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Monday, 15 February 2016

I'll be there "Just Now"

I read a hilarious article recently about South African slang terms that drive people mad and it spurred me to to share my experience of when South African slang caught me out!

You can read the original article "12 Odd South African Expressions that Drive the World Crazy" here.

I'll be there Just Now


It was 2008 and I was a recently arrived English volunteer living in Chintsa.
One morning on the way to volunteer at a nearby school my mobile phone dropped out of my pocket in the bus. When I got back to the VA32 office after a morning teaching I managed to get hold of Papa G, the driver of the bus, who had luckily found my phone. Relieved I asked him how it was best to get it back from him and he said he'd be at Buccaneers Backpackers (a 15 minute walk across the beach) "just now". I said "Great! I'll meet you there!" and proceeded to make my way across the beach post-haste. After waiting for about 30 minutes at reception I started to wonder if maybe I had the location wrong and Papa G was somewhere else. I called him from the Buccs phone and his reply was "yes yes, I'll be at Buccaneers just now". Relieved that I wasn't a total idiot I hung up and waited. And waited. And waited.

It turns out that "just now" means anything from "in an hour or so" to "later today" to "this evening" to "tonight".

After about four and a half hours of twiddling my thumbs Papa G pulled up with a big smile on his face to deliver my mobile phone. I didn't have the heart to tell him how long I'd been waiting but rather gave him a big smile back, said thanks and turned around to make my way back across the beach home.

Lesson learnt: "Just now", "Now" and "Now now". Chintsa works on the infamous African Time and patience is a virtue.

Have you ever been caught out by a South African slang term? Share your story with us "now now" (actually now - right now) by commenting below.

April

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