Monday, July 16, 2007

You must...

"You must" pronounced "yeww mest" is the most frequent phrase I heard in Durban. It can be used to convey a range sensibilities.-enthusiasm, "you must try this chutney!"-disapproval, "you musn't just call any taxi driver, they can be very unreliable"- insistance, "you must take this route to the highway as it is the shortest route."I bristled every time I heard that expression.. The combination of well-meaning, very insistent South African culture with 2 clueless tourists in a dangerous city have lead to the overuse of this phrase. Rich mentioned to a family friend that I did not like hearing that phrase and they laughed, chalking the misunderstanding up to a cultural difference. "You must," Greg explained, "is how we convey importance. It's harmless.". Hmmmph, I don't buy it. I don't like being told what to do. Rich and I had a lovely stay in Durban and were also very happy to leave. Onward!

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