Friday, June 19, 2009


I woke up feeling grumpy this morning. Partly lack of sleep, mostly lack of motivation for the next few days. But it was good to find an encouraging email in my inbox this morning. So I feel better.
Yesterday I was alone in the office for most of the morning and the phone didn't stop ringing. One guy, who didn't identify himself, said to me "Thetha isiXhosa" (speak Xhosa). I tried to explain I couldn't (in English). Eventually I said to him "Andithethi isiXhosa" (which futilely means I am not speaking Xhosa - what I was trying to say was that I can't speak Xhosa). He then said something that I couldn't follow. So I said "Ufuna ntoni?" (which means what do you want?, but I don't know if it is a polite way of putting it or not) and then he said "Wena ufuna ntoni?" (what do you want?). By my culture that is now offensive or threatening so I gave up on a conversation that was really stressing me and just put the phone down. Maybe he was teasing. Maybe he was psycho. That sort of thing is bad enough, but when you don't understand the culture!!
I was so unsettled that I locked the office door - which I never usually do! But I got over it.

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