Margaret Kollmer

Rookie - 9 Points (South Africa)

Sayonara, Baby! - Poem by Margaret Kollmer

The pity of it all is that South Africans are having to bear the brunt of all the Asian imports that are currently flooding our shores and stores. There was a time when a Size 14 meant exactly that but now it has become just another name for a Size 2. Everything resembles the kind of clothing worn by Oriental Barbie except that it doesn’t come in see-through pre-packs.

For myself, being nothing near a Size 2, I am forced to hunt high and low for at least a Size 64. As if this wasn’t enough, I also find myself having to take at least twelve cold baths a day in the hope that each dip will cause me to shrink in the same proportion as the clothing made from this summer’s crease-insistant cotton fabrics.

It doesn’t seem as though anyone has noticed that Chinese women are not built in the same mould as us sturdy South Africans. Sometimes, when I’m not concentrating, I buy brightly coloured tunics which, in the Store, I had assumed would fit only to discover when I get home that there are so many slits up and down the sides and down the front that quite a lot of me remains uncovered. I have tried winding an obi around my middle but all that does is make me look like a pot-ready peking duck.

This whole China syndrome is infectious; even my face seems to be taking on a more porcelain hue as I manage the art of sending my eyebrows flying off into space. As for my eyes: not for me my once strangely spherical hazels. Instead, I now sport a pair of dazzlingly inscrutable almonds; achieved by the same effect as when one removes a child’s tooth with a piece of string tied to the door. (Don’t even think about it!)

And then there’s all the fairy footwear all over the place which causes me, once again, to ponder on the Chinese preoccupation for Size 2. Is everything in China size 2?

Ah so……..and what about what we used to call, simply, slops but which, oriental style, should be worn with white socks with a strip of black leather pulled between the toes? G-strings for feet.

I don’t know about anyone else but, to me, the signs of a approaching revolution are all there. How well I remember 1917 and all that. All those poor people shuffling along mile after mile, taking turns at reading ‘The Good Earth’ for upliftment and as a way of passing the Buck.

Not wanting to be caught again, each morning sees me with a pile of government issue bandages binding my feet until I can’t stand, let alone walk. No chance of this prole ever shuffling off to Buffalo, Beijing or Woolies.

One thing one must understand, is the secret of successful Oriental deportment; which is that nothing must move. Clothing must be stiff and able to walk on its own if necessary. Face must be botoxed. Feet must be bound, but if one has need to visit nature’s headquarters, only tiny steps of one centimetre are possible. Or allowed! By the time one is duly relieved, it is nightfall and all one can do is hum a pre-revolutionary lullaby: Sushi, Sushi, All Fall Down, and dream about an imminent Chinese take-away. I mean take-over.


Comments about Sayonara, Baby! by Margaret Kollmer

  • john tiong chunghoo (3/31/2008 6:53:00 AM)


    lovely inforamtive piece margaret. the only problem is that it is not a poem which this site is meant for. keep on. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 31, 2008

Poem Edited: Saturday, April 12, 2008


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