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A South African expat new to Sydney went viral when she couldn’t find all the VIPs

Business Insider SA

  • Mahle Majola recently relocated to Sydney, Australia, and has a TikTok series on the things that confuse her as a new expat.
  • The sixth edition tackled the many "VIP lounges" she saw everywhere – and struck a chord.
  • She expected to find celebrities inside, but not so much.
  • Australians are sympathetic to the confusing rules that have given rise to so many VIP lounges that are not, in fact, for very important people only.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

As a South African, Mahle Majola has a pretty straightforward interpretation of the phrase "VIP Lounge": a place where very important people gather, typically cordoned off from the ordinary people who share the bar or club in which the lounge is situated.

But in Sydney, that isn't true, and Majola's investigation into the true nature of such lounges has now gone viral on TikTok.

Majola describes herself as having just relocated to Sydney from South Africa, and has documented everything from her use of public transport to her experience of the weather ("exactly the same").

But it is her series on things that confuse her about her new city – such as the mysterious trolleys everywhere – that has been the most popular. And this week, she zoomed in on the alleged "VIP lounges" all over the city, attracting the attention of the Daily Mail in Australia.

Majola appears to have solved the mystery for many locals too. One commenter admitted to having never entered one of the VIP lounges in 22 years in Sydney, another resident of the city said they had also assumed it to be a special, reserved section of an entertainment venue.

They are "actually, like, a gambling place", Majola reported.

Australians explained that entertainment venues are forbidden from advertising their electronic poker and other gambling machines, and use "VIP lounge" as a code phrase to indicate that gambling can be found within.

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