October 23, 2007

Jozi street life

I'm in Jo'burg, standing at a traffic light with my car window open this morning. The Bokke arrived at the airport a few hours earlier at 7am and all the radio stations are talking about Rugby and nation building and standing together as one and how many people pitched up to give the team a heroes welcome. A guy approaches my vehicle with a window cleaner, to wipe my windscreen. I signal to him that I'd rather he didn't. He leans into my window and says:

I'm not gonna clean your windscreen. It looks fine to me. Just give me five, you know you are my favourite white girl.


We do the fist-to-fist 5er. Then he goes on in his odd mixture of a South African/American accent:

You didn't come with me to France, but you should have seen. Paris was green and gold! Green and gold - aahhhhh, it was beautiful there in Paris! And you know me, always seeking attention - I was all over the show!


Really, hey?

Yebo. Paris was great, sister! Now, why did you say you won't give me anything?


I have nothing with me in the car. Everything is in the boot, so tsotsis don't put a brick through my window.

Ah, yes I know. You have to put everything away. Sharp - give me five - I'm outta here!


And with another fist-to-fist 5er (clearly, I don't know the correct lingo but I know the moves, bra!) he ambles on to the driver behind me.

The Bokke have done a great job making people here happy and proud. And while the English continue to sulk, I don't think they will ever appreciate that this victory is far more significant in our country than it would ever have been in theirs. In England it's a sporting event, in South Africa it has become a whole lot more than that - it is a story about a people finding common ground and getting fired up together - standing behind their team unconditionally, and by extension standing behind their country and their fellow citizens, unconditionally, even if only for a moment. It's an important moment. We saw it in 1995 and now again in Paris. And that's why even people like me who don't really care for the sport stand up and shout in the stadium at the semi-finals, dress in green and gold and eat lots of broccoli and bananas.

Viva Bokke!

4 comments:

DN-H Town said...

Brave girl, having your car window open. You must know some moves i dont. Enjoy it there, before you return to burnt down Hollywood, where politics mean debates between politicians on which candidate is the more conservative. Interesting stuff.

Hollywoodgal said...

Uhhh, yes, my friends and family think I'm a naive nutcase for not realising the dude was casing my car... but I just don't want to believe that. I hate thinking that way - I'd prefer to live in the ignorant belief that he just wanted a nice little chat...

And poor SoCal, going up in smoke like that!!!!!!!!!!!!
What with all the Rugby politics here, I haven't been following American conservatives...

Have fun in Texas. DO you know any other Saffers there?

DN-Houston said...

Yeah theres a few here, even been watching the rugby at the pub with a guy that was in my "koshuis" back in Matieland. But no one i hang out with. Still looking for the great Afrikaanse meisietjie to keep me company over a bottle shiraz.

Goit Walemfrik said...

It’s the ones with the loaded fingers you have to watch out for ;) I am with you, am almost prepared to be a crime victim just to be able to keep a semblance of normality going. Rather lose a pair of sunglasses than drive my life away in the cocoon of a closed car, shaking with fear every time somebody comes over to sell me something. Most of those guys are harmless anyway. They say you need to watch out for the ones who come over with nothing to sell...