Thursday, October 21, 2004

The joker to the thief 

The South African dinner party expression for petty theft is affirmative shopping. This sums it up beautifully – just helping myself to something I would have had anyway, but for the colour of my skin and the whole apartheid thing. Think of it as redistribution. A pathetic liberal like me almost agrees with it. At least I did until the buggers nicked my stuff. Even then, I sympathise. Here’s me: worried about the huge bond on my house, the state of my job, the repairs my car needs. Here’s you: no house, no job, no car. I have everything, you have nothing. To the average South African, I am impossibly wealthy. To the average Brit, I am enjoying an incredible lifestyle. It never feels as easy from this side, but it certainly pays to count your blessings from someone else’s perspective occasionally.

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