Riaad Moosa. I’m obsessed, admittedly because he’s funny, South African AND Muslim and well, I think that’s a rather rare combination. In the spirit of embracing embedded links, I’m including his here: www.riaadmoosa.co.za. Unfortunately, it doesn’t currently provide much information, as it’s undergoing “cosmetic surgery” (okay, not his best joke). YouTube him (I would if I could. Unfortunately, my efforts to limit my megabyte usage prevent me from Google-ing, YouTube-ing, Twitter-ing, Facebook-ing and er, stalking him myself). Moosa performed stand-up at City Press’ Official Launch Party two weeks ago. I would try to retell his jokes, but my memory is failing me. I do, however, recall laughing out loud several times, specifically after some crack about halaal Easter eggs (hence, the title of this post).
Speaking of City Press’ launch party, it was perhaps one of the swankiest events I’ve ever attended, although that doesn’t say much. First, it’s heartening to be at a newspaper that’s not at the cusp of bankruptcy, the fate so many U.S. newspapers have faced. The newspaper is in the midst of launching a re-design, with the first edition of the revamped newspaper to hit stands tomorrow, May 2! Our newsroom has even recently been renovated, equipped with brand-new LCD screens and striped orange chairs, which aren’t as horrendous-looking as they might sound. So while most U.S. newspapers are downsizing, it’s refreshing to be at a newspaper that’s seemingly far from it.
Secondly, I’ll officially declare my love for almost every single one of my co-workers. My favorite part of this experience so far has been having the opportunity to meet the people I’ve met and having the conversations that I’ve had—about everything from how the fall of communism is the “worst thing that could have happened for South Africa” (an argument I don’t necessarily support) to how Zulu men—traditional Zulu men, my co-worker clarified—dish out the best pick-up lines. Unfortunately, the melt-ability of their sweet-nothings are lost in translation: “You’re so beautiful you look like you bathe in milk” and “You’ve caught me somewhere between my heart and my stomach” probably wouldn’t sweep me off my feet when purred in English. Bummer.
The American accent is obviously a dead giveaway (99 percent of the time. One man had no clue that I wasn’t originally South African). So when strangers discover that I’m an American student interning in South Africa, the first question I usually get is none other than, “So, what do you think of South Africa?” or some variation of this question. It’s quickly becoming one of my least favorite queries, ranked just behind “What kind of music do you like?” I feel like my interviewer is looking for something really profound and philosophical, and I’m in no position to offer anything Hobbesian. So my plan is to memorize some rote answer. And I’m currently fielding suggestions.