Metrorail Diaries - Cheese It and Enjoy It FeaturedWritten by Theo Jonker
"All Trains are running 10 minutes late" Voicemail Lady announces.
We aren’t really paying attention. We are used to this. The train eventually comes rushing into the station, pretending to be on time.
The vibe on board is not too vibrant. Capetonians are affected by the weather and temperatures. Cold and overcast weather in the middle of summer does not encourage us to have spontaneous conversations. We usually become withdrawn on days like this, but today someone luckily breaks the silence.
"My motjie veslaap mos ve'oggend my broe man. Sy stie my wêk toe sonne lunch. Ek’s upset. It gat ‘n lang dag op hai machine wies." a guy complains with his lips hanging in anger.
"Hoe maak sy dan my broetjie? Sy drop jou dan nooitie" comments his friend.
"Ek’t mos ‘n DSTV lat insit. Ek kry ampe nie ees mee ‘n soentjie nie. Sy kyk als tot ou nag toe" ou Lunchless complains.
"My broetjie, djy moen it ma ytsort. ‘n Man sny sometimes n lat vir jou eie gat" his friend replies.
“...ma moenie worry oorrie lunch ‘ie. Daais klein dingetjies. Ek het ‘n odd hie, en n blikkie pilchards in chilli sauce.”
“Ek koep ‘n unslice dan is os mos ytgesort. Wat dink djy" he suggests.
The reply from Lunchless is almost a confession: "Ek het ampe heel wiek kaas op my brood gehad. Gerasperde kaas, kaas en tamatie, snackwich met kaas… Ek voel al soes n mys my broe man.”
“Ha broe is mos nou n rep virre kaasplek in Stellenbosch, soe ôs doen nou als met kaas.” “Kan djy imagine hoe lyk daai kaas by 3 o’clock?”
“Die kaas is tai en die brood se punte krul om, ma ek moet ma vi my hêppie hou" Lunchless complains with his lips now almost scraping the carriage floor.
His friend can't contain himself and bursts out laughing.
After a while he says: "My broetjie, ek treat jou vidag. Ek koep ywe, swat piepe, ‘n sielamoen en ‘n vasse hele unsliced, en dan iet ôs soes konings. Wat sê djy?"
Lunchless nods with a broad smile and says: "Kwaai my broe".
Listening to these two gives me food for thought.
If we are prepared to share the little we have, it becomes much.
Those who have enough, and are not willing to share; will only ever have that little and that’s all they'll ever have, just that little.
"Hie's jou yoghettas! All flavours... A lolly for a pretty dolly" a vendor getting onto the train shakes me out of my quick meditation and train of thought.
That’s when I imagine I hear Voicemail Lady saying: "Commuters, please note, trains are not running late. They just didn't arrive yet".
motjie - An Afrikaaps word for “wife” originating from the Cape Malays.
ytsort - The Afrikaaps version of “uit sorteer” which means “to sort out something / solve a problem."
odd - The Afrikaaps version of “a small amount of money” from English “odd” for something out of place as in extra money you have no specific use planned for.
mys - The Afrikaaps version of “muis” which means “mouse”.
tai - The Afrikaaps version of “taai” which means “sticky and gooey” in an unpleasant way.
ywe - The Afrikaaps version of “uie” which means “onions”.
swat piepe - The Afrikaaps version of “swart peper” which means “black pepper”.
sielamoen - The Afrikaaps version of “suurlemoen” which means “lemon”.
vasse - The Arfikaaps version of "varse" or "vars" which in Afrikaans means "fresh".
‘n vasse hele unsliced
A fresh whole unsliced [bread].
"My motjie veslaap mos ve'oggend my broe man. Sy stie my wêk toe sonne lunch. Ek’s upset. It gat ‘n lang dag op hai machine wies.”
“My wife overslept this morning brother man. She sends me off to work without lunch. It’s going to be a long day on that machine.”
“Sy kyk als tot ou nag toe”
“She watches everything until very late at night”
“Sy drop jou dan nooitie”
“She never lets you down”
"Ha broe is mos nou n rep virre kaasplek in Stellenbosch, soe ôs doen nou als met kaas.”
“Her brother is now a rep for a cheese place in Stellenbosch. So now we do everything with cheese”
Metrorail Diaries has finally returned to Bruinou.com with the kind permission of Theo Jonker & FunDza who are now the official publishers of Theo Jonker's series of short stories (Edited by Ryan Swano) which now bear the title Metrorail Mondays on FunDza.
Click Here to visit FunDza for more stories by various South African authors.
Take ‘Funda’ the isiXhosa word for ‘to read’ or ‘to learn’.
Add a ‘Z’ for our beautiful country: Za
And you get – FUN, READING and SOUTH AFRICA – FUNDZA!
That’s what FunDza is all about: getting teens and young adult South Africans reading for pleasure – and loving it!
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