Hello, you warm Americans.
After experiencing the fire in the picture above, I can understand why my father loves fireplaces so much.
I’m really noticing differences down here. That is, differences in culture compared to my own. And, yes, just because I know some of you are dying to know, the toilets flush differently, people drive on the left side of the road, and the steering wheels in cars are on the opposite side of our own.
Children here rarely use the titles that we have in America. Instead of “Miss”, “Mr.” and “Mrs.”, you hear “Auntie” and “Uncle”. It caught me off guard when I heard all of the women being called aunties, but I’m getting used to it now. I suppose it might be strange not to have the respect and formality represented by the titles, but “Auntie” and “Uncle” show respect and fondness all in one.
Hugs are also very common. From where I come, they aren’t quite. When one is given, it is only to a very close friend or family member that you’ve known for awhile. Hugs here are what accompany “Hello!” and “Goodbye!” Of course, when I say this, I’m talking about the women.
“Shame.” is also something you hear all the time here. They use it the way we use words like, “Ah!”, “Woah.”, “Snap!”, “YIKES!”, and “Stink.” When I first heard it, I thought that it was directed at me, and I could only look around and think what I might have done wrong. Of course I’ve learned since then, and can’t help smiling every time I hear it.
Another completely foreign thing: it’s uncommon not to have a maid. There are a lot of households that have most everything done by one, and others that only have the maid visit once or twice a week.
A shopping cart? Well, it’s not called a cart here. In fact, if you call it a cart, people might think you’re talking about their credit card. Instead, it’s called a trolley. You know, those things with cutesy windows in San Fransisco that run on lines down the street? Yeah . . . .
Bags? No, not here. They have “Packets” here. When I first heard it, a cashier (they all had seats, by the way) was asking if I would like a “picket”. After assuming what she meant, I asked for one, and she rung it up. They’re only a few cents each, but it was still pretty different.
To Supersis at Inconsequentialities, there was some honey here. It was cheap :) , it was authentic, I thought of you.
To Dandelionmom at The Flip side of DandelionEnd , there was a weird-looking candy bar . . . complete with mint, coconut, chocolate, and cruchies (granola). I don’t know how good it is, but once you try it, you’ll know.
One American Dollar equals about 7.65 Rand. So, the other day, my total grocery expense equaled about $8.26.
Well, I’ll be off now. Consider yourselves updated, loved, and missed.