Friday, January 16, 2009

Hi! part 2

Hello, we meet again. But, I'll not take long time to babble here as I'm rushing myself burst into library to get internet connection. I didn't bring my lappy over here. As requested and advised by Leila, she did not recommend me to bring it here. Why? For safety purpose, she said. I agreed without further complaint. What I can conclude after 5 days roaming around Lesotho is this country actually still developing of which portrays Malaysia circa 1940's. I don't exactly know about Malaysia 68 years ago as I was born in the late 1970's. But judging to the infrastructure and its architecture based on my collected memories about Malaysia in the past that I've got from television, literatures, photo collection of my grandfather etc it does resemblance the same very well. The development is obviously doesn’t align with the rapid changing of world as a whole. On the lighter note, some of the things over here are quite better comparing to anywhere else I've been at previously. Okay, I put in sequence about it here:

1. The weather is brilliant. The breeze is really cold. It's hard to be sweating even though the sun is very hot. It’s summer anyway. Sometimes we can’t breathe properly due to the clash between hot sunny day and cold breeze. Please be sure to bring inhaler if you have serious asthma. Make it two or three at least.

2. The food is healthier. Most of the food is grilled and they love barbeque a lot. But it's hard to find Halal food around.

3. We can simply drink directly from the water tap. The water is crystal clear comparing to what we have in Malaysia.

4. They have a lot of mountains. So we can see how beautiful the scenery when it's sunset and sunrise. And it’s very cold when you’re at this mountainside.

5. The fruits are fresher and cheap. A good sign for fruit lovers like me.

6. The crystals are beautiful and radically cheap. You can buy it from kids who live at the mountainside all way to Mohale Dam. They can be seen religiously waiting alongside the road for any passerby especially tourist to sell the crystals they have. The price is rather out of mind, of which you can bargain the crystal at 5 Maloti (more or less RM2.50) each by the size of an adult clenched fist. But please be aware about the difference between crystal and diamond, they might as well said that they're selling diamond instead of crystal they're actually offered. Or else you'll end up buying crystal by the price of diamond which is can be reached up until 500 Maloti (do the math by your own) for a size of your thumb!

7. I’m not sure about this whether it’s good or not; they like to dance. Believe it or not they’re able to dance in anytime. Just drive your car slowly with loud audio of any tunes (wasn’t sure if it’s Grind or Sludge, Top 40 is highly suggested though) down the streets and stop at any hangout spots, then you’ll know what I mean.

8. The percentage of pollution is below 10%. The only sources (perhaps) that contribute to such hazard are from vehicles and factories, but in a very little involvement by far.

9. In result of below 10% of pollution, their rivers are so clean (and cold), especially the rivers at the mountainside.

10. The sky is so bright and clear, so the clouds are almost alike cotton candies, and we can even notice the sea of stars in the wide open sky at night.

Alright, as we know that not all is always good and rainbows all the way down the road. Here we go:

1. The Basotho (yes, they called themselves by this) moves very slow and they're so laid back until I have to wait for almost about an hour to get my meal ready. I can smell that they're actually shocked with how we work. Just imagine, comparing to the momentum of how they walk, I could be the fastest walker in here. This is ridiculous since I thought that I’m the laziest human being ever existed.

2. Lesotho also has a long day and the night is very short. We can see the sun is rising as early as 4:30 am in the morning and we'll have vehicles honking loudly along the streets starting approximately around 5:00 am onwards as if they haven't seen the horns before. Thus I often lack of sleep because normally I'll sleep at around 11:30 pm onwards.

3. Based upon my observations, the only music that they've been listening are Hip Hop, Techno/Electro (which is popular among teenagers), Gospel, Reggae, Traditional (which is popular among eldest ones) and anything that is equivalent to the music mentioned previously. There is no way for Rock. Indie? I haven't heard any. And to have teens wearing skinny jeans is 100% absurd, of which not a single chance to see any. Punks? Metalheads? Not even in your dream! So, it’s your chance to be Punk or Metal godfather/mother if you’re the one who exposed them with this kind of genre. Bands out there, how about touring Lesotho? It will take only 18 hours by flights from Malaysia to South Africa, anyway. Why not?!

4. No disco. Haha. So, if you're a clubber back in Malaysia, probably Lesotho is not a place for you. But they have this one tiny pub called Good Time that I think a quite cool place to hangout for Lesotho youths. And there are also have events organized by them locating normally at fields. The entrance fee is as low as 20 Maloti, same with the normal price of DIY hardcore/punk gigs in Malaysia. I wasn’t sure if it’s all ages though. During Saturday night they will have this massive street party at the parking lot nearby the hotel that I live in currently.

5. The sex workers are almost all underage. And this is saddened for the most part of it. Some of them are not very lucky thus have to sell their body in order to gain some money. They can be seen standing at the corner of the road everywhere especially in Maseru from 8:00 pm onwards. This is actually resulted from poverty, high unemployment and drugs problem. The obligation to pay their own school fees (high school and above) which is considered high, made them choosing to be prostitute. This is also because the pay is higher (income depends on whether they’re active or not) than working at the textile factory which offers them 800 Maloti a month (okay, do your math). You can see there are signs or billboards educating about HIV/Aids all over the place indicating this situation.

6. Please do not talk anything about work with them if it’s 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm because their mind is already at home. They’re capable to empty their office in a split second as fast as lightning strike. It’s a miracle since that’s the only time they can move very fast (even faster than us!).

7. Shops normally closed at 7:00 pm. The only shop that opens at night is gas station and luckily it has its own convenience store. BUT the selection is quite limited though.

8. If you’re graffiti, stickers, stencils, wheatpasting vandals, err… artists, you’re probably would be the pioneer because there is none of it can be seen here. But sorry, I’ve already made mine.

9. The internet connection is extremely slow and unstable. It took me about nearly 3 hours to upload/update this entry.

10. I’m not sure either this is convenient or not, but they have this prepaid system to pay electricity and water bill. That means if the amount of the prepaid is finished, the supply will be cut off immediately. So, they have to reload the prepaid again just like us in Malaysia have to reload our phone in order to make calls.

11. They (no matter man or woman) will take a piss anywhere they like regardless people passing by or looking at them. So, it’s normal to smell stench of pissing everywhere. You think I’m kidding? I’ve seen a girl around 17 – 20 years of age during 10:00 o’clock at night, pulled down her trousers/panties, half naked, squatting and pissing in front of everybody. Normal for them, but it’s a shocking truth, well at least for me. I supposed this contributed to the 5% of the pollution here. :)

I'll continue and edit on this one later, by the meantime you can read the raw and unedited post first. I might be unable to upload the photos I’ve taken right now due to some difficulties. But, I'll sort it out soon. Thank you.

Important reminder: Please read this entry while listening to “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.


atie said...

ok. thats it. I want that 'cheap' crystal. hehe..

Leyla K said...

the most expensive one (diamond of course) for me please. hehe.

Zach Van Alley said...

Atie: That cheap crystal is limited though. Kak Nora bought a lot of it anyway, you may ask her if you want one or two. Is keychain okay for you? I bought some of it and I believe that you'd love it though.

Leyla: Hard to find la sayang. Those diamonds are to be sold outside of Lesotho. And no such thing that is easy to find. But, I've already bought something for you. A good one, of course.