White Wedding

I’ve just discovered a gem that brought tears of laughter (and a few of regret) to my eyes.

If you want to understand South Africa and its various racial groups and be thoroughly entertained in the process, the absolute best way is to watch White Wedding. You can get it on Amazon (see ...  Continue Reading

Zulu Potty Talk

Teach Yourself Zulu, available from Amazon

I’ve written about one of South Africa’s eleven official languages, Afrikaans. And how my favorite words are lekker aka yummy and meaning all things great, and kak aka crap and meaning all things, well, crap. 

But I haven’t said much about isiZulu, ...  Continue Reading

America’s Got Talent, South Africa’s Got Humour

As seen on Africa, this is why I live here’s FB Page

The following is a guest post by Barbara Bruhwiler.

Yesterday we finally found out – here in South Africa – who the winner of America’s got Talent Season 7 was. And while there is also a South African equivalent to this show, called SA’s got Talent, you will find one of the most outstanding talents of the South African people not on TV but in real life, in my humble opinion. I was reminded of this talent as I was leaving a Mr Price store the other day. I was there to return some pants I had bought for my husband a few days previously. As usual, I hadn’t been sure of his size and there was only one pair left of the ones I liked, so I just bought them. It turned out that they were two sizes too big, but thankfully my hubby wasn’t upset with me about misjudging his girth in such an unflattering manner. An entirely different story had I been in his shoes, but I digress. So I took the pants back to the store to ask for a refund. This particular Mr Price store, the one in Fourways Mall, had recently been given a complete makeover. Where before you had to bring a torch to try and see anything in the crammed and dark aisles, there is suddenly space and light. And the tills! What a pleasure. Before there was only a narrow check-out with six sullen employees behind it, four of which invariably chatting on their mobile phones or with each other, but now there is a long counter with modern computerised tills and five employees busy helping clients. And beaming at them. The wide smile didn’t even fade from the Mr Price employee’s face when I explained I was there for a return. A situation like this always makes me feel a bit awkward; I’m almost expecting to be scolded for being so silly and buying something I can’t use, and causing additional and unnecessary work for the shop and the credit card company and everybody. And if you’ve ever lived in South Africa, you might know that returning things isn’t always one of the easiest exercises. When he handed me back my credit card, after what seemed to be the end of the procedure, the shop assistant looked at me sternly and asked if I could do him a favour.  =&0=&

The Parking Gods

You can’t live in South Africa without daily encounters with the Gods.

They are everywhere.
They might tell you where to go.
They are often invisible.
You have no choice but to trust them.
They can be a big comfort.
They hold your fate (or at least that of your car) in their hands.
You don’t want to displease them.
You should always give them their due.

I’m speaking, ...  Continue Reading

An Ode to Lekker and Kak

“I’m NOT putting on a blazer! And we’re going to have to study WHAT language?”

That seemed to be the consensus when we first broke the news to our kids of moving to South Africa, followed shortly after by the news that we’d enrolled them in a South African school instead ...  Continue Reading

What’s a Ballbox?

This question was something I puzzled over all day yesterday.

Jabulani, in his typical 13-year old morning funk, had thrown a “Mom, I REALLY need a ballbox” at me before rushing out the door. Newly in high school with all its added demands and responsibilities, he has been slightly stressed ...  Continue Reading