|A cheeky monkey|
I am now into the fourth day of my South African experience and my education of this country continues. In the past two days I have learned two new words and how to use them: “Cheeky” and “Dodgy.” These are very interesting words, which require a bit of instruction to understand. Monkeys are “cheeky” and a person can be “cheeky.” Certain parts of town are “dodgy” or a person can be “dodgy.” The closest I can come to American words are “mischievous” for cheeky and “sketchy” for dodgy. Other terms I have learned and practicing are: torches, tackies and biscuits. Flashlights are torches, sneakers are tackies and cookies are biscuits. Boots and bonnets are the trunk and hood of a car, respectfully. I almost forgot some of my favorite new words, Braai, biltong and voers. Translation: barbeque, jerky and sausage! They do not have potluck suppers here, nope, they have bring & braai or bring & share. Pies can be either sweet or savory, but to a South African pie means a meat pie and Guinness is not just for drinking but a flavorful part of a lamb or steak pie. You will often see me use the word “lekker” in facebook pages; this is a term meaning “awesome” or "very nice" or "great."
Last night was the first time I flinched while driving around town. It was after dark and as we turned left out of the driveway I observed a set of headlights coming toward us on the right. For a split second my heart went to my throat as my brain connected with where I was. The fun part of riding on the other side of the road as an American is I continue to want to lean the wrong way when we are taking a corner. When sitting in the middle of the back seat, I simply hold onto both grab bars and swing like a cheeky monkey in the back seat.
|Momma & baby with another young monkey|
I have not had a problem with accents and understanding people for the most part. I was challenged the other night when there were around 100 or more people at pie night; all talking at once. Listening closely was virtually impossible and some folks spoke so quickly I resorted to smiling and nodding as we conversed. I am learning to identify a person’s ethnic background by their accent. British South Africans sound British, Afrikaans has a German or Dutch sound, and American, you can tell us a mile away; all we have to say is “hello.”
I am very much enjoying the opportunity to meet and interact with “the natives” here. Everyone has an interesting story and loves to talk with someone from America. At pie night people would come in smile, say hello, extend their hand and say, “you must be one of the Americans, nice to meet you.” I am eager to continue to interact with others and learn more about this beautiful country. I am heading into the Natal “Midlands,” which everyone tells me I will love as it is so beautiful.” I’m not certain when I will be able to post again, but will try again soon.