Posts Tagged ‘jozi’

What is it like? Where I’m from.

September 19, 2010

A friend (I think) from California asked me over a frozen yogurt what I missed most about South Africa. “Ah” I said, for my land is beautiful. Well it’s my land for now. Malema KAN LIKE 2 HAV. But for now… no I didn’t bring that up. I have realised that a lot of the expats’ whining is really boasting – an attempt to make themselves sound interesting by pretending that their rich, middle class lives were really more in danger than those of the millions of (yes, majority black, but not only) people who are so poor that they know the police won’t come if they call.

It was Friday night, and Orange pumped… like the last pulses of a dying aorta. Cars dawdled home in time for pumpkin hour. Cyclists broke the 25mph speed limit, their spokes hissing. My arteries pulsated with joy and pain in response to a dose of “cookie dough” flavoured sweetness. And actually, I was having a cool time, in my own weird way.

I told him I missed the mix of voices most. And that is true. Here are a few that make sense of it for me – just stuff I’ve plucked off my South African friends’ facebook profiles (with their permission) or been sent by mail by them (and yes, I did ask before blogging).

Sent by email. Malema is "youth" leader of approximately 40 years whom the media ridicule, but who has a surprising amount of support. He's awful. Like a post-mugabe-post-joke media monster... who just won't die. But he's funny!

This is not a joke. Recommended to me by Facebook, which as in very poor taste, given the source...

New U. New You? Is this a joke? Sent to me by an ex, who says he could never find this street again, or any information about the supposed union. Taken in Jozi somewhere. Down a side street. Somewhere.

And then there’s this – a conversation I found on facebook and am using with permission, on condition I change the names… so I went with A (for the African person, who really is black) and B (for the Afrikaans person. who really is African, too). This conversation illustrates the openness and fearlessness with which South Africans address racial issues. Something I really miss here. Because it’s not like there’s no racism here. It’s just prettied up with this veil of so-called good manners… which really means not mentioning it at all, unless you’re entitled to by being African American, or Mexican-American.

Well, from someone who’s actually kinda like BEEN to africa..

FACEBOOK, A FEW DAYS AGO – CYBERLIGHT

This is the shop, launched by an ex colleague. An upmarket shop for weaves and wigs and such.

Translations for Amerians:
1. Baas=Massa
2. the weird English is mockery of the way some people speak – sometimes because English is their third language, sometimes because they’re working in a servile personality they can leave at work. In this case, my former colleagues, of various races, are all taking the piss of course…

Someone posted the picture together with a comment like “Ohhh. This is why A left. Look how well she’s doing for herself out there…”

Quoted convo follows (only names are changed)

A at least am making a living rather than looting from people….like someone’s ancestors!!!
9 hours ago ·
o
M O I can supply some mopcaps to cover those afro’s !
8 hours ago ·
o
A ‎@ mark for free???
8 hours ago ·
o
W I would also buy hair if….
6 hours ago ·
o
A haaaaaaaaaa OMG W….well I was working in the fields (farm) and given no time to take care of my hair…..you can’t blame me!!!!
3 hours ago ·
o
W Did you say work?
3 hours ago ·
o
A yes that thing my aunt does in your mama’s kitchen is called work, that thing my uncle does in your garden is called……not sittign in the sun tanning ….WORK yes you read it right!!!
3 hours ago ·
o
WC You two need to get a room…
2 hours ago ·
o
A he started it…….I think W likes me….its OK W you won’t get arresred we can be a couple its allowed…..
2 hours ago ·
o
WC I think it’s mutual…Is that why you moved to JHB, A?
2 hours ago ·
o
WG You should have learned from you aunt and uncle.
2 hours ago ·
o
WC Ouch!
2 hours ago ·
o
A nah…I was weatching baas and now am using those skills…..thanks for alowing my aunt to bring me to work…i got a chance to watch how baas moves….look at me now!!!
2 hours ago ·

Maybe I’m weird, but this is the shit I miss.