An arrow from Parow ……

I officially live in the Northern Suburbs.

I have been kidding myself for a while that I actually do not actually LIVE in the Northern Suburbs.

I will tell anyone who will listen that I happen to be on the “belt” between the two worlds of the Northern and the Southern.

I am delusional most days, so this little oversight does not take much effort from my part.

The suburb that we live in is actually an ERF that belongs to the area of Parow.

So not only have I had to admit that I live in the Northern Suburbs, but I now officially live in Parow.

Which if you know the area, is usually something that is used as a source of ridicule if someone lives, comes from, or drives through Parow.  Jack Parow is not called Jack Parow for nothing!

Though – and I would like to add for the possible effect on our house sale price in the future – that the suburb I live in does not say “Parow” on the street signs.  We clearly did not really think about that when we were paying the 2.5 trillion rand for the house.

One of the giveaways  – that I should have paid more attention to – is that our postal code and Parow’s postal code are identical!  Yes, everyone is wise after the fact – where were you in March 2008?

When we moved in to our suburbs, I had to find new schools for the kids.

Finding schools is about as painful as childbirth, but just goes on a bit longer.  The downside of looking for a school is that you can’t get medication on a script to make it less painful, and no one gives you pink or blue balloons!  But you do sort of feel your v-jay-jay tearing at about the same rate.

The suburb where we lived before, had a church, bottle store and school on every corner.

Where we live now you have to drive quite a ways to find any of the three.  Schools do appear to be not as popular as either bottle stores or churches.

I am not sure exactly what social deduction one can make from that observation, but anyway, moving along.

I managed to find schools where Afrikaans was the “taal” spoken and English seemed to be this strange other language that was spoken with unfortunate accents and severe mispronunciation, along with people who wear jean pant and said words like “uver” in place of “other”.

Now I am not knocking anyone who has the taal as a first language.  The problem is Connor is such a rooi-nek he could not speak a word of Afrikaans when we moved in to the area.  Sending him to an Afrikaans school might have been touching on child abuse.

Georgia was at “language development” stage – so I wanted her to develop an English language as her mother tongue. and not Afrikaans or better yet English with a strong Afrikaans accent.

I found a school for Connor that had a dual-medium class, and though we were both a bit scared of how he would cope, he actually was fine.  It was a great school and continues to be a little gem in this area.  He did manage to pick up quite a bit of Afrikaans and fitted in really well with his new “maajties.”

Connor is never going to speak like a natural Afrikaner.  But he has learnt to get by.  His ability to make us laugh as he totally destroys the language of Afrikaans does give us hours of pleasure.

I got Georgia into a school – and I made the assumption that because the headmistress was English it was an English school.

Let’s just say that my assumptions are less than accurate and this is just another one to add to the pile.

Totally got this one wrong.

Georgia was in a class that was meant to be dual medium class but with English spoken as the majority.  I think the teacher only swung to English when I appeared in the room to give the impression that they had a “nice balance of languages.”

The reality was that when I heard the teacher – with the best intentions – reading English I started to weep.  Not in happiness, but in fear that my child was going to officially have the worst accent possible and then I started to pray that she would stop raping the English language and switch back to Afrikaans, which sounded by far more humane.

Of course I said nothing, and instead chewed the inside of my cheek and hoped tomorrow would be a better day in the land of English language teaching.

The day I realized that we were REALLY lived in the Northern Suburbs was when I dropped Georgia off at her fairly Afrikaans school and most of the kids arrived WITHOUT shoes (they could afford shoes you understand, but they choose to not put them on, which is odd as they appear to have taken care with their outfits and grooming.)

But what was more alarming was the dads who arrived wearing those short black rugby shorts and NO SHOES! That was a very sobering moment for me.  If I recall I phoned Kennith a little on the hysteric side.

Just for the record, this is the same school where Georgia learnt to sing “Los Lappie” and “Kaptein Span die Seile” both by the artist known as Kurt Darron.

Of all the smut and obscenity she would hear in our house, I have always been very careful to never infect her with Kurt Darron.  But the damage is done, and Georgia can sing a “liedtjie” like no one’s business.

I have continued to live in denial regarding our living arrangements – I have continued to insist that my children wear shoes to school, or when ever we leave the house.

Connor has moved to a fantastic primary school – and though it is primarily Afrikaans both in look, feel, and culture, the English teachers are fantastic.

I get the benefit of small English classes in primarily an Afrikaans school, and the school is very disciplined and offer a really homely kind of feel to it – so it is win-win for me.

The one thing I noticed – again – was that the kids do not always wear shoes to school.  However there was a stern note that said kids need to wear shoes to school on a Friday as it is “saal.”  (assembly for you cretins who do not understand any Afrikaans)

Connor has been bleating to go barefoot for months – and I have said no.  I really want to keep a semblance that maybe we do not live on a farm, and milk Bessie to get creamer for our coffee in the morning.  Maybe we are city folk!

But we are going through a pair of school shoes every 1 ½ months with Connor.  We are up to school shoe pair number eight this year alone.

This week I have “allowed” Connor to go to school barefoot.  He was so excited and flung his arms around me and confessed that I was “the best mommy in the world.”

Day one he did come to the car limping as his feet were so sore.

But by day two he was good to go.

This morning when I dropped him off I looked around at the school and about ½ the kids – mainly boys – were there without school shoes.  I am not sure if it made me happy or a little sad.

We might need to relook at our neighbourhood sign and see if it actually does say Parow after all.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

31 Comments

  1. Wynand Pretorius

     /  April 18, 2014

    You Capetonians sure are a superficial bunch.

    Reply
  2. adesolaf

     /  March 13, 2012

    This has me in stitches, tear jerking laughter. I don’t know CT but I am laughing so hard just imagining it.

    I have always wondered about the barefoot thing. Growing up I was not even allowed to walk barefoot in the house so imagine my shock when I go to the mall and see grown men and kids walking barefoot. No matter how many times I’ve seen it I can never get used to it.

    My niece just started day care in the Vaal area and now doesn’t want to wear shoes and enjoys being in her birthday suit (the joys of being young and innocent)

    BTW Jack Parrow is my favourite Afrikaans musician.

    Reply
  3. I think I pee-ed in my pants from laughing.

    Reply
  4. Joyce

     /  November 19, 2010

    Kom nou Celeste, jy het dan SO lekker gedans op Kurt Darren se Meisie Meisie en Kaptein Span die Seile by John se partytjie in Januarie! Hierdie komende vakansie in Gansbaai leer ek vir jou ‘n paar liedjies uit die FAK sangbundel!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 19, 2010

      I am trying to get Google Chrome to translate for me … wait wait …. while I push buttons!!!!

      Reply
  5. Lynese

     /  November 18, 2010

    People,I live in Pinelands…..and……………I like it here.
    That comes as something of a shock.
    Luckily I don’t fall into the whole CY debate. This is the southern suburbs, right. …….right?

    Reply
  6. I can just smile. I’m soooooo Afrikaans BUT my husband and kids are English. We live in a very Jewish area, kids are in very English schools so for this Afrikaans mommy it’s just the other way around. My sister lives in Middelburg – the kids also don’t wear shoes to school and even the petrol attendants can speak Afrikaans. I’m trying to teach my kids Afrikaans, but it’s not easy and I must add I’ve got an accent but not my kids – weird!

    Reply
  7. Kennif

     /  November 18, 2010

    I am proud of my kalfoet boy and my “Loslappie” singing girl…as long as they do not become my kal boy and loslappie girl!!

    Reply
  8. Oh, I should also add that I am infact, very proudly Afrikaans. We are less of the jean-pant, rokkie wiff a belt, koeksister type Afrikaans here though. You see, in Pretoria there’s a area called Waterkloof. (said with that same potato-in-the-mouth accent) I live exactly one street down from Waterkloof. But I’m close enough so when people who don’t know Pretoria ask me where I live, I either say Waterkloof or Brooklyn, which is an equally nice area. I stay smack-bang in the middle of the two. But I do know people that can Frow yous a nise are instead of a is!! And thank goodness none of my family are of the 2-tone, rugby short wearing type..but my older brother does sometimes go to the local Spar bare-foot, even though he’s wearing R300 shorts lol. And yes, even in Waterkloof, the Afrikaans kids still go to school barefoot, I did! This is also something my very English husband is mortified about!!

    Reply
  9. LOL!! My ex-bf used to stay in Parow and they were PROPER Parow residents. They even had tinted windows on their house windows. I am quite ashamed of that fact though. You see, we met and I never knew he stayed there, I just assumed Cape Town was Cape Town and he stayed somewhere in Cape Town. Until I went to visit him and his directions were starting to scare me slightly. You see, I have family who live in Welgemoed which isn’t a too bad area (I think) and when I told my aunt I’m going to a place called Parow, her face got a bit tight and I’m sure she vomitted in her mouth a bit. Needless to say, as I pulled up to his house, I was sad. We were only together for another 2 months (no I’m not a snob!). I saw him 2 years later when I was in CT again and he had a Mazda with yellow lights. I was sad again. Luckily now I am married to a proper Joburger…minus the ‘bru’ accent. 🙂

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 18, 2010

      My kids go to school in Welgemoed ….. but I think the fact that he had a Mazda is probably the thing that made you cut him loose!

      Reply
  10. bethjane

     /  November 18, 2010

    This is sooo funny. You have to live in Cape Town to really get this.
    We recently moved to Newlands and its wrong that I get so much pleasure living there – but I do. And I promise I’m not snobby!

    Reply
  11. Kat

     /  November 18, 2010

    I live in a small town called Vryheid at the moment. Guess what I am one of maybe twenty english people living here and when we arrived I could not speak a word of Afrikaans I blame an education in Pitermaritzburg for that. Eight years later I still dont understand the men in two tone shirts with guns on their waists and combs in the knee high socks. Luckily we are leaving for Durban soon as I cant picture sending my son to school here. If you think CF drivers are bad you should try the giant bakkie just in from the farm.

    Reply
  12. This changes everything! Not sure I can have a PAROW resident on my Facebook list!

    Kidding – I life in a proper city/town whatever and the kids go to school sonder skoene!

    Reply
  13. julz

     /  November 17, 2010

    And the 50/50 shirts. Flip rugby shorts and crocs. Neiiiiiiiiiiiiiil time to go shopping for new clothes!

    Reply
  14. julz

     /  November 17, 2010

    I find it hard to say I live in “Goodood” which I do, but the Monte Vista side. Okay the Plattekloof Glen side. Also on the borderline though. Not sure which side of the Boerewors curtain we fall though. I think Goodwood may actually be the boerewors curtain.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 17, 2010

      Listen, I grew up in Bothasig – there is just no way you can hide from that legacy, or find a polite way to say that name! It is one of those little known facts that I never divulge, even after copious amounts of alcohol.

      Reply
      • julz

         /  November 23, 2010

        I went to School in Bothasig for a year and wait for it (drum roll please) I lived in Richwood!!!!!!!

        Reply
  15. You just made me laugh at the end of a difficult day shopping with a 15 month old toddler who insists on walking everywhere and stops to engage with every single person who says, ‘aw cute.’ Needless to say, I came home with a pair of sandals that may or may not fit her, some undies I snatched in the queue at woolies and nothing else. I have been putting off shopping for schools for her, I’ve been told to enroll her now or risk her never being educated. Lucky for me, I’m married to a doctor, so I’ll be sure to take your advice and get a script for tranquilizers. Do school teachers frown on tequila breath?

    Reply
  16. Nicky

     /  November 17, 2010

    OH you make me laugh!! I was thinking about this all day!! Just this morning I was driving my son to daycare, and I drove past the local school and saw more than half the kids were barefoot!!! Now I am a coloured girl- I AM NOT USED TO THIS!!! ( In my culture, dressing is EXTREMELY important- people will starve, as long as they’r dressed head to toe in designer gear. ) My son’s dad is white Afrikaans( but the very decent type) and just moving into my current suburb has been a MAJOR culture shock for me( we used to live in Loevenstein before, which wasnt as afrikaans)Even after 2 years I still amaze myself at some of the attire I’ve seen in the malls!
    So my 3 year old has been taken care of by an afrikaans daymom, for the last 1.5 years….he now speaks Afrikaans, walks barefoot, and begs to wear shorts when it’s raining out!!

    Reply
  17. Tania

     /  November 17, 2010

    U are all so terribly funny! Up here its GP, no matter where you live in Gauteng.

    Reply
  18. Bevan Buck

     /  November 17, 2010

    I have been sniggering at my laptop whilst reading this post, and this has drawn a few dirty looks from my hard working colleagues. Having married into an afrikaans family, I can relate to so much of what you say. From the dangers of travelling as the lone “engelsmans” to visit afrikaans family up the west coast (loeriesfontein, nieuwoudtsville etc.) to my braai skills being seriously questioned, its been an interesting journey. If you really want to see the dutchmen giving the jerry springer show a good run for their money, you cannot beat N1 City mall…..donning black rugby shorts and sans shoes is over dressed there.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 17, 2010

      I must share with you my total mortification today. I am having a very rough day and right now I can barely string a sentence together without getting it all muddled up. So I am trying to find a technical term to describe something while I am talking to a designer on the phone – so I go “I am really struggling with English today, usually I am quite good at stringing a sentence together, but not today…” So the designer goes: “Why is it because you are Afrikaans!”

      I am like WTF!!!? To which I then adapted my voice to speak in a very potato-in-your-mouth-southern-suburbs accent! Guess who is off my Xmas card jean and pant list!?

      Reply
  19. Come visit Rosmead Spar.
    The locals are fond of shopping in their pajama pant and sheep skin slippers.
    Especially early Sunday mornings.

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 17, 2010

      Fabulous! I really do tend to stop and gawk when I see someone out with sheep skin slippers!

      Reply
  20. Christelle

     /  November 17, 2010

    I live on the “belt” that divides Brackenfell and Kuilsriver. I will stand by that statement through hell and high water! No-one will convince me otherwise, and frankly, what do maps know anyway?
    I have witnesses many a “rugby-short” being worn as acceptable clothing to go to the shops and I can only stand with my mount agape at the special brand of self-confidence this requires. I have also been very fortunate to actually spot a pair of short (and I mean really sort) jean pant being worn to the mall. For your viewing pleasure, might I suggest a trip to Cape Gate? You will spot some rare items on display, especially my favourite, the “rugby short” and crocs combo. Lovely!

    Reply
    • reluctantmom

       /  November 17, 2010

      You is making me laugh now!

      My friend used to say that the only “thing” that ever lived in Bellville was the sign – everyone else always explained that they lived in a suburb called so and so, but it was never Bellville! I do however register my car on another address so I do not have to drive a CY registration – I have some standards, few, but some.

      Reply
      • Christelle

         /  November 17, 2010

        Oh no, CY is still Ok. It’s when you enter the realms of CF that things start getting a bit strange! Ask me, bought a new car and had to register it. Imagine my shock when I went to go pick it up only to stand there hyperventilating starting at the CF number plate on my brand spanking new car!!

        Now I wear sunglasses to hide my face from other drivers and not from the sun.

        Reply
        • reluctantmom

           /  November 17, 2010

          Christelle – one day I will dedicate an entire post to my issues with CF drivers! I must keep a journal in my car – as a day does not go past where I am not swearing and cussing at a CF registered car and wondering where the hell they got their licence from. So next time someone is behind you and waving their arms around like they are insane, odds are it might be me – so smile sweetly and wave if you can!

          Reply
  1. Blogs by the Numbers …. | The Reluctant Mom's Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: