I have been fortunate to have traveled several parts of this world and have seen many different cultures and classes. Classes from Rich to poor and cultures from sophisticated to simple.
South Africa must take the cake as the most interesting and mixed country in the world!
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been noticing more great things and being reminded of others which make my home country special.
- Unemployed, but willing to try
Recently we have had the post-delivery (person), ding the gate buzzer repeatedly until we answer what he wanted.
When asked, the postman requests his Christmas present for delivering our mail…?! Really!
The same thing happened with the Municipal rubbish bin collectors. They would not stop dinging the buzzer and would then request there Christmas present…
I had a good laugh with my wife about this, and we commented to each other that we have paid the Municipality for the postal service and bin collection so therefore we are not the employers of these workers. However, they are requesting Christmas presents… Lol.
I couldn’t imagine asking my clients for a Christmas present because I delivered a service to them…We really do have a country full of chancers, opportunists and entrepreneurs.
- DSW waste collection service
This is further shown when you park your motor vehicle at a parking space and a ‘Car Guard’ jumps out and says ‘Boss I will watch your car for you’. If you are not familiar with this, this is normal in South Africa as we do have a quarter of the population unemployed. This would mean if there is a chance to try and make some money by offering a service it is done here.
A lot of the time the car guards are never there when you park but you just try get back to your car with your groceries and my God they jump out from the woodwork. Sometimes they will offer to help you with your Groceries and they do tend to help you reverse your car… This is at times frustrating for us South Africans as we automatically think, ‘Dammit I know how to drive, or why do you want a tip for watching my car I have a bloody alarm system fitted’.- Great opportunism.
- Car guards South Africa
Car Guard helps lady reverse out of her parking
Life in South Africa is very interesting and here are more examples:
In South Africa we are not allowed to fill our own fuel/Gas into our vehicles, this is a service offered at each Gas station and it creates jobs. Again you probably find this odd, but by offering extra services like washing your windscreen, checking your oil, water and Tyre pressure you are expected to give a TIP to the ‘Petrol attendant’. – Job creation/entrepreneurism.
- Petrol attendant in South Africa.
Another very interesting fact is that domestic workers in South Africa usually expect their employers to give them a meal and tea during the day over and above their pay.
I could go on with this list, but the question that pops up in people’s minds is, why is South Africa like this?
The answers are so simple and really just common sense but we don’t have much of that any more as we are mostly a big bunch of moaners.
We complain about everything and even more so if we come from an advantaged back ground.
Why is it that most of us including myself really don’t think enough about the reasons why things are the way they are. We constantly complain about our leaders, teachers, systems and structures.
It would never matter for example who was our countries president as we would always find something that we are not happy about and complain about it. Yes, I know sometimes these are valid complaints but think why we have the leaders we have? It’s not like the Apartheid government was any brighter, as realistically it was the fault of the advantaged people who colonized our beautiful country that began the rot.
Ouch, that hurt didn’t it! Yes I know you were not around ‘way back then’…. However your attitudes and ways of looking at things are determined by how you grew up be it rich, poor or middle class.
Let’s look at this clearly
If a minority colonizes and oppressed a majority then you are going to have massive issues in your countries future. However this doesn’t explain why South Africa is so different. We have a country full of people from poor backgrounds who want to do what ever they can to survive and feed their families. They are willing to think outside the box, offering a service that most people in other countries would never think of let alone have the audacity to perform.
- Domestic Worker, South Africa
The other day I paid for my parking and drove to the machine where you would enter you slip of card so that the boom gate would open and let you out. A simple task you would think, however this time there was a security guard taking the card from the drivers and slotting it into the machine. Wow I really felt like I had no hands or brain. This was though an interesting situation, clearly he was trying to get tips for assisting people or just got board standing looking at people’s cars all day and would rather watch the people on the way out.
Sadly most of us living in this technological age seem to have forgotten how to survive, how to do whatever it takes to put food on the table, and yet for doing something instead of begging at traffic lights these poor people are looked at like they are stupid and are a lower form of life. Well I honestly would much rather give my money to a car guard or petrol attendant than to a beggar at the Traffic lights.
This will be another ouch, but I am more likely to give money to a “Coloured” person who is begging that is from a previously disadvantaged back ground in South Africa than one that is “white” from a previously advantaged one.
My reason is simple; “White” folks in South Africa have come from an advantaged back ground to begin with and really have very little to no reason to have to beg for money.
They had the opportunity to have an education, to enter the cities without a pass and other basic human rights.
People of colour (previously disadvantaged) well, they did not! So if a “White” beggar is begging I personally feel it is there own fault more than anything as they probably fell off the wagon along the way, perhaps alcohol or drugs…This is not the case with “white” people.
- White beggars in South Africa
So why do domestic workers expect to be fed at work? Simple! Historically they were not paid for the work they did they were given food. It took time before they got paid and then their meal was included as a way to cost the employer less. We have to remember when this all started it was during the times when one income would be enough for a family to survive on and generally the man would perform this role while the women were at home and therefore had the time to make a sandwich for their Domestic worker…
Why is our president is so uneducated yet still voted into power? Most of you probably think that it is just because the majorities which happen to be ‘Black’ and previously disadvantaged poor people are scared that things may go back to how they were during apartheid… No, it is probably more to do with Apartheid itself. Let me explain.
If our president was not educated because he was not allowed to because of the colour of his skin and the majority of the country shares his skin complexion, it is easy to overlook his short falls as they know he can relate to them as he has suffered and gone a day or more with out a meal. This is a huge reason that they will keep him in power and they will just hope that through protesting, that their area will get fixed up next with basic human needs, like; flushing toilets, clean drinking water, access to schools, electricity and roads into the areas they live.
Whose fault is it that these basic structures are not already in place? I will let you think about that one!
All in all South Africa is awesome, so diverse and filled with people that want the country to succeed and of course, themselves.
God bless Africa, let freedom reign!