Cool stuff I’ve done in the last month for free or not and on money and on when you have it and when you don’t

by biltong101



Most of the cool stuff I’ve done over the last month cost me nothing. Looking for bargains and cheap ways of spending time was something I learnt when I was broke back in 2012. Not being able to go out on Saturday or not buying a dress broke is a completely different experience than eating canned beans broke (= struggling to pay for food after having paid the rent). Obviously, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and learnt a lot and I grew as a person and blah blah blah blah blah blah. Still, I wish I hadn’t gone there and let me Jordan Belfortesque you by saying: I’ve had no money and I’ve had money and every time I choose having money. I know, Dear Reader, that you were waiting for some reflection on how it is to have money and how it not to have it but there’s really not much to reflect upon – having money’s cool and not having it sucks. Whatever is your situation right now you may like to read the following list of my latest activities because they’re low cost and there are pictures:

– watching cycling race Cape Argus. Every year in Cape Town this endurance trial takes place and makes people use their muscles for over a hundred kilometers. Cycling equipment costs a) money and b) sweat, watching people who spent money to sweat on their cycling equipment costs nothing. If you can sense a bit of sarcasm in what I’m saying that’s because Sarcasm is my middle name and also secretly I’m jealous of people who are capable of such an achievement as finishing the Argus. Below me and my friend Sh who took part in that sport event.


I also took pictures of other participants whom I found interesting.

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– “Infesting the city”, a mainly outdoor initiative, which includes various arty stuff (for free). I went to listen to a philharmonic orchestra (which seemed to be obsessed with the “Sound of Music” soundtrack) and took part in a “performance” in which you were supposed to write something on the pavement with chalk and watch yourself doing that on a screen placed on a building. I wrote “your mother” in Polish. The pictures below are in order of appearance: a festival logo, clearly inspired by “Hunger Games”, a politeman from Polite forces responsible for the festival’s safety and the outdoor orchestra.

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– “Extra Butter Improv Jam”, which is a feast of improv comedy for only 20 rand. The performers in various games come up with often absurd and funny dialogues based on suggestions from the audience. A very entertaining event indeed and I’m not only saying that because I know the performers from “The Long Shots” group. (You can check them out on Fb

– “Sound of Music”, the musical (for 175 rand I got a decent enough place at the balcony). I’ve always had a soft spot for musicals as they’re capable of silencing my cynicism. To see SOM on stage (I wouldn’t be myself if I didn’t brag that I knew one of the actors) was a much better experience than to see it on the TV screen. In fact I liked the live version so much that I forgot for a moment about my acquired dislike for nuns (and did I mention that I know one of the actors who also happened to be one of them?) and people with multiple children.

– Painting by numbers (79 rand> for a painting). Some people can paint, others like me can’t. Even I, however, can paint by numbers. This new pastime of mine brings me much happiness and calms me down. It’s also a part of my bigger project of doing childish stuff that I feel like doing, which is a part of an even bigger plan of letting myself do whatever I feel like without obsessing about what people may think about it. As a part of it I also wear self-made funky, but often failed nailwork.

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– Coursera courses (for free unless you want a verified certificate). I’ve completed the Yale course in morality, now I’m busy with two Princeton courses about Buddhism and ethics. It’s a cool idea for everyone, especially for those who miss studying and don’t have an opportunity to study full time at the moment.

– Cape Town Carnival (free). The Parade, everything and everyone – Harley Davidson drivers, African and Indian dancers, half-naked firemen…

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– Writing (cost of a pen and a notebook). I’m writing something substantial and this time my plan is to finish what I’ve started. I previously half-produced two novels named “Godless” and “Behaviour of the Shark”, a memoir “My awesome life in Cape Town and elsewhere”, a self-help book, numerous short stories and even poems (don’t ask me why, I dislike poetry as an art form). I lose interest, self-determination and mostly the belief that what I’m doing makes any sense. If I was a published writer I would have had a dark depressed period of my teenage years, a hippie, hedonistic period of my till 25, a reflexive, life questioning year and a half. Instead of that I’ve been talking about becoming a writer or my life but instead of that I have… a blog. I can totally feel how I’m changing the world with every post  (when reading this sentence in your head, use the sarcastic voice).

That was fun! I think that’s my longest post ever and I hope you enjoyed it. Now back to the studio! (I can’t believe I’ve just written that).