Friday, February 25, 2011

Blood Type?

After doing some looking into Blood Types, and whether there really is an ideal range of food that each blood type should be eating, my husband Nick gleefully pounced on the fact that he's an O+ and I'm and A+
I think... I guess...  I'm not actually sure.. I had a child, had surgery in hospital, do blood tests, etc... but I'm thinking I vaguely remember being A+... shocking I know. The book's called Eat Right For Your Type.

So, according to this dietary theory - which sounds pretty logical - here's where you add your COMMENTS and let me know whether you think this is completely unfounded, or could be true -
He is an O+, and is therefore "A Meat Eater!"
cue angels singing sweetly, Lion King-like ray of light strategically shining through cloud, confetti raining down, cheerleaders, etc etc

He is so pleased at this that he refused to eat rice for supper last night, "Dear, my blood type says I'm not supposed to eat too many grains", and happily turns to me to ask when next I'm going grocery shopping because the book says he can technically have meat everyday, for almost every meal if he wanted to, as long as its balanced with enough veg.. the right veggies, mind... not mushrooms, potatoes, sweetcorn, and a bunch of others he was reading out to me last night... He did remark this morning that Avocados are on his Foods To Avoid list, but while longing looking at the last one on the kitchen counter, that he might make an exception for them.... :)

For those of you who KNOW my husband, look again, yes, up there, read carefully.... Yes!! HE READ!!! Nick doesn't read (or so he says). Rather he claims often, and loud, and clear, that he's allergic to books, that they make him fall asleep, and he can't see why anyone would waste good time reading...

So, I'm thinking that if he's so interested in food, and while he's on this quest to discover as much as he can Justify to Eat, maybe I'll buy him some more food books... as long as he's reading, right?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Law of Culture

"And you must know this law of culture: two civilizations cannot know and understand one another well. You will start going deaf and blind. You will be content in your civilization surrounded by the hedge, but signals from the other civilization will be as incomprehensible to you as if they had been sent by the inhabitants of Venus. If you feel like it, you can become an explorer in your own country. You can become Columbus, Magellan, Livingstone. But I doubt that you will have such a desire. Such expeditions are very dangerous, and you are no madman, are you?"
- Ryszard Kapuscinski, The Emperor


Man is
a great wall builder
The Berlin Wall
The Wailing Wall of Jerusalem
But the wall
most impregnable
Has a moat
flowing with fright
around his heart

A wall without windows
for the spirit to breeze through

A wall
without a door
for love to walk in.

- Oswald Mtshali, Soweto Poet

My Traitor's Heart

"Rian Malan's My Traitor's Heart - Blood and Bad Dreams: A South African Explores the Madness in His Country, His Tribe and Himself." In 1977, Rian Malan, descendant of Daniel Francois Malan, South Africa's first nationalist Prime Minister, and one of the master builders of apartheid, fled his homeland to live in America. Eight years later he returned from exile to face the paradox, his family history, his conscience, and to write this book. This is his first book, published in 1990.

I borrowed this book from my dear friend, Heather, following our conversation after braaing at their farm way up in the mountains behind Malkerns/Matsapha area (Swaziland, for the tourists). She is a South African, married to Zakari, a Finn, living and farming trees in rural Swaziland. Nick (my husband) is Cape Town-born, but Swazi-raised; and I am Dutch, but born and raised in Swaziland.

Anyway, we were talking about how little I felt I had been affected by Apartheid, even though it was just across the border. For all I comprehend racism, it could come from another world. I stated that I felt blessed to have been raised in Swaziland. Sheltered from the worst of the hate, but surrounded by the best of all that multi-culturism offers...

When at first, I had declared Apartheid had not touched me much, I realised on reflection, and as I was reading this book... that just as the Holocaust had been experienced by all my older Dutch relatives in some personal way, Apartheid has touched and shaped, and defined all in Southern Africa... maybe some in varying degrees, but all, yes. Is anyone who has lived in Southern Africa, then or now, truly untouched? No, of course not.

Rian Malan worked as a journalist/reporter throughout the time, and courageously pursued some tragic, truth telling stories, and at a time when people were being given so much half-informed and overly-optimistic simplification; at a time when asking the wrong questions, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, being the wrong colour, was life threatening.

No one who reads it could ever forget it. I recommend you read it. Below are other people's quotes, etc. taken from within Malan's book:

"The book Rian Malan set out to write was altogether more conventional than the one he has written. It was supposed to be a history of the great and detested Malan family, as told by its kafferboetie (that is, "brother of blacks", "nigger-lover") renegade. But along the way he ran into, and faced up to, the truth that is the making of his book - that for all his nigger-loving, leftist views, for all his long hair and days smoking zol (dope) on the hillsides in the mystical Tolkeinish company of "wise old Afs", for all his daubing pro-black slogans on the walls of Johannesburg's northern suburbs, where scarcely a black would ever see them, he was still a Malan; that he could only write about the atrocity of South Africa by admitting the atrocity hidden in his own traitorous heart... Here, as in nothing I've read before, is the demotic voice of black and Afrikaaner South Africa... The old woman, Creina Alcock, tells Rian Malan: "Love is worth nothing until it has been tested by its own defeat... Love is to enable you to transcend defeat." My Traitor's Heart, which tells us of the defeat of its author's illusions, his ideals, his sense of his own goodness, his courage, and his ability to comprehend his fellow South Africans as they dance their death-dances, which is full of bitterness, cynicism, anger and storms, is a triumphant instance of this type of defeated love." 
- Salman Rushdie -

"How do I live in this strange place?" - Bernoldus Niemand, from the Boer reggae song, "Reggae Vibes Is Cool"

"We are betrayed by what is false within" - George Meredith

"I found myself haunted by an impression I myself would not understand. I kept thinking that the land smelled queer. It was the smell of blood, as though the soil was soaked with blood." - Carl Jung, upon arriving in Africa

"What then shall we do?" - Leo Tolstoy

"Africa is a cruel country; it takes your heart and grinds it into powdered stone - and no-one minds." - Elspeth Huxley, The Flame Trees of Thika