Wordplay

I bought a sweater today.

Weird, huh?  It’s winter here though and the buildings don’t have heaters.  I was absolutely freezing in church last week, literally shivering as I sat there.  I didn’t want to shiver this week as I preached, people might think I was pretty nervous.

I think it’s funny how whenever I hear how much something costs, say it costs 70 rands, I always convert that back to dollars.  O.k., 70 rands equals 7 dollars.  But to the South African, it’s just 70 rands.  They don’t compare it to U.S. dollars.  I wonder how long it would take, living here, to stop using the United States dollar as your standard of evaluation.  Is there time when I would look at how much something cost and be able to understand it apart from my internal standard? 

Anyway.  Words are different here.  We are both speaking English but it’s not the same English. 

Apartment is a flat.

You let a flat instead of rent it.

Sorry instead of excuse me, it’s a pleasure instead of you are welcome.

Bucky not truck.  Boot not trunk.  Bonnet not hood. 

You stay somewhere, you don’t live there.  You use a serviette, not a napkin.  When you’ve got to go, you go to the toilet not the bathroom.   It’s wa – tear (as in rip) not wu-dder.  It’s shame not cute. 

One of my favorite words though is aach. 

You’ve got to say it like you are about to spit.  It’s like a word I’ve been looking for my whole life because it fits so many different occasions.  You are fed up, aach.  You can’t believe someone just said something, aach.  You want them to know that something you did for them was no big deal, aach man, don’t worry about it.  

Pretty cool.  Or as they say in South Africa, lakker. 

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