The Vocabulary of Pleasure.

April 2, 2006

South African smileThere is no place easier to get pleasure from a beautiful woman than in South Africa. All you need to do is thank her.

Almost with out exception, all South Africans respond to “Thank you” with “Pleasure.” Occasionally you’ll hear, “It’s a pleasure,” but usually they just give you “Pleasure.”

Adding to the thrill is that they say it in a way that makes it sound deliciously dirty to my American ears. First you have to put the accent on the first syllable and say that syllable as slowly as possible, then you need to clip the second syllable. The pronunciation is like the alternate pronunciation of leisure. The best I can offer is something like: Pleeeeh sha.

The only word that can offer anything that approaches the same amount of linguistic pleasure is the widespread use of robots. Robots are more common in South African than in Japan, the country that created a frenzy around a robot dog. There is a robot on practically every corner directing traffic, here in South Africa.

Robot is the local word of choice for traffic lights. Ask a local for directions and you’ll hear something like: “Go straight till the second robot and take a left.” Say thanks and you’ll find a bit a pleasure.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Soyan & Jonathan

    The first time someone told me to “turn left at the robot” I hoestly expected to find a giant Dalek (scary robots from the BBC Scifi series Dr Who) on the street corner :-D

    Comment by Morayo — April 2, 2006 @ 10:46 am

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