BTS 2021: Here are some of our favourite posts

It is no lie – 2021 has been quite the s#itstorm! But if there is one thing we can all agree on – there have been some hidden gems amongst the rubble. Today, let’s take a look at some of our favourite posts on GirlOnTheBus – plus, a happy word from our uber-talented writers!

“with writing, there’s always a risk of writing ‘too much’ or ‘too little’. With any of my poems, they come spontaneously through dreams, life events, emotions and experiences where I just feel like ‘this would make a great story’ or I just need to find some outlet for whatever is brewing inside without it coming in the form of a 2000 word essay. poems are little nuggets packed with loads of material and substance, no one poem is the same as another and the meanings can be different for everyone. a poem could start off one way, with an idea, and then do a complete 180-turn as you’re writing – it’s a sojourn on a page!” – Saadiqah Schroeder

“Before starting Confessions, I already knew that I wanted to write something different from what I usually write in my spare time, but I didn’t really know where to start. I remember scrolling through social media and seeing all these articles and posts about people being bullied and body shamed for the way they looked. It upsets me to know that society has a specific idea of what a “perfect” body should look like. That’s why I started writing confessions because I wanted to write something that reflected my emotions about this entire idealism. I also wanted to help in spreading the message that everyone is unique, and it doesn’t matter how you look, that there are many people that will accept you for who you are no matter what you look like. I wanted people reading it to know that it doesn’t matter what you look like, what really matters is what is in your heart.” – Riahannah Halliem

“So for my story “Looking at the Sky atop the Mountain”, it was actually what I wrote for one of my school’s exams. They gave a few topics and pictures to choose from, to give some sort of idea on what to write about, and the picture that caught my eye was a stack of rocks by a cliff, and the horizon was shown in the picture. Saw I thought of writing about the weather and describing every single element in detail. At first, it was going to be a murder mystery and from the perspective of a dead victim, but the more I wrote it, I thought about how cool and unsuspected it would be to write from the stack of rocks perspective. So this story is actually told from the perspective of the rock on how it watches the sunrise, a storm brew, surge and end, and then watching the sunset to complete the day.” – Kawthar Schroeder

“I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember holding a pencil. My inner thoughts were drafts of my wish and hope for the nearest future. As an introverted child, I guess that made up so much sense why I enjoy just the company of my thoughts. Growing up, Writing, I believe, comes naturally to me depending on my mood, emotion, and motivation. 2021 has been a year unlike the previous I’ve lived. I was broken at some point, depressed and overwhelmed by the pressures life came forthwith. It was not easy taking it all in, I unplugged for most of the year to reconnect and recharge my soul, and I believe it is working. I still write from time to time. I hope to publish my first book in 2022 In shaa Allah… I anticipate a very prosperous year, and I hope it comes easy for us all.” – Maryam Jimoh

Thank you! You, the one reading this – thank you. Your scrolling, clicking and sharing of our content make all the late nights worth it. Without your continued support, we would not be where we are today. As a final gift to us for 2021, please share this post with your friends, your family and loved ones.

We wish you all nothing but goodness in this life. May your days always be filled with goodness and good things – always. Keep learning, keep searching, keep writing and stay hydrated. XOXO -Zahraa Schroeder

Easy Weekend Crowd-Pleasers | Recipes For Any Occasion

Set the table, pull out the extra chairs and play that soft house music because these recipes are worth sharing with the ones you love! And if you’re feeling like you need some self-love, the Creamy Curried Pasta recipe is a stunner! Feeling pinched for time, then try the Cheesy Chicken and Corn Wraps! The creator of these tasty creations is the stunning Farzana Kumandan from Sprinkles and Spice, please show her some love!

Cheesy Chicken and Corn Wraps

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons butter

6 chicken fillets cubed

½ cup frozen corn

1 tablespoon Portuguese spice

½ cup water 

¾ cup mayo 

½ cup mild, medium or hot Nandos peri peri sauce (depends on your preference)

Method

Braise the chicken fillets, corn and spice in butter until golden brown

Once browned, add the water and simmer until the chicken has cooked, water has reduced and it’s cooked completely dry

Add in the sauce and mayo

Simmer for 2 minutes until sauce has thickened

Fill your store bought wraps, roll them up and place them packed tightly next to each other in a rectangle Pyrex dish

Generously sprinkle with cheese, and grill on 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes until the cheese bubbles and is grilled to perfection

If you don’t have wraps, roti works well too, make some – its so lekker!

Credit: Farzana Kumandan

Creamy Curried Pasta

Ingredients

500g pasta if your choice

2 tablespoons butter

½ finely diced onion

¼ finely diced red pepper

1 big grated garlic clove

1 punnet sliced mushrooms

3 chicken fillets cut in strips

2x 7g Curry Powder envelopes

½ tsp thyme

1 teaspoons crushed chillies

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

240g tub tomato puree

2x 250ml fresh cream

Method

Boil the pasta in salt water with a dash of olive oil until al dente, strain, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside

On a stove top on a medium to high heat, melt the butter

Add the onion, pepper and garlic and braise until light brown

Add the mushrooms and chicken and braise until dry and golden brown

Add the spices, salt, and sugar and mix well

Add the tomato puree and fresh cream bring to boil

Simmer for 5 minutes

Add in the pasta, mix and garnish with coriander

If you making it before hand, heat the sauce and mix in the pasta just before serving, this ensures your pasta is creamy and saucy

Credit: Frazana Kumandan

Show Farzana some love and let her know that we sent you her way!

Corona Cancelled my Graduation!

So I had my own Graduation dress-up and ceremony in my house! Big Note – this is a rant-slash-review of my time at Damelin City Campus. Oof! This might get rough.

Look at how excited I am!

Flashback: we were told that the ceremony was taking place on the 1st of April 2020. Now, my college and I have always had a rocky relationship, so when I learned that my certificate-receiving was happening on April Fool’s – I didn’t take that clownery seriously. Despite my suspicions, my past lecturers and the communications team of the college assured us it was no joke.

Fast Forward: South Africa was put under lockdown in order to curb the Covid-19 outbreak,this meant we were not allowed to go to the beach, the salon, the post office and all gatherings were banned – including my graduation ceremony. I don’t want to say I told you so – but let it not be said that I didn’t call out that clown college.

But enough ranting about that, the rest of the post will be a speech that I performed in front of my mirror, that I would’ve loved to read on the day (because I’m an attention-seeker). Enjoy!

Weird, creepy bus encounters 🚌

Public transport is a real joy ride. I mean public transport is a wonderful way to experience the city.

Okay, let’s just face the facts that public transport comes with it’s own set of weirdos unique characters.

Below are a few of my stange bus encounters. Beware! Some may be cringey and NSFK (Not Safe For Kids)

Who needs privacy!?

So there I was, minding my own bus-iness (get it) and listening to my favourite song at the time Miss Benny – Rendezvous. Ironically, it happens to be a song about a guy getting all hot and bothered with his lover. It’s seriously not that bad, I promise. Anyway, lounging across the three seats, looking longingly out the window I catch a glimpse of a phone screen from the woman in the seat before mine. But unlike many people on the bus, she held her phone at such an angle as if she invited me to read along with her. And what we both read on her screen made my eyes go wide with curiosity and shock.

‘He took me in his strong arms’…

‘His hot breath on my breasts’…

She sped through the pages that involved moderately normal conversation. Making sure to take her time on the four-paged sex scenes. I’ve never read erotic material before, but I’m sure this was porn at it’s literary…best?

‘His bulging member’…

Bleh! As I am writing this, all I can really recall is me laughing like a prepubescent schoolgirl at the PG16 coitus. But what made the experience all that more fun, was the blonde lady’s IDGAF attitude. Even though I, and pretty much whoever sat beside me, could read her happy pill of a book – she held her phone up high and proud. Yes girl! Read that smut! At least there were no visuals…

Funny enough, on this same trip, I saw a shirtless man in the street ripping logs with his bare hands. Almost like Captain America in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was quite…interesting 😋

Free CD and side-eye…

This was one of my very first weird bus encounters – I went and made an entire YouTube video of it. Check the link below. But be warned! It contains all the cringe of my younger self and the unshakeable courage of self-promotion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLbWJAvEFz4

I’d like to thank you for watching (in advance). And while we’re on the topic of food. A lady bought a chocolate bar from the guy in the video. She was so angry because it was hecka expired! She got up and threw the chocolate out the window at the guy! Seriously sis, what did you expect!? 😅

Can I sit with you?

Now, I’m no stranger to making small talk with a fellow passenger. I don’t mind it. But I can at least take a hint when someone doesn’t smaak (want) to talk to me. But apparently some people can’t read basic social cues. Allah bless them…

Picture this – I’m walking to the bus terminus and this guy looks visibly lost. He asks me where the ‘Bellville bus’ is. I point to a sign a few meters away and walk him to the benches and take a seat. The Bellville bus happens to be the one I’m taking home. So we sit and after a long day of crazy lecturers and having to deal with my idiotic college, I prefer to just sit and wait in silence.

But this guy decides to strike up conversation. I join the chat, why not. He asks me if I’m fasting. I say yes (It was Ramadaan) and I ask if he is too. He replies yes. He asks me where I live, I lie and say some other place (I don’t trust easy) and then just as quickly as it started – GirlOntheBus has left the chat.

As we sit, I pick up that this guy isn’t quite done chatting. He tries to get my attention by looking in my direction and repeating the name Fatima for some reason. Sorry pal, but unless you have some loose change lying around, this convo is gonna have to permanently end in 3…2…the bus pulls up.

He gets in before me.

After buying my ticket, I make my way down the aisle to the back of the bus. Before I can reach my beloved three-seats a large form blocks my path. Now if there is one I can’t stand, besides going to college, is people standing in my way – literally and figuratively!

‘Have a seat’

He stands before me, unmoving and with a sly smile – a smile that thought he could charm me with bland convo? A smile that thought I would just get weak at the knees? Sorry hunny but I sit alone on the bus. The only exception I make is for my sister and sometimes my bestie, but other than that – I ride alone!

I tell him “no, it’s fine. Please, you sit there. I want to sit at the back”. His smile faulters and turns almost sour. Like a naughty child he takes his seat and I make my way down the aisle. Knowing that he is watching and that he’ll try to talk some more, I abandon my three-seat lounging for two seats opposite from him. He can see me easily now; but once people start sitting in front of me, my short body will be nearly impossible to spot.

I take my seat and look straight into his now creepy yellow eyes. He smiles again, clawing at the chance to keep my attention. I’m done. Finished with these games.

“I want to sit by you”

He gestures to the vacant seat beside me. I hoist my bag up and plonk it dowm next to me, this small barrier will make some good distance. I tell him “no, that’s okay. I want to sit alone.” Suddenly the inside of my bag becomes sooo interesting and soon the bus fills up.

Was he trying to stare at me the entire ride home? I don’t know and I don’t care. I was hidden, as I predicted earlier and when I got off he was asleep.

I feel like I should’ve been more assertive. I don’t know why I wasn’t. I kept trying to spare his feelings when clearly he didn’t respect mine. But I do thank Allah for keeping me safe, that nothing bad, regardless of these scenarios, has ever happened to mw. That these creepos never shapeshifted into murderers or rapists. Because these are the challenges we face in the open. And I pray that any and all people who take public transport always stay safe and arrive alive.

Winter in a farm cottage

I don’t know about you, but Winter is my favourite time of the year! You can wear so many cute hijabi-appropriate outfits, snuggle with hot chocolate as rain drips down the windows and most importantly – it’s my birthday! Given you live in the Southern hemisphere, Winter is experienced during the middle of the of the year. Usually June is the month where it’s really cold and wet.

Here in the Western Province we don’t get much snow, except on the peaks of the mountaneous range that enclose the area. So for a truly magical winter expereince, my family and I decided to go away for the Winter holidays and head towards the mountains. Onward!

We’ve never really spent our holidays up in the clouds before, regardless of the season we always vacation near the beach. We’re those crazy people you see putting their feet in the icy Atlantic Ocean and picnicing on the sand even though the wind is howling. We kind of really enjoy Winter.

I looked to LekkerSlaap.co.za for some holiday inspiration. At first, the dorpie (small town) of Ceres caught my eye. Beautiful mountain backdrops, lush nature. Quiet surroundings and cold cold weather. It was the perfect accompaniment to our Winter adventures. But! Just as we were attracted to it, so was everyone else and every accomodation read ‘fully booked’. However, my good friends at LekkerSlaap offered a few suggestions, one of them being…Wolseley.

Now I’d never heard of this place and if there’s one thing I love more than cold vacation spots, it’s definitely cold remote vacation spots!

Sold!

Early Friday morning we packed up the car, got comfortable and headed out with the sun still rising through the back window. Now, can I just go off on a tangent here, I’m not sure why the rest of my family don’t do this, but I just about take my whole room with me. And I don’t mean to brag…but that’s what I’m gonna do anyway – I’m a good packer. I’ll never outshine Marie Kondo, she’s on a level of her own and maybe one day I’l be like her, but for now I’m happy being a level 10-ish suitcase packer. Plus, the one thing about travelling bright and early is getting to steal those ‘five extra minutes’ in the car. It’s not your mattress back home, but the car sear can be magical. Armed with my pillows and blanket, the backseat goes from grouchy early morning drive to first class improvised luxury.

We stopped along the way at the Langebaan Mosque. Which is so beautiful! On the outskirts of the Leentjiesklip area, the mosque finds itself literally in the middle of small township houses. With no high rise walls, where kids play ball in the streets and dogs roam the area. The type of neighbourhood I was not raised in, but the type we all wish to live in. As a suburban girl, being in these townships make my mind run with stereotypical ideas – gangsterism, stray bullets, theft. The list goes on, but by actually going into these areas due to my work, I’ve learned that those who are ruining the reputation of these towns are not the majority. Mothers stand strongly against this, teens just want to go to school and not every girl on the street is resorting to prostitution. The media can paint a bad picture, one that I’ll admit, I fell prey to.

And that is why I love going to these uncommon places. Because you’re away from home and your familiarities, you are forced to interact with the people who know the place like the back of their hands. It removes the class barriers we have put in place, restricting our country from fully growing.

Now, enough socio-economical ranting and more holiday reviewing!

We stopped at the Langebaan Masjied to attend the Jumuah programme. Jumuah is observed on Fridays and typically, mosques run programmes from the late morning til the early afternoon. Similar to a Sunday service. A sermon is given by the sheikh or a guest will offer one. One is done in English and another is done in Arabic. We then pray Jumuah salaah and then bas galas all is done!

It was interesting spending Jumuah at a different mosque, the feeling is just…different.

We travelled on down this really long road and for a second a sliver of doubt crept into our minds and we though we were lost. So we ultimately started driving in circles, with my dad silently going where he thought we should, my mom shouting directions from behind a map and me chiming in from the back. Because, it’s not a party til there’s an instigator. And in our family unit that instigator is usually me. (And now that I say that I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry…)

And after some classic family feuding we found the farmstead!

Driving up to the guest house was truly a scenic route. Let me paint you a picture…

‘The crunch of clay dirt beneath the tyres accompanies the songs of birds in the trees. Rustling of newly-yellowed leaves drown out the distant chatter of farm workers. I tilt my head out the window to be greeted by waves of fresh valley scents. The crisp cold air fills my nose and bekonds me to the wonderful weekend we are about to have. The snow capped mountains stare back at our car, their blue majesty a small gift of Allah’s grace.’

Me and my mama

‘We pull up at the cottage which was a bit of a challenge as there were no designated parking areas or any signs showing where the guest houses were. But after pulling up at what we thought was the guest house, but turned out to be the farmer’s house and rudely interrupting their tea time, we were shown the house and met with the homeowners – Pieter Crous and his lovely wife (whose name I have forgotten. Sorry love!)’

The house we booked had three bedrooms. One main bedroom which my parents naturally occupied with its en suite bathroom. Which, I will admit was relatively tiny, but my parents didn’t complain so it couldn’t have been all that bad. And the other two rooms had two single beds in each of them, the room that my mama and I shared had the main bathroom in it. So everytime my sisters needed the bathrom during the night they had to walk through our room to get to it – if you have a really light sleeper in your family – do not put them in this room!

The main entrance opens to a cozy living room with plush sofas and chairs adorned with pillows and patterns my granny adored. Then taking a short right you enter the dining room which was so beautiful. A hefty wooden table ran the length of the room and with matching wooden chairs for our family of six. It made me feel like a Z-list royal. Were these the types of dining rooms the settlers of way back when had? It was not only grand but very homely. But no house is a home without a little soul, next door is the kitchen! It was what any person would think a typical plaaskombuis would look like. Teacups hanging from the cabinet. Large windows overlooking the fields, tiny ovens and ornate shelves lined with pink flower-pattered china. And lots of dogs.

Now, most of my family members are not dog people. We don’t hate dogs, we just prefer the lazy and catty personality of our feline friend. The farm owners naturally had dogs, besides as pets, I do believe dogs can serve a multitude of purposes on a farm – protect animals and people, herd livestock even catch rats. So I don’t hold it against the owners for having dogs, I just wish their dogs weren’t constantly at our windows trying to get breakfast from our table. LOL!

The following day we left the house and went out for a bit of exploring. And came across this quaint coffee in the middle of goddamn nowhere who made the yummiest scones and hot chocolate! It was just what we needed for our bruncheon. And after a bit more driving, we came to the outskirts of Ceres. And more importantly – a Ceres shopping mall. So naturally my family and I spent the day (and my mom’s credit card) at the mall. And naturally to most coloured and slamse families we ended up leaving the place with more stuff than to begin with. Heck, we got so fed up with trying to fit everything in that we eventually got to the point where just shoved and tossed everything in. Except the food items, oh no! Those get special treatment – they either get put on top of laps or take up leg room.

Overall, the Welgelee Cottage was an outstanding choice. It was peaceful, the beds we so comfy and warm and there was never a problem with electricity or running hot water. The only sad thing was that it was too cold and wet for a lekker braai. But hey, what do you expect when you go to experience Winter on a mountain!? The journey to the place was a scenic one with the mountain passes creating a sense of mystical wonder and the open landscapes making you feel like you’re on a Narnian journey.

Overall rating: 3/5 buses, because I’m not a professional.

It was truly a wonderful weekend and hopefully, it won’t be the last. Thank you to the very wonderful and helpful people at LekkerSlaap and the Crous family from Welgelee Cottage. Bless yah🌸

My trip to Little Indonesia

Imagine waking to the running of river water… Living along a bustling harbour… Bobbing boats and sneaky birds take their place among fishermen… The smell of savoury street food coaxes you towards overhanging banners and steaming woks… Oriental colours, cloth and culture lure the mind to a dimension of vibrance and calm…And where do you possibly find all this in one place? Well, from what I’ve heard, Indonesia comes pretty close.

But if you’re like me – someone who definitely cannot afford to travel abroad, then chances of you ever getting to experience the authentic vibe Indonesia has to offer is pretty slim. And with the South African economy rising and dramatically falling like a nervous runway model, the closest I’m ever going to get to Indonesia is through Travel and Leisure’s (not sponsored, but always open for discussion) website.

But surprise surprise! The Indonesian Consulate is literally around the corner from my house. Well, not too literally; it is based in Cape Town, Kenilworth. Literally around the corner from the Kenilworth Racecourse. And on Saturday (1 September 2018) the Consulate hosted its first Indonesia Day. 

​​

 The sounds of beating drums echoed throughout the suburb and a pulsating energy of the festival grew as we drew closer. Now, given that this event took place in a posh area like Kenilworth, meant that there was absolutely no parking close by. Every neighbouring street was queued with cars – so if you’re planning on attending an event in the fancy suburbs- I suggest going with your small-student-city-car that can glide through those narrow streets with ease.So, we trekked towards the gorgeous parliament-inspired building. People were leaving, hands full of intriguing dishes and excited speech. We entered through regal gates and set foot upon a lively field…

  Large white marquees stand over a lounging area strewn with plush white chairs and kids getting their faces painted.Closer to the building a brown tent covers a stage – an enthusiastic host speaks and welcomes everyone to the event. And naturally, as soon we arrived we shot straight towards the food stalls.

​​Fire, sizzling oils and bubbling broth… Umami smells permeate the air… Mmm delicious!My absolute favourite was the chicken satay. Oh! It was amazing! The smoky chicken cooked to perfection – juicy and tender. Served with a super spicy chilli relish. And I love spicy food, so when I say it was hot – believe me. It. Was. Hot! And of course, it wouldn’t be a satay dish without the classic peanut sauce. Simply tasty.
To add that sense of true Indonesian flair, the promoters wore traditional Indonesian garb. Fixed with gold trims, sparkly accents and vibrant colours of orange, red and yellow. Unfortunately, I was unable to meet the Indonesian Ambassador or the host of the event, but from what I could tell, they put a lot of hard work and heart into this function.
On stage, customary dances were showcased. A woman dressed in flowers, feathers and brandishing a ritual blade – entranced the audience with quick foot work. Her animated expressions synchronised with the mood of the music. Effortless grace and vigour.   When we left I couldn’t stop speaking about how awesome it was! So authentic. So unique.

 And it was insightful to see how much of their culture was brought, that many years ago, to Cape Town. And how we adopted it. Changed it. Molded it to suit our climate and yet… we kept true to so much of it.

​​From their words of ‘selamat’ and ‘tramakassie’; to their sense of dress and their taste for spice. It gives you the sense that we’re not as segregated as we believe to be. We share common ancestors and a common past. And ultimately, besides the point of the day being a fun and enriching one, I think it was more of a day of mindfulness. As we try and move forward, move away from our separated clauses of races and cultures – we need to become mindful of the cultures of others. Learning about one another is the ultimate step in bonding and will be our greatest tool moving forward as the next generation to take on the world.

I would like to give a huge ‘well done’ to the Indonesian Consulate, the Ambassador, the events co-ordinators and every single individual who worked their butts off to make that event go off without a hitch! It was amazing!

If you guys know of any other events focused on a culture not many know about, let me know in the comments below.