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My best friend and I walked into Grand West today and naturally I was reminded of Ben Harper and seeing him perform live. As we kept on walking a few very cool experiences surfaced in my mind. My favorite being what I dubbed our Casino Road Trip!

I never really set foot inside a casino before. I walked past it sure, sometimes through it yes. However, I never spent any amount of time inside….until that road trip. Oh my goodness was it fun. I didn’t gamble of course. I watched people as I sipped on some whiskey and took copious amounts of notes. I looked at the slot machines with all their funny names. Switched them around, asked questions and scribbled some more. I do believe I wrote a song called Treasure Island afterwards.

Best friend made me laugh as he was playing at the one slot machine with a little leprechaun on it. Every time he won the little man would do a jig and I was called to watch both of them dance! The best part of the evening occurred when I ran off with a few thousand rand. Needless to say I woke up the next morning wondering why my breasts are a bit sore. Well, that’s what happens when you stash a few thousands in a bra that already can’t cope with one’s big boobs! Haha.

The trip itself was amazing. We shared music and I heard stories from Noel’s past. He watched Sarah Vaughan sing at the Spring concert with Abdullah Ibrahim no less! I love Sarah Vaughan. One of the things my ex husband got right was this – he got me a DVD of her live performances. Gods that woman was something else altogether!

He also shared what California felt like when Anita Baker just released her album in 1986. ‘Every pole had a poster with her name on it. And all the radio stations were playing her music…’ Noel loves musicians and attending concerts. I imagine him, leaving apartheid South Africa, travelling abroad for the first time…it must have blown his mind. All that music, all that freedom.

The casino trip was followed by a small trip to watch a jazz festival in CT. Now, I must confess that it was one of those concerts I had many judgements about. Why? Most of the music one hears are cover songs and the majority of people are from CT, ‘Colored’ folks who love old school music. You know…the kind of music I tried my best to avoid listening to…because I was into my alternative rock and hip hop hop you know!

Yet there we were. He looked after me one night and I after him the next. Here’s what most people know about me. I am only very chatty when I am comfortable with someone, when there’s whiskey or after a performance. Otherwise I can be found writing, reading or listening to someone confess. That night…oh my goodness! I fell asleep near some bush while waiting for my best friend ( in my defense I can fall asleep anywhere). He thought I was missing but no. I was not behind the bush as so much…in the bush! We woke up the next morning in the beach house of a well known radio dj!

This is the bits though… We walked, ran into so many people and ate at every spot. We are talking about the kind of food one only finds in CT. Or as I call it ‘lekker huis kos’. Pots were opened, dishes taken out, conversations were had and we danced to every bad cover song being played. It was so much damn fun. I highly recommend it.

Yes, there was alcohol and yes people were smoking their Jay. Yet everyone was so well behaved and out to have a great time.That weekend taught me two things. I should stop being such a damn snob and my people love their food and music. We are a jovial people all round and one should never discount the effects of a really well cooked meal.

I am gonna end off this blog post with the best line I heard today. ‘Silk, there’s just something about you. I am obsessed.’ All my friends have nicknames and The Magician calls me Silk. I like that I must confess. Straight men are not as inventive. I get names like…lover, darling, baby ( I will shoot a man if he calls me that again), jefa linda (Spanish for pretty boss. Okay, I really liked being called that I confess), princess. Nah…just call me Silk dammit. Or Auriol if you can’t reach for anything else.

Point being…everything is more fun if you roll with good people. And I have been lucky to always have special people by my side. Yeah, did you get that reference? Hehe

It was a great night all round. Now for some sleep and a good song. Ah…here’s my old school song for the night. I am gonna listen to I love to truck by Eddie Grant. Or anything by Earth, Wind and Fire. Yeah…that sounds good. And don’t you dare judge me people!



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