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Music Lessons…

… We start off with the big “F” horn which vibrates deep sounds. The typical pitch of a medium horn is said to be B flat below middle C. The “G” vuvuzela, unknown until a few weeks ago, is now the most popular and most used musical instrument in the world… ever… at that!
Over 1.5 million sold and exports to Europe are suffering due to short supply. An enchanting musical instrument that continues to drone in one’s ear long after the mute button has been pressed… or the remote has been thrown against the wall. Some South African shopkeepers say they have run out of ear plugs called Vuvu-Stops.
So what to say of this infuriating yet joyful buzzing instrument that tells you what is on TV even before you enter the room? By itself it has been compared unflatteringly to an elephant passing wind… but indeed, how joyful a sound wasn’t it, when the ball was cracked and sent soaring into the back of the net at this year’s opening game of World Cup 2010. Thousands of vuvuzelas filled the skies with the South African buzz, swarming the world as never before!

For, let it be said, it is quite amazing that the world has heard so much of this country … and yet so little is known about it, its culture, its people. Like the vuvuzela, for example. So, being born and bred in South Africa I have taken the liberty, as would any South African given half the chance… to blow my trumpet from the beaches of Cyprus and boast about this unpolished gem on the southern tip of Africa…
Truly, if you are a visitor to South Africa you will immediately discover that it faces many challenges. On arrival you are bound to be knocked out, not by a free roaming rhino, but by friendliness. You will be challenged to learn to say “hello” in at least five of the eleven official languages.
Another hazard to be aware of is the great probability of being felled by cardiac arrest from devouring a mountain of meat at one of the world class restaurants (statistically proven to be 33.3% higher in Johannesburg, than in any other major urban centre not built upon a significant waterway. It’s true. I read it in a British tabloid)…
Be aware also that when visiting one of the game parks that it could be somewhat dangerous to climb out of the car and get a close-up of an elephant… also, do not pat the lion!
South Africa is right-hand-drive, so, after doing a wine route or partying the night away with locals, if you’re not from Britain or one of its ex-colonies, be sure to look the opposite side for on-coming traffic. Oh, and by the way… don’t leave your wad of five hundred euro notes lying on the dressing table before you go to breakfast! (duh!) …
… Over the next month, wherever you may be in the world, you are bound to find yourself in the presence of South Africans and you are bound to have to sit and listen to them and bear it over and over again… “Diverse landscape… climates, forests, plantations, mountains, deserts, rivers, beaches, resorts”…

“Wildlife, oceans, whales, sports”…  “gold, platinum, diamonds,… even plutonium” … “Peking built from our steel… we export cars to UK… olive oil to Spain… tequila to Mexico… tanks… wine… every fruit you can think of!…  “ … oh, and it goes on and on… and on…

He or she will continue to offer you strong shots of strong spirits … just to have you continue to listen … on and on… by which time you’re probably better off stuffing a trumpet into your OWN mouth … a vuvuzela that is…and start blowing for dear life so that you can drown out the on-going blah-blah-blah…

… Flap your lips, create a kind of fart sound… make like you’re spitting watermelon pips…. And then you’ve got it … Welcome to the global orchestra of the Vuvuzela… … welcome to the world of South Africa! …

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