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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A day in the life of 'John'

So peeps, today was my first day of working under the pseudonym of 'John'. It was interesting to say the least!

Firstly, there is the obvious problem of not always realising that people are talking to you when they refer to you by your new name. It happened a few times today. Particularly this morning! I arrived at work (late due to some really terrible traffic on which I shall comment later) and immediately was issued with orders which were simply to lay things out so that I could deal with them later and that it would be easy. This I did dutifully after spending a few milliseconds in complete bewilderment, trying to figure out why on earth they had called me John. I think that my brain isn't all that keen on working first-thing in the morning...

Then, the second problem that came up was that others forgot that I was called John. My sisters and Duncan kept forgetting to call me John and would accidentally refer to me as Luke in front of our bosses. Thank God that I wasn't around when these little slip-ups took place! I think I would have probably gone bright red and made deliberate and ever-so-inconspicuous gestures at them to shut up. I'm a very subtle person when it comes to being embarrassed...(It's sarcasm for those who didn't pick up on that...)

Finally, I recieved a name tag with John Duncan on it which just threw my mind for a six (for any American readers, that means that I was very confused)! It was terrible! I got the tag and I stared at it thinking, 'Why the hell have they given me this?! It's not mine! What's wrong with these people?'. The situation dawned on me shortly thereafter but it took a while.

As far as the work side of the day goes, we didn't really do much at all. Most of the day was spent either watching TV in our hotel room (I'll rant about that shortly), parking off at the front desk of the hotel in which we are working or scuttling between the hotel room and the front desk. I did get to run off to get food for everyone though, which was a welcome change from mooching around the hotel.

The hotel was horrible!!! For any readers who are likely to visit South Africa (which is well worth the visit by the way! ;) )and need to stay in a hotel, AVOID the Monte Casino Pallazzo Hotel! Firstly, the workers at this place are completely clueless and have no idea about how to serve the customer. They make screw-ups left, right and centre. I must interject here and say that the porters were very nice though. I think it's just the admin people that are useless.

Another problem with this hotel, from my point of view anyway, is that it has taken cheesy to a whole new level! It's modelled on Italy and tuscan villas, but it would appear that the architects and interior designers had never seen Italy and based all their designs on what they had seen in stylised pictures of tuscan villa style town-houses. That place is in absolutely NO way any reflection of what Italy is like AT ALL!!! Italy is beautiful and classical, whereas this hotel is hideous and lame! The room was so revolting, the headboards for the bed looked like plywood that had been given to some kids under the instruction to paint on a stensil but with as much colour as possible. It was horrendous...and the view from the window of a large, very obviously concrete and fake-looking Monte Casino shopping centre/Casino didn't help things much at all.

So, as you can imagine, I'm not a fan of the hotel or shopping centre/Casino.

As for the traffic, today was, it would appear, national bad-traffic day. We arrived at work late this morning due to an accident involving a taxi and two other motor vehicles just before one of Johannesburgs biggest highway offramps (Rivonia Rd, for those who care). Then, at another large offramp, all the traffic lights were out of order, which automatically resulted in utter chaos. Then, later today, amidst the usual insanity that is Johannesburg post-work traffic, an airplane crashed on one of the highways! It had apparently hit some powerlines and had been forced to try a rather unsuccessful emergency landing on the highway. Crunch!

That's all folks! I leave you with this amazing picture of the most hideous fish I've ever seen up close (He/she lives at the Pretoria Aquarium):


  1. firstly let me just say thank the pope that i read your email because i totally didnt understand your email! i thought it might have just been my brain refusing to understand anything early in the morning, but then it became afternoon and i ate lunch and reread it with a full stomach and i STILL didnt have the foggiest what you were saying! so now i am clued in! ;p

    yay john! superb! the one time i told people i was french i kept forgetting to continue my accent

    ITS SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! only little white fluff flake things but STILL!

    and lastly - that fish is creepy. you know how fish gimme the heebee jeebies

  2. yay! congratulations on surviving a full day of being John! A plane crashe don the highway? what happened? did they manage to clear it in time? oh my gosh! here in the gammadoelas the most exciting event is that someone found a snare by the fence but nothing was caught in it.

    What are you actually doing at the hotel? sounds like a pretty easy job! and es, Montecasino is a horrible horrible place. The painted "sky" ceiling makes me feel all closed in and disoriented!

  3. Man, that is one gorgeous fish! For Halloween. *lol* You going for a different name. Sounds like an interesting experience. ;) I've never changed my name, not even when I had to go work at a call center. A plane crashing on a highway. Sounds terrible, in more ways than one. At least your reason for being late was legal. *lol*

  4. Actually, the plane crash thing wasn't really a big deal. They all survived the crash and the worst part was that some people were delayed in getting home because they had to close off that section of the highway. It's been the third incident of this type here in South Africa over the last month or so! Apparently the civil avaitions authority is very concerned about the state of South African airplanes...