Conversations on a Khombi

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Images taken from Nathalie’s blog: negesnarratives.wordpress.com

Me: Sawubona bhuti? (How are you bhuti?)

Stranger: Yebo sisi

Me: Unjani? (How are you?)

Stranger: Ngiyaphila nami. (I am fine with such a confused face)

*It was here at this moment when I realized the drunken elderly man was confused. My senses lead me to believe this so I inquired a bit more. The khombi ride was going to be a while so what did I have to lose.

Me: Is everything okay?

Stranger: How? Ubuyaphi? (Where are you from?)

Me: Ngibuya e Melica. ( I come from America)

Stranger: How are you from america?

Me: I am African American (a distinction that I have to make far more often than not considering some people still believe that all Americans are white).

Stranger: How? (still confused)

Me: Yes I am American (begin to talk about my work with Peace Corps as a volunteer, etc)………are you drinking on a sunday?

Stranger: Esh yebo kancane (Yes I am drinking a little)

Me: No not on a sunday. NO drinking

Stranger: Esh sisi. You are right.

Me:Okay bhuti it was nice to meet you. Salah kahle (stay well)

Stranger: Hamba kahle sisi (Go well)

*Out of most things in Swaziland, long and hot rides on public transport are quite common. With these long rides, they are usually accompanied by random conversations with strangers who by the end of the ride become friends. Look forward to more segments from conversations on a khombi.

 

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