Bad bad boys

VANESSA SMEETS

James Dean bad boy

SMOKING HOT: Yip, the ultimate "bad boy" makes you feel smoking hot, only to burn you in the end. PIC: online

At 25, I’ve witnessed dozens of heartbreaks: some my own, some my friends. It all begins in childhood with your “first love:”
At age 10, you suddenly realize you really like your best friend. You hang out all the time. You laugh at all his jokes, even the corny ones.
At age 13, you start wearing make-up in hope he’ll notice you.
At age 16, you have your first drink in hope you’ll lose all inhibitions and finally tell him how you feel. Too late. He ends up making out with one of your good friends and they date till varsity.
In the years apart, he hardly talks to you, as she feels threatened by your friendship. One day, he calls you in the middle of the night: “I made a mistake… I cheated on her.”
You give him the usual advice on honesty and love: “Don’t worry, be honest. Tell her what happened.” She breaks it off before he gets the chance. He calls you now, night after night, in a drunken stupor:

“You’re the only one that truly knows me. I…. I….”

gaspard Ulliel naked truth

NAKED TRUTH: Could you ever be happy with a bad boy as hot as Gaspard Ulliel? Maybe it's time to rethink the long-term effects of living on the edge: unnecessary stress, hassle and heartbreak. PIC: Online

The phone suddenly hangs up. He’s been in a terrible car accident. Luckily, he survives and for days you visit him relentlessly. Your heart breaks to see him so vulnerable and in so much pain.
His eyes open but he has no idea who you are anymore. Maybe he heard your crying or gentle words of love and comfort while he was in a coma.
Okay, this story seems a little over-the-top, yet isn’t this what most girls go through? For years, we try getting the attention of the one guy that made us feel special (even just once). You dote on his achievements, his girlfriends, and his mistakes, only to be told years later that it was all in vain.

At age 18, it’s your Matric Dance/ Prom and you sadly realize he’s going with “her” despite the promise you guys made to each other years ago… Instead, you go on a blind date with your dentist’s son or, God forbid, your distant cousin.
All night, you watch him in the arms of that other girl. That other girl who has no idea why he has a scar above his left eye or what music makes him laugh or tick. They kiss at midnight. You watch and lose yourself in the infatuation that one day it will be you.
At varsity, you finally let go and fall for the bad boy who never comes to class, but always asks for your notes.

“I really need a private tutor,” he tells you with a charming smile.

One guyYou stay late to help him out. Alone in the library, he tries to kiss you. What the hell… You go for it. The next time he finally turns up in class, but completely ignores you.
You go out with your girlfriends and swear you’ll never fall for someone again, yet you end up reminiscing on your childhood sweethearts most of the night. Some have gone bald. Some are fathers. Some have escaped the country in hope of something better.
“Escape,” such a beautiful word. Just as you wonder what happened to your childhood friend, he appears out of nowhere: “Hey beautiful! Remember me? Remember us?”
There’s a slight teasing in his voice that makes you feel uncomfortable. His friends join your friends, happily chatting away; but you two have absolutely nothing to say to each other.

In fact, all you want and need to say is FORBIDDEN TERRITORY:

“I loved you for years and never said a word. I watched you break a dozen hearts, including my own. And now all I have to say is I HATE YOU for wanting my heart, getting it and throwing it away over and over again.”

It’s a question that has bedazzled scientists, psychologists and Sex & the City junkies for years:

Why do women fall for the wrong type?

  • He’s exciting. Fantasizing about someone unattainable is as hot as a night out with a complete stranger. The fantasy out-does the reality no matter what.
  • He’s a natural high. You know you can’t have him, yet watching him and even slightly touching him gets you high.
  • He’s the perfect escape. You’ll always have something to talk about with your girlfriends: how cute he is, who’s his new flame, do you still have a chance…

Cartoon bad boysSorry, ladies, but this guy you claim to love and talk about is a complete waste of time. In the words of Marilyn Monroe: if he didn’t appreciate you in the worst of times, he certainly won’t appreciate you in the best of times.
You’ll just be that girl he can booty-call, have virtual sex with whenever he feels like it or turns to for obvious advice, but completely ignores in real life. Really now? What about that guy you’ve been teasing for years, always turn to and yet ignore when he gets too close? It sucks to be in his place, doesn’t it? Time to break your fantasy and finally unbreak your heart.

There’s no place for you when it comes to you and the bad bad boy’s ego.

Zimbelican Adventures (2): Lost in Translation

VANESSA SMEETS

Ich bin in der Übersetzung verloren… Ja, I often find myself lost in translation…

sex and the city

GIRL POWER: Ive employed the ladies from Sex & The City to help me out with my German. Completely dubbed, with English subtitles, makes for fascinating learning skills. PIC: online

SEX AND THE CITY

No, it’s not what you think. Haha… German is a sehr schwierig (very difficult) language, so difficult that I bought the entire Season 1 and 2 of Sex & The City to help me out (besides my official classes, of course). Shortly afterwards, I realised my vocabulary will be very limited. Oops (or Hoopla! as you say in German). It really was the ONLY series they had in the shop. And it was my favourite series ten years ago, so it helped a lot with feeling all nostalgic in a new town.

STRANDED

bus transport

LETS DO THE BUS-STOP: Public transport is amazing in Germany. You can be at any mall, train station, neighbouring village or big town in just a couple of minutes. Just take the right bus-line. PHOTO: Vanessa Smeets

I’ve finally figured out the public transport system. Hurra! Busline 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 all go in similar directions and eventually back to the student apartments. So, when I had a late night class and none were immediately available, I did a crazy thing and took Busline 1. IDIOT!

I found myself stranded in the countryside on the coldest spring day, in the rain (nogal!). The bus driver shook his head at me and drove me to his final destination, where he swapped seats with a new driver.

The new driver grunted at me, whispered something in German, then Turkish and took me to where I had originally got on. I was patient now and waited for the right busline, which eventually came 45 minutes later.

Cold and wet, it was an amazing feeling to be home again. I may decide to do such future excursions on a sunny day. At least then I’ll be able to see my experiences.

POST-TRAUMA STRESS DISORDER

Yes, I had a traumatic experience at the post. No, it didn’t come from the sharp edges of envelopes or the messy desks filled with people’s unwanted letters and bills. It came from the DHL owner. I tried posting 24 postcards (for those who had been kind enough to send me their addresses) and a present. The cost came to 19, 77 Euros. I knew I had the exact amount and started digging in my purse. I couldn’t find the darn 2 cents to make up that 7… He soon lost his temper and shouted at me. In future: somehow calculate what each little stamp and gram will amount to… Really now 😉

internet cafe

GERMAN ENGINEERING: You can wait for your washing, while chatting online. PHOTO: Vanessa Smeets

SEEING ORANGE

I fell in love with a specific restaurant’s freshly pressed orange juice. I still don’t understand why they keep giving me the wrong one. I’ve given up in trying to explain, but the synthetic one has really left a sour taste in my mouth. Arghhh, and asthma attacks at night.

Rule here is: once it’s placed on your table, you can’t send it back. Keep your eyes and oranges peeled…

HELP-LESS

Do not invade people’s personal space. In South Africa, it may be good manners to help a little granny across the road, but here I would advise you not to. I was at the Internet Café, when the granny next to me couldn’t find the print button. The owner showed her once, but she soon forgot.

I put my hand on her mouse to show her the difference between right-click and left-click and she scratched it quite viciously!

I was in shock. She then printed her stuff and walked away. Not even a ‘Vielen Dank’ or an apology.

German sunset

TASTE OF AFRICA: The beautiful sunsets of Tübingen remind me of home and make every day worthwhile... PHOTO: Vanessa Smeets

THE SILVER LINING

Despite these unpleasant few incidents, I have managed to find English classes which more or less fit into journalism. The one on War Photography I’m enjoying very much. We have to write response papers, do a presentation and do a written or oral exam (depending on what your major is). It feels great to know lots of background info on the topic and inform the class about the amazing foursome from South Africa known as the Bang Bang Club. Can’t wait for the movie this April! Sigh…

The other class is called Technological Utopias and asks us to see the pros and cons of living as part of the Technocratic Generation. I was thinking of doing another class on Shakespeare’s poetry and one on racism, just to fill up my time. But, a better idea would be to work for the local newspaper and finish my children’s stories. Yes, it has taken me nearly 12 years to tell the stories I used to tell my brother before he would go to sleep. Nothing leaked about the subject matter just yet 😉

Oh, and not forgetting these Zimbelican stories too… Time to check out the clubbing scene and blog about that, now that all the admin is finally done! PROST!