Sunday, October 26, 2008


RITD was owned by Anton, a friend of mine, met years previously in a London backpackers and it was the coolest musie venue/pool bar/pizza joint in Capetown in the late 90s!

I worked for him some nights behind the bar in the downstairs music venue, where local bands played. (some great, others not-so great) It was THE place to hear the local talent and the beginning place of many bands.

Other nights I worked in the late-night pizza joint. It was rudimentary but I made the best pizzas, so I was told. Many people would come on my off night asking for a "Helen special"! LOL!
The Helen special was garlic, pineapple, hot peppers, mushrooms and onions, if I remember correctly.

As far as I knew it was the only place (in the late 90s.) where all people of different walks of life would mingle mostly in harmony.

This is a photo of the main cleaner, Nohoko, after a night of "spring cleaning"!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I was a pool shark for 1 game!

It happened in South Africa, in Ficksburg to be more precise, near the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho.
I had been travelling all day by mini-bus (local buses) from Durban via PieterMaritzburg, Ladysmith, Harrismith, Kwakwa to arrived in Ficksburg after sundown. I was a bit uneasy because it was in the "African" part of town and I had no idea where to go. I needed worry because as soon as I step out of the bus, several people wanted to help me.
Eventually, a Lesotho taxi driver took care of me. He brought me to a local 24h fast food joint-TV-with pool tables bar owned by a white man.
I ended up playing a few games of pool, whiling the time away. The first game I played against Louie, the owner, and I played like I was a shark-pool! I couldn't believe it! I won that game and after that all the men wanted to play against me but my shark-pool luck at run out and I was playing badly again.
Nonetheless it made me very proud to win 1 game and with such "wizardry", while many Lesotho men wrapped in their local blankets watched me on. A night I won't forget so soon.
This photo was taken at a music venue-pool bar in Capetown. Sadly I have no physical memories of that night in Ficksburg.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Peter Gabriel

This time I will derail from talking about my travel stories to talk about the artist that influenced my youth.

I think I was 13 or 14 years old when I first saw HIM in concert, on the insistence of my cousin. I did not know much of Peter Gabriel's music being an avid fan of "old" Genesis.

I remember during that first concert (his 2nd solo-meaning sin-Genesis.) during the song "Lay your hands on me", he dropped onto the crowd outstretched hands, and was carried above the crowd for about 15 minutes. The last song was "Biko", very emotional with its heavy drum beat. I was under the spell....still am to this day.

I have seen him in concert about 8 times, twice were in London, England.
When one experience one of his concert, it is not just for the ears but it's also very visual. It's like a play for every song. One never knows what to expect with him. ...and it doesn't mean he will start the concert from the stage, he might as well pass next to you, coming from the back!

I'm such a huge fan that I made it to his Real World studio in Box, a village near Bath, England, wanting to meet him but was told that he was out of the country at the time.

I could speak about him for hours but the best and only way to understand is to experience him live.

This photo was taken in the mid 80s, during the song "Biko", with Youssou Ndour and the Stars of Dakar accompanying him.