the word 'eish' is so typically south african. roughly it means...well actually it can't be translated. i think it's a bit onomatopoeic. or it would be if the eish moments actually made a sound. that sound would be 'eish'. the only way i can think of to explain the meaning of the word eish is to use it in a suitable context. one such context is the story of friendly fire which you will realise after reading this post is not all that friendly.
certain conglomerations of incompetence can also only take place in the modern south africa. this story is such a case. it is unbelievable in every aspect except that it actually happened. it was all over the news and i personally spoke to one of the treating orthopods. as you will hear general surgeons weren't needed.
one fine day in the bloemfontein military base a group of soldiers were shuffled onto a troop transporting truck. as i understand it they were going to the shooting range to try out some of the heavier weapons. one such weapon was a fairly large gun designed to bring enemy aircraft not so gently to the ground. it shot 15mm rounds at extremely high velocity and could send off about two gazillion rounds in less than a second. the particular soldier tasked with lugging this along thought it wise to load it up before jumping on the back of the truck with the rest of the platoon. but with the act of jumping on the soldier's finger pulled the trigger for a fraction of a second. that fraction was long enough. the platoon was decimated.
the survivors were taken to hospital where my friend the orthopod was called. firstly there weren't too many survivors on the scene. there was quite a bit of mince meat but not too many survivors. the reason my friend the orthopod was called and not the general surgeon was because everyone who was hit above the knees and elbows was blown to pieces and didn't make it. only people hit below the knees and elbows made it to hospital. then the treatment was easy. simple amputations sufficed.
when i listened to my friend in total disbelief i could just imagine the clumsy soldier giving the typical south african response to all the carnage he had just accidentally caused;
"eish!!! sorrie ne?"