Sophy’s Advice

Sophy on the Gautrain

When we went on our team building trip a few weeks ago, I sat next to, our cleaning lady Sophy on the Gautrain. She was very interested in all the buildings and surrounding countryside that we passed and made many comments. The most priceless one however was the following.

At one stage we passed the buildings of the South African Mint. “Which buildings are those?” She asked. When I explained that it is the South African Mint and that this is the place where money is being produced, her face lit up and she declared: “O, but they don’t work fast enough! They must appoint more people and work in shifts, day and night to produce more money. Then we will all have enough money and can all live comfortably. ( “Ons kan  lekker bly”, she said in  Afrikaans  ) I think we must write a letter to the government and ask them to work faster.”   If only it was that easy, how simple life would be!

South African currency

The downside of this is that these comments gave me insight in the thought processes of the majority of citizens in South Africa. There is very little understanding of the complexities of economics and the running of a country. We have a responsibility to inform and try to educate as many people as we can. So let us start at home with our own domestic workers and other people we have contact with and try to inform and teach as much as we can.

A Laugh a Day: Only in Africa

Only in Africa

One of the things listed on my L List is to find something to laugh about every day. Since consciously cultivating this attitude, I realised, if I am more observant there are many things around me that deserve a chuckle  on a daily basis.

One Monday as I was leaving work round about midday, I saw to my amazement a washing line strung between the stop sign and the lamppost on a street corner in Lynnwood Pretoria. There it was,  with a newly washed overall in the wellknown orange of the Municipality gaily flapping in the wind while the owner of the clothes was taking a nap underneath the line, clothed in only his underclothes! It was lunchtime after all!

The culprit was a municipal worker who was busy repairing a water pipe in one of the upper class  suburbs of Pretoria. I phoned my co-workers and we all had a good laugh. Unfortunately the classy residents did not find the incident funny and it caused quite an uproar.

I wondered what circumstances the launderer lived in. Maybe he has no running water at home and this was the only opportunity he had to wash his clothes!