Cape Town has a wonderfully varied, and surprisingly, tolerant population. It's people come from many different backgrounds and some of its people have a sense of humour, as unique to them as the cockney's. Their wit and repartee are as sharp as any cockney wit. Unfortunately, those who are not familiar with the Afrikaans language will be unable to share in the humour, deliberate and accidental, of these colourful folk.

Picture the scene. A newspaper vendor is standing in a busy intersection in the main street of Cape Town selling the afternoon paper, The Cape Argus.
"A'gus, A'gus," he calls incessantly.

A 4x4 bakkie with a Free State registration pulls up at the robot . The burly, deeply tanned farmer leans out of the cab window and calls to the paper vendor, "Hey midnight, bring 'n koerant."

"Midnight" sidles over and they exchange money and newspaper. Then midnight steps back, looks the driver straight in the eye and says, "Djy roep
my midnight. Djy's nie so ver van quarter-to-twelve djouself nie."


Many years ago fish carts used to roam the residential streets. Their wares were advertised by the vendor blowing a fish horn, "Blaaaah. Blaaaah."
One day, in response to the horn, a fellow with a very flat nose opened an upstairs window in a rather seedy street.

"Haai, wat verkoop djy?" he asked.

"Stompneus," answered the vendor.

The response from upstairs was immediate and to the point, "djou moer!"


The neatly dressed, quiet spoken, middle aged lady bent down to inspect the peaches offered for sale by a street vendor, "Is daai perkes soet?" she enquired.

"Dja ounooi. Kyk net hoe still en netjies sit hulle in rytjies."


The trek fishermen use a rowing boat to catch a fish they call harders. The boats are launched from the beach and the fish are caught close in to the shore. Frequently the fish are tied in bunches and sold at the roadside.
A Transvaal Mercedes stopped next to a fisherman holding a bunch of harders and enquired, "Wat vra jy vir daar harders?"

The fisherman looked at the fish, then stretched out his arm and held the harders a few inches from the driver's face, "Ek vra hulle fokkol. Wil djy hulle iets vra?

(Thanks Vivienne)


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