Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Moving to a New Place

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Hey guys,

I’m moving my personal blogging ship to niel.delarouviere.com to make it more formal. This site will still stay up. So don’t worry. Grab the new RSS Feed. I might still use this site for other more informal postings.

Life Update

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Sorry that I’ve not been updating this blog very much lately. I’ve been too busy blogging at Twindie.net. Since the trip to China things have been going really good. To avoid some obvious cliches, that trip really changed life and perspective. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go on such a trip. I’ve met some really awesome friends that I’ve since been hanging out with. Sometimes once in a lifetime opportunites like Beijing trip really impacts your life and you often don’t realize how important it was till much later.

I don’t know when I would ever go on such a tour/summer school with random people and experience a new culture together. It such an unique experience that would never forget it.

In other news, I’m still harnessing my inner entrepeneur with new sites and projects.

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Also me and my twin brother are currently working on some new tunes. It’s going good! Also his site Tweekly.FM is doing amazingly well!

Anyhoo, I’ll try and update this blog more often!

Beijing Day 19 – Olympic Stadiums

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Last night we chilled at the park again. Always so nice. I wish Stellenbosch had a nice big lawn somewhere where you can bring a beer and just chill on hot summer nights.

This morning I met Jenny outside the res, and missioned with her back to Zhongguancun’s International Comic City, which has this one floor with just nerd/anime culture items! She and I agreed it’s every nerd’s wet dream. We bought many awesome stuff for friends and if it wasn’t for the money I would’ve bought the whole floor. Jenny missioned to meet a Chinese friend so I decided to visit a nearby arcade. I jammed some cool rhythm games and then left for the Bird’s Nest.

The Olympic Stadium’s and the whole area there is really impressive. I went into the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest. It was actually cheap on a student discount, but somehow I was underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong the places are impressive, but I expected more of the place. I guess it would’ve been different if you were there during the Olympics. It, however, was cool to see everything and sort of envision the opening ceremony going on.

Tonight, we’re going for munchies with our South African teacher and then perhaps going out afterwards!

Beijing Day 15 – Forbidden City

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Last night after the Great Wall I took an early night. Was very tired, but I managed to spend two hours on my Rubik’s cube. I’m determined to finish this thing!

Anyhoo, this morning we got up late morning to go the Forbidden City. Again, the place is absolutely packed with tourists and sellers. Each one of us are getting really irritated by all these people. They never stop trying to sell things, doesn’t matter where you are. It’s so annoying. They just can’t take a hint! If I wanted your item, I would’ve gone to you and bought it, but don’t shove it in my face. When me, Erin and Jenny, were walking back to the station a rickshaw dude followed us all the way trying to sell his service. He was the most stubborn seller ever. I just started speaking in Afrikaans and even then he couldn’t take a hint. Jenny continously said Zaijian (Goodbye) to get him off our backs, but to no avail. GRRRRRRRRR. However after like 2 kilometres he got the hint.

Photos with Westerners are also very popular, especially if you’re with blonde-haired girls like Erin and Jenny. Once a person asks for a photo, the whole family/tour group have to take each picture individually. You even start gathering a crowd. At first it was funny, but now it’s just getting annoying.

The Forbidden City, like the Great Wall, is amazingly impressive, but all the people and heat make it slightly unpleasant. Tourist spots will in the end remain tourist-y. Tonight, I’m going to take a nap then go out later for some partying and then see the sunrise on Tianamen Square.

Cheers for now!

Beijing Day 5-7 – Gulou, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

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The Wangfujing mission was amazing last night (Day 4).  Was definitely not what I expected. The pictures (which I’ll probably post when I get back) will show you the amazing street. It’s a big street with lots of lights and shops: think Times Square type vibe, but Chinese. There were also these small alleys with many Chinese ornaments and vendors: and yes there were live  scorpions to be cooked. Alas, I didn’t brave it, but I’m definitely going back to get some the scorpion munchies! Bought some kiff stuff for the flat and saw a schweet ukulele, that I’ll probably go and buy later. We strolled for quite some time there, but our feet were killing us so missioned back on the subway. Chinese trains are interesting and typically crowded. It however takes really long to get to places. Beijing is BIG! However, the best way to kill time is to get in the zone and that is exactly what happened.

Somehow it got out that Erin, a third year girl, likes linguistics and knows Tolkien’s alphabet (yes, she knows Elfish, but can’t speak it). We started talking along with Jenny (another kiff third year girl) about linguistics and languages. Later it evolved into religion and all such jazz. All this while we were missioning home on the train. Felt like a Waking Life moment. Was so kiff!

Day 5

I had class as usual in the morning, but pretty much had nothing planned for the afternoon. I did research for my trip before I went, and found out there is a street called Gulou Dajie which is famous for having literally guitar shop, games shop, guitar shop etc. So I made my first solo mission on the subway. Got there and strolled in the street. Was fascinating! Many memorabilia stores with figurines and such. Saw some awesome things to get for my friends! I made my way back, extremely tired from all the walking.

That night we all missioned as a group to a nearby restuarant to get some Peking duck. The restuarant was awesome! It had seperate rooms with classy decor and stuff. We ordered some good Chinese food (things that were actually edible!) along with the Peking Duck. Was nogals yummy! We ended the night with an ice-cream mission.

Day 6 – Friday

Again, I have classes in the morning, but this time a few of us planned to see The Temple of Heaven in the afternoon. I’ve been entrusted with being the guide, because of superior subway deciphering skills. Pffft, subways are meant to be easy to navigate hahaha, but I play along. Anyhoo, we got there in the afternoon and boy was I impressed. Many said it will be boring, but wow, this place even rivals Versailles. The place is HUGE! The temples majestic and people fascinating. The place was alive with people dancing, playing instruments, doing some sports and all that jazz. Throughout the park they also had speakers playing tradional music. It was quite the magical experience.

However, close to when we were about to go, my chest got strangely congested. It never does. I reckon it might be the city center pollution? Anyhoo, when I got I took a nap to sleep off the strange cough and wheezy bors. Erin then sms’ed to meet her at the campus park along with other people and their Chinese friends. We ended playing Mafia with them! It was so strange and fun to play it with them. One the Chinese dudes’ name was Ross, named after the popular Friends character! He spoke the best English though and I reckon him a formidable player. hehe. Other names include: Peanut, Bonnie, Cherry, Lilly etc. It reminds of the coloured/black people and their names: Diamond, Precious etc.

Day 7 – Saturday

We woke up early to catch a tour organized by the University to the Summer Palace. Scrap that comment about the Temple of Heaven rivalling Versailles, this place was even more epic. It just blew my mind. The scale and the audacity of it was just mesmerizing. Alas, we could not stay long as the bus went back after two-three hours (I guess we only saw like a quarter of the park!).

For lunch some of us decided to try to mission to Mistica Pizza. It’s facade is a western restuarant and to some extent it succeeds. Nice atmosphere and prices (but expensive in China terms). The pizza tasted funny though, but it was pizza so I was very glad! The menu was also hilarious. Many spelling mistakes and Chinglish was abundant.

After that we (Mark, Lauren, Izelle, Jenny) met up with Erin to go to Ya Show market. It’s a 5 story building with clothes and other paraphenalia. We almost didn’t get there as we took a guess which subway to get off. We made it though! haha. Bargaining was the order of the day. It was strange and I completely failed with my first purchase of 65Y for a t-shirt which I could’ve gotten for 30Y. It’s a “I love BJ” t-shirt. +1 for ambiguity!

Also shopped around for a DS Lite, got them down to 500Y (R600), but I’m going to continue looking around first. Also saw some kiff games I wanna get. Bargaining was fun, but I don’t like it that much. I felt too bad for doing it! hahaha. It’s a fun experience though!

Sleepy and tired now, going to the Zoo tomorrow. Would be  fun!

Cheers for now

P.S. – Excuse my typos and grammar. I have to type this without letting my time run out too fast!

Beijing: -4 Days

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So, I’m almost on my way to Beijing. I’m getting super excited now, yet it still seems unreal. I’m flying Saturday morning and we’re stopping at Jo’burg and Hong Kong. The total flight time will be about 20 hours. Which will be the longest I’ll ever be stuck on a plane. However, I’m not a uneasy plane passenger. I can easily entertain myself. Going to take along my Game Boy and compose some tunes on it, watch in-flight movies, read books and perhaps even catch up on some last minute Mandarin.

I hope that China is everything I hope it to be. This is where I’m getting kinda shacky. I have this image of China in my mind. I’ll probably be faced with an insane culture shock, but I think I’ll manage. The other thing is, this will be the furthest I’ve been away from home and the longest I’ve been without seeing my parents and/or siblings. No, close friends are going, just class buddies. I guess this will an exercise in liberty in as well. Something we all have to go through. Kinda looking forward to it.

The University where I’m studying at sent me an e-mail adress of a girl in Beijing who will help me if I need any help in China. It’s a great thing. Maybe I’ll even get to go have dinner at their home. That would be awesome. She even plays a traditional Chinese instrument, the erhu, which intrigues me immensely.

Slowly starting to pack my clothes. Bought a travel bag thing to hang across my shoulder and lots of other travel paraphenalia. Going tomorrow to sort my finance issues for China and get a sturdy luggage bag.

Oh, on another note: I feel proud for having posted almost every day for a week and a half on Twindie.net. I’ll try and keep it up till I go to Beijing. I hope I can still post while I’m there.

This might just be the most productive holiday yet

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As of last Friday, the 12th of June, I’m officially on holiday. I could’ve been on one a week a earlier, but I slept through my English Literature exam, so I had to write the supplementary test. It sucks to wake up and realize you just missed an exam. Believe me, it’s not a good feeling.

However, now it is holiday! For the next two weeks I’m still in Stellenbosch, but then I’m going to Beijing. Stay tuned for more posts on that. However, now I’m finding myself to be uber-productive. I’m going to blog at least once a day on Twindie.net, and me and Simon started a new site I’m So Nerdy which is looking good so far, and rather hilarious I might add. I’m also going to try and blog on other sites like Nerdmag, Lexiblog and MoralFibre

Me and Simon are also working a new music project. It’s sounding good. Prepare to see a brand smacking original tune later this day. I just need to record vocals first.

Enjoy your holiday if you’re on one, if not, at least enjoy the weekend!

Beijing: -23 days – Preparation

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On 27 June I’m leaving for Beijing to join fellow classmates (from 1st-3rd year) along with other international students to study at Renmin University’s International Summer School. I’ve been granted this amazing opportunity, all expenses paid, because I did really well in my first year Mandarin. Yes, kids, it pays to study hard! To say I’m excited is an understatement.

The summer school lasts for four weeks, but our group of Stellenbosch students, unfortunately have to leave a week early because our University starts again on 20 July. Hell, I don’t mind, three weeks in Beijing seems like a dream come true. I’m going to study Chinese and Chinese Politics. With my Chinese classes from Tuesday to Thursday in the mornings for 1h30 hours and the Chinese Politics classes on Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon for 2h30 hours, leaves me with numerous time to explore Beijing. I’ll most definitely be going walk missions in between streets, go to shopping malls, visits small cafes, buy strange stuff and just take everything in.

I’ve been religiously studying Beijing for about a month now, finding out where the best arcades are, the best shops, the cheapest goods, the best internet cafes, the best nightclubs, the best bars. I’m going to start cataloguing everything soon and make my own guide to Beijing.
I’ve also signed up for many newsletters showcasing events, live music and weather reports, so I can prepare myself.

I’m going to try blog as much as possible, tweet as much as possible and take as many pictures as possible. I want to share this experience with you guys! For now, I’m giddy with excitement. Can’t wait!

P.S. – I’m so going to rip it up in the Karaoke rooms!

New Blogs/Posts

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Hello y’all!

I’ve been writing for some new sites and old sites again. Me and my twin brother have started a group blog http://twindie.net. Here we post about popular culture, but with a twist on it. It’s not been updated for a week or two and I apologizefor it. We’ll pick it up again soon.

I’ve also written a new blogpost at Leximo‘s blog. Read the post here. It’s about a Chinese woman that made me realize South Africa again.

Peace out,

Niel

P.S. – Also check out for a new 5 Things Game Have Taught Me article on Nerdmag soon!

Video Game Shooting

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http://bit.ly/LF8o1

Go read and that.

The German teenager who shot dead 15 people including nine school pupils before killing himself played a violent video game hours before his gun rampage, reports said Saturday.

Investigators said Tim Kretschmer, 17, spent two hours playing Far Cry 2, a video game in which players hunt arms traffickers in the jungle, on Tuesday night, the news magazine Der Spiegel reported on its website.

The article is very vague in bluntly citing the causality between the recent German school kid rampage to video games, but it implies it – even with a sort of told you so air to it. Can we just start to grow up and not milk this really lazy way off blaming games for kid rampages?

Yes, it does add to the desensitization of the current generation, but so does movies, television, media and the Internet. It is everywhere. Video games often becomes the first scapegoat when teenagers or young children are involved in murder sprees. It is ridiculous sensationalism for the older generation who do not understand the medium. “Ye, young whipper snappers better stop playing dem video games, or you’ll kill your school” and then your grandfather proceeds to rap you on your knuckles.

The media needs to look at other avenues, before milking the mostly misunderstood gaming market. Seriously anyone that is going to kill people off callously is not psychologically sound. I play many video games, watch many violent movies, read many gruesome books but I will never go on a killing spree.

So please, playing video games does not equal instant deranged maniac. Thank you, now please get that into your heads, before I pull out my semi-automatic on my English Literature class.