Tag Archives: tourist

keeping it zipped

I’ve been a tourist myself, on many occasions – France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Mauritius, the Seychelles, the United States, Zimbabwe, Belgium – and I do hope I’ve never unthinkingly come out with a comment that may have offended a native of any of those beautiful countries. Examples of such comments might run along the following lines…

Woman: I love this scarf, I’m going to take it.
Her husband: We only have cash, okay?
Vendor: That’s fine, we’re happy to accept cash!
Husband: I mean, it’s American cash. US dollars.
Vendor: Oh. Okay. Well, that should be fine, I’m only hesitant because I’m selling the scarf on behalf of someone else.
Husband: It’s that or no sale. [Waves a couple of greenbacks in the air.] We were told you people love our money.
Vendor: [bites tongue] [then bites inside of mouth on both sides] Mmmphf. Let me put the scarf in a bag for you.

Woman: You make lovely things. The whole Waterfront is lovely.
Vendor: Thank you very much. I guess that means you’re enjoying your time here in Cape Town?
Woman: Absolutely. I mean, I had no idea it was so sophisticated out here.
Vendor: [stands on own foot so the pain will prevent her from making a sarcastic reply] Mmmmfmph.

Woman: Your knitting is very good. I like.
Vendor: Thank you, but it’s actually crochet.
Woman: I used to knit but I don’t have time any more.
Vendor: That’s a pity. It’s crochet, by the way.
Woman: No, knitting. In the Netherlands we call it knitting.
Vendor: Okay, but in South Africa we call knitting knitting. This is crochet.
Woman: Yes. It’s very relaxing. I like to knit a bag like one of yours one day.
Vendor: Mmphf. Well, I’d sure love to see how that works out for you.

Just thought I’d share those with you quickly. Not much time today – I have to hurry down to the river to fill my buckets (the hyenas in the back garden don’t like to go thirsty) and if there’s still time I’ll give the hut a bit of a clean.


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