Monday, May 21, 2012

Reviews to Come

Omigosh I have so many things to review! Mostly because I have been doing things lately, which is good :) Though the doing things tends to involve my couch or bed or warm clothes or something along those lines. Anyway, I have been trying! But because I have so many things to review, it is going to be difficult to review them all in separate posts. So, instead, here are the things that I have been watching, reading, eating and doing lately along with a 5/10 rating. Some of these will be properly reviewed as soon as I have some time on my hands which, hey! Starts today! Also, bear in mind that when I say lately, I am thinking over the last month. So bear with me here.

Machine Gun Preacher: 3/10
The Roommate: 3/10
Hunger Games: 7/10
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: 8/10
Captain America (rewatched): 6/10
The Avengers: 8/10
The Vow: 6/10
Young Adult: 4/10

Dead Famous: 4/10
Hunger Games Trilogy: 8/10
American Gods: 7/10
Equal Rights: 8/10 (so far)

Grilled aubergine with parmesan: 6/10
Chicken wraps with homemade yoghurt sauce: 8/10
Individual Mojito Cheesecakes: 7/10

Eating out
Wakaberry: 10/10
Cafe D'Vine: 8/10

Watch this space for more :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What Grahamstown Needs

I remember when I first moved to Grahamstown, how everything was new and there were always things to do, places to go, and people to see. There were friends and there were clubs, there was peer pressure but it was a good thing and there was lots of fun to be had. But all of that was back when I was a student.

Having been back in Grahamstown for over a year now, I have been finding things very different. All of the places seem boring! There is hardly ever anything new, and when there is something new it is aimed at the students. What about those of us who haven’t joined the clubs? What about those of us who want to socialise with people our own age (even if that age happens to be closer to the students than a large portion of the working population?)

I have found that there are a number of things missing from Grahamstown. And I thought that I would put together a list of things that Grahamstown needs. Feel free to add to the list, feel free to contest the list. Feel free to ignore the list entirely and continue on with your lives as though this never happened. But here it is:

Things that Grahamstown needs
  • Cuisine.
    This is something that many people will   have heard me talk about. I am so bored with the food that I can get in Grahamstown! I like going out for meals, but there is little variety in town. And instead of opening new restaurants with different kinds of cuisine, the two new restaurants that are expected to open are Ocean Basket (bringing the number of fish places up to 3) and a Romans Pizza (bringing the number of pizza places up to 4 if you are not including the Rat, Ginos and Yellow House as pizza places - though their pizzas are what many people think they are popular for). What I want to see is Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Smoothies, Frozen Yoghurt and Kauai. These are things that are severely lacking in Grahamstown, and I think that having the variety would make a big difference to the overwhelming boredom that I am feeling at the moment.
  • Cafes.
    A lot of the cafes in Grahamstown are food cafes, and that is not quite what I am thinking of. I am   thinking of nice places to go for coffee. Places with magazines and couches, little nooks and crannies and places with personality that make you want to go into them. I blame Korea for this idea, because when I think of a cafe, I think of the Umbrella cafe or the Noriter or any number of little cafes that we would go to that felt like an experience more than just a cup of coffee.

    On another note, but the same topic... I would like to see some cafes that are open at night. I know that Rhodes has a reputation of drinking, but it doesn't help that the only places open at night are restaurants and bars. How about having a cafe that is open in the evenings for coffee and hot chocolate on cold winter nights. Lord knows that I struggle to find a cup of hot chocolate in the bars! The last time I tried, I was told most severely that only the kitchen staff could open a container of Nestle, put four heaped spoons of the stuff into a mug and pour boiling water over it, and the kitchen was closed.
  • Themed cafes.
    Okay, still on the cafe thing, but this is deserving of a post of its very own. I love themed cafes! One of the ones that I loved the most when in Korea were the Cat/Pet Cafes, and I think that they are great ideas. You pay a little more than you usually would for a cup of coffee and are treated to an experience with beautiful animals, all up for adoption, that you can play with. It's great for families that can't keep pets. It's great for people who are looking to adopt. It's great for the pets themselves because they get the attention that they so desperately need and the proceeds go towards keeping them well fed and happy. It is just great in general and I think that, if not Grahamstown, there should be one of these somewhere in SA. But why not Grahamstown, huh?

    Another one of these themed cafes would be a Boardgame cafe - a place where you can go to play anything from Scrabble, to Settlers of Catan, to Balderdash and beyond. There could be any number of boardgames and people would be welcome to come in, buy some coffee and take one for their table. I suspect that this would be a lot of fun and would do well in a place like Grahamstown.
  • Activities.
    Grahamstown is really lacking in activities. There is little to do aside from going to restaurants and going to bars, and I can think of a number of things that would change that. Mostly, I have four ideas:

    Bowling alley
    Go cart racing
    Putt Putt

    Now, obviously most of those require quite a lot of space, but the one that does not is Noraebang. It would be really simple to arrange - it just requires some capital and a nice big house central to town with lots of rooms. Couches, TVs, karaoke software, microphones and a liquor license. There. Sorted. I think that it would be insanely popular in Grahamstown! What is it? Think Karaoke, but with just your closest friends. Think SingStar, but after a night on the town, on comfy couches. Think less embarrassment and more fun! I don't like karaoke, hate singing in front of a room of people. I love Noraebang because it doesn't matter how badly you sing, it just matters that you are belting it out and having a good time!
  • Spice It Up.
    My final few ideas are just things to spice up what is already here (ie. bars). First of all, there needs to be more live music and live music with more variety. I enjoy live music. I don't enjoy having to pay R30.00 entrance fee to go and see it, but I will on occasion. The point is that there should be more of it and more variety of it. Bars should be open to letting people pick up their instruments, bring them in and play. Have jamming sessions. It would be fun!

    And finally, I know it has been tried before, but hubbly bars. Not the kind like Pop Up or Cow Moon either. I am thinking along the lines of the Ethnic Bars that I used to go to in Korea. Down dodgy staircases into brightly lit basements with fountains in the middle of them, little alcoves carved into the walls and colourful pillows scattered around. And fruit soju. Man, someone in SA needs to import some of that stuff!
And so concludes my opinion on what Grahamstown wants, needs and deserves. Who's with me??