Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sir Jonny of Africa

It’s like the manager of the crocodile farm in Tongaat, who went to Norway some time in the late sixties and found it totally surreal to sit in a car together with a black man that was not the driver… imagine! He was a big white Boer guy with all the apartheid attitudes intact. But the worst thing of all for our “crocodile friend” was watching the road workers up there in the north… coz they were white like him!! Must have been a depressing place to go for him.

Flip the coin… and now Jonny comes to South Africa! Everywhere I go, I’m Sir??!!! Suddenly Jonny Stensby, from a farm in Vang the size that wouldn’t even make half a livelihood, is put in the same league as Paul McCartney, Richard Branson and other important guys that did something great?! In the shop, at the parking lot, from your own maid… everywhere! Flattering, weird, polite… or maybe just “polite” without meaning it? But that would be sarcasm, right?

Wherever or whoever it comes from, there is one common denominator though – it all comes from blacks or coloureds.. or the people from the bottom of the extinct apartheid pyramid. They seem to have the world’s biggest inferiority complex… even now, 10 years after Nelson Mandela was released together with millions of blacks to mingle freely with whites.

In the beginning I found it very weird to be called Sir! I even told our maid on several occasions that she could just call me Jonny, or dude or give me a Zulu nickname or something. The answer would always be: “yes Sir”. Some times it can be a bit cool to be called Sir, but afterwards I feel almost guilty for even feeling that. I realize that it’s because I’m from the ass end of the world (my wife’s favourite expression about Norway), with my rude Viking genes, that I can’t deal with politeness and flattery like that.

Still – guilty! It would be cool if Sindi (our maid) was in a position to issue an official paper stating that I am hereby to be called Sir Jonny! Who is in charge of giving out titles like that anyway? If Sindi were in such a position… I guess that would make her… not a maid. Damn!

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