'm not a terrorist. It just looks that way.

Dear Metro Cops

I would like to write this letter in response to your ominous anti-terrorism posters. First of all, thank you for not arresting me during my visit to your lovely country – even though I loudly made comments about how easy it would be to steal things there, and how I would like to move there and set up my own African crime syndicate in the heart of London. (My crime boss name would have been Mama Essie. But that's beside the point.) I thank and praise you for realizing that I wasn’t *that* serious about it. (Besides, I don’t have the capital for that now. I spent all my money on an investment that I personally thought would be lucrative, but it wasn’t...Curse you, Magic Beans!!!)

I did think however, that I should offer an explanation as to my (apparently) suspicious behaviour.

Terrorists need storage

At present, I am illegally storing vast amounts of crap in my old flat, even though I moved out ages ago and kept the key... The reason for this is that I live with a military man who doesn’t allow me to keep my precious belongings in the same room as...well. Him. This includes illegal DVDs, a plaster cast of a dragon’s head, Irish beer mugs, Nightmare before Christmas figurines, home-knitted teddy bears I buy at fairs because they are ugly and no one wants them and I feel sorry for them, a very crooked Christmas tree that both resembles and SHEDS needles like a nervous parrot with a skin disease, a GIANT jar of change and buttons that I MEANT to sew back on/take to the bank to exchange, various computer parts, a seamonkey aquarium, collection of bong-shaped vases, notebooks full of scribbling I had meant to turn into a novel, boxes of unsuccessful screenplays, comic books and exactly 24 imitation handbags that broke immediately after purchasing them from that toothless guy that sleeps on the bench next to my office.

PS. I shouldn’t have mentioned the illegal occupation/DVDs. Scrap that comment and replace it with “Christmas gifts for the poor”.
PPS. The vases shaped like bongs are Ok. They are not *actually* bongs. They are shaped like bongs. That’s not a crime.

Terrorists use multiple identities – do you know someone with documents with different names for no reason?

Again, I have different identity documents. It’s because I got married and changed my name because it was all romantic but then it took 8 months to get my identity document back from Home Affairs. And then they printed another one with my maiden surname. And then I kept it, just in case things didn’t work out WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE PRETTY DAMN CONVENIENT. So you are punishing me for being smart, essentially. Which is why the country is going downhill.

Terrorists use chemicals – do you know anyone who is buying large quantities of chemicals?

I use a large quantities of chemicals. SuperDave uses it to remove the stains from the coffee mugs and clean the carpets and various other things. I use them to nuke bugs. Really, I’m not building a bomb with them. Everyone knows the coolest bomb is the one where you put dry ice in a paint tin and slam the lid on really tight so it explodes, showering the world with your favourite shade.

PS. That kid who did that to my dad’s garage was never caught. You might want to get on that.

Terrorists use protective equipment

My dad has like 50 pairs of these goggles at home. They use them to spray-paint helicopters. (Not in the vandalism sense. That’s actually his job.) He just likes to steal them from work. I’m sure it’s perfectly innocent. Once I worked in a restaurant and stole like 50 pairs of snail forks. You do it because you are underpaid. And bored. Or because you like goggles. I’m sure you guys steal guns and shit all the time.

Terrorists need funding

Now, up until I got to this point I was fully behind your campaign. “Terrorists need credit cards”. OMG.

Look, ordinary people need to use stuff sometimes. Call me crazy, but I occasionally use my phone and my credit card and backpack for reasons that DO NOT INVOLVE blowing up the Queen of England. You are deliberately trying to make people paranoid about their friends and neighbours. I mean, I lived next to a guy for 4 years...people never liked him because he was very religious and kept to himself and left the light on late at night and collected newspapers and put up all these satellite dishes and received visitors at all hours of the night...Many people thought HE was a terrorist. Well, of course it turned out that it was perfectly innocent and that he was just a serial killer who cut up hookers.My point is, there is enough paranoia and hatred in the world for things that are different. I think you should let it go. No one is going to blow up London. And if they are going to, they aren’t going to be bloody OBVIOUS about it.

Sincerely yours


Monday, December 13, 2010

Holy Footwear

I was on Facebook when I noticed this little gem:

I just wish they'd come up with catchier slogans...

"You'll feel like you are walking on air water."
"Follow in the footsteps of the Messiah - without having to touch all those nasty lepers."
"The Jesus Sandal Company - since 0 AC"
"Jesus Sandals: if ever there was a shoe you'd want to wear to Judgment Day, these are IT"
"Crossing vast amounts of desert? Multiplying bread and fish? Raising the dead? Then these are the shoes for you!"

And if people don't think they are good, the salespeople can look at them all accusingly and go, "It was good enough for, like, Jesus, man...are you better than Jesus?" and you'd feel really bad. I wish I hadn't blown my Christmas bonus on a Moses robe now...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Military people have no sense of humor

I was watching the A-team movie with SuperDave and this soldier was in it and he had the COOLEST jacket-thing on with different pockets and zippy-compartments and Velcro straps. It was magical. It looked like this:

ME: "That's awesome. I've got to get that."

SD: "That's a combat jacket."

ME: "Just think. I won't have to lug around a purse anymore...I could put my wallet, my lipsticks, my mirror, my drivers, cards, everything in it..."

SD: "Uh, we just used it to carry magazines."

ME: "Oooh, yes, and you could carry magazines in it!"

SD: (long pause) "Wait...did you just actually think I was referring to Cosmo or something?"

ME: "No. I'm not an IDIOT, DAVE."

(For the record, I totally did.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've been looking for that sweater!!!

My former colleague Rene put this weird photo of her baby, Mieke, up on Facebook. Apparently Mieke has taken a liking to putting her toys in the trash. Either because Rene is buying her crappy toys or because she's a minimalist. Either way it's called a power struggle. And you are losing, Rene.

Anyway let's play analyse the photo. Is she:

1) casting a circle of magic protection over the trashcan so that the evil elves that have been emerging would stop stealing her socks and stuffed animals?

2) sanctifying the trashcan against possible future demon possession?

3) trying to make the trash can come closer using the power of her mind?

4) being a 2 year old

5) merely trying to communicate "No photos, please" to her clueless parents?

I hope I have weird kids someday. Oh, and I also found this on Facebook:

I'd analyse it, but that's really a very good shrink's job.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ostriches: Criminals of the Savannah

Here is rare footage of me being attacked by a vicious male ostrich. Let it be known that a male ostrich can slice you open with their big toe, and often do. Without provocation.

PS. Dave says that the ostrich was not “attacking” me. I lured it closer with a bag of dried corn to “see what would happen”. And that there was a giant fence separating us. And that all of this took place at a petting zoo.

I'd like to add that he didn't exactly rush to my aid either.  He claims he was “too busy laughing” at me screaming and throwing corn at the ostrich. But he did acknowledge that if he hadn’t warned me, the ostrich would have pickpocketed my handbag. I looked up just in time to see it’s ridiculous little head examining my new cell phone. Motherfucker.

Hey it looks like I'm holding my boob in this one. I got your corn right here, asshole!

Strangely, it did not "go" for my boob.

Check out Dave's ass.

Since they are both killing-machines, the ostrich gives Dave "five" as a sign of respect

Monday, November 15, 2010

Do I look like I cook dinner?

Totally random day. A door-to-door pot salesman found his way into our office. And not the “fun” kind of pot. The kind I cook Dave cooks my dinner in. He interrupted our meeting and starting giving us a sales pitch for his R8500 set of pots (that’s roughly 1000 USD for those of you who earn real money and don’t have to live off gruel and Mopani worms, like me).

SALESPERSON: “These pots cannot break. If you drop them on the tiles, the tile will break, but not the pot.”

ESSIE: “I don’t want my tiles to break.”

SALESPERSON: “Yes, but the pot...”

ESSIE: “No, seriously. Retiling a kitchen floor is like ten times more expensive than buying a new pot. If I had to choose between the tiles, and your pot, I want the pot to lose.”

SALESPERSON: “Well, it won’t really shatter your tiles...”

ESSIE: “How does it hold up against gunfire? Because I mainly use my pots to fashion makeshift armour for myself. Or to use as drums, as a means of communication. And sometimes for curry."

SALESPERSON: “Um. The pots aren’t really...that...”

ESSIE: “So, lied to me.”

SALESPERSON: “No, it’s just a figure of speech.”

ESSIE: “I’ve never heard that figure of speech. And I have, like, a Masters’ Degree in Language.”

SALESPERSON: “Linguistics?”

ESSIE: “Whatever. I don’t want your pots.”

SALESPERSON: “You can stack the pots in a tower and cook meat, rice and vegetables all at once.”

ESSIE (thinking): “OK. That’s pretty badass.”

I didn't buy them though. I lost all my money buying magic beans furniture and now am trying to save for a teacup pig that I saw on TV and immediatly and without forethought decided I MUST purchase.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Does anyone know the number of a cryptzoological exterminator? No? Didn't think so.

There are weird markings in the ceiling above the shower of my new place.

My old neighbor, Marius, who used to live there never mentioned it. I can only assume this is what happened:

It also explains why he left so suddenly, and without warning.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How to tell if your colleagues are demotivated

We wanted to design a banner ad for our new company website.

Here's what I requested:

Here's what I got:

I think it gets the point across, but I'm somewhat hesitant to upload it.

Happy Birthday SUPERDAVE

It's very rare that you get to say thank you to someone in a public forum, so here goes: Happy 35th Birthday SuperDave! I've counted all the ways you rock below, because your ego is not nearly big enough sometimes...You are awesome! Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I've got a LOT on my plate right now...

Remember when Superdave said he’d come over to fix up my place in what *may* have been an elaborate ruse to get me into bed and I was all like, “No - my place is unfixable” and he scoffed at the idea and eventually I gave in and allowed him to see the place and then he was all like, “OMG, this place IS unfixable” and then I said, “It’s not so bad” and then he said, “This place should be condemned” and then I was like “that’s really offensive” and then he was like, “Wtf is up with all these zombie survival guides?” and I was like, “You gotta be prepared” and he was like, “What about vampires?” and I was like, “I think we’ve established that I can take a vampire in a fight, you moron” and then he had that look of dread he always gets when he realizes I’m not trying to be funny and now we’re moved into the stable next door? Remember? Ok good.

SD: “This is the perfect use of space. And it looks classy, clean and upmarket.”

ESSIE: “You know what we should get though?”

SD: “A Plasma screen tv?”

ESSIE: “A goat.”

SD: “This isn’t going to work out, is it?”

I’m enjoying it because on the one hand I have furniture - which is good - but on the other hand SuperDave is the neatest human being on the planet whereas I am somewhat like a hurricane that wears jeans and has a 9 to 5. I'm trying not to get too comfortable in the house. It’s like when you are little and your mom has bought you a really cool new dress but she won’t let you play in it because you’ll just get it dirty. The new house is my dress. Playing in it is a metaphor for playing in it, because I still have all those old water pistols left over from last year when I tried to "shoo" the owls off my roof.

However, we’ve decided to divide the chores in a way that plays on our individuals strengths to keep the house orderly.


All home repairs
Furniture assembly
Put up pictures
Cleaning (general)
Feeding the cat
Washing the car
Remembering birthdays and appointments
Stocktake of groceries
Keeping fridge clean and defrosted
Sweeping, mopping, waxing
Arranging CDs and DVDs in alphabetical order
Bug control
Filling documents
Window washing
Entertaining guests and organizing parties


Being Awesome

Really, I think he got a good deal.

Monday, November 8, 2010, just no.

So I was trying to figure out what this rash is  doing medical research for my job and found this "yahoo answers" site for people who want medical advice. These people DESPERATELY need to go to the doctor, but they just don't. Instead they ask advice from The Internet, which is never a good idea and also exactly how I ended up throwing hot olive oil down my ear last year when I had mono and why my friend Dee ended up washing her hair with mayonaise before her prom. (Conclusion: an evil salad dressing conglomorate is behind WebMD.)

Some of the stuff on there is pretty wicked.

Dear Schwinn Bike,

No, you cannot get sick from doing this. But the rest of us just did.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Twas the night before Halloween and not a sound was to be heard
I drank lots of brandy until my vision was blurred;

But hark! What’s this I see?
Its a horde of zombie and they’re coming for me!

Oh no, I cried, that’s scary, that’s no fun!
Lucky for me I put up a turret gun!

So off to the roof I stormed with fear and alarm
With lots of grenades to keep me from harm

They moaned, they groaned, they dragged their feet
The horde of zombies and my neighbour named Pete

Pete was bitten, oh – Pete was undead!
I cried a tear and shot him in the head

All Hallow’s Eve I defended my house
From zombies and ghouls and even my spouse

He had been turned, you see, his evil eyes glistened
I told him zombies were real and he should have listened

By morning I was tired, my ammo was low
The zombies kept coming even though they were slow

Luckily as the sun rose and my arms had grown numb
I saw the glint of tanks – the army had come!

They blasted the zombies with nary a thought,
Oh, golly, that’s the type of tank I should have bought!

Safe and sound now, my life is still in tact
But zombies are real, children, and that’s a fact.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Global cooling

The first ever ICEBERG was spotted in Cape Town.

We're still working on the giant glass of brandy and Coke.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why you don't sing campfire songs in the military

Conversations with SuperDave.

ESSIE: “What did you eat in the army?”

SD: “It depends if I was in the bush or at base.”

ESSIE: “Is being in the bush like camping?”

SD: “Exactly like camping, but with hostiles shooting at you.”

ESSIE: “Did you fry marshmellows and swop stories and sing songs around the campfire?”

SD: “Initially we did. But then whoever played the guitar kept getting killed, so we stopped.”

ESSIE (sympathetic): “We lost a lotta good men that way.”

SD: “It took three guys getting killed before we figured out that the singing and guitar-playing and fire was blowing our cover.”

ESSIE: “Army sounds like fun. Do that thing where you kill someone just by putting your two fingers on the pressure point.”

SD: “No.”

Having a soldier-friend is totally overrated.

Monday, October 25, 2010

My qualifications for good furniture includes style, comfort and temperament

I was walking through the mall going furniture shopping with SuperDave over the weekend and saw the GREATEST FUCKING CHAIR IN THE WORLD...nay...THE UNIVERSE. And I was all like, "I'm buying that. Right. Now" and he looked at it and said, "It's ugly" and I was like, "No, it's wonderful. Can't you see it's shaped to make a smiley face?" and then he did the thing where he pretended not to know me but I forgive him because he is emotionally stunted because he spent all those years fighting Nazis in the jungle or something. (I'm not entirely sure what modern warfare involves. I think it's like Transformers but you don't drive around in a yellow car that becomes a robot because that's just conspicious. You should only drive your yellow robot car on the weekends. And only in places where there aren't Nazis. Come to think of it, I never finished the Transformers' movie. But I'm fairly sure there were Robot Nazi Cars in it. The long and short of it is SuperDave probably shagged Megan Fox and now I'm not talking to him anymore.)

You guys see it, right?

The Chair.

Digitally remastered for your convenience.

My view is that if you are going to sit something, it might as well be something that acts happy about it, not like those cold-hearted bastards on the bus when it's full and I'm tired and a bit lonely. I think it will be a great edition to the cottage although I'm worried it's only putting on a friendly face until its lured me in and made me take it home and then tries to kill me. These things happen.

This is also why my mom refused to let my dad buy that house where the windows and door made an "angry face".

Friday, October 22, 2010

Finally someone takes me seriously

My friend Jenni's baby enthralled and terrified us all by finally capturing the image of the elusive rocket-ship boot-wearing ghost.

I always knew ghosts were sneaky, but I never thought they would go THIS far. We asked Sam how to kill the aforementioned ghost, but he just sucked on a piece of Lego and looked mysterious.

Children truly do carry the wisdom of the sages in their hearts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm just more brilliant than all of you

Well it is now time to introduce my friend SuperDave. He is an army guy who has (foolishly?) decided to improve my life and turn me into a military-style neat freak. Needless to say all his time in the Secret Service sleeping in snowy holes and eating mud and turning his bare hands into weapons did not prepare him for the mess that is my cottage or my psyche. Originally I had implored Dave to come and do some home improvements for me and he suggested a bulldozer and then I laughed and then I coughed because let’s face it there is a LOT of mould in my house and also a hole. Really, my house doesn't need improving. We are now trying out a “training section” in the house that I have to keep clean. (You can tell which section it is because it’s the messiest one at the moment.)
It’s been a lot of fun because I’m all depressed because DW left me and took all the good furniture and he’s distracting me by doing Secret Servicey things like make fire rubbing two sticks together and showing off his titanium kneecaps and AK-47 bullet wounds. And he's also really freckly so you can sort of play connect the dots with him when he's sleeping but you really aren't supposed to do that because he's all badass and might consider it a threat and then his post-traumatic stress disorder gets triggered and we all die. Luckily I've systematically armed myself to the teeth over the last couple years. But really it’s like having that guy from the Bourne Ultimatum movies come over and make you pasta.


ME: “So what are you afraid of?”

SD: “I’m not afraid or intimidated by any man or anything.”

ME (cheerfully) : “I bet it’s spiders!”

SD (condescending look)

ME: “So can you show me how to kill someone with my bare hands?”

SD: “That’s classified.”

ME (whining): “I won’t tell anyone.”

SD: “Why do you want to know?”

ME: “Um...I just want to em...use it for...something.”

SD (condescending look)

ME: “I’m so much more ghetto and scary than you are. I bet I’ve killed more people. How many people have you killed?”

SD: “Like 157...?”

ME: (thinks) “Pansy.”

SD (condescending look)

SD: “You can’t live here. It’s not safe. What if someone breaks in?”

ME: “Oh sure, it’s not safe against BURGLARS. But “if” the zombie apocalypse breaks out, the isolation works to my advantage.”

SD: “I think I know what I’m afraid of now.”

Proving ONCE AGAIN that I am a badass motherfucker.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm back but I'm not happy

I went to see this monkey punk band called Boo! last night, but the night was a total disaster. Not only were there little or even – I suspect – no monkeys in the band, but when I went to the toilet DW had given the guy at the table next to us a bite of my hot chocolate pudding. I came back and it had "stranger cooties". And then the guy BITCHED about it. He BITCHED about MY stolen hot chocolate pudding and its sweet goodness. Not only did I not get to FINISH my own hot chocolate pudding with its delicious drippy centre, I had to hear that it was “too sweet” for two hours afterwards. It’s not like he paid for it. Or ordered it.

These monkey punk events aren’t the refined cultural get-togethers they used to be.

Anyway here's a picture DW took but it came out crappy so it just looks like I'm a death punk sex dungeon again and I'm not even in it. Proving that not only can he not be trusted with my pudding, he also sucks at capturing important family memories.

The world has become a cruel place, children.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I'm sick so you all will put up with my vacation pictures

I got the day off for being diseased so I thought I'd post you some piccies:

Sticky Fingers. Its owned by one of the Rolling Stones, but they were closed when I got there and then I got so miserably lost I never got my dinner there.

This I took at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace. It was decidedly boring.

Somehow, this looks more comfy than the golden carriages.

These are the Bobbies all protecting the Pope when he was visiting. None of them carry guns. So really, the Pope was protected by a bunch of guys in funny hats with no weapons. And presumably, the Lord.

This is some Prince or other that they stuck on a giant phallic pole. He had a Napolean complex. Or a Freudian one.

Me. Next to the National Gallery. Looking fed up.

A little piece of home. Proving my theory that South Africa already has invaded Britain.

Riding along the Thames I spotted the famous Gherkin building, famous for its odd erm...gherkiny shape. I think its the headquarters for Anne Summers.

Big Ben. Traditionally you are supposed to lob rocks at it if you are from South Africa.

And I honored the late Princess Diana by walking up and down this long, boring path for 3 hours. I think she'd be pleased.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A pictoral exploration of Essie in England

I don't feel like blogging about England. I wrote a haiku though:

Wet, cloudy
Damp every day.
Ooh, Guiness!

I'll leave a big blank space so you all can reflect on the beauty of my poetry.

I stayed in a quaint English Tudor cottage. This isn't it. But it was decidedly quainter than the one I stayed in. I'm all about The Quaint. Yes. That's a real thing.

Here I am at the Queen's Locomotive. It's in a mall in Windsor, so I assume it doesn't go anywhere. I'm not sure why it's cool but my boss made me stand there for a picture and I was rocking awesome oversized earrings, so I obeyed.

Here's me next to the flag at Windsor Castle. The flag indicates that the Queen is home, which is really considerate if you are an assassin or terrorist. I wanted to climb up there for the photo op but then a bobby threatened me and I pretended not to speak English for 20 mins.

Guiness. Happy. Refer to my Haiku for further details. Guiness is actually really weak compared to African beer so I won a weekend worth of free cab rides from these Spanish cabbies in a drinking contest. I'm awesome.

I was trying to be sexy with this guy but in hindsight it looks like I'm kneeing him in the balls. I'm doomed to die alone.

Here I am on the Tube, which is not really a Tube but a dank hole full of Stephen Fry advertisements and unfriendly British people pretending to listen to their Ipods when you ask them for help. This is my "Tube face". A look that just says...Fuck off.

My hotel room. I went to Robben Island once, and I swear Nelson Mandela's cell was bigger than this. But he didn't have TV. But neither did anyone else because we only got TV in the late 70s in South Africa. Sony took away our TV privileges because we put Nelson Mandela in prison. Really, it's a vicious circle.

In Hyde Park, looking bloaty and annoyed because the guy couldn't figure out how to work my camera and I was shouting at him and then I hiked through the park behind them and they pretending not to notice me for 2 hours.

Statue of Winnie the Pooh having dirty sex. Or something. I don't know. I couldn't make out the inscription.

Ode to the Godfather. Somewhere in Kensington. I don't know, I was lost.

I'm so glad to see the ass-end of Dubai

OK, so I’m flying in an hour and I realized that after 17 hours of travelling I did not smell as fresh as I (and my fellow passengers) might like but of course my deodorant and toothpaste had already made their own way to London because you can’t take it on the plane in case you turn it into a weapon of mass destruction. So I decided that, for the sake of everyone involved, I'll try to spruce up.

First thing was brushing the teeth in the ladies' room with the toothbrush I nicked off the stewardess. The mini non-weapon of mass destruction toothpaste tasted like chalk and all the brush bristles came out in my mouth, but that was OK.

No worries.

But I still smelt sweaty and didn’t want to rely on the Fanny Shower thinger they use as toilet paper so I slipped into the prayer room the Muslim women use to cleanse themselves before prayer. I know that Mohammed might not have approved of it, but let’s face it he wouldn’t have wanted to sit next to me on an airplane for another 7 hours either.

So I washed up quickly hoping no one noticed me (the exposed butt crack being a dead giveaway that wasn’t, in fact, a devout Muslim).

But my t-shirt still smelt kinda gross.

Luckily I remembered my brother had given me a present before we left, that I had quickly tucked into my handbag. I had asked him to bring me a nice top back from Durban – “something weird and hippyish” – while he was on vacation there.

Unfortunately when I took the shirt out of the wrapping I realized he didn’t choose something I would consider weird. He choose something Yoko Ono would consider weird. Something i (although would love to wear in my own free time) did not want my boss to see me in the first time she met me in person.

I didn't realize why all the women ushered their children out of the room at this point. But I suppose a camera flashing in the shower stall would spook me too.

SoI decided to salvage the sweatier shirt by running into the perfume store at the last minute and spraying myself to high heaven with the first thing I could find.

Did I choose the delicate Celine Dion perfume I was eyeing for myself? Or one of the tried and trusted brands I love?


I grabbed “Sex Appeal” by Jovan. You know how most perfumes describe themselves as "wisps of hyacinth" and "floral notes"? Sex Appeal smells like ball sweat. With hints of chalk.

There were 50 Indian people flying to Gatwick all praying to Ganesh that they don’t have to sit next to me.