Continued from part I.
1. Begging. I hate that shit, and it never lets up. Today I stepped out of my room, and in the 50-yard walk to school, no less than five people asked me for money. Four children and one adult. It's completely routine. "Hello, Thabo," says the person. "Hello," I say. "Mpha madi," he says, holding out a hand, meaning "give me money." When I say no, often the person is angry.
2. Taxis and buses. The public transport I usually take is cramped, uncomfortable, usually miserably hot or cold, takes forever, and is often terribly dangerous. Drivers are sometimes equipped with well-maintained vehicles and drive conservatively, but more often they're aggressive maniacs zooming around in seat belt-less rusting contraptions held together with band-aids and bailing twine. On vacation, having my own rental car was a terrific feeling of freedom.
3. Teaching. This isn't to say that I have forever forsworn teaching, rather that teaching in my South African village, especially for a relative amateur, really sucks. There's no accountability, no institutional support, no culture of learning, and the Peace Corps training in this area was, well, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly and completely worthless. I firmly believe that with the bad habits I've picked up here, I'm a far worse classroom teacher than I was when I started out. At the very least I'll never teach any classes younger than 14 or so ever again.