April 19th 2004
I imagine it is getting warmer everywhere in the States and people are getting out a little more and having a little more fun. I am still having nice warm days here but the nights are getting cold, real cold. I am not sure how cold but the other night I could see my breath.
I went to a concert this weekend or at least what I thought would be a concert. I gather concerts are a little different here. Last week went well and during the week a few times the schoolgirls told me there was going to be a concert at the school. They told me I would only have to pay one rand (20 cents) to get in and that they would be singing gospels. I told them I would come with a smile on my face.
My nice smile turned to a little bit of a confused look once I went into the concert hall (English room converted). Apparently a concert here means a person pays a rand to be humiliated by his or her friends.
This comes in a system of bidding for acts to be performed, which is usually singing but can be anything. Basically what happens is a mediator takes money and makes announcements of acts. So basically, if I want my friend to have to get up in front of everyone I go pay a small amount of money to the mediator. They then make an announcement that a certain person or group of people have to perform. If such chosen people want to refuse to perform such an act then they have to double the money. So if someone pays one rand for me to sing the national anthem then I either have to pay two Rands or sing. Since I am something of an anomaly, I was easy to pick on and the one rand for the concert that I had to pay to get in cost me about ten rand in refusals. I really am a terrible singer and was not about to get in front of everyone and sing. I might have danced or told jokes but definitely not sing. Anyway the fundraiser, which is what they should call it instead of concert, went well and they raised a considerable some of money and laughs.
Love and laughter, Jeff