Day 8

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.

The Rand is much prettier and softer than the dollar. Instead of old (albeit respected) men and monuments, they have landscapes, floral designs, actual color, and sometimes animals.

Well, I’ll be off now. Consider yourselves updated, loved, and missed.

7 thoughts on “Day 8

  1. Thanks for the update! And for thinking of me when you see something weird and crunchy! (grin) The church I grew up in was an Auntie and Uncle place–what I must know is this: AWEnt or ANT?? :P The money is pretty and nice call on showing us that instead of steering wheels or water swirling the “wrong” way. I would also be curious to know if the South Africans are as into their history as Americans are-are there windmill monuments and community festivals with children in wooden shoes ?

  2. You’re welcome! I am fulfilling the more-than-I’m-alive-and-kicking posts, right? :)

    Well, there are different accents around here, so I think that both are used. Though, I’ve really only heard AWEntie and Tante.

    Ha! Yeah, I actually watched the first time I had to use a bathroom. It’s really fast, and really not the sort of thing that I’d notice, even in America.

    Hm. I’ll have to ask about the history. Afrikaans is a very common language down here, and that has its roots in Dutch. Thus . . . . most of ZA rooted for the Holland team to win the other night.

    And . . . ha! Well, actually, from what I’ve heard, the flea markets down here are very African. There are lots of things that we would assume came from the continent here, so no windmill monuments really.

    And, thank goodness, no wooden shoes. At least not yet. Those things are really loud and klonky.

  3. So, what color is the honey there? I don’t suppose you know their main nectar source . . .or do you? Thanks for thinking of me.

    The frequent updates are really great. Keep it up! If you would . . . no pressure. (from me) :)

  4. The honey I grabbed for you is from the Blue Gum flower. Of course, you also see it in Afrikaans, which, I think, is spelled, “Bloekom”. It’s rather dark, almost like a golden brown instead of a gold or golden yellow.

    I’m glad. I’m sure that some of these things seem weird to you all just as much as it does to me. :)

  5. Ah, this is all quite normal. What is really weird is that anyone would pronounce “Auntie” wrongly. Honestly! What incentive can there be to pronounce the word for one’s parent’s sister the same as that of a certain industrious insect?

    And I keep hearing of “British” accents. Is it really British?

  6. So, the calling of bags “packets”, and carts “trolleys”, and clockwise vortexes in flushing toilets are “all quite normal?”

    Yeah, people somehow seem to be U-blind. How they miss that glaring letter, I just have no idea.

    Yes, it really is. There are a lot of Afrikaans people here that have a slightly different one, along with Hungarian . . . not to mention the many other different nationalities.

    I’ve already caught myself pronouncing my t’s more like they do. Not a bad thing, I suppose, but the way my o’s are coming out might be a problem coming home . . .

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