25 December 2005

Racism on the road.

While on the road I came across few very disturbing incidences. First one took place already at Cape Town bus station where I was queuing up to the bus just like everyone else. Everyone expect the few white South Africans who just walked in without waiting and nobody seemed to have a problem with it. Second incident was 10 hours later as we were on the border of South Africa exiting the country. Again everyone is waiting in line to get their stamps and continue as few Afrikaners come and instead of departures, which they just like all of us were, they walked in the arrivals which was empty at the time. There were not even any officers there at that moment as they were all working with the people leaving the country. Afrikaner woman was stubborn and demanded to get her stamp before rest of us and finally they got their stamps and continued their travelling. Our queue had probably gone forward no more than few meters during this time as the officers needed to "help" these other people.

Altogether it is too sad. It is too much for anyone and the worst part was that not all of the people who let these things to happen were white themselves. Apartheid in all of it sickness was well working plan and therefore it is still living. Here is the letter to the Intercape bus company.

Dear Intercape,

I would like to express my deep disgust over what happened while I was waiting to take the bus from Cape Town to Windhoek on 18th of December 2005. Bus was getting very full as the queue was long and one could easily tell that there is not going to be any spare room. While I was waiting in the queue just like everyone else, I saw handful of local white people just walking in the bus straight in front of our noses. They were welcomed in and they got to choose their own seats in the bus while everyone else were outside trying to hear what the rude and rather angry drivers were trying to shout as they did not have microphones.

There were few of these groups of white South Africans who did not need to wait but just walked in. I would like to know were there some sort of a reason for this action besides the post-apartheid racism?

I am not saying that all of the Intercape employees would have been rude but the few who were putting the luggage in the car were just shouting at everyone, the Angolans who were going home for holidays in particular. At one point driver yelled "I am the boss in this bus and I tell you what to do" with a serious face to a person who was not even saying anything but just happened to have more luggage than the average passenger.

I am not even writing this letter as a paying customer, which I also am, but a human being. Nobody should be treated like many of the passengers were on that trip.

I recommend you give your employees some training that they might need in the world that is changing constantly. I would like to get some kind of a feedback on how you decide to act.

Mikko Kapanen

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