Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Durban immersion

Walk through the heart of Durban, as we did today on a visit to the US Consulate General for the renewal of two passports, and feel the pulse
  • of a blind woman singing gospel—Noya na phezulu? Will you go to heaven?—for tips;
  • of the Islamic Propagation Centre;
  • of street vendors spreading on their mats various tree barks, components of traditional Zulu medicine;
  • of a curios shop selling statues of Vishnu, Ganesh, and the host of Hindu gods and goddesses.
Venture to the beachfront, to the uShaka Marine World complex, and see
  • white girls doing as one of the signs says, “Shop in your cossies” (“cossies” is short for swimming suits or “costumes” as they’re called in South Africa),
  • alongside Muslim women whose only exposed flesh is a thin strip from eye to eye;
  • two generations of Jewish males donning yamakas
  • people from all walks of life sporting the latest fashions of a globalized world—Nike, Converse, soccer jerseys, the obnoxious phrase t-shirt genre
For food
  • “Middle Eastern Style Schwarmas” washed down by Fanta Grape Soda and Stoney Ginger Ale (lunch)
  • South African Indian takeaway—mutton samoosas, vegetable breyani, beef and mutton curries (supper back in Pietermaritzburg)
African, Asian, and European.  Separate but together, together but separate.
 
This is South Africa.

-Joe

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