About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

31 March 2007

Movie: Happy Feet

I really wanted to watch this movie when it was on circuit, but I never got round to it. I quite like animated movies, their scorelines are usually simple, but I prefer the humour over slapstick comedy in most other types comedies.

The story is simple enough: in a colony of emperor penguins, who sing to find mates, there is a chick born who can't sing, but can tap dance instead. It's a story about having fun, fitting in when you are different and the effects of human over fishing. A bit simple, yes; but it is really an animated musical.

Unfortunately, it is not as clever as Shrek or Shrek 2; nor is it as beautiful as Finding Nemo. It is just average really ...

29 March 2007

Masala Dhosa

I am a big fan of Dhosa, a South Indian rice pancake, usually served with very hot, dry curry, coconut chutney and sambar (a lentil soup/dhal with lots of vegetables and usually sour). There is a store in Long Street that sells Masala Dhosa (called Masala Dhosa) and I tried it out.

Unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed - the dhosa was good but the accompanying curries and sambar was not, and on the whole was largely unsatisfying. And it cost way too much ...

Old Town House and Slave Lodge

I had a meeting at the Department of Sports, whose offices are located at Greenmarket Square. From my past experiences with trying to get parking in that area (and with the free concert taking place tonight) I decided to rather use the Jammie shuttle. Public transport can be remarkably efficient, and I had about 15 minutes to kill before my appointment. Thus, I took the opportunity to have a look at the Old Town House, which is on Greenmarket Square, and referred to as the centre of Cape Town (unlike the City Hall, which is usually the centre of town). As one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town, it is interesting in itself, but the exhibitions were being changed, and thus there wasn't much to see really.

After my meeting, I did not feel like coming back to UCT, and thus decided to continue my cultural exploration of Cape Town and visit Slave Lodge on Adderley Street.

Slave Lodge is a remarkable social history museum, in three parts. The most interesting is definitely the history of Slavery in South Africa; an often overlooked part of our history. Slave Lodge was originally the "storage and processing" centre for slaves, and thus an appropriate location to explore this part of our history. Of the South African museums and galleries I have visited, this was by far the most interesting and well presented exhibition. There is also some history of Afrikaans, a language that was born out of the slave trade by the slaves (through the amalgamation of different languages). It is most ironic that the language of the slaves became the tool to oppress others, 100 plus years after the abolition of slavery.

The other parts of the museum - a cultural history, through music, weapons, silverware, pottery and a small section on Egypt, seem a bit disjointed really and seemed to be largely ignored by the other visitors. The third part looks even more out of space, with an exploration of segregation in the USA, but parallels are drawn with Apartheid, and in that context it sort of "makes sense".

28 March 2007

Movie: The Good Shepherd

In The Talented Mr Ripley, Matt Damon played a heartless bastard, and celebrated the idea that a villain could be the hero of a movie (and not suffer death or prison). In The Good Shepherd, Matt Damon is back playing a cold hearted, calculating, bastard ... it's a role that suits him well I think.

The Good Shepherd examines the early life of the CIA, but primarily through its effect on one of its veterans; and the effect of his job in other aspects of his life. It is far too long, and while it is a very interesting story, it just does not feel like a feature movie; but rather a mini series or something along that line. And apart from Matt Damon as a cold calculating bastard, there are no stand out performances or anything really worthwhile watching .... best avoided really.