Joburg Expat: Saving Face - the African Way

June 21, 2010

Saving Face - the African Way

I’ve found that whenever I ask for something, in a store, for instance, and they have no idea what I’m talking about, instead of admitting that they don’t know, they will pretend to look for it, and then apologetically inform me that they are sold out. “I’m sorry Ma’m, we don’t have that today,” is the standard answer. “We had it last week, but now it is gone.” This SO reminds me of our Singapore days, where “so sorry, cannot” was the reply to almost any request. Back then I was younger and it bugged the hell out of me, but now I can just smile and make a mental note to keep looking elsewhere. Sometimes all you have to do is walk down another aisle, and ask again. You might get lucky!

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Ups, ich dachte auch, das "saving face" gibts nur bei den Chinesen. Kann mich noch gut daran erinnern, als ich in Singapore eine Briefmarke kaufen wollte und die chinesische Verkäuferin hat nix gesagt, sondern mich nur angegrinst. Lach, weißt du noch, wie N. und M. sich immer gestritten haben, wo nun der Einkaufswagen geparkt werden soll......