Tracey22

experience in SA

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Tracey22

So, I have been in Canada for 6+ years.  My recent visit to SA was eye opening for me in many ways.  Hubby tells me I have become very Canadian in the last 6 years, and my experience in JHB described below sheds some light on this:

A - South Africans hand over private information too easily, almost giving up their basic human rights {hubby tells me I am too liberal}

1.  i went with my mother in law to the bank to open an account.  My mother in law has not opened an account in many years, and procedures have definitely changed.  The teller required biometric scans to open the account, and my mother in law simply said sure, and scanned her fingerprints without question.  i was asking the lady why were fingerprints necessary, surely an ID is enough, where were they storing the fingerprints, who had access to them, blah blah blah.  My mom in law looked at me as if I was mad - if the bank wants them, surely this is ok?

2. We went to Houghton Golf Club for lunch.  In order to park there, the driver has to hand over their licence. The security guard scans the licence as well as the car licence disk. - again I was asking about who has access to that information, why do they need to know who I am, what right do they have to my personal information contained on my licence.

But if you do not do this, you cannot access the golf club.

This procedure is used for access to many townhouse complexes as well.  So I simply refused to hand over my licence when I was driving, and my passengers (who were South African) would give theirs instead.

B - Respect for one another

1. I found that on the whole, the older generation's attitude towards people of different races has not changed.  My people in their later years speak so rudelyand disrespectfully to blacks, coloureds etc.  I found they tended to have an entitlement to not have to wait in queues, whether at the bank or at th grocery store.  Younger people seemed to be more respectul of all races. - just an observation and  my experience

C- Economy is really slow and the recession is clearly visible

1. I went to Sandton City on  2 separate occasions.  the place was empty.  Finding parking was no problem.  Six years ago, we were queuing for parking, and there were throngs of people in the corridors.

2.  We went to a really popular restaurant in Rosebank on a Saturday night.  they were only turning their tables over once.  But 10pm, the place was empty.  

3. Rosebank market used to be packed with people, not so much when we were there. Rosebank mall was empty on a Saturday morning

4.  it just seems as if people do not have money to spend, and is sad to see.

D - Driving

Oh my G-d, you take your life into your own hands while driving in JHB. People (all races, taxis, private cars, busses, no discrimination here at all)  drive through red traffic lights, without stopping.  Louis Botha Avenue in JHB, and William Nicol are treated as if there were no traffic lights in existence.  To cross over these streets is like playing chicken, even when the light is green for you!

Stop signs are rolling stops, and single lanes are turned into double lanes.  

Now, imagine having to drive stick on the right side of the road after six years driving an automatic on the left side....

 

 

 

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QueenOfHeartsZA

@Tracey22 please elaborate on B. 

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Tracey22

I found that if there was any queue, whether at the bank or grocery store, older people would demand (very rudely) to speak to the manager.  they would demand that additional cashiers and tellers be appointed to man computers or cash regsiters.  Often I would hear "this is unacceptable", "this is Bullsh**", "the Fudging blah blah".  i was very irked one day, and I said to the lady in front of me to just calm down, and eventually she would be served.  OMG, the reaction i got was quite an education in how service in SA is so bad, and if there are cash registers open, there should be someone there to operate it, etc, etc.

 

People were talking about their domestic staff and cleaners - and referring to them as the "girl", or the garden boy.  I'm sorry, some of these workers are in their 50's and sixties!  How can you have a gardenboy who is older than you?  To me this is just plain disrespect.

 

But that is my rant.

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FaithFUL
42 minutes ago, Tracey22 said:

People were talking about their domestic staff and cleaners - and referring to them as the "girl", or the garden boy.  I'm sorry, some of these workers are in their 50's and sixties!  How can you have a gardenboy who is older than you?  To me this is just plain disrespect.

I don't see this as disrespectful at all. Those are just general terms for helpers in some areas of SA which you are not used to anymore.

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Tracey22
11 minutes ago, FaithFUL said:

I don't see this as disrespectful at all. Those are just general terms for helpers in some areas of SA which you are not used to anymore.

Exactly - That is why hubby says I have become too Canadian!

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chayne
4 hours ago, FaithFUL said:

I don't see this as disrespectful at all. Those are just general terms for helpers in some areas of SA which you are not used to anymore.

I disagree. Even as a South African, I have always thought it very disrespectful to refer to a grown man as a garden boy.

I think it depends on the individual, not the nationality.

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Cathy K
Posted (edited)

Tracey, I can still remember your arrival in Canada. Can you imagine now being upset because there were no car watchers to help you push your shopping cart? You had quite a few comments on how different things are over here. 

You are now truly a Canadian! Seems that the Canadian way grows on us, eh? So many of our preconceived views disappear in time.

Fortunately the norm is sometimes different from the exception, even in South Africa. My family never speak/spoke  to and about our domestic help in any way that is/was disrespectful. The majority are now in a work environment where racism won't be tolerated. They have made friends with their colleagues and neighbours of different races and their kids enjoy each others company. According to my family in South Africa, most children are socially colour blind.

My brothers and sisters, as well as my friends are nowadays also older people. They're Afrikaners, with domestics that have been part of their families for many years. The love and respect between them is very real. I believe some of them are simply too afraid of the consequences to be anything but courteous in public.

Yes, everyone is unhappy about the economy. Everyone is extremely worried about the political situation. Safety concerns are foremost on their minds. Sullen service providers aggravate them all. Fortunately this is not stuff that we have to deal with in Canada.

The current government of South Africa  is unpopular  with all and sundry. Some of their most ardent (Black) supporters are now vehemently anti-ANC. 

I realise that I am very fortunate. My friends in South Africa are from all over the spectrum. I suppose in the end it's a case of "soort soek soort." We will always cherish those that we have a lot in common with. Skin colour plays no part.

On another note. How did you enjoy the cultural interaction? We often watch the cooking show of  Siba Mtongana called "Siba's table."  What a delightful presenter! Her South African accent, South African food and entertaining ways is a pleasure to watch. And let's face it, South African commercials are still the best!

Sometimes Canada's  political correctness is a real pain in the backside. I miss the casual candour of South Africans.

Edited by Cathy K
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Jules

After 13 years in Canada I actually feel like a foreigner in SA when I'm there on vacation. There's already a big cultural gap and in a weird way it makes me feel sad. Hard to explain the feeling of being back in your "hometown" but feeling like you don't belong there anymore. Bittersweet. 

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Nettie
Posted (edited)
On 20/07/2017 at 3:22 PM, Cathy K said:

......Sullen service providers aggravate them all. Fortunately this is not stuff that we have to deal with in Canada.........

...........South African commercials are still the best!

.............. I miss the casual candour of South Africans.

Perhaps it's Ottawa, but I have dealt with rude, sullen and useless people here too. The norm though, is good service.

When I was back in SA I was wondering "where are the funny commercials?" My sense of humour definitely changed.

I miss the casual candour too.....PC is a big pain in the be-hind. I agree. :) 

On 20/07/2017 at 8:10 AM, Tracey22 said:

B - Respect for one another

1. I found that on the whole, the older generation's attitude towards people of different races has not changed.  My people in their later years speak so rudelyand disrespectfully to blacks, coloureds etc.  I found they tended to have an entitlement to not have to wait in queues, whether at the bank or at th grocery store.  Younger people seemed to be more respectul of all races. - just an observation and  my experience

Oh my goodness. That does sound unacceptable. In Pretoria and surroundings where I lived from 2009 to 2014 it seemed that people respect each other and no one would dare to use old derogatory (or what is perceived as-) names or titles. Where my dad lives, in Klerksdorp people from all cultures call him "Oupa". It's very Afrikaans there and people are very respectful to each other (despite all the nonsense that has been going on in NW).

I have to say people know about forming lines here without being told and they wait patiently. I landed at Ottawa airport recently and I needed a cab. Sure enough, people formed a line and one by one they took a cab. There were no signs about forming a line, they just respected each other and gave each other the chance to get the next one. It was almost to the extreme of "sorry", "sorry", lol.....Can you imagine, no one getting in because they all want to give the other one first choice lol.

Edited by Nettie
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Nettie
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Jules said:

After 13 years in Canada I actually feel like a foreigner in SA when I'm there on vacation. There's already a big cultural gap and in a weird way it makes me feel sad. Hard to explain the feeling of being back in your "hometown" but feeling like you don't belong there anymore. Bittersweet. 

Me too. :( It's just nice to speak Afrikaans a lot. And....the biltong.

Edited by Nettie
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Cathy K

"Perhaps it's Ottawa, but I have dealt with rude, sullen and useless people here too."

Ahh. Must be east versus west then. :D  Family who visited from South Africa wanted to know if the cashier was mistaking  her for a family member.  Everyone of our visitors commented on the amazing customer service in Canada. 

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OutOfSa

From experience I have found that the excitement of a foreign place often makes one more receptive to positive vibes.  I can tell you that there are many angry people that seem to hate their lives in the GTA.  And let's not mention angry drivers.....

"Smile and the world smiles with you...."

I do feel that generally Canucks are helpful and friendly.  Just hate the PC stuffiness - and the outrage when you make an "inappropriate" joke.  Hell hath no fury like a Canuck offended. ! ?

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