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Thursday, April 26, 2007

OK so what is there to really do on a Sunday, not much except for sleep in, eat good lunches, watch some TV...but one person can only do that so many times and when its a great sunny day, its always cool to get out and do stuff....MARKETS:)

The general one that everyone goes to is the Rosebank Rooftop Market, which is pretty cool and lets be honest, it has just about every item a person could ever hope to buy, but there are tons of markets in Jhb, so its cool to try out a different one every now and again.

The market at Brightwater Commons isn't very big, and I was kinda dissappointed cos it has been de-marketified. When I used to go there while in high school it was a proper market (well at least in the Jhb sense of the word)-the floors were dirty, it smelt kinda dodgy, it was chaotic, but it was really cool. Now they have upmarketed my market! Its all trendy and shit. The floors are clean, each stall is properly allocated and locked up at the end of each night, I was disappointed to say the least.

But there were a couple of really cool things. First of all there was an art exhibition there as well, and there was an auction planned for later in the day (very cool thing to do with your Sunday if you shit money). They had one of those ridiculous fayre games where endless numbers of dads, husbands and boyfriends (not wanting to lose face in front of their loves) threw their money away so that they could attempt to get a ball inside a hoop attatched to an inflated structure (definition of stupidity-yes?). Also they had puppies on sale, which is just the bomb, cos everyone-except for parents I suppose-loves taking a look at puppies:)

Productive? Not really, Nic walked away with a packet of razor blades????? and me I bought some bangles for 12 bucks. But if you just wanna walk around in the sunshine, checking out art, jewellery, X-box games and puppies, its a pretty cool morning out.


So last Friday a friend of mine decided to book a table at Tanza Night for her bday supper. I had only been once before and then it was just for drinks (which were horrifyingly {sp?} overpriced) and i thought Friday was going to be a pretty pricey night, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. pretty reasonably priced and a great variety of food.

I would advise people to stay away from the steak, as reviews on this dish ranged from "POWER!" to "edible but not incredible". However those who went for fish, pasta or curry were happy, so maybe thats a better route to go. I would also advise that you save space for pudding (it was generally agreed to be the best part of the meal).

But there was a really cool vibe, very chilled, there was a fire out on the balcony, lots of people, but not packed. Not really the place for a romantic dinner for two, but if you feel like going out with a whole bunch, its pretty damn festive.

Thy also like to have little pieces of entertainment. Like the first time I went, there were belly dancers, follwed by girls in neon lycra outfits dancing on the bar. On Friday they had girls dressed up as racing car drivers who were sitting on four wheelers and then went around selling beer. Im sure any guys reading thias are salivating now and maybe the girls aren't too impressed, cos there doesnt seem to be too much dedicated to the ladies (and I agree they should get their asses into gear on that one), but these little touches do just make the place a little bit more fun to go to, something different, so its not always the same stuff in the same place with the same people.

Cool place tho, Id say go, but not too often, I feel that its novelty would wear out kinda quickly:)


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

So although winter can be kinda sucky cos no swimming, no lying in the sun with a cold cocktail in your hand, no summer nights with long braais...ok you get the picture. In spite of all the loses that winter brings there are some really awesome things to do, things that people just don't feel like doing in summer.

Like last night I went to get Indian take-aways and that is something that you just dont usually do in summer. But wow - was so fantastic. Cosiness, at home, cricket (plus we won!) and awesome take-aways. I went to the Raj, an Indian restaurant on Rivonia road, but in all honesty you can get anything you like. A bottle of red wine goes just as well with pizza as it does with curry ;)

So on those occasions when you feel like chilling, winter is a perfect season. DVD's, take-aways and wine!

Will definately put some thought into more going out winter plans though, cos you dont want to be in till September :)


Ok, so far all the reviews I have done have been pretty positive, however this one is not! All I can say is those are 6 hours of my life that I will never get back.

My cousins were visiting SA from Wales, so obviously they wanted to do the whole "safari" thing, (as you can imagine) I was not as enamoured with the idea.

First of all its in Krugersdorp, which means it takes forever to get there, especially if you get lost (like we did). So you finally arrive (entrance very reasonably priced), and its a sweet sunny summer day, perfect for being outside (maybe even catch a bit of a tan) but no, you are inside the car, and unless you have your own roofless land rover you are stuck in the shade on a perfectly good day.

Next comes the sights (of which there are few), however I must also say that this is from the point of view of someone who has seen a fair amount of African wildlife and not from a tourist perspective, as a tourist may have really enjoyed the experience. Anyway they have a variety of animals, but all are fairly far away and its not too exciting watching them eat grass. Then the more exciting animals they do have, the lions, are kept in a large enclosure and fed by the reserve, so no hunting excitement.

Then when the cousins had absorbed as much antelope as they could we headed off to have some lunch. Also not that impressive - toasted sandwhiches all round.

So I really didn't love this day, but Im not knocking the game reserve idea entirely, Im just suggesting that if wildlife is what you are looking for, rather take a few days and head off to somewhere a little further away, rather than settling for the JHB semi-safari.

Longmeadow Piano Bar - Whiskey Tasting

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This Post was contributed by: Nic Haralambous

This is my first guest appearance on JenWynne! I am incredible grateful that she has let me share my night last night and will definitely be back on here to tell more tails of trips I’ll be taking!

Last night I was invited to attend a Whiskey Tasting at Longmeadow Piano Bar opposite Monte Casino in Fourways area, Johannesburg.

I arrived on time, 18:30 for 19:00. First mistake. No one arrives on time at these things, or so I overheard the organisers saying. Woops. Luckily my timeous arrival allowed me to snoop around and take some photos of the incredible venue that was hosting the tasting. I bought a Brandy and Coke (my usual) and it cost me R18, not too expensive for a venue of this sort so I was impressed with that. The bathrooms were immaculate, well kept, well lit and welcoming. Great!

Longmeadow Piano Bar is an incredibly picturesque venue considering it is in the middle of Fourways with main roads all around it. The cars are barely audible, the street is barely visible and grounds are well kept. What a great combination to make for a great evening. The trees are old, and well lit for the night time, when the lights came on the evening was made evening better by a great sunset and the Londmeadow lit trees.

The tables were laid out on the patio outside of the bar area. The bar area is large and well spaced, very well lit in earthy colours that are comfortable and attractive. Unfortunately there was no music. Second Mistake. But that was counterbalanced by friendly people and good conversation.

One of the problems with attending a tasting of any sort, wine or whiskey, is that you cater for a certain amount of people, last night the people were rude and pitched about an hour late and therefore forced the gentlemen taking the tasting to present twice. Rude. Mistake three.

On the whole, a fantastic venue, a wonderful atmosphere (less the music) and great people. The Johnnie Walker tasting was brilliant, I learnt a lot but still do not like whiskey! Thanks Johnnie, Keep on walking and on the way stop by Longmeadow Piano Bar.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Three friends, a few glasses of wine, great food, smartish but chilled atmosphere, brilliant night out!

Not the cheapest place a person can go, but if you choose to stick with a main course only its not too bad, and if you did want to go all out for a celebration, this would the perfect place to do it-not difficult to spend a lot of money.

Apparently its a blast on Fridays as after everyone has finished eating it turns into a bit of a party, but on the down side apparently the party is full of seriously pretentious people. So let me know what you think if you have been.

But ja-for a chilled supper out, where the music isnt too loud to chat, give it a shot. I enjoyed it.


Ok its been a week and Im very sorry, Nic is probably ready to kill me for not posting, he is hiding it well tho. "Its all about consistency" he keeps telling me:)

So anyways after laaaaaaast Friday at Manhatten I decided to take a totally different route and we headed off to Tanz Cafe. For those of you who havent been or heard of it, its a live music venue / restaurant with bar area.

So lets start with the most important stuff...food. Very good, you can order off a set menu (R100 for 3 courses) or you can order of the full menu. I went with the set menu-nothing crazy fancy, but just ver good, salad, calamari and italian kisses with coffee, a bargain I think for R100. And drinks not too expensive either, so affordable on the whole. It is however R50 to get in, but its definately worth it because damn the music was great!

Started off with 'Jonas and I', awesome awesome, as soon as I got a chance to speak to the singer I demanded to know when their CD was coming out, helluva good band, and just starting out so Im sure that got lots to give. Nothing too crazy, new or different but still fantastic.

Following was Louise Carver. Most people have heard of her and heard her on radio, I have and I always thought she was good but on Friday night I was super impressed. She sang 'fields of gold' and I think even Sting would have been speechless. This was the only song she sang that was not hers, and I was surprised by the number of her songs that I recognised. Great entertainment!

So what I think is so cool about Tanz Cafe, is that most of the time when I go and see live music (especially when its not very 'dancy' music) I feel I should be dancing but I dont really want to but there is this huge space in front of the stage where people are expected to dance but they dont, and its just awkward. At Tanz Cafe you really have to WANT to dance cos there is hardly any space. The floor is filled with tables and most people are eating and sitting down so there is no pressure on the crowd and the band can realx more as well cos they dont have this big scary space betwwen them and their audience.

I would definately recommend it, especially when you feel like having a fun night out that isnt too smart, but to listen to some great music and just chill.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

So I know what a lot of people think about Manhatten, its overpriced, people dress up all fancy, all the people there are wound up and too cool for school and you would basically only go there if it was the last place on earth serving drinks.

Well I went on Friday night, and while I cant see myself going there EVERY Friday it was such fun. I didnt get dressed up (and many people dont), it is a little pricey but if you dont go often then its not so bad, oh and when I went in I got a membership card allowing myself and a female friend free entrance in between 8 and 10:30 every Friday-a pretty sweet deal I think.

Its also a good idea to go with a group of freinds cos I dont think I would have enjoyed it much if Id only been there with one friend. Although there were lots of people on the look out for love (or lust as the case may be), so if you are single and looking its not a bad place to start.

You are also likely to bump in to a couple of people that you havent seen in ages as such a huge
variety of people go there.

I think what I enjoyed the most is the music, lots of old stuff, lots of whats on radio at the moment. Feel good stuff that everyone can dance to.

So Id say a really great night out, but I will supply a check list of things that have to be included in your equation...

1: you cannot be feeling like a chilled night
2: do not go there to enjoy deep and fulfilling conversation
3: do not have any big plans for the next day
4: wear dancing shoes
5: dont take a jacket (it gets hot in there)
6: go with a bunch of friends, the more the merrier:)

But seriously you dont have to be a schwepps jock to enjoy it, its good fun, i promise.

oh and.............no ques in the ladies loo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I carried a watermelon"???????

OK before I post about the fabulousness of my Friday night I just have to tell you this.

For anyone who has seen dirty dancing (yes the original-not the havana nights dodgy one off Hallmark) you will appreciate my title, and hopefully know exactly what I am talking about.

You know those occasions when you say something totally pathetic and ridiculous, and immediately you know that you sound like the biggest tit ever, but you also know you cant take it back and you are doomed to be regarded as a world class breast forever. Later it only gets worse when you repeat to yourself what you said and your sheer stupidity sinks in. Well I did that yesterday, I wont go into what I said, but it does feel better to share my foolishness.

And now onto better things like Manhatten:)

Religious Emails

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ok i know that this really has nothing to do with whats going on in JHB at the moment, but its something that has been irritating me and I've been getting a lot of mails recently regarding this.
I just have to sit and wonder what the hell these people are thinking when they type up these emails.

The mail I received most recently is headed 'Financial Prayer'. And explains that if you take just 30 seconds, say a prayer and forward the mail onto 8 people you may just be rewarded financially and have all your debt swept away. Now there are a few things that I really dont understand. The first is that if through your own spending you have racked up a huge amount of debt, why would 'The Lord' reward you by giving you a whole stack of money so that you can go back and do the same thing again? And secondly if 'the Lord' did take so much pity on you, would he really insist, that in order to be blessed with financial security, you have to forward a chain mail onto 8 other poor souls? Something just does not add up here.

Another mail I received is ' A Chinese Proverb' supposedly sent to me by Anthony de Croud, a missionary in South Africa. Also it supposedly originated in the Netherlands (why would a Chinese proverb start in the Netherlands?) and it has been around the world 8 times:) It has one of those threats in it (like many chain letters have), this one tells us of Carlos who didn't forward the message to 20 people the day that he received it, and lost his job. Just a suggestion, but I think its more likely that he lost his job cos he buggered around with chain mails when he should have been working.

I have no patience for for rubbish like this. If someone has something that will make me laugh or give me interesting info then by all means, send it on. But no threats of bad sex, no sex, no money or bad luck, Im over those.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A friend of mine arrived from the UK yesterday afternoon and only had one night in Jhb before heading off to Zim, so the four of us decided to go to the Blues Room. Much like Plaka its not too far off (only Village Walk in fact) so not too daring, but its something a smidge different.

I have only ever been there once before and it was quite a few years ago, but I was really impressed. ok you do have to pay 50 bucks entrance, but I assure you its worth it. also a good plan to book a table rather than just rocking up, cos you never know just how popular the bands and comedians on that night will be.

as for the menu... drinks not crazy cheap but they arent too bad, and the food I was really impressed with. good variety of stuff, pastas, burgers, steaks, fish and salads. If you sit in the eating area but choose not to eat you are charged R30, but you can avoid this by just chilling at the tables in the bar area. The whole place is smoking however I didnt find it too stuffy and it certainly wasnt unpleaseant.

The entertainment...well its started of with a guy called Tim Hendricks, very chiilled one guy, one guitar-that kinda thing, quite like John Mayer. Awesome intro while we had supper. then perfectly timed, just after we finished, on came David Kibuuka a comedian from Uganda. Helluva good laugh and it was a pretty tough crowd so I was super impressed. If you would like to take a closer look at this guy check out www.bunnychowmovie.com. It is the site for his new movie, Bunny Chow, looks really good. Anways the night was ended off with Coldfusion, a band of about 6 I think, doing beaty covers and trying to get people up and dancing.

So all in all a bit of everything and an awesome night. Not the cheapest night, it cost me just under R200 for food, drinks and entrance, but if you are lookng for something different Id say that its definately the way to go. Plus you will be supporting some great South African talent!


Wow this is such a great restaurant. Ok granted it is almost exactly half way between Sandton and Rosebank, so not terribly far out, but I thought I would take things slow, ease into the whole thing. Anyways this is a great Greek restaurant in Illovo (just above Thrupps), and I think priced really well too. Also if you dont feel like spending much just go for a meze platter and you get tons of food at a really decent price. What is so cool about this place is that its on the street, so not stuffy. The atmosphere is great, Greek music and all in blue and white. Staff awesome, and not fancy at all. So on the whole very chilled, great atmosphere, aaaannnnd...you dont have to mortage your house just to eat there:)

Great things to do in JHB

Ok so this morning I was chatting to Eurie. She has been seeing a new guy for about three weeks and the only place she has been to with him is Sandton, oh and sorry once they went to Cresta (daring, not so?). I think a lot of people do this, people are just too lazy or maybe dont know any better and so they just keep on going to Sandton and Rosebank. But there is so much more to Jhb and I've decided that I am going to go on a mission to go to some great places that aren't in the middle of huge shopping complexes, and I will spread the word about how much there is to do and see around these parts:) Please do forgive me if the majority of them include food, I've never been afraid of great food:)

Also I think Im a pretty good person to do this (if I do say so myself) cos Im not very wealthy, I try to save a lot so I don't have cash to throw around and Im pretty sure I am looking for the same thing that a lot of people my age are. So Il give it a whirl and see how I go.

PUBLIC HOLIDAY...then again maybe not

So here I am working on the public holiday, for all those tax paying South Africans out there you will be pleased to know that the pressure is on and Gautrain workers are on the job. But as no one else in the country is working there really isn't much I can do, so I thought I'd sieze the moment and post!

Something I have been meaning to write about is EURICHT. She is the woman that sits next to me at reception and one of the reasons I find her interesting is that a lot of things about her are very "new South African". Firstly she is black, but she grew up in Mitchells Plain in the Cape and speaks no 'black SA language', ie Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, but is fluent in Afrikaans. Because of this it is really interesting to see the way other black South Africans respond to her. People coming into the building automatically assume that I will speak Afrikaans and she will be fluent in at least one 'black SA language'. Wow are they wrong, and the response (to her far more commonly than me) is "why?". To which Euricht usually gets pretty agro and asks why she should speak a black African language when the white chick sitting next to her doesn't. A very good question in my opinion.

Another interesting thing is that Eurie has never dated a black guy, only white guys. She just doesn't.

I know these things seem pretty small and insignificant but in the bigger scheme of things its the little things that count and I think that in time people may be defined by the language they speak or maybe it will focus on the area they live in, but if you compare Eurie and myself, its really only her complexion that makes her black or more 'African' than me. And grates me that people belive that because of her skin colour it is she that should be speaking an African language, but in their eyes Im not really African anyway so they aren't phased.

Its all about perceptions and according another persons perceptions we are boxed. I think we will start to see more and more people that are breaking out of this box, not intentionally but just because they haven't been brought up to fit inside a box.