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Monday, 12 November 2012

Quarter Life Crisis.

I was chilling last Sunday, watching the soccer and was struck by a very sobering fact: Almost all the best players in the world are younger than me.

 I always thought, “When I grow up, I’m gonna… (blah blah blah)”
Without realizing it, that mythical ‘when’ that I spoke of, is right NOW.
*insert the roar of a ton of bricks crashing down*.

 My former classmates are getting married. People my age are having legitimate children. I have debit orders and car payments. I’m sorting out my credit history and looking into home loans.
I mean, I wake up, I go to work on time, take care of my responsibilities, come home, prepare dinner, usually get out my books and do some studying, then go to bed. Is that it? Is this all there is to be grown up? Those are the things grown-ups do. It doesn't get more benign and adult than that. No matter what I do on the weekends to remedy this mind-numbing routine, I'll still feel like my college self except with the sum of my experiences and life lessons keeping me from dying up until now.

 I don’t know how or when this happened but I’m actually a full-blown adult. Being ushered into my 20’s was a welcomed milestone. Nothing bad could come of it, I’d get a job, get a shiny car and not have to write exams ever again (little did I know). It felt as if I’d lived, being 21, for about 4 years and all seemed well and good. Then I got a job, salary slips, a shiny car and started studying again. I realized that I had a few of the best years of my life behind me. I won’t lie, it took a while to get over that fact. Ageing and maturing is one thing that you can’t fight. You don’t have a DeLorean that will reach 88 miles per an hour and you aren’t Michael J. Fox

Despite all these things, despite being officially closer to 30 than 20, I don't know if I feel very "grown-up".

The more I think about where I am in life and how I do things, makes me realise that adulthood is more of a concept than a reality. My parents had me at 25 and I certainly don't think I'm capable of taking care of another human entity at my age. I recently bought a bonsai, it died after a month. Maybe I never talked to it enough.

My teens and early 20’s were well spent. If you weren’t at least a little reluctant to move into your slaving 25’s then you’ve done something wrong in those experimental years. We went out all day, every day and all night, every night. We celebrated the New Year’s sunrise on open beaches, spent weekends away with not a single responsibility due on a Monday morning.
Could I do that now? Definitely, but not with the same reckless abandon. I’d lose my job, I’d be broke, have to sell my car and lose all possibility of owning a few homes.

We tend to have this perception of our parents as people who know everything, who are mature, responsible adults who always do the right thing. It’s a fallacy.
Growing up, little did we realise that our parents were just winging it too. There is no age that you reach where you all of a sudden know everything. We're all just human beings, synthesizing knowledge and learning from our experiences.

No one ever has it all figured out. We learn as we go and once we have kids, let’s hope they don't figure out that that's what’s going on!

I don’t know about you but I intend to age like a fine wine. I was a stupid kid and learnt from my many mistakes. Now I’m less stupid and make fewer mistakes. I think by the time I’m 35 I’ll be pretty smart! I’m determined not to let my best days get behind me. With hard work and sound planning I’m setting up a profitable future. Today I’m better at everything than I was 5 years ago. In five more years I’ll only be more accomplished. Quarter life crisis averted.
I like what I see in my rear view mirror, but I’m also pretty eager about where my car’s headed.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

To Be A Man

The conception of this post was spurred on by the insight of a friend of mine. Her statements had shocked me into the realization of the infant-like manner in which men conduct themselves these days.

 Grown men not able to cook? Grown men not able to clean? Grown men who, in their late twenties, have never prepared their own lunch? Having mothers, girlfriends and wives tend to their every whim. What is becoming of our generation of young, independent men?

Don’t get me wrong. The role of a mother/gf/ wife in the support and concern of their men is a unique one, a gift that is given to us daily.  A gift that, dare I might say, may even be misappropriated by the overzealousness of feminism and to rob each other of the gifts of giving, humble service and care is a step backward for society.

Respect should be shown for the tremendous jobs women of the 21st century have been tasked to. With divorce on the rise, single working mothers who play a dual parenting role with a single income and the same 24hours in a day that we’re all enslaved to, have my most gracious and unquantifiable respect.
I digress.

You say, “But Duvane, you live with your mother”. I hear you and you would be correct.

After I moved overseas for a year, my mother relocated to another city due to career advancement. Fortunately, for me, it allowed me the opportunity to broaden my options and when I returned to South Africa and started seeking employment, I found a job in the same city as her.
I live with my mother. I pay rent. I contribute to the upkeep of the house and it’s daily tasks. I cook my own food. Do my own laundry. Clean my own living areas. Make my own lunch. Iron my own clothes. We certainly do help each other out with these tasks from time to time so its takes some of the pressure off the individual. It’s not a rare occurrence to find me preparing both of our lunches or dinner. Vice versa. With the demands of both our jobs we’re more like housemates than anything else.

Growing up, I remember my mother always saying to me and my sister, “I make you do all these things so that if I had to die you won’t need to rely on anyone”.

I’m grateful.

 I have often depicted my mother as a Spartan woman and for good reason too! The other day I was sick off my feet and complaining about how fatigued and ill I was. From the other room I thought I heard my mother shout, “What can I do to help”. I was shocked!

So I asked again and she repeated herself… “What did you make to eat …cos I’m hungry.”
Our men of today need to stand up and be counted. Our women of today also need to stop pandering to their sons every need! Prepare them.
No girl wants to marry someone who she has to mother. Guys, those are your wives, not your mothers. The women in your life aren’t your maids. In modern society we see a greater share of domestic duties between full-time working couples. Nobody wants to carry deadweight in a relationship.

Sparta was known for being the only Greek city without a wall and there was a saying around the city of Sparta, “Our men are our walls.”
The duty of a man is not only to himself, to provide for himself and to see to his own needs, but also to the needs of those around him. To be able to give and receive are two of the many things that make up manhood. To be the wall of your family and friends.
Those are the real men. Not the ultimate fighters or the pimps and players because nothing of what they do matters to anyone except themselves.

When you die, it won’t matter if you drove a Lamborghini, lived in a mansion or became a big business mogul. What will matter is if you were a good father, a good son, a good brother and a good friend.

To be a man, is to be a man for others.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

For the Love of Coffee

It has been equated to magic in a cup, the nectar of the gods. My close compatriots are familiar with my love for the sinister fluid. Of course, being a fitness enthusiast, water is an important part of life, for without it, we wouldn’t be able to make coffee!!!

Coffee owes its success to the caffeine it conceals as well as the sensory pleasures it evokes.
Who could resist its revitalising properties coupled with the unique aroma? No fragrance brands a home more welcoming than a pot of coffee.

Contrary to popular belief, coffee is produced from the seed of a fruit rather than a bean, which in actuality is a product of the entire process. The fruit are picked, the skin and pulp removed, the bean is then dried and the layers of its skin removed.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The coffee community splits the worlds best crops 3-ways.
High-grown milds, Brazils, Robustas.

The High-grown milds and Brazils come from the Coffee Arabica botanical species. Considered the ‘golden boy’ of the coffee world, Arabica is responsible for fixing the world on coffee. It has its origins in Ethiopia (where it still grows wild) and Yemen.

The difference between the two types of Arabica coffees is that the high-grown milds are grown at altitudes between 1200m – 1800m. These well watered mountainous regions provide the tree with optimal conditions in which to flourish. They are prepared with care and picked only when the fruit are ripe.
Brazils are a lower grade of coffee grown at lower altitudes, mass harvested and dried carelessly. Most supermarket canned blends contain a high proportion of Brazils.

Robustas, the third type, grow better at low altitudes than any of the Arabica and are more resistant to disease. However, the best Robusta cannot compare even to the Brazils in terms of flavour and fragrance.

Now that the history lesson is out the way…

When scrutinizing different types of coffees you may notice European names attached to each label.

These names refer to the ‘roast’ of the bean and NOT the origin. Some are tan and some are near black. The higher the temperatures and the longer the bean was in roasting, the darker it will become. What does this mean for the taste? The lighter roasts are easy on the palette and more ‘tea like’ and the darker roasts have a more burnt taste and are used in espresso blends. The roast names tend to vary by manufacturer but generally stick to similar connotations.

When you see coffees with non-European names such as Kenya, Sumatra, Java, Colombia, Ethiopia etc, these names refer to the origin of the bean and has nothing to do with the roast. Coffee can be purchased by origin, by roast or by blend. Below is the 'coffee band' where some of the worlds coffee is produced.

In Mexico, coffee is nurtured on small farms rather than being carelessly mass produced. Coffee beans from Guatemala, on the other hand, are grown in rich volcanic soil.  The coffee tends to be more rich. Depending on the exact region in which the coffee is grown, there is a spicy or chocolate tone to the brews.

Brazil and Colombia are the two largest coffee producers. The highest grade of coffee coming out of Colombia is the Colombian Supremo.

Checkers has recently brought in a wide selection of coffees into their growing brand. Starbucks coffees are directly imported by Checkers and the Starbucks Colombian selection is a must try (it's what helped me conclude this post!). Despite being R100 a bag, it's worth every penny!
Below is an extract from

"Checkers may not be your first port of call for coffee beans but visit one of their selected stores in the Western Cape and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The chain has significantly upped their coffee game with the launch of their ‘Coffee Collection’ – an impressive selection of single origins and locally roasted gourmet blends.
The ‘Foreign Ground’ range features single origins from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Malawi, Peru and Rwanda, whereas the ‘Home Brew’ range puts some of our local favourites, with the likes of Deluxe Coffeeworks and Tribe, on the shelves.
We tasted a few of the Foreign Ground single origins last week and we’ll admit that we’re pretty impressed!
A Foreign Ground single origin will cost you R49.99 and one of the Home Brew’s R69.99."

Unfortunately, as stated above, these are only available at the Western Cape stores. Hopefully they'll be making their way to Gauteng pretty soon!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Signs That She's Psycho

We’ve all dated at least one psycho female. The thought of her probably just gave you a chill down your spine. If you’re dating a girl like this then you might as well slash your own tyres. I’m just helping you avoid those ‘Stage 5 clingers’.

After I’ve given you the run-down of the red flags that you need to look out for, you’ll find advice on how to dodge those grenades and extricate yourself from this tricky situation. Solutions at the bottom of the page!

If her favourite movie is Fatal Attraction …Run bro.

If she calls you after a minor disagreement …about the colour of your shoes  …238 times in a 12 hour period …Run bro.

If she texts you saying she misses you …when she’s sitting right next to you …Run bro.

If she trades your iPhone 4S for a Blackberry cos she doesn't want you talking to Siri …Run bro.

If she introduces herself as your fiancĂ©e, after one week of dating …Run bro.

If she accuses you of flirting when you thank the check-out girl for packing your groceries …Run bro

If she thinks marriage will cure her insecurities of you flirting with the check-out girl that packs your groceries …Run bro
If she dresses up as a psychopathic mass murderer for Halloween and uses her own clothes as the costume, insisting that psychopaths look like every day people …Run bro.

If she makes you a T-shirt with “I LOVE (insert psycho name)” on it and asks you to wear it every time you go out …Run bro.

If she’s sitting in your apartment with dinner ready when you get home from work …and you never gave her a key …Run bro.

If she says something like, “It took you 10 minutes to get home. Google maps says it takes 8 minutes. Who is she?” …Run bro

If she deletes your Facebook and makes you a joint account …Run bro.

If she makes a scrapbook documenting your relationship for the last 8 years …but you’ve only been together for 2 months …Run bro.

If you say "I’ll just be a minute." And when you get back she says, “That was 2 minutes and 34 seconds, WHERE WERE YOU!?” …Run bro.

If you just started dating and she starts practicing her new signature for when she marries you …Run bro.

If she bakes you a cake… for your 1 day anniversary …Run bro

How to meticulously plot your escape:

First, slowly remove all of your valuables that are in her possession. Careful though, move too much too soon and it will be like startling a grizzly bear!

Second, collect all her articles that are in your possession and give them back. You don’t want her breaking down your door at 3am to get her stuff back.

Third, break up in a public place where she can’t immediately murder you. This will give you time to plot a 'Houdini' move afterwards.

If breaking up with a girl like this simply isn’t enough. Sometimes you need to leave the country, change your name,  have extensive plastic surgery, enlist in the witness protection program and mutate your Y-chromosome.

Also, if you’re a raving lunatic that’s reading this post I’ve attached this ‘Post-datingFeedback Form’ for you to use freely, courtesy of 

 Please don’t hurt me.