Race and gender relations in South Africa is something that I will not even pretend to understand but I think I can safely say that its a force affects all of the girls that I live with. Capetonian men of all races and classes tend to be pretty forward and us GRS women have definitely felt the heat in our short stay here. As if wearing matching bright yellow T-shirts with the GRS logo isn’t enough, walking in a large gaggle of, if I may say so myself, attractive girls, brings about a lot of attention, especially if you are wearing shorts or skirts (which by the way is completely acceptable and normal dress for many locals, not the case in many more rural places around Africa) and especially if you are American. This has somewhat forced us to develop a sense of humor about these encounters because, quite frankly, many of them are absolutely ridiculous. Below is a list of the relatively PG rated advances that we as a group have endured.
- “Excuse me, excuse me! Thank you for your beautiful legs.”
- “Ive seen you before, and I like you.”
- Standing in nothing but his tighty whitie underpants “Can I take a picture with you?”
- Wasted bum: “I louf you, we would make a great Top Deck” (chocolate bar that is layered with both milk and white chocolate, sometimes used to describe mixed race couples)
- Chasing us out of a gas station at 2am “Excuse me, you are really beautiful…(questioning looks from our side)…. thought I would give it a try!”
- Drive by “I love you!”
- Toothless car guard serenading us with “I want to know what love is!”
- “Ladies! Ladies! Would you like a haircut?…. Can I have a ride?… I’ll buy you beer, Black Label!” To Talia and I in our car, stopped at a light.
- “You have the legs of an African!”
These are just the ones that stand out from the usual "hello sisi," "hey ladies," kissy noises and generally suggestive looks. Can’t blame them for trying a multitude of different approaches. More to come as incidents occur.