Yesterday evening, Salman and I had just concluded our usual fortnightly meeting to discuss new and exciting ways to rid the world of politicians and hippies, when we were approached by one of the eating establishment’s odd-looking members of staff. I am normally a bit suspicious when people I don’t know try to engage me in conversation, because they invariably end up wasting their time and mine by asking me for money*. This, on the other hand, was just plain weird – Mr Freaky Stranger asked us if we were from Cape Town.
It was vaguely surreal – a bit like being asked what gender you are. Salman and I exchanged “WTF?” glances and asked him to repeat the question. He explained that he thought we were from somewhere overseas**. Obviously our South African accents were insufficiently convincing, because he went on to apply the litmus test for separating locals from tourists – he addressed us in Afrikaans. His interest in us completely evaporated when it became clear that we could actually understand him.
I’m guessing that Mr Freaky Stranger probably enjoys doing a bit of recreational body-cavity spelunking with foreigners and it’s quite likely that locals just don’t do it for him.
* If you have designs on the contents of my wallet, you may as well put that thought away right now. It’s just not going to happen, okay?
** which in hindsight perhaps isn’t such an unusual idea. There are so many South Africans living in the UK and continental Europe, it is entirely possible that our unique style of speech will start affecting them sooner or later.