Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Life in South Africa

Nothing much going on today. except A SHOPPING CART at the grocery store is called a trolley, an escalator is called a lift, when you use your credit card to buy something you are asked, "Straight?"  I don't know what that means but I always say yes.  Once I said no and my card was rejected so I have said, "Yes, straight." ever since.  At the grocery store the cashier always asks, "Packet?"  The first time I went through a grocery line here I said, "What?" and she replied "Packet?"   Then she pointed to the plastic bags.  So I say "Packet" each time I go through the line.  We each have a debit card.  When you give it to the cashier you have to say, "credit card."  If you say "debit card" it can be denied.  When you go to a gas station and say "Fill it up with gas." they put air in your tires.  You have to say, "Fill it up with petrol unleaded."  Then they ask, Water ok? Tires ok? Oil ok?  They always wash your windshield and do a very thorough  job.      Traffic lights are referred to as "robots." as in, "Go down the street to the third robot.  Then turn left."

I was wrong when I said 12 dots on a piece of paper equal the size of an ant.  It's more like 4 dots.  They have to be the smallest ants in the world.  At street lights there are vendors selling their wares, the most common - packages of plastic garbage bags. Second would be hand flax woven bags. third would be cords that plug into your cigarette lighter.  The most common tin can used by beggars - a coke can.  The most common beggars at traffic lights - Blacks.  2nd  Browns, 3rd and very rare - a Whitie without a shirt and in bare feet.  A common sight - Blacks walking every where.  There's no public bus transportation system except an occasional bus that goes around picking up workers.  You might see 3 or 4 of these buses a day.  A rare sight?  A donkey pulling a cart.  Cost for a hair cut male?  $5.  The most common head?  A bald head.  The Black male adult, teenager, and kid.  The most common means of lawn cutting - the weedeater, and at a hamburger place I saw a sign that said, "Tiger burger."   The most common type of pie?  Steak and kidney.  Restaurant special of the day - monkey kidneys. Grocery deli - garlic snails.   The most common type of dog?  A small white terrier.  Speed limit?  130 kilometers per hour.  Maids working for whites? Fat Black women over age 40.  Build of average African Black male?  Slim and lean about 5' 9".  I have yet to see a fat Black, African male.         Baby carrier?  Child tied on mother's back.  Most common way of carrying things - on the head.   Money exchange?  8 Rand to a dollar.  Seemingly most popular car?  Volkswagon and Nissan.  Length of an average Black African funeral service?       4 hours.  The most popular colors worn by Black African women?  Blue, red, green.  Smoking?  3-4 men sharing a cigarette.   Cause for Internet disruption and disappearance? Thunder and lightning.  Most popular religion?  Christianity.  Sister Stokoe's major complaint?  "I'm cold."  The weather is mild but there is no central heating. Winter months are June and July.

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