Doing nothing is actually not as fun as it sounds. Although perhaps a lot of people would not agree to begin with that doing nothing is not fun. To them I would say it is actually, sometimes. But definitely not most of the time.
After that intentionally convoluted beginning (I hope it is amusingly and not annoyingly so) I should place my philosophising in context. I managed a bookstore in Pretoria for a few months earlier this year, but after deciding that selling my soul to the store (that is actually a book title btw) was not worth it (particularly not for teenage vampire romance novels that have been flogged to death) I resigned and half-heartedly began to search for another job. It was a peculiar time because I knew I only wanted a job until the end of November as I wanted to be home for Christmas and then resume my full-time student vibes. So I would be looking for a job where someone only wanted me for three months and not over the busiest retail time of the year. Ummm...
So I chilled and had the kind of holiday I haven't had since I was fifteen. I woke up late, read some of the things I've been wanting to read for years but never got the chance to, including non-literature books about why the English colonised Africa and not the other way around. I listened to Talk Radio 702 and impressed people at dinner parties because I knew all sorts of bits of information people would never expect me to know.
I watched Oprah religiously. Watching Oprah also enables one to have powerful information at one's fingertips. I watched her show on the North and South Korea divide (and now look what happened! That Oprah woman is a prophet, I swear), another one about how African Americans are 50% more likely to develop diabetes because of Soul Food and another charming one of her interviewing Dolly Parton. Now previously, my knowledge of Dolly probably would not even extend to remembering that she sang "Islands in the Stream" (a song we danced to in our high school musical production of "Footloose"). Now, I know that she has the most wonderful, self-deprecating humour, and that she is warm and funny and down-to earth. I never saw the Twilight episode of Opera and missed out on the ubiquitous Robert Pattison and Kristin Stewart. Oh. Damn.
I also played pool (badly, it must be said despite Tumi, Zwe and Zam's best efforts to teach me. My Port Shepstone friends will no doubt smile understandingly, remembering all their kind-hearted (practically saintly) efforts to teach me decent tennis or ping-pong) and read all the odd articles in the Mail and Guardian online. I even joined as a commentator because I was so incensed by someone's disgusting racist comment that no one else picked up on. Needless to say, I felt very insignificant because my angry comment was completely passed over.
I gymed too. Zumba, swimming, weight-training, treadmill and toning classes. I felt like a housewife arriving for the 9 am class and then going home to have a shower and then out again to do the shopping. And home again for some reading before Oprah.
I must here give all due credit to Zam who let me drive everywhere in her car to practise my driving skills, and gymed and chilled with me all the time. And let me indulge my passion for frozen yogurt from "Memory Lane" in Hatfield. Anyone who goes to Pretoria should get one. Never mind the Union buildings: go and enjoy the sweet and exquisite coldness.
Well now I'm working again (in a place I enjoy) and have next to no time for any of my nothing days. But although I am missing Zwe and Zam a lot, I am being productive in other ways and feeling more energised and purposeful than I have in months.
And I manage to stay up until all hours writing. So doing nothing is fun. But doing something as well as fitting in all those great nothing activities is funner. Here's to the working holiday!
(and as always, to better grammar).