How I Survived Over A Month Without WiFi

Disclaimer: yes, I understand my inherent privilege and that millions of people don’t have access to WiFi. My problem is a very first world one for a third world gal. But take it with a pinch of salt and humour

It started one summer eve, the light left the sky and I retreated to my cave to do what I do best, scroll. It was here I was confronted with the prehistoric creature inviting me to an internet-less existence, making me one with itself(thanks, chrome dinosaur). At first instinct, I panicked, but it was not a problem I had not faced before. The towering Telkom has regularly and ruthlessly cut off my access to the world. My father and resident useless commander of our fort tackled the problem head-on, only to be left on hold.

The days grew longer, and my eagerness to attend university increased. The networks used to further academic excellence were now tainted and used to download Korean dramas, send snap streaks and relentlessly Instagram stalk. I apologize to every student who was trying to do work and thank them for bearing with my abuse.

My truest ally came in the form of the mystical capitalist haven also known as Starbucks. There I sat with my MacBook imposter Lenovo laptop, sipping overpriced coffee and finishing up assignments. Employees handed me free tea samples and strangers politely smiled as we shared a plug point, adding strength to face my adversity.

Friends proved themselves in my time of need. Pictures were never sent, but merely described and my Snapchat password floated to the next available streak sender. They so kindly took me in, sheltered, fed and connected me as the Telkom continued its torment. But it also came with being dragged on many occasions and being left behind on certain memes. My problem actually spread to a friend, but alas her shortage lasted 5 days only.

Vodacom thoroughly benefited as my demise continued. As if their data prices weren’t high enough we faced the VAT increase. My reluctant parents helped me waste money to refresh a timeline and download notes. Then I turned on them and started kicking off my parent’s devices from the hotspot because I prioritized succession notes over my mother’s latest Instagram recipe craze. In times like this, your true colours really show and my inner dictator prevailed.

In the end, I came out stronger, my academics probably benefited and I tested my own levels of tolerance, which admittedly aren’t very high. In the midst of it all, my aforementioned fake MacBook charger also broke and took weeks to be replaced, adding to the growing anxiety. Now that the promised land of content has been returned to me, I feel like a kid in a virtual candy store (for lack of a better metaphor). You mean I can spend a day watching just YouTube videos? My wireless printer will work? More than 2 seconds of an episode can be streamed? I am overwhelmed with my power and will never take my WiFi for granted again.

As for Telkom, all I can say is “DO BETTER”.


She changed her degree.

She changed her degree?

She wasted a year.

What in the heavens is she doing now?

She wasted money.

How will she get a job in this country?

She wasted her potential.

Why can’t she just do a health science?

She is going to waste a good life.

The past year, to say the least, has been a bit traumatic for me. I, did, in fact, change my degree and as such my entire expected life path. It was not easy, but it was a healthy and conscious choice to stand up to my parents. I still can’t fathom that at 17, I had to make the choice of what I wanted to do with my life and I completely botched it.

I was, like many teens, confused about the future and what life held for me. My parents pushed health sciences or IT and my heart yearned for journalism or law. My parents are not bad people, they’re just rightfully cautious ones who give into the whole Indian stereotype and wanted what they felt was best for me. I am a stubborn person, so when the acceptances rolled around, part of me even though I didn’t know it at the time, rebelled. I rebelled in the only way I knew how, potentially ruining my own life. I decided that within the field of science I would study rocks, because I had a penchant for geography, and after much reluctance, my parents accepted on the basis that it was, in fact, A SCIENCE.

I psyched myself up, ready with sharpened pencils, an open mind, and caverns filled with enthusiasm. “YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS” was my motto. I attended all my lectures, pushed as hard as I could and yet had this aching, gnawing feeling within me knew that I did not belong there at all. How could I possibly have chosen this?  A predominantly outdoor career for a computer addicted, pizza eating blob of a human? I LAUGH NOW BUT REALLY, HOW DID I DO THIS?

The year progressed and I looked at hundreds of rock specimens, passed my tests and went on exhausting field trips to find direction and yet I could never orientate my life. Lying to myself, my parents and even my friends became easier with time. “It’s really interesting” “Mum, did you know our kitchen granite is actually fake and you were scammed?” “DIAMONDS ARE A MINERAL AND NOT A ROCK”.

Feelings of isolation didn’t help either. One of few women and the only Muslim in my class. Sometimes, I’d just crave a friend or someone who understood me, but no one really did. People were kind, but I kept a suitable distance and never formed lasting attachments because I didn’t want to have a reason to stay.

My depression found solid ground in my brain, mining away in my consciousness, taking the precious resource of happiness and I retreated further into myself. By May, I decided I was unhappy and told my parents. I applied for a safe health science for the following year. I felt that maybe they did know best and I should decidedly live out my life as a cliché.

The real change occurred when I was approached by my dearest cousin who lives halfway across the world. I poured out my feelings of regret and confusion, with the help of her and my uncle, I did it. I applied for law in October and here I am now, four applicable credits to my name, in a new degree.

I can’t say my life has magically morphed into sunshine and rainbows, but I can say that I am in a much better, brighter place. The occasional snide remarks still find their way into my life, by an old aunt or a judgemental sibling. Having to explain my story surely does get old after the 60th time too. ‘Yes, I changed” “yes, how strange from geology to law”.

The reason I decided to finally put this into words is because if there is anyone out there who is scared to change or feels stuck, know that you are not alone. Yeah, that sounds like a sappy hallmark card, but it is true. You have options, you have time and it’s okay to not be sure. Trust yourself. That is all I ask.


My insecurities about college summed up by Daria.

The “F” word

Approximately 4 years ago my sister was completing her matric year , the same position in which I find myself in now . Through out the year she came up with her very own “F” word whereby the use of it would result in disastrous consequences . Now what could it possibly be ? Why of course it is the FUTURE.

Who am I?

Ahh yes , the ever so daunting and uncertain future . I fully understand her reluctance to face the future. Change is trapping me in a vortex spinning me around and leaving me with no time to make rational and informed decisions . It comes along in the form of university applications , what do I want do with my life ? My parents and their constant reminders that numbers on a piece of paper determine my future and the scariest of all , the thought of losing my friends and needing to make new ones. It’s only been 3 months into 2015 and I already cant wait for it to be over .

Have you ever heard of a little thing called the INDIAN KID DILEMMA? No ? Well then i am here to inform you of this problem facing millions of students all around the world ( #asianinvasion) . As an indian kid you were raised believing two things

1.) Maths is the key to life

2.) the only acceptable professions are : doctor ,accountant or lawyer

Naturally , you would think that by the 21st century such narrow minded notions would have been abandoned but I fear they still reign supreme. I cant help but agree with the practicality of it all , seeing as maths is important in going further in these professions which do pay wonderfully BUT what happens when you are that one kid who happens to be dismal at maths and share no interest or skill in the above mentioned professions ? Well, then you’re ME.

I have this theory that they force their kids to go off and study these things just so they have bragging rights , like “oh did you hear my youngest is off at medical school” sounds a lot more appealing to the crowd as opposed to ” my youngest is getting a degree in English literature”

For now I just need to take each day as it comes and pray I can successfully convince my parents that my happiness is just as important . The future isn’t going anywhere but I will continue to evade it for as long as I can.

Accept me , Accept me

Now I know what you’re thinking , is this about society , are they pressuring me to fit in and is my every whim dedicated to appease them in order to be “ACCEPTED” well no , not quite , we shall save that post for another day . Today comes a hot topic swirling around me since June , university acceptance , the overwhelming choices that can make or break my uncertain future. Not exactly fun to have these thoughts and fears colliding in my feeble mind . However I cant escape the fact that time is catching up on me , and I have about a year left of high school.

monsters university

It doesn’t help that being the last child means being the carrier of the expectation torch for your parents and trying to make them as proud as possible , and of course there is always friends and will our friendship sustain despite distances and decisions.

The main inhibiting factor however is confusion , as mentioned before I am completely lost on what to study and do with my life and this could be a problem as I apply to university with my grade 11 results early next year. Why don’t I get to backpack around Europe for a year to “find myself” ?

However instead of studying and getting my act together here I am procrastinating and celebrating the fact that I have made it one more year successfully doing nothing in maths besides staring out the window and getting yelled at for eating in class. The depressing weather which I do love has the ability to make me think about life , the universe and existence in general. At the tender age of 10 I decided that I wanted to study at Oxford University , and alas my high hopes were crushed when finding out that you had to have an existing degree and be invited to study there , but that didn’t stop me from writing and performing a play where I was a student. That is a major question as well : TO LEAVE OR NOT TO LEAVE?
My dreams of overseas studying were also dashed of quickly due to not having about a hundred grand for each year lying around , so all that remains is leaving Durban and having a new adventure . As much as I crave independence , home always has a special place in my heart because well no one makes Biryani quite like my mother.Untitled | via Tumblr

To end of I would just like to ask anyone reading this to keep me in your prayers and you will be in mine , I have also decided to build up my immune system and avoid contracting a contagious infection like measles last year and causally missing final exams .

‪#‎finalsweek‬ | via Facebook