“Why you look at me?” a lady asks a guy in the overcrowded carriage. She has an annoyed look on her face and speaks with an Afrikaans accent.
“Who… Me? I’m not doing that. Never… not me,” he replies looking somewhat surprised.
“What you want?” she asks abruptly.
He laughs in disbelief. After a few seconds he says, “This is ridiculous. I don’t want anything. Please stop it.”
“Then you better stop looking at me. I’m not liking it,” the lady says, still annoyed.
The train squeals under the heavy load. Eventually we reach Goodwood station where a significant amount of commuters leave the carriage. Whether it’s because of a lack of oxygen or having reached their destination is unclear.
“Oh Lord… thank you,” a young lady whispers. “I’m being squeezed from both sides. I thought I’m the cheese spread on a sandwich,” she complains.
“You better check where’s your phone and your purse,” the commuter next to her warns.
“My phone is hidden away and I don’t bother with a purse when I use public transport. I suffered too many losses,” the young lady retorts.
“Oh tell me about it, especially with crowded carriages. That’s when the vultures seize the opportunity.” The young lady nods in agreement.
“You can stop looking. Look out by the window,” the lady tells the guy again in broken English.
He laughs again in disbelief. “Woman what’s wrong? I’m minding my own business. Should I close my eyes?” he asks almost irritated.
“Yes, close your face,” she sarcastically replies.
The guy just laughs and covers his face with his right hand.
“I’m getting off at the next station Madame then you do not have to put up with me,” he jokingly says to her in a mock British accent.
The lady just rolls her eyes.
“What?” the guys asks teasing.
“Wat wanne jou ma kos opskep… Nogal vi my kô wat,” she mumbles this time with eyes as sharp as knives.
“My ma bly vê innie Somalia djy,” the guy exclaims.
The surprise is evident in her eyes which are now as big as saucers.
“Djy skrik ek ken. Ek praat Afrikaans ja,” he rubs it in.
“Nou kyk djy vi my,” he teases, laughing and showing big white teeth.
The train slows down noticeably.
“Ek sê, wat issie girl se naam?” he asks as the doors open and we exit the carriage.
“Hoekô will djy wiet?” she snaps back at him.
“Dan wiet ek mos vi wie ek kyk girl, aweh,” he playfully replies, smiling again.
A smile appears around her mouth.
The cold wind is tugging at us, jealously looking for attention.
wat The Afrikaans word word for what”.
wane The Afrikaaps word for “wanneer” which means “when”.
opskep The Afrikaans word for “dish” as in dishing food.
nagal An Afrikaans word meaning “after all”or “actually”.
kô The Afrikaaps word for “kom” which means “come”.
vê The Afrikaaps word for “ver” which means “far”.
issie The Afrikaaps word for “is die” which means “is the”.
hoekô The Afrikaaps word for “hoekom” which means “why”.
“Wat wanne jou ma kos opskep… Nogal vi my kô wat.”
“What when your mother dishes food… Actually (you have the nerve) to come (say) what to me.”
“My ma bly vê innie Somalia djy.”
“My mother lives far in Somalia (you).”
“Djy skrik ek ken. Ek praat Afrikaans ja.”
“You are shocked that I know. I speak Afrikaans yes.”
“Nou kyk djy vi my.”
“Now you’re looking at me.”
“Ek sê, wat issie girl se naam?”
“I say, what is the girl’s name?”
“Hoekô will djy wiet?”
“Why do you want to know?”
“Dan wiet ek mos vi wie ek kyk girl, aweh.”
“Then I will actually know who I am looking at girl, alright.”