I don’t know if it’s just me but, um…

I was one of those kids that was raised painfully polite.

I was taught to say aunt and uncle, mister and miss, but only when the adults were quiet and there was a proper break in conversation, but preferably never, and then only in self-defence.

I was taught that it’s rude to point.

I lived in a constant state of anxiety in public spaces forever after, and became a hermit just so that I would never encounter strangers who would ask for directions.

I found ways to shop online before the internet was even invented, and so you can imagine how I for one, welcomed the age of GPS. Problem is I was already like one of those “lifer” inmates that gets released from jail and then finds it almost impossible to integrate into the ebb-and-flow of life again.


All because kids should be seen and never heard.

Which of course makes me deliriously thrilled about the banning of corporal punishment in South Africa.

But I digress…

The reason – which for now will seem disconnected but I promise to neatly resolve – I mention this all is, I’ve fallen in love with internet radio done right, in the shape of radi0.garden.

It started as a research paper and became a thing, and what it is, is:

Using a Google-earth scrollable interface you can take the globe for a spin with your mouse or your finger on a phone or tablet, and in seconds be listening to anything from post prog metal in Latvia, to Hindi new-wave pop in Helsinki, to boere musiek in Argentinia.

No shit but that’s cool.

And it’s FREE with none of that credit-card with zero charges, or, social/google “one-click” signup (big brother) bullshit.
(I mean, please tell me you don’t actually do that…?)


I was listening to these guys broadcasting out of St Petersburg https://radio.garden/listen/shok/lypD3AfF

They have good rocking tunes, including Russian and other, other-language rock bands that you never get to hear through mainstream media.

And then, just as I’m about phone my mate Fabian, they play a song…

And suddenly I’m back in high school, standing on the edge of the disco in Std 8, awkwardly aware that I have a body and so do girls, and feeling the pressure of needing to be in a relationship with somebody but unable to approach those I was attracted to. Conditioned to be meek and timid and polite and reserved.

The girls who were pretty to me were too bold and too confident for me. I was

Too polite
Too self-aware
Too awkward
Too ill-equipped

Well, I’m still a hermit, because I love tranquil spaces. But things have changed and I’m 47 now and through with living that bullshit hold-it-all-back-and-keep-yourself-reserved life.
I won’t be confined by being too anything for anyone anymore, and least of all by myself and by the corporal conditioning that was nothing less than lazy parenting and unwillingness to engage.

I have a wild childhood to make up for… so I don’t know how deep this thing goes.

To you all, it’s ok if you don’t like me sweetheart.
There are tribes for everyone…


I digress again, so let me close.

Hearing this song again in such an unexpected source was hilariously contradictory, but also brought a flood of memories home again.

Michelle van Zyl. Std 9.

For a long time, this was one of the top, high-school disco, for-the-inept-in-the-dating-dept, rescue songs.

I know.

It rescued me…

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