In the ninth of my weekly interviews with interesting people in Umdloti, I asked the Big Five questions of German and honorary Umdlotian Tom Striebl. And got just one answer back. This is a guy who has taken the “Live The Holiday” vibe to a whole new stratosphere and was clearly so busy living it up at his “office” (The Bush Tavern) that he wasn’t bothered to answer each specific question! Serves me right to have stereotyped Germans as an orderly lot. Vorsprung etc…
Never mind. Let’s take a look at the man who totally owns the lifestyle the rest of us only dream of…
1. So, Tom, you’re a German who spends half the year at home in Germany and the other half “at home” here in Umdloti. And you don’t work. At all. You are “Living the Holiday” in the extreme. How did you manage this?
2. Tell us about your dodgy heart and your “defibrillator”. How does it work and does it get in the way of your “Living the Holiday” vibe? As in drinking, smoking and any other recreational activities that you may or may not indulge in…
3. Tell us about your life in Bavaria. What do you enjoy about living there that you can’t do here? And vice-versa…
4. Tell us about the first day that you discovered Umdloti. And any other funny stories that you have about our crazy little seaside resort and the people who live here (and, like you, have an “office” at the Bush Tavern)!
5. OK. Last question. What do you do with your time in Umdloti, where are your favourite places to go in Umdloti and around Durban in general? And what do you tell your friends back home in Germany about South Africa as a tourist destination?
Each year I’m coming south with the swallows to the summer. Its cheaper that way. Cheap cheap!
The doctor says my heart condition is 30% pump power and so I must not work. And so they pay “retired money”. The doctor says I must have “Nada de stress”.
The lump in my chest is actually a defibrillator (some people think its a pacemaker). If my heart stops then it gives me a shock of 300 volts. Its not lekker but gives me a jump start. Then I can carry on drinking beer!
The smoking of different types of “spicy” tobacco is good for keeping the stress down. I cannot swim in the sea, anyway it’s a septic tank.
I take eight different tablets that keeps the blood pressure down and keeps the fluid amount low in my lungs and… and… and down in my lungs.
In Bavaria I can speak Bavarian with friends and drink my German beer with friends and hang out in 32 degree heat when its cold in SA. Bavarian girls are very different.
In South Africa I can hang out in the warm weather while the Bavarians freeze their balls off. It keeps the blood thin and easier to pump. In SA I can watch the sea with the big waves that they don’t have in Bavaria. And I have all my Umdloti girlfriends!
I was living in Umhlanga and I was pissed off with the place. One day I took a six pack in my bag and started walking along the beach north. When the six-pack was finished I found myself in Umdloti… and I thought that this is going to be my place where I stay. Paradise… “Umhlanga sucks – Umdloti Rocks!!!!!”
Every day I go to my “office” at the Bush Tavern and meet and know many people who are at the same level as me… goofed! For a change of view I like to go to Tasca Pizza to see Marco or next door at “Gay Island” (Beanbag Bahia). There is a different vibe and view. My other favourite place is Zinkwazi at the skiboat club and forest camping. In Zinkwazi I do some fishing.
I tell the Germans that in South Africa there are elephants walking down the street and people get attacked by green mambas and bees on the beach. But it’s its not so bad… I like the adventure!
I have to go now because Happy Hour is coming up in my “office”.
FH: Riiiight. I see. OK. Thanks for that, Tom. You’ve completely blown my definition of Germans as a hard-working, diligent, slightly boring bunch out of the water. I like that. And I’m sorry if I cramped your style at the office for the five minutes it clearly took to answer my FIVE questions. Have a long and lekker life. Don’t worry about us!