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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 

And there you have it

I AM PROUDLY SOUTH AFRICAN and if I had the opportunity to live anywhere else in the world I would choose to live in South Africa. It grates my gruyere when I come across “You know you are from South Africa when…” memes. I understand they are tongue in cheek, mere hyperbole, and not to be taken seriously, but my God, is it really necessary to flaunt the somewhat “criminal aspects” of living in South Africa to the world out there? Surely there are other unique yet positive and funny aspects to the South African psyche and culture… things that separate us from the rest of the world, things that one can only experience here. Why not flaunt these instead? I am convinced that these memes are written by disgruntled expats who still feel the need to justify themselves in the eyes of the world and hence the need to highlight the bad aspects of the country they left, which for most part, are not true. Below is one of those “You know you are from South Africa when…” memes, albeit it outdated. I am posting it here in the hopes that this will be the last time I ever have to lay eyes on it and to illustrate just how truly ridiculous they are. These lists are mostly intended to amuse... but some of them have a seemingly nasty edge. I am a South African and have a sense of humour. I can laugh at this because quite franky speaking… a good laugh is all it is good for! Now that my friend... is how you know you are from South Africa... when you can laugh in the face of adversity... mmmwahahahaha

You Know You're From South Africa When... :
  • You realise after watching the news on TV that nothing happened in the rest of the world.
  • To alleviate congestion in post office queues, they bring in the innovative idea of selling scratch cards.
  • You are expected to carry a drivers licence that doesn't fit into your wallet.
  • The fact that there is an election and people are standing in line waiting to vote is more important than the result of the election.
  • The police advise you not to stop if they wave you down in the middle of the night but rather speed past them and drive to your nearest police station.
  • People would rather be killed in their beds than live in some country where they would have to get up and make it themselves.
  • A minibus taxi overtakes you, just to stop right in front of you.
  • When the road narrows, the guy to the rear of you has right of way.
  • You don't stop at a red traffic light, in case somebody hijacks your car.
  • Votes have to be recounted until the right party wins.
  • You have to prove you don't need a loan to get one.
  • A shop clerk makes you feel as if he/she is doing you a favour by letting you buy from their shop.
  • You consider it a good month if you only get mugged once.
  • Ruwandan refugees start leaving the country because the crime rate is too high.
  • The police ask you if they should follow up on the burglary you've just reported.
  • You paint your car's registration number on the roof in large letters.
  • When 2 Afrikaans TV programs are seperated by a Xhosa anouncement of the following Afrikaans program, and a Pedi ad.
  • The government has more opposition from themselves, than from any opposition party.
  • A minister is fired, and returns the government cell phone, but keeps the G-number-plated BMW.
  • A 45 year old engineer is replaced by a 25 year old who cannot write his own name.
  • The employees DANCE in front of the building to show how unhappy they are.
  • Half the city pays for the other halve's electricity and water supply.
  • A murderer gets a 2 year sentence, and a pirate M-Net viewer a 6 month sentence.
  • Crime actually DOES pay.
  • The SABC advertises and shows highlights of the program you just finished viewing.
  • The government GIVES you a house, and you complain.
  • You can't even go on a business trip to Oz without somebody asking knowingly, "Oh, having a look around, are you? ..."
  • You attempt to get onto a freeway via an on-ramp and the guy approaching on the freeway deliberately speeds up to prevent you merging smoothly with the traffic.
  • There is more space between the sole of your foot and the accelerator pedal than between your rear bumper and the car behind you.
  • People would rather drive a flashy car with HUGE repayments and MASSIVE insurance than live in a decent house.
  • The post office stores letters instead of delivering them.
  • An employer has to pay his employees wages during a strike and cannot lock them out.
  • Cops are always able to spot you for parking without display while never able to see the minibus taxis parking in the middle of the road.
  • SABC 3 is SABC 2 after 18:30, only in KwaZulu-Natal, except on the weekend.
  • Petrol takes the biggest price jump in history, the banks increase their interest rates by two percent, and the Rand's value dives by 25%, but we are told that "we have just had the lowest inflation rate increase in 24 years".
  • You go to prison for murder, and instead of the death sentence, you get a nice box of condoms.
  • Pre-election promises change into "Rome wasn't built in a day".
  • The Minister of Housing didn't build a single house.
  • The Minister of Finance doesn't wear a tie.
  • The Minister-without-Portfolio makes more noise than all the portfolios put together, and then, when he's given a portfolio, you never hear from him again.
  • The Minister of Tourism is the same person who said "One Settler, One Bullet".
  • You get cold easily. Anything below 16 degrees Celsius is Arctic weather.
  • You call a bathing suit a "swimming costume".
  • You stop at robots, not traffic lights.
  • You've never seen live theatre, but you've heard of it.
  • You only drink instant coffee and in fact have no clue why anyone would bother drinking anything else.
  • You know what Rooibos Tea is, even if you've never had any.
  • None of the programs on the five available TV channels run on time.
  • You think a car's hazard lights mean, "F*** you, I'm stopping here."
  • Your standard response to any statement is, "Is it?" (Pronounced, "Izzit?")
  • You can sing your national anthem in four languages, and you have no idea what it means in any of them.
  • You know someone who knows someone who has met Nelson Mandela.
  • You go to "braais" (barbecues) regularly, where you eat boerewors (long meaty sausage-type thing) and swim, sometimes simultaneously.
  • The electricity goes off and you see it as a sign of The Collapse of Civilization (tm).
  • The electricity comes back on, and you check to see if there are any soccer or cricket games on TV - why else would ESCOM have fixed the electricity so quickly?
  • "Armed Response" is not an action, it's a description of every security company in the country.
  • You actually bought baked beans in 1994 before the elections.
  • You feel it is your democratic duty to vote.
  • You have a gear lock for your car.
  • You come out of a friend's house/shopping centre/office to find the gear lock worked and your car is still there, but your radio, tapes, jersey and every other removable thing you had in the car is gone, and you just sigh, shrug and go home.
  • You know the urban legend about the Oriental Plaza.
  • You gawk at American tourists. They're so rare.
  • Someone mentions the sea, and your first thought is "Durban" although you wouldn't actually go there.
  • You've been up Table Mountain.
  • You've been to the Kruger National Park, but only as a child when your school arranged a tour.
  • You've never seen snow in real life.
  • You know what 'water restrictions' are.
  • Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanoes are only known to you through disaster movies, but you're intimately acquainted with floods and droughts.
  • You go to a shopping mall and have to keep detouring around people who stop dead in the middle of the aisle when something catches their interest.
  • You go to a New Year street party in Hillbrow and wake up in hospital.
  • You know that there's nothing to do in the Free State.
  • You shout "Vrystaat!" at rugby games, local or international, even when Vrystaat (the Free State) isn't playing.
  • You think that the people who paint their faces the colour of the SA flag look really cool. You still rub people's noses in the fact that we won the 1995 Rugby World Cup.
  • The police stations have panic buttons to call armed response when they are burgled.
  • You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from South Africa.

Bite me!!

i read most of your articles. i truly admire the way you express yourself. it surely inspires me to write some more. actually, the funny thing is (and please don't take any offence), i never realized what the gender of the author is because i got really engrossed with what i was reading .. until i read that line, "headstand on a penis". i really love the way you write and i hope to read some more of your articles.

Awesome stuff, and YUP, I'm passing it on... :)

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