SOUTH AFRICA

  • I HAVE ARRIVED

    So,on my time hereit's been about two and half weeks. It feels more like two and a half years. The sheer awesomeness of the culture juxtaposed against the culture shock(shock is a bit harsh, it's more like a spark.), has at times wreaked havoc on my dome like a super charged jack hammer being operated by a cracked out pug in desperate need of a hit...so, shock. 

    What they don't show or tell you about are the major metropolitan areas with big buildings everywhere you look. On street level everybody is in business dress or looks like they walked out of a fashion mag. And they're all Black, bilingual, and quietly sophisticated. 

    South Africa is truly like a real life Wakanda where the super space tech is swapped out for excessive fashion sense. There exist a cohesive marriage of modern day trappings literally walking side by side with traditional tribal lifestyles. It is common to see a guy in tailored suit to be walking beside a woman balancing some large belongings on her head with her baby wrapped behind her back. 

    One very noticeable trait about the people is that they are willing to direct you to where you need to go. And if they can't they are exceedingly willing to find someone who can. So much so that this one security guard who I realized later gave me the wrong directions motivated me to returned and throw a rock thru his window. But the window was tinted. And in that neighborhood like certain locations around the area the security is armed with fully automatic rifles so.. vindication deterrent in place. 

    And then there's the local 'taxis' not to be confused with uber or taxify. But the insanely large fleet of broken down passenger vans that double as ornery sardine cans of death where the passengers file in and are escorted from place to place metro bus style. There are metro buses here, but these ain't them. At first glance it seems like unorganized chaos but upon more detailed analysis there lies a system of uniform execution that flows like a sheet of music where every note is where it's supposed to be. The music may be acid rock mashed with death metal but hey, music is music.  

    One thing that is nothing short of maddening is the perception and misconception about Americans. As soon as I open my mouth prices double. Luckily my girlfriend does most of the talking in her awesome ass native tongue with the clicks in the syntax. But there is no sense of brutha from anutha mutha here. I mean there is for some but that doesn't stop them from raising the prices. Apparently there is complete shock that in the US most Black folks are not rich. The fact that on average in the US an unarmed Black man is murdered by a white cop every month and that cop doesn't go to jail or lose his job is met with shock and surprise. The reality that if a Black man and a white man buy a house in the same neighborhood, that house will be more expensive for the Black man. Or that car insurance on the same car will be more. And on and on. Like, they just don't know. I've informed like every uber driver I've taken about this to the point my chix thinks I hate white folks. Which of course isn't true. That's exactly what I remind her of every time we watch my personal DVD of Django. So, when they charge more while it drives me nuts, to them it's business as usual. 

    The country seems keenly aware of the need for everybody to have a job. There's like extra personnel everywhere. Especially concierge, doormen, construction, and security. There's like these huge extravagant malls, and services galore...that cost. Everything. Cost. And there are street vendors. A lot of street vendors. And markets where you can buy pretty much anything. Even with all of these hardworking, hustling people there is still poverty. From what I've been told entire communities not unlike the homeless communities in the states. But these people are mostly refugees from what I understand. The gardener for one of my renters stays in a shack that he rents from another guy who stays in a shack in one of these communities...go back and read that sentence again.  

    There's a lot of fresh produce that can be bought street level, as well as gourmet cuisine in one of about a gazillion restaurants. The store -bought vegan products need a little work. Some of them tastes like second rate Vienna sausages. Which is fine if you're into Vienna sausages. This one product I purchased came in a milk carton and advertised itself as a vegan 'beverage'. I bullshit you not when I poured it into a glass it looked like fresh squeezed semen. I inspected the carton more closely and decided to google it. Maize. Liquified corn. Kind of like a porridge. It wasn't bad. 

    At any rate I have an appointment at US consulate next week to find out how I can fast track my way to citizenship. I'm never going back to the plantation. They'll have to rip my cold dead hands from the African soil before that happens. My last breath will be taken from the land of my ancestors.  

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