Back in the states, if you said “I’m going now”, that is what you would mean. You are leaving. Here in South Africa, “now” is used a bit differently, and I am not even sure I know what people mean when they use it. Out here, you can do something “now”, “now now” or “just now”. I am hoping someone who is more familiar with these terms will clue me in and also tell me if I am missing any of the “nows”. I do know that “just now” does not in fact mean what it sounds like. Our pastor said he was going to tell us something “just now” and then he didn’t tell us until way into his message.
In South Africa, we have electricity and outlets and can plug things in, much like you do in the states. However, our outlets are not the same. Instead of the two thin slots we were used to, our outlets now consist of three round holes in a triangle shape. To add to the fun (!) not all cords have a plug with three round prongs. Some have 2 prongs, which are like skinny and not at all like the other plugs. That means you have to have a few adapters on hand so that you can use all of your corded items. I have only used my blow dryer once since we bought it. There is just not a convenient place to blow dry my hair and look in a mirror and we do not have enough adapters on hand, so I just don’t dry my hair. We also need converters for some of the electronics we brought from the states. In 2008, we failed to use a converter and “blew up” one of our kids’ sound machines. Fun.
If you ask where the bathroom or restroom is, you will most likely be met with a blank stare. You must ask for the “toilet”, which I find disgusting. Today we almost lost Tyson when he went to the “toilet” by himself at the mall. Darin went to check on him (we were eating lunch and there was no bathroom in the restaurant) and he was not there. It turns out he had gone to a different toilet, not the one we assumed he would have gone to.
In other bathroom news, we now use 1 ply toilet paper. Oh yes we do. It is so much cheaper and we are all about saving money these days.