Honey vs. Vinegar – Kindness

There’s a saying in Portuguese that says you won’t catch flies with vinegar. Flies are caught with honey. In my book at least. In my husband’s book they’re caught (and killed) with a fly-swatter.

The same applies to people. Kindness catches. Fly-swatting harms.

Some months ago I wrote about the kindness I received from the most unlikely source – a car guard. Such random acts of kindness still take my breath away because they are so unexpected. These are the best – the unexpected ones.

It doesn’t cost anything and comes in many forms: a smile, letting a car in who’s desperately trying to change lanes, buying coffee for a visitor who doesn’t have cash in a cashless office.

It doesn’t have to be grand or reported in the press for all to know. Don’t you think that it’s the smallest acts that are the most amazing?

I love it when my niece reads to me when I wake up,. She also shares her swim suits with her friends at her birthday party and writes me thank you notes for spending the weekend with her.

Recently, my 5 year old nephew and I were chasing each other to see who’d make it to the door first. I always let him get in front. He’s 5 years old after all. On one of those runs he stopped at the door and let me run into the house first. Surprised I turned to him and said: “My angel, I wanted you to go in first.” He says: “No, Tia Zizi, I wanted YOU to go in first.”

Kindness is free, kindness is simple, kindness is forever young.

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Currently I am…

Today I’m inspired by this meme I found on The Real Jenty ‘s blog and thought I’d try it out.

Reading: Too many books at once, started many, finishing few. My Goodreads target is to read 24 books this year. I have managed about 4 with just under 6 months to go until the end of the year.

Listening to: The sound of the Hadeda Ibis atop the pine tree. Do you know that they can starve during winter because of the scarcity of food and water for them?

Laughing at: A Spike Milligan short video Irish Astronauts, which Che showed me last night. Very stereotypical and that’s why it works.

Swooning over: The Sony QX100 Smartlens, perfect for travelling or just keeping in my bag for when my phone camera is not enough.

Planning: My overseas trip with my Mom. We leave on the 9th August, back on the 26th of August. Going to the warmth of a European summer.

Eating lots of: Fruit, especially strawberries, yum…

Feeling: Horrified at the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 over the Ukraine. In this day and age this is simply shocking! My mood is down at the moment.

Discovering: Photography with a real camera.

Looking at: Photos I’ve taken recently and thought “Gee, that wasn’t too bad!”

Wearing: Fleece-lined leggings, old red fluffy polo neck, Kilimanjaro socks. I feel the cold so I make sure to be well insulated.

Cooking: I didn’t cook today. I did make Spanish Omelette last night though. Tonight all I had was vegetable soup.

Wondering: Why is it that health and beauty spas only want to sell you their products? I’m tired of being told what’s good for my skin and body. The prices are exhorbitant. All I want is a facial and a massage.

Trying out: Seed water during the day (cumin, coriander and fennel seeds steeped in boiled water), I’m rather enjoying the taste.

If you’re reading this why don’t you try out this meme and leave me the link in the comments below.

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10 point day

Writing prompt - describe your day with 10 bullet points
  • Traffic was light this morning
  • Had back-to-back meetings for most of the day
  • Re-connected with an ex-team member
  • Browsed Kelly Moore camera bags
  • Lunch at my desk
  • Home at 8pm
  • Did a post on my photo blog
  • Made frittata for dinner
  • Watched 2 episodes of Bones season 9
  • It is now 11h47pm and I’m trying to get this post in before midnight!

Like riding a bicycle

My first bicycle was red.

As a five year old I rode up and down the driveway of our house in Mozambique until one day, my Dad decided to take the training wheels off.

I remember being nervous about falling and even more nervous about disappointing my Dad. He grabbed the back of the seat and started pushing me as I peddalled. All of a sudden he let go. I wasn’t aware of this until I looked over my shoulder and saw my Dad at the bottom of the driveway.

Incredulity took over, I couldn’t believe that I’d actually done it so quickly – ride a bicycle all on my own without the training wheels.

That’s been how I’ve experienced new things. Initially afraid and reluctant. Given a little push and I’m on my way, surprised that it was so easy.

Have you ever experienced something like that?

A time where you were afraid of trying something new or different or that you thought of as difficult?

And that after trying it out you surprised yourself?

And you wondered why you hadn’t tried it already?

And the next time you try it the fear is gone. It comes easily.

Like riding a bicycle.

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How do you spot a tourist anyway?

Yes, how do you?

Let me share what I’ve observed, both as a tourist and as a tourist observer.


Most of us have been tourists at some time or another haven’t we? Some of us are oblivious to how we look. But if you come from Africa you will do all in your power to blend in to the populace so as not to stand out as a target for pick-pocketing or a con.

Tourists to Africa tend to dress in the same way – khaki coloured baggy pants – those with 2 sets of zips. One at the knee and another half-way up the thigh. 3 outfits in 1 – pants, long shorts and short shorts.

That’s quite clever actually as you’ll want to travel as lightly as possible, especially on safari.


Most alarmingly many tourists I see walk around oblivious to their surroundings. In Africa I recommend a tour group or a guide. African cities have too many places to get into trouble if you don’t know the area. Walking around with said khaki pants, camera slung over the neck and smart-phone GPS (the modern replacement to paper maps, remember those?) they are easy targets for those less well-intentioned citizens.

How not to be seen

Remember Monty Python’s skit “How Not To Be Seen?” If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must, check on YouTube – WARNING: ABSTRACT HUMOUR!

In any event – the plot goes something like this (get the full plot line here from Wikipedia):

The film starts with a serene wide shot of a landscape in which there are supposedly forty people, none of whom can be seen. The picture then changes to another serene wide shot of a different landscape. In it is Mr E. R. Bradshaw of Napier Court, Black Lion Road, London, who cannot be seen. The narrator asks him to stand up. He complies and is immediately shot. According to the narrator, “This demonstrates the value of not being seen.”

There is a cut to another landscape wide shot. In it is Mrs B.J. Smegma of 13, The Crescent, Belmont. The narrator asks her to stand up. She also complies and is immediately shot.

Next is a shot of a clearing near a wood with only one bush in the middle of the frame. Somewhere in the vicinity is Mr Nesbitt of Harlow New Town. He is asked to stand up, but contrary to the previous people, does not comply. The narrator explains that “Mr Nesbitt has learned the first lesson of not being seen: not to stand up. However, he has chosen a very obvious piece of cover.” The bush then explodes and a scream is heard.

…you get the idea…

Next month my I’m looking forward to traveling with Mom to Portugal. Here’s the funny thing. We are both Africa-born and have lived in  Africa all our lives – and have ties to Portugal.

From a culture perspective, personally I fit in. From a values perspective I don’t. I often feel like a tourist that can speak the language. It’s a distinct advantage to speak different languages: Portuguese to blend in; English when asking for directions and Afrikaans when Che and I don’t want our conversation to be overheard in public.

I know that people will be confused when they see me – my clothes and demeanour will shout “tourist” – but I speak the language and know my way around (mostly).

I hide my camera well and take it out only when I want to take a photo.

I know that taxi drivers will try and extract a higher fare from me.

Family will tease me about my accent.

And that said I’m looking forward to going there.

And I’m aiming not to be seen!

What are your tourist or tourism experiences?

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Social Entrepreneur, chief wide eyed in wanderer, wonderer and bottlewasher


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