I said my next post would be something positive, and lo and behold…this is IT!! Enjoy 😉
I have been naafi (melancholic, off-sorts, upset, insert more negative emotions here) on-off over the past few months. No specific reason. Just some life-changing decisions we’ve had to make, my health issues, my personal issues.
I think I’ve just been a bitch and I need to stop it. Lighten up. Have some fun.
And I started thinking of what I am leaving behind….which alternately makes me sad, but also happy, and proud.
I have been reflecting on our mannerisms and “traditions” that makes us who we are. “Us” being the “Kullids” (Coloured is the PC-word) in South Africa. The little things that make up our “Kultcha” (that’s how we pronounce it), our identity, the way we talk, how we socialize, and township living.
One of the things I remember with a smile on my face is the “groente karretjie” (veggie carts) that used to do the rounds every Sunday – up and down the streets they would go, honking their horns to let us know what they have to sell that day. “Squashees” and “Wortels” (carrots) and “Dhania” (coriander) and “Mammie, ek het Spinach ok vir jou!!” (Miss, I have spinach just for you). These carts were simple & functional – no comfort or speed considered. These guys were life-savers every time. And once they got to know you, you would be guaranteed delivery of your “pakkie” (package) of onions, potatoes – you name it – first thing in the morning. Now that is service.
This picture does not do our groente karretjies justice – it is way too posh! 🙂
Partying is in our nature. We live and breathe for it. We don’t need any occasion to “make it happen”. A simple “kuier” (visit from friends) could turn into a full-fledged “howza” or “gazi” (house party). All it takes is one house, some friends, a cell-phone (to call all the other buddies), some snacks, and lots of “dop” (booze).
I miss those days the most. Here (Germany) you need to make an appointment to see your friends, you cannot party without informing – and getting the OK- from all the neighbours and maybe even the police. Otherwise you may just get into some unwanted trouble. Too much PT if you ask me.
Something else we “Kullids” love doing – sitting in front of our houses and watching everyone drive by. This is called “gesien word” (being seen). This is one way to get a “street bash” started (no need to translate I’m sure). All we need are – grass (or something to sit on – a car will do) and music. We don’t even really need a house. Any strip of grass will do, or any available space where we can “Park” (literally park our cars) and hang out. Oh, did I mention the booze? 😉
Since there are only a few streets where all the “hip-and-happening” people will be cruising on (really, they cruise like in the movies) you are guaranteed to have a good party going within minutes – if you are hip-and-happening, they will stop to say hi…and there you go – party started!!
And don’t forget to dress to the nines. Can’t be seen in public wearing last years’ rags at all. Totally uncool. But of course, you also have to be prepared because…
….From there, we move on to a Disco (also known as a Night Club). For us it was Club Bel Air, or Sewende Laan, or Times4 (not sure if this still exists). Since we chose places which were close-by, we didn’t have to drive far. We could walk. And if you didn’t have a lift, well, there were plenty who would give you one. Our Disco’s catered for our musical needs and style, i.e. no rave or techno. Only house beats, R&B, Hip Hop. Real music 😉
And of course, on Monday, no one would be in the office. Everyone would be sick. “Ek voel nie lekker nie” (I don’t feel well) was the excuse for Monday morning absences. Naturally, after a while the bosses became aware of what exactly that meant (Hang-overs galore) – which meant the fella’s needed to be more careful with the Sunday night parties.
On a long-weekend, we would go to the club for a “16Hour” – we call it that since the disco would end only when the sun came up. For us this was a big deal. If you were not in the “16Hour” you were totally un-cool. Everyone was there, everyone was seen. And your “kit” (what you wore), who you danced with, how you danced, who you hooked up with would be the topic of conversation for the next weeks to come.
And that’s just some things that makes the Coloureds so….ja, colourful. The speech, the mannerisms, the music, the openness, their love of booze and parties.
Boy, I miss it.