Leaving South Africa, we thought everybody in this world would know about us, we just assumed the world knew who we were, they would know about our country, South Africa.
Well, I think we all pretty quickly realised that that was not the case. You land in the new country and start mingling with the locals, learning about all the new things in the new country….
You make friends and that is when it seriously hits you… when they ask you " oh, you have an accent, where is that from?" and you feel very nice and warm and proud to say "I am South African"
oh koek….. that is when you find out how small we are, how little people know about us…. Yes, they ask you the questions.
Below are some of the things some South Africans in the UK have been asked over the years. I asked the question on one of my Facebook groups recently, these are just some of the responses.
- Why are you white? (I never went in the sun !!!???:-) )
- Do you hunt lions to survive, do you use elephants for transport?
- Are you from Australia or New Zealand?
- Oh, so can you speak Dutch then?
- In France people want to know whether I know Johnny Clegg
- Do you have elephants in your back garden?
- Do you know Oscar Pistorius?
- I know a guy from Nigeria...do you know him?
- "If you don't sleep with me I'll report you to immigration and have your green card taken away" been told this more than once.
- Show me how to speak South African and also "But you are white"
- I have had a few but the strangest was 'what??? There are white people in South Africa????' And 'I knew someone from there once. She lived in Zimbabwe.'
- On a flight to Israel an Israeli women asked after I told her I'm South African: "are your parents black?"!!!
- Do u have cars?
- I'm still trying to convince people I am South African....I'm either Spanish or Italian.....That's my looks I'm talking about and then they still say I'm lying if I say I am from SA….lol.
- My blood line is completely South Indian. I am the third-generation of my family to be born in South Africa. With my dark skin, some people introduce me as African, and correct to South African. Others continuously introduce me as Indian-born Indian. On eventually finding out the I am indeed South African, there is a conservative: "You don't sound like other South Africans"
- Do you know how a modern toilet works?
- Do you own a television?...
- "What are you doing here in the UK? Don't you miss the weather?"
- Did you live in a hut? Did you have tigers in your land?
- How come you're white?
- "Are you racist?"
- You from South Africa? Which country in South Africa?
- What? You got your own language in South Africa, just always thought South Africans just speak English with a funny accent.
- "Cape Town? Where is that?"
- "Table Top Mountain"
- Why am I so dark? Are animals running around the airport in Johannesburg?
- "Oh, I thought I heard an accent but I wasn't sure if it was Australian or Souf African"
- Say something in "South African" I usually say "hello" & am told, no say it in South African!!!!
- Do they have baked beans in South Africa?
- Where about in south Africa are from? ... No, I don't really know South Africa very well I got "but you are white???"
- I think the best comment was when I met a bunch of Italians on a bus and the one asked me if I knew his friend in Cuba which is also part of South Africa. The Ozzie girl in the back of the bus gave him a quick lesson on exactly where Cuba was in relation to South Africa. It was so funny but I did feel sorry for the poor guy who went blood red and apologised.
- Oh I have a friend who has a friend who once met a South African called Peter. Perhaps you know him?
- Where is South Africa?
- Best one I've had is a guy at work asking how Cheetah tastes.
- It tastes like chicken ... everything tastes like chicken.
- "When are you going to braai/bbq for us?"
- "You have lions in your back garden?" I mean come on so I replied by saying yes giraffes to
- "Why aren't you black"? is the one I get most often. Or "say something in South African"
- X: Oh, I'd love to go to South Africa
Me: great, where in SA would you like to go?
- But of course SA is the capital of Africa.
- When we just arrived, we were asked about 'Pistorius' so much.....and they knew more about the case than we did.
- (as a Pienaar) "are you related to Francois Pienaar"...
- My best one is, "I hear you're from South Africa". Yes, I say, have you been before? "No". Very dangerous there I say, before we go out the front door we have to have our rifles ready just in case there any lions outside.
- Can you speak African?
- Is South Africa a country?
- I was asked what tribe I belonged to!
- Once dated a French girl who's parents at first refused to meet me as they thought I was black
- My sister was asked at a job interview at the end of 2013 if we have computers in SA... she got the giggles and needless to say didn't get the job. Most people love the accent and a colleague recently asked me to say "brown bread and white bread"
- I had someone at work that kept asking me to say words. They like the way I say 'sweetie, investigate & ridiculous' to name a few. I got told the other day, by my boss, that I sounded particularly South African that day. Lol! Don't know what was different to how I normally speak!
- I get asked why am I white and how did I learn English?
- This is not mine; my daughter was asked this by a boy at school "what's it feel like to wipe your bum with a leaf?"
- Think that this answer has to be in a 'Top 3' of all time.
- I was in hospital, a doctor asked me if I was from Boksburg. I am still perplexed; I didn't realise Boksburg was a thing here.
- What if it was your dentist asking if you were from Cape Flats?
- "Did you live in a mud hut".... "why the hell did you leave such a lovely hot country?" or "is it true that u get high jacked at traffic lights?"..... "can u speak africaaan?" I tell them I'm not South African but from SA, that confuses them cause my dad is Welsh & my mother white Rhodesian.
- I got asked yesterday what side of the road do we drive on?.
- I was once asked by a 60 odd year old gentleman, where is South Africa?, and Botswana is the place where they catch the BIG catfish LOL