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November 10, 2007

The 5-cent shower of Cape Town works its magic


Francis Hweshe's October 31, 2007 article in the Cape Argus of Capetown, South Africa, related how that city's 5-cent shower and 5-cent hotel provide comfort and hope to that country's desperate refugees; the piece follows.

    The shower works some 'magic'

    The so-called 5-cent hotel and 5-cent shower in Cape Town have become a favourite haunt among desperate refugees, many of whom have to resort to bathing and washing their clothes at the foot of Table Mountain.

    The five-minute free shower is run by the city council and is situated in Bo-Kaap, on the corner of Rose and Castle streets.

    The attendant has to keep a close watch on the time.

    "Finish up, finish up, guys — someone is waiting to get in there!" is the call often heard, as the attendant tries to police the facility.

    "I have been coming to this place to shower since friends introduced it to me five months ago," said an asylum seeker from Zanzibar.

    He claims a former employer ran away with his money five months ago.

    Another Tanzanian said the shower worked some "magic" because it gave them the energy to spend the whole day looking for jobs.

    "But you cannot do much, until you get proper documents from home affairs," he said.

    The attendant, who would not be named, said he had worked at the facility for three years.

    "The refugees are nice guys and always listen to instructions. More than 80 refugees from countries such as Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique, the Congo and Zimbabwe come daily to shower," he said.

    He said the facility was open from 7am and closed at noon, so it could be cleaned. It re-opened at 2pm and closed at 3pm.

    In Roeland Street, opposite Fruit & Veg City, is the imposing two-storey "5c-hotel", which is open between 11:30am and 1pm every day. There is no official name to the hotel, but there is a printed sign on a board outside saying: "The 5c hot meal shop."

    During a recent visit to the 5-cent hotel, as the refugees have dubbed it, a handful of refugees and other less privileged citizens gathered outside.

    With each minute the numbers swelled and by 11:30am more than 200 people were waiting in a queue with their 5c coins ready to buy lunch.

    The menu for the day included a plate of rice with mincemeat served warm, fresh apples, rolls, bread with butter and hot tea with milk.

    Des Billing, the manager at the non-profit food outlet, said it was opened in 1935 to feed destitute people but now also caters daily for more than 200 refugees from different parts of Africa.



Hweshe's October 22, 2007 report in the Cape Argus provides a back story to the article above.

[via the Cape Argus and showeringenthusiast.com]

November 10, 2007 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Quick-Release Cake Pan


Very slick.

I don't have any use for them as I don't bake — but you might.

And it's all about U, not me, and certainly not the O.

From the website:

    Easy Release Cake Pan Set

    Release perfect cakes without fuss or sticking!

    Ingenious pans have a quick-release lever that makes a full 360° sweep beneath cake, so it pops out completely intact.

    No more crumbled, broken messes!

    1-1/2" high x 9-3/4" diameter.


Two pans for $7.99.

November 10, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Cruise Missile


That's what people call (not to her face, you can be sure) Morgan Stanley co-president Zoe Cruz (above), tipped to be the next CEO of Morgan Stanley in yesterday's New York Times Business section front page story by Landon Thomas Jr.

He wrote that Ms. Cruz is "... nicknamed 'Cruise Missile' for her direct manner and occasional temper."

"Cruz Missile" works too.

In either case, I'll bet she loves her nickname, even if she might pretend otherwise.

She's appeared here before but it's time to dust off her bona fides now that she's poised to grab the brass ring.

November 10, 2007 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What are they?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

November 10, 2007 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Should you drink from a hotel room glass?


No, according to Kitty Bean Yancey of USA Today.

In an blog entry this past Thursday, November 8, 2007, she wrote about a hidden camera video that's shaking up Atlanta's hotels.

Here's her post.

    Gross hotel drinking glasses

    Think the glasses in your hotel room are sanitized? Unless they're plastic and wrapped, think again.

    A reader alerted me to a report this week by the investigative team at Atlanta Fox 5 TV. They checked into a half-dozen area hotels and put a hidden camera in the bathrooms. What they found everywhere — from budget to luxury hotels — was disgusting: Housekeepers rinsing glasses in the bathroom sink. In one case, glasses were swooshed out after a housekeeper had been cleaning the toilet; in another, glasses were sprayed with what looked like a toxic mirror-cleaning product before being rinsed and dried.

    Hotels typically say glasses are put through the dishwasher, but I have observed housekeepers swishing them out in the sink to save time near the end of a shift. Health experts interviewed by Fox 5 said the practice was a violation of rules and that dirty glasses could spread disease.

    Readers in the industry, does this surprise you? How widespread is this? What is the practice at your hotels? Readers, do you use hotel glassware and if so, have you detected any cleanliness issues?


If you watch this hidden camera video made by Atlanta's Fox 5 TV, you'll never drink from a non-single use hotel glass again.

November 10, 2007 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Monkey Alarm Clock — 'Wake up to laughing chimp sounds'


Some of us don't need this clock to do that... but I digress.

From the website:

    Monkey Alarm Clock

    Wacky Monkey Alarm Clock will amuse even the grumpiest sleepyhead!

    You’ll wake up laughing to the “oo-oo-oo-ahh-ha-ha” sounds of the cute chimp on the clock’s face.

    Classic double bell style alarm clock features easy-to-read numbers and sweep second hand.

    Includes 3 AA batteries.

    7" H.


November 10, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Oreo Pizza

Where have I been since late August of this year, when Domino's rolled it out?

First I heard of it was in Charles Passy's "Hungry Man" column in yesterday's PalmBeachPost.com.

Long story short: Passy wrote that the $3.99 dessert pizza, Domino's first-ever offering in the after-dinner space, "... tastes like a graham cracker that has gone through the dry cleaner's."

He reported that it's still around in many markets since its initial one-month test period.

Anyone had one and care to comment?

November 10, 2007 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Pull-A-Plug — World's most technical plug remover


From the website:

    Pull-A-Plug — Remove Plugs Without Yanking!

    Now you can safely and easily remove electrical plugs without damaging the cord.

    Pull-A-Plug is especially handy when removing plugs from a tightly packed power strip.


I'm reminded of the wonderfully-titled fishing memoir by the great Australian art critic Robert Hughes, "A Jerk On One End."


A set of two Pull-A-Plugs costs $9.95.

November 10, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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