So, I have only got one thing left to do before I can FINALLY go and apply for my visa! I only need to get my police check done, which means that I have to make sure that I don’t have any sort of criminal record. I am pretty sure that I don’t. Unless there is something that someone is not telling me!
As well as getting my visa done, I need to pass my exams. There are only around 100 days left until I can leave full time education… That is actually quite scary but I am looking forward to my adventures that I have got planned next. It is very difficult to get my head down and revise though. But I am sure I will be fine if I sort myself out!
Anyway, this was only a mini life update as that is all I needed to say! But if anyone has any handy travel advice, I would love to hear it! I am looking for anything that will ease my flying experience!
The thought occurred to me the other day that if I am moving to a different country then it would be courteous of me to learn the lingo. It all started when I was tagged in a post on Facebook which talked about differences with the South African version of English. The best part is, there are a lot of similarities. For example, we both say ‘plasters’ and ‘gherkin’. However, there are some crazy differences:
1. “Now, now” and “just now”.Here in the UK, they both mean different things. ‘Now, now’ means that you will do something absolutely immediately and ‘just now’ means that you have done it a few minutes ago. However, if you are using these phrases in South Africa, they mean that you will do them in a minute. I think this one is going to take me a while to get used to!
2. The Naartjie. When I first saw this, I had absolutely no idea what this was. I was so confused, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I had literally no idea how to pronounce it! (Turns out it is pronounced naarchy.) But, now you are all dying to know what a naartjie is, I shall tell you. It is quite simply an orange! Madness.
3. Dicing. This is not throwing some dice or cutting up vegetables really small but what we would call having a drag race!
4. Robots. Now, these are not what you would expect. They are actually traffic lights. But they are not known as an instruction; they are only seen as advisory… I think my driving may take a back foot if no one follows road signs and traffic lights! I may be scared for my life! And for a bit of fun, Trevor Noah does this epic comedy sketch about South Africans and traffic lights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU35XlTkLnA
5. Takkies. When I asked some friends earlier what they thought these were, there were numerous different suggestions.The suggestions ranged from Blue Tak to paper clips. But I don’t quite think they were anticipating that takkies are actually trainers. Aimee, a good friend of mine, then made the suggestions that takkies and trackies would work really well together, not just because they rhyme! I was also talking to Dad about this earlier and he mentioned that trousers are known as pants in South Africa. But, this then raised the question, what would they call pants? Any suggestions or real answers to the question would be much appreciated!
As well as learning the quirks of the language I already speak, I thought it would be a good idea to attempt to learn the language that around 80% of people in East London, SA speak – Xhosa, pronounced Cossa with a click. It is actually proving to be incredibly difficult so whilst giving it a shot, I procrastinated and decided that watching comedy sketches that involve Xhosa. This is because it also turns out that the language, Xhosa, is great for comedy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHa5Ezocfno
I have finally managed to book my chest X-Ray! They will get to see whether I have a heart and whether I have lungs… All very exciting!
I know that it felt as if my adventure was really coming round quick when my plane ticket was booked, but now all of my medical stuff is being done, the ball is really rolling! Then I can go up to the South African Embassy in London to try and persuade them to let me into their country. I do hope they let me in because I am absolutely desperate to get out there. I would drop everything now and go if I could but I know that I have to finish things up here first. Oh well; it just means that my excitement can build and I can just annoy everyone by going on and on and on and on and on about the trip.
Part of what I am going to be doing when I go out to South Africa is some administration for the church. I am already getting in the practice by having an allocated folder for all of the paperwork required! Now this excites me because I look all official and look like I know what I am doing when really, I have absolutely no idea how to apply for a visa!
However, now that the doctors are willing to check whether I have a heart and whether I have tuberculosis or not (because apparently that is a necessary thing to get checked out when applying for a long term visa into South Africa), I can get my skates on and get ready for the trip of a life time.