The Hack: Can South Africans ever be pleased?

I wrote this column at an altitude of 40 000ft and still about four and a half hours away from my beloved Johannesburg. It’s also a week before deadline.

My journey back home for the final stage to what was a wonderful honeymoon spent in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea in Phuket and haggling at the markets in Bangkok.

The time spent with my wife, the first time I’ve written that, was as memorable as I’d hoped and while Thailand offered us adventure and a great story to hopefully tell our children one day as we laugh about being suckered by taxi drivers or eating strange foods in the markets it did offer some perspective.

I’m not going to get into a long-winded spiel about life and it’s lessons  surrounding weddings and one of the greatest day’s of a person’s life – some people enjoy it so much they do it more than once.

No, you see my realisation came thanks to the plethora of South Africans at our lodgings in Phuket – clearly all used the same travel agent – and then the final flight from Doha to Johannesburg.

Are we just a miserable bunch? Can South Africans ever be satisfied?

So for background purposes, I’ve been on leave for the better part of a month and this is my first column back. In the time off I made a silent promise to try and switch off from sport.

No Superbru picks on honeymoon, no news websites, no Twitter – those who follow me will know that I only posted images linked to my Instagram account and two tweets about golf and the Olympics.

No Indian Premier League, no rugby and definitely no reading up on the appointment of the new Springbok coach.

Logging onto the hotel wifi – again to upload pictures and check in with the housesitters to see that everything was OK with our pooches – at times I did notice a huge outcry on Facebook on the day of the announcement.

Then the furore over the Springbok emblem erupted and my Facebook friends were again involved in debates and discussions and it all linked back to the position awarded to Alistair Coetzee.

I say awarded because the man has paid his dues. Let us judge him on his results, not before he’s even picked his first squad.

By now I had switched off. Zoned out completely. In fact, we spent as little time as possible surrounded by South Africans if we could. The point was made as we checked in as a woman, with a heavy Durban drawl, moaned at reception about something mundane.

My wife, the second time I’ve now written that, and I laughed it off and agreed that South Africans are hard to please.

While boarding for our final flight we overheard another woman, in her 20s, moaning because a pensioner had been allowed to skip the queue.

That’s when we realised we were going home.

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