Friday, April 29, 2011



Thursday, April 14, 2011

South Africa - Part 2 of 3

About a week into my trip and I have the schedule of a morning show host. I get exhausted at 8 pm and wake up between 4-5 am. I then get up to train in the hotel gym watching The Weakest Link - the perfect show to be British. Anne Robinson is like a bitchy librarian who knows where every fact is and when someone gets eliminated, it's like they fail for not getting being proper/British enough. So with this schedule at least I know I can have Matt Lauer's job someday. Today I woke up a little after 6am and felt like the biggest slacker.

Anyway, you can learn a lot about a culture when you go to the airport. Some harsh realities and retroactive observations:

- Every South African accent sounds British to me.

- Everyone in South Africa is attractive, gorgeous really. All genders, ages, races and sizes.
- Speaking of sizes, there are no fat south africans. The only fat people are the Americans visiting South Africa. It's like the conversion rate in money from US to SA is the same for weight. Obese Americans --> Overweight SAs. Overweight Americans --> Average SA. Average Americans --> SA Supermodels. It's probably funnier to go through that backwards, but just goes to show where our food industry is compared to theirs. Watch Food Inc. And even if you are ugly, at least you're clean-cut.
- Did I mention bottled water is less than a dollar here?
- Did I mention toilets have a smaller, spherical shape than the US? See weight comment.
- Did I mention Neil Diamond was here last night and caused a traffic showdown for the several hours leading up to his show? Didn't know there were Red Sox fans in Cape Town to sing along to 'Sweet Caroline.'
- Oh, and let's talk airport security. In the US it's always a contest to see who can disrobe and redress the fastest. (Old people always lose, followed by people with small children and Asians are the Women's UCONN Basketball team of this tournament. I was all ready to give it an international go, but...

--> As long as you have no metals on you, you're set.

--> Shoes can stay ON!

--> Laptops can stay IN your bag!

--> You CAN bring through WATER! You're no longer bordering on hyponetremia (google it) to gulp all your water down before security.

--> With each of these points, you hate TSA that much more.

- I can't take south africa airport security seriously. Looks like their uniform came from a costume shop or the wardrobe truck on a Hollywood set. And what the hell is a constable? (I'll google it.)

- Stayed at a nice hotel with family and the staff was so nice it bordered on nausea. There's being nice by taking your food order then there's being nice for the sake of worrying they might have you executed for not being nice enough so they're almost ready to bow before you and beg for their lives. Then you have them defeat the Kragen to see if they are truly worthy. (Yep, some Clash of the Titans humor. And there will be a sequel.) We had a new person seat us for breakfast and it was at a table that was used at one of the settings. The new girl said sorry about 15 times, literally. I would have her defeat the Kragen, de-claw a tiger and then walk around downtown Cape Town wearing a placard that reads, "I Hate Nelson Mandela."

- The Botanical Gardens are gorgeous. It's like Alice in Wonderland meets the Land of Oz. You can get right up and small them, photograph them and then Guinea Hens can walk by out of nowhere. On to safari... (which I've already been on for 3 days... pretty life-changing... get ready...)

Friday, April 8, 2011

South African Ramblings

It has been just over 24 hours since I have left the US and arrived in South Africa through Amsterdam. Here are some ramblings and rantings...

- I have no idea what my body clock is. I'm 6 hours ahead of NY and woke up at 6 am local time (midnight US EDT) to workout. I guess when I go safari I have to be up early so I need to keep the schedule of a morning show host. Being a comedian vampire this new schedule is making me become everything I hate.

- Anytime you're flying international and the pilot comes on first in a foreign language you swear you've been hijacked, every time. He could be saying anything. Although this pilot sounded like the bowler who tried to steal Marge from Homer in an early Simpson episode. Then when he gets to the English you feel great relief. "Oh, he said we may have some turbulence and then said thank you for flying with us. So this isn't the long-awaited sequel to Passenger 57."

- I don't care how nice a person you are, I don't care how at peace you are with yourself spiritually, if there is a young kid behind you who wavers between ecstatic squealing and fierce crying, you want to put a bullet in that kid. (Yes, I plan to be a father in the next couple years.)

- Dutch flight attendants are so amazing you'd swear they were fembots.

- Still off a high of seeing Wrestlemania and the return of The Rock, I've thoroughly annoyed my wife with a Rock "Finally... The Rock... has come BACK to [insert current location]." So finally the rock has come back to jfk, amsterdam, cape town, the crown lounge, the bathroom, etc...

- Frequent flyer status got me into the Crown Lounge in Amsterdam. It's the most conservative, boring but perk-filled place in the world. If I wanted to, I could quietly get hammered in 10 minutes and no one would know.

- South African toilets have big flush buttons against the wall.

- My father-in-law has scared everyone into not coming in contact with any tap water even though the hotel says it's fine. So in the gym I had purified water from the tap. If I get dysentery I'll stop. By the way, I only know the word 'dysentery' because of The Oregon Trail.

- The terminology is a little off from ours. Elevators are lifts, 'watch your step' is 'mind your step' so I guess watch TV is 'mind TV.'

- Speaking of TV:
==The hotel said ESPN but there was no ESPN just a loop of Mila Kunis promoting the Book of Eli and Johnny Depp promoting The Tourist. WTF
==There are 4 sports channels and they all show rugby or australian rules football. I don't know which is which. All I know is they have a working labor agreement. Take that, NFL!
==Some american networks in South Africa: Cartoon Network, Discover Channel, Disney Channel, MTV. Sorry, not a BBC or Bloomberg guy.

-Speaking of MTV:
While on the treadmill in the fitness room, the only thing I could tolerate was MTV and they were actually showing videos! Ramblings within ramblings...
++ Britney is back.
++ Still don't get the gay kiss in Katy Perry's Firework.
++ Any background dancing girl in a Chris Brown video should be at least an arm's length away from him. You don't want to catch a 'you remind me of Rihanna' haymaker.
++ Chris Guetta is everywhere. I have no idea who he is, but he's everywhere.
+++ My BIGGEST PEEVE is with Bruno Mars' "Just the Way You Are" video. It's not a powerful message if you're singing you're amazing to a gorgeous Brazilian or mulatto model. Of course she's amazing, she's doesn't need Michael Jackson Lite to tell her that. If you want to make that video mean something, sing you're amazing to someone not gorgeous, female, young and thin. Sing you're amazing to girl who eats ice cream while she watches The Biggest Loser, a gay couple after their reality pilot was turned down by Oxygen or The Situation after he finally realizes he has AIDS. (ripped off the trump roast for that one)

That's all I have for now. I started this my mentioning that I was working out because I run the Long Island Half-Marathon for Fight For Kids on May 1. Please help me fight against child-drugging and support education of alternative handlings by donating at