Last days in Port Shepstone…

July 8th, 2004 by MrLuxuryFashionGuru

As I type this, I’m eating a Kit Kat Chunky with a serious defect – it doesn’t have any wafer in it at all.  For some reason I got a solid chunk of milk chocolate.  And this isn’t the first Chunky I’ve bought and eaten here in RSA, so this is definitely a mistake.  Strange.


Another random piece of trivia:


While people in Singapore and the US might be used to meeting people with names like Joy, Faith and perhaps even Patience, people here have names like Justice, Goodness and Kindness.  And their Zulu names are literally the same words for things like ‘thank you’ (Siyabonga or Ngyiabonga), ‘success’ (Nompumelelo) and ‘the nation’ (Sizwe).



Another inspiring story, and this one has nothing to do with me.


In the nearby township of Gamalakhe where several PM employees live (Joyce, Mabusi, Tomfooti etc.), residents had become increasingly fed up and vocal about the poor service, relatively high prices and almost random fare-hikes of the taxis over the past year (remember that ‘taxi’ in this case refers to fixed-price minivans that offer crucial transportation in the absence of publicly-funded transport).  After several failed attempts to get the owners of the various private taxi associations to negotiate with the community – the owners simply ignored the invitations – the frustrated residents actually banded together and held a general strike against the taxis, refusing to take the taxis (and sacrificing a day’s work in the process).  Going further than that, the community organisers arranged for private transport companies to provide buses to permanently replace the taxis at a far lower price and considerably increased comfort.  The next morning, hundreds of people waited patiently at the bus stops, singing triumphantly and dancing defiantly at the passing, empty taxis.  Score one for the people.


I think it’s always nice to hear about communities of people who collectively work to claim their right to be part of the running of the services they depend on, and realise their power in numbers, in terms of purchasing power but also moral authority.



Last random thing for the moment:


My vote for least effective, yet commonly-used phrase in English currently goes to: “Now don’t take this the wrong way, but…” 


Does anyone here know of a time when saying this actually worked?

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7 Responses to “Last days in Port Shepstone…”

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  2. Heather Says:

    hi there πŸ™‚ I was just searching on yahoo on some singlish website and I found an article you wrote about Singlish and how Americans didn’t understand that we spoke English. It was really well-written, I agree that alot of people didn’t know that too. πŸ™‚ Just thought I leave a comment. Have a nice day!

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