As interesting as the South African accent is to me, what’s more peculiar is the differences in cadence and intonation. At the ends of sentences when Americans–non-Valley Girl-influenced Americans, that is–drop their tone quite a bit, South Africans will often dip a little and then level off again. I spoke with an American who’s been here for a few years the other day and I didn’t realize for a few minutes that she was American because she’s taken on these intonation and cadence traits, though her accent is straight American.
Apparently, I have a thick accent. There are people who don’t always have an easy time understanding me here. That seems strange to me. I feel I speak rather plainly, though I do mumble sometimes.
They call traffic lights “robots” here, officially even; there are times when you’re approaching a light and the road is painted ‘ROBOT’.
The people I’m staying with have six cats. They also fill three bird feeders and spread more birdseed on the driveway daily. And somehow they’re dismayed when one of the cats goes after a bird.
The fruits and juices here are great, as are the chocolates and candies. The selection and quality of beer is lacking, but the hard cider is the best I’ve had.
People here refer to the “city bowl suburbs”. Those places are right in the city to me. It’s approximately equivalent to calling the Mission a suburb in SF or the Back Bay a suburb in Boston or Chelsea a suburb in NYC.