Friday, October 06, 2006

Parky pleasures

I live just around the corner from Hoang Van Thu park. On a weekday morning or in the late afternoon it's like any other popular park in the world; packed with joggers, children and general stragglers out for a walk. Yet, when it rains or in the midday sun (especially on weekends), the park turns into one of those creepy, empty Stephen King-type scenes, complete with deserted amusement park rides and ethereal statues. The only life is the wind whistling in your ears and sodden walkways that crunch underfoot.
The place reminds me of this cultural village we visited in Soweto last year - the name eludes me - that was set-up by a Zulu "professor/soothsayer" who predicted a number of events in South Africa's future (eerily, two of which was that Africa would have a female president that year (think Sirleaf) and South Africa would have a female president by 2010) . It had the same strange, peeling and cracked effigies of animals and gods as Hoang Van Thu Park. The wierdest was the warning upon entry that anybody who disrespected, vandalised or stole from the village would be struck with such a disproportionate number of afflictions it seemed unfairly cruel (the last of which was that your corspe would lie out in the desert, fed upon by hungy vultures, and your sould would never know the comfort of heaven or even relief of hell). No wonder the people of Soweto forced the soothsayer to flee back to Kawazulu-Natal. Mob law rules.

It's not unusual to encounter some brave souls in HVT Park on these barren days though

Or otherwise justifiably sad-looking ones


Even the usually happy hippo seemed a bit peeved

Godzilla in Paris? Probably the sequel

5 comments:

mullet said...

Jeez bru! you should feed christoff more! In that first photo in the park he looks really skinny! :)

loesil said...

Dit is scary hoe baie dié plek na daai ander park lyk.

As dit nie was vir die baie groen nie, sou ek gedink het jy dwaal in Soweto se koppies rond. Sal bietjie gaan soek vir daai foto met die deathwishes op....

Ha-ha...het daai profeet nie gesê Madiba gaan vanjaar dood gaan nie? Ons sal maar moet kyk....

Emmie said...

sjoe...ek's nou so tempted om my asian experience voort te sit in Nam na ek die park gecheck het...lol...
so hoe lykkit? kan jy vir my 'n job organise :-)

Henno said...

Ja ek het ook gesoek vir daai prophecy foto. Emmie - jy kan enige tyd kom teach, maar ek weet nie of ek jou kan ophook met 'n job in die park nie!

alet said...

hehe...ek leef nog steeds in vrees vir ons drietjies wat die "curse" van daai bordjie getrotseer het en foto's gedrapeer oor die diere geneem het...