It’s a sunny windless morning outside. Inside the train the smell of perfume and cologne overwhelm the senses; each one has its own character and charm.
“Wat klap soe?” a guy asks a group of three friends as the train makes its way to the next station.
“It staan soe,” a guy from the group replies.
“Hosh,” the first guy replies.
“Gaan ôs soe dala my ma se kin?” another guy asks.
“Aweh ôs staan op haai nomme. ’n Man moet ’n kroon kyk, of wat sê die broese?” another guy in the group interjects, looking at the rest of the group.
“Sounds like a robbery,” a young guy says to his friend as they hide their phones simultaneously.
His friend next to him has a worried look on his face as he whispers, “But they don’t look the part bra.”
“You never know. Crime has no identity,” the young guy whispers almost inaudibly.
The tension is clearly visible.
“I think I’m gonna move to the next carriage bra,” his friend whispers.
“Don’t make a sudden move. Predators react harshly,” the young guy advises his friend, looking at him, trying hard to control his own anxiety.
Goodwood station is windy as the train comes to a halt and the doors separate.
“Manskap vang ’n pos; Google ’ie vyfster om te sê. ’n Man is illegal oppie waentjie,” a taller guy in the group commands another guy in the group.
“Saloet,” the guy replies looking out the carriage door, scanning the platform from left to right.
“Hoe lyk hulle?” the taller guy enquires moments before the door shuts.
“Nomme ma se kin,” the guy at the door replies.
Meanwhile the two young guys are trying hard to remain composed.
“I told you we should have slipped out now,” the one friend reprimands the other.
“Wait, we are almost there,” the young guy calms his friend. “Just two more stations,” he adds.
“Could be two stations too many bra,” the friends shoots back.
“Don’t worry. Just take it easy man,” the young guy replies in a controlled voice.
“Die nomme maak vol,” one of the guys in the group of four says to the rest.
“Sonop manskap; ôs staan soe,” another guy agrees.
“’n Man is afbiene djy kô kry. Soe om te sê, hoe gan ôs vistêk? Ek kyk ’ie afdraend. Respek manskap,” the taller guy in the group explains to the group.
“Bra this is becoming too much now. At the next station I’m out of here. These guys are up to no good,” the guy tells his friend looking agitated.
Commuters are paying no attention; either reading the paper or busy having their own conversations.
“Just relax bra. If they really had bad intensions they would have made their move a long time ago,” the young guy tries to put his friend at ease.
“You sound very sure of yourself,” the friend replies.
They look at it each other for a moment; trying to find assurance in each other’s eyes.
“Eksê cat, wa staan ’ie jumpers nou?” the tall guy in the group asks one of the young guys.
For a few moments he’s flabbergasted, looking at his friend.
“The time you!” his young friend nudges him but he’s too nervous to utter a word.
“Oh!” he says.
“Ten minutes to eight,” his friend replies on his behalf, coming to his rescue.
“Saloet ma se kin,” the tall guy says almost smiling.
The young guy just nods, at the same time with a stern look at his friend says: “You must relax. You’re gonna wet your pants.”
“Easy for you to say,” the friend replies.
“Het djy daai pyp op jou manskap?” a guy in the group asks the tall guy as three pairs of eyes look at him without a wink.
He hesitates for a moment.
Some of the commuters look up from their newspapers and phones.
“What did he say now?” the anxious guy asks his friend.
From the look on his face time just came to a standstill. His eyes are now fixed on the tall guy.
The tall guy looks at the rest of the group then slowly replies: “’n Man het ’ie pyp oppie set gelos met ’ie laaste scene waa’ ’n man mos inloep by rai take-aways om ’n skoot af te haal djy kry.”
“Aweh, ek kry hai nomme,” another guy in the group replies.
The young guy suddenly bursts out laughing while his friend looks at him completely confused.
“What? What?” the friend asks whilst the young guy struggles to compose himself.
After a little while he says: “These guys are extras in a movie. They are not real gangsters. I told you to relax. Just ask them.”
The group of four simultaneously burst out laughing with the tall guy asking: “Het djy gedink ôs is gangsters? Naai man, ôs act in ’n movie as gangsters; no ways bra.”
The rest of the group can’t stop giggling.
The anxious guy lets out a deep sigh of relief and adds: “I was worried about my laptop and iPhone.”
Salt River station is overcast; still humid with no sign of rain.
hosh – Cape Flats Gangster term. It is used as a greeting as well as an affirmation as in: Yes, I Agree.
nomme – Cape Flats Gangster term from the Afrikaans word “nommer” which means “number”. In this case it means “the plan” or “the situation”.
kroon – An Afrikaaps term from the Afrikaans word for “crown” meaning “money” and it originates from when South Africa was a British colony and ‘the crown’ was on the currency which was British Pounds.
dala – Cape Flats Gangster term meaning “do what you need to do”.
manskap – Cape Flats Gangster term from an Afrikaans word that means “comrade” or “a soldier who reports to you”.
sonop – Cape Flats Gangster term from the Afrikaans word that means “sunrise” and it is a symbol of the 26 Numbers gang. It is said as an affirmation.
afbiene – An Afrikaans slang word also said as “afbene” which from Afrikaans translates to your “legs are off”. You are “legless” meaning you are “broke”.
vistêk – The Afrikaaps word for “versterk” which is the Afrikaans word for “strengthen”. In this case it is a Cape Flats Gangster term for getting money.
vyfstêr – An Afrikaans slang word originally meaning “five star” which made the analogy that “prison is a hotel” but later evolved to also mean as in this case “police officer” as well as “prison warden, police station and prison”.
jumpers – A South African slang word meaning “time”or “hands of time” from English “jumpers” because the hands on a clock jump from one marking on the clock to the next.
pyp – An Afrikaans slang word for a “gun” from the standard Afrikaans word also “pyp” which in English is a “pipe”.
“Wat klap soe?”
“What is happening?”
“It staan soe.”
“Things are going as intended.”
“Gaan ôs soe dala my ma se kin?”
“Are we going to do as we must my mother’s child? ”
“Aweh ôs staan op haai nomme. ’n Man moet ’n kroon kyk, of wat sê die broese.”
“Yes, we stick to (stand by) our plan. A man must find money, or what do you say brothers?”
“Manskap vang ’n pos; Google ’ie vyfster om te sê. ’n Man is illegal oppie waentjie.”
“Soldier, you have to be on guard; Look out for the police I mean to say. I am illegally on this train.”
“’n Man is afbiene djy kô kry. Soe om te sê, hoe gan ôs vistêk? Ek kyk ’ie afdraend. Respek manskap.”
“I am broke you see. I mean to say, how are we going to make money? I see the downhill. Respect comrades.”
“Eksê cat, wa staan ’ie jumpers nou?”
“I say cat, where do the hands of time stand now?”
“Het djy daai pyp op jou manskap?”
“Do you have the gun on you comrade?”
“’n Man het ’ie pyp oppie set gelos met ’ie laaste scene waa’ ’n man mos inloep by rai take-aways om ’n skoot af te haal djy kry.”
“I had left the gun on the set with that last scene where I actually walked into the take-away to fire a few shots you see.”