Saturday, November 12, 2011

Adventures with Afrikaans

On Tuesday morning of this week I hosted my fifth Afrikaans lesson at my apartment, and felt like I was ready enough with some useful phrases to have a conversation date with another contact through the Community Talent Exchange.

I considered the day an adventure—and I feel like MetroRail was giving me a farewell gift. Someway, somehow, I got from Cape Town station to Fish Hoek in something like 45 minutes. It’s unheard of!

I’d budgeted a lot of time for the trip, so I had more than an hour to sit at a cafĂ© and read through my notes and textbook for this new language.

I had to wander through the neighbourhoods a bit (and thank you to everyone at the clinic, the fire station, and the people who took break from gardening in their yards to give me directions), but I was still right about on time for the conversation date.

As well as talent credits, I traded most of my already-read books (I know I’ve found them a good home) and some used plastic containers for gardening, for the chance to introduce myself, and say my age and occupation (student!) in Afrikaans. (We weren’t terribly strict about what was being exchanged—she sent me home with a few sprigs of fresh basil and a lavender plant as well.) Picked up some less formal phrasing (the book I got from the UCT library is old school) and interestingly enough, learned how to say the signs of the zodiac as well.

It was a short trip back to Cape Town, too. Well, I hopped off the train a little early, to visit a friend who bartends in Obz for some extra dinero. The night was beginning slowly, so we ordered pizza to the bar and could have long conversations almost uninterrupted.

Got home early—I woke up at 7 to begin this adventure in Afrikaans!

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