Life in the Big City

November 4, 2008 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment


This post was saved and I accidently posted it early before I was ready for it to be read. I am sorry if you read it before I could remove it. My comedic genius was working on making it funny (obviously!)…

Yes I do realise that Pretoria (or Tshwane as we are to now call it) is far from a thrilling city. Full of the backwardness of poor city planning I am now knee-deep in dutchmen-ville. I do get teased for the way my South African accent is turning more Afrikaans and that I no longer need to read the subtitles of 7 de Laan. I say things like ‘too much of’ , ‘ja‘, and I have even caught myself saying the dreaded, ‘Can like to be’. My grammar has gone out the window. All because I study English at TUKKIES! (too bad I can’t record the way that has to be said. Because there is a way to say it so that is sounds strong powerful and very Afrikaans.)

So, that leads to today’s thought. These are my top 13 tips to living as an American in Pretoria.

1. Don’t tell anyone that you are American. Either they will ask you something retarded like whether or not you know Oprah or their third cousin twice removed who lives in Canada, or they will try to rip you off trying to make you think that you have to pay to walk on the sidewalk.

2. Don’t leave your windows open at the traffic lights. The beggars/hawkers will reach into your car and steal your stuff. And you probably like your stuff and don’t want to chase a one or two legged man down the street just to get your cellphone back.

3. Try not to speak. You accent will give your nationality away. See Number 1.

4. Learn Afrikaans. It is a lot of fun to eavesdrop when no one knows you understand what they are talking about. Hours of entertainment here… Especially when you get the luck of them talking about you while you are in the room.

5. Don’t drink the water. No, really, I think someone might have died in the reserve they pump it from. When people drink it for extended periods of time they begin to like Steve Hofmeyer and adore Vernon Koekemoer and say things like ‘Can like to be’.

6. One word. Loftus. Avoid it and the traffic created by it.

7. Don’t bother trying to find parking. Walk everywhere. Sure it might be more dangerous, but if you take your car it will most likely get stolen then you will have to walk home anyway.

8. If someone says ‘for you my friend I’ll give you special price’ understand one thing. You are not their friend, everyone gets the ‘special’ price and you are most likely getting ripped off.

9. Buy a new map book every 6 weeks. Pretty soon after all the name changes you won’t know where you are going. Ever. Try and keep ahead of the game.

10. Don’t give money to ANC supporters. Despite failed promises, a collapsing economy and increase after increase in everything from the 60% increase in electricity prices to the incredibly ridiculous taxes to interest rates they will continue to vote ANC until they die.

11. Learn how to ride a dead horse. You have to deal with things not working. Broken this and that, Bank systems will be offline and even power outages when you want to cook dinner/dry your hair. If you understand how to ride a dead horse maybe you will cope easier with all the dead things in Tshwane.

12. Eat at Po’s Kitchen. It’s the best Chinese in the world. Expect maybe in China. And say hi to Po for me!

13. Don’t carry money while you walk home. Spend it all while you shop. Black people who are dressed better than you, who actually still have a car and have their party of choice in government will probably stop you and give you a long story about their brother’s sister’s cousin’s child who is hungry and how a neighbor gave him a meal and now he needs money to buy a thank you gift to the child’s neighbor. Confused? I was too.

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