Why I love South Africa

For some reason South Africa is always on my mind. I left one day to go travelling in the big wide world, and so far I have not returned. But because I never intended to leave forever, I feel that SA and I have unfinished business. Who knows where I will end up, but I really hope it is back to the place I call home.   I have become ridiculously homesick and patriotic, which I know is not always sensible or rational but for now that is the state I am in.

I saw these lists on expensive mistakes and cheap thrills, on Roxilla, on Spacebook and on candi perfume girl. I was inspired to do my own list.

So here are 6 reasons why I love South Africa

1) It is where I grew up. I am me because I grew up there. Everything that happened to me and everything that happened in the country are interwoven into the product that is me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

2) Swimming, sport and the outdoor lifestyle. Do we South Africans know how priveleged we are/were to live in a country where swimming outdoors is common?  The weather, the sea, and the environment combine into a playground in which people can play and swim freely. 

3) The sun. How cliched. But do not underestimate the importance of this great ball of fire in your life. I used to be an outdoorsy person. Here in the UK I rarely venture outdoors. I have terrible circulation, am always freezing, and suffer from a general lowness that is due to grey skies and constant rain. People here manage just fine. But I have seen the light,  haha, and am spoilt as a result. African sun and African skies are hard to forget.

4) niknaks-jumpingjaks-ultramel-simba-ghostpops-steers-jellytots-steristumpi-biltong-oumarusks-EVENricoffy-I-can-go-on. Oh man, South African food! There are some things we do so well. Chips (never crisps) for one are incomparable. And rusks, and South African fudge. The last time I was home, my sister and I filled a trolley full of food to take back. 

5) Walking barefoot. In Europe people do not do this. It is against health and safety. I have been told off very sternly for walking barefoot in someone’s garden. In SA, people often nip into the shops barefoot, and no one has a cadenza. When I visited Potchefstroom, the schoolkids walked to school barefoot and no one died. I like to let my toes breathe now and then.

6) Being a South African is never easy, no matter your colour. And I love that. I’m not really sure why. I think because it keeps me real, it keeps me thinking, reflecting, challenging myself, and stops me from sweating the small stuff. My life seems intolerable sometimes; if I put myself in the shoes of a person who has no access to clean water then suddenly my neuroses don’t seem so bad. To be South African and survive you need to cultivate tolerance, patience and perspective. Good things to have.

That is my list. I hope to read yours.


28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 6000
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 16:29:00

    Very good. And I agree with much of what you write. Otherwise I wouldn't be here.One thing (being in Cape Town) that I do find odd is that they're really not set up for winter. Aren't they used to having 3 months of cold, grey, wet weather yet? After all, it happens every year. Carpets, central heating, double glazing – all that I took for granted in the UK – is not here. It's frikken freezing!Kind regards,6k. <– still waiting for spring to spring.


  2. Caz
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 17:02:00

    Great list!! haha I also like to let my toes breathe :)


  3. sweets
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 17:10:00

    i love this meme! i still have to do one too… yours is very real and true, i love SA for all those reasons too :)


  4. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 18:10:00

    6000I totally agree with you, it is hilarious how every year Capetonians are like, hmm it’s freezing! I used to just walk around in my tiny Durban jerseys freezing to death and complaining lots.I’m thinking I should do a list for the UK too. Sometime.


  5. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 18:11:00

    caz, thanks, glad to hear I am not alone!sweets, will look out for you list.


  6. Caz
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:07:00

    po can i ask you a favour? Do you mind editing your post and adding a link to mine (the one about the meme http://bridesmaid-to-be.blogspot.com/2008/09/why-i-love-sa-inspired-by-exmi.html ) I am trying to track how far this goes. Pretty cool!!! thanks !


  7. sleepyjane
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:08:00

    Oooh I love all this! I did a post a while back and because I was tagged for this meme I’ll probably re post that. :)


  8. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:10:00

    caz, no problem, I think! I am not so sre I know how but will figure it out.sleepyjane, would love to read your list.


  9. Miss T
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:22:00

    here here!!


  10. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:27:00

    miss T I would be interested to read a list from a fellow person abroad.


  11. za.kinetic.memetic
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:39:00

    ZA Kinetic Memetic loves you allhttp://zakineticmemetic.blogspot.com/


  12. Caz
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:40:00

    you have hyperlinked my blog (spacebook) but for it to show up on my side you need to make it hyperlink to the particular post as mentioned above.I should have thought of that when i made the meme rules but i’ve never made a meme before so i’m pretty clueless :)


  13. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:42:00

    caz, thanks, will try and fix it.


  14. Being Brazen
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:46:00

    Great post. I love South African food – we have such a variety here.


  15. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:48:00

    being brazen, yeah it’s weird because SA doesn’t have a strongly identifiable national cuisine as such. But I think our junk food kicks ass!


  16. Caz
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:48:00

    Thanks po, you rock. it worked!


  17. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:51:00

    cool stuff


  18. Lopz
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 20:14:00

    It’s like you read my mind and stole my thoughts! I am in the UK too, and miss and love SA for the same reasons. And I’m so going home. In a few years yet, but I will definitely be running barefoot again.


  19. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 20:16:00

    lops, yay, another barefooter! Hmm, i swear I can’t read minds, I wish.


  20. Miss T
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 20:40:00

    by the by forgot to let you know…i did biochemistry…so the lab work involved some animal work.Well def come up with a list…I’ll try to include some different things. Plus Caz tagged me!!fdhta


  21. Rox
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 20:56:00

    I’m also a barefoot type – indoors or outdoors, even in this so-called spring we’re having in Cape Town. Great list Po!


  22. po
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 21:00:00

    hey rox, I worked at a university here in the UK where you had to wear shoes if you were doing sports outside by health and safety rules, but I do capoeira, which is usually performed barefoot! Kind of weird, we should be able to make the choice.


  23. Rox
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 01:57:00

    Nice, I did Muaythai for quite a while, also a barefoot thing. Gives a sense of balance! Can understand shoes if you’re doing stuff that involves balls, running on tar or similar, but I reckon we should be free to feel the earth beneath our toes as much as possible.


  24. nemesis
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 14:00:00

    hey Po, im reading this with a pack of ghostpops in hand, i think I almost spilled my Ricoffy…lol ok im kidding. Grest to see someone appreciating SA and not whinging about it for a change :)


  25. po
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 16:46:00

    nemesis Ghostpops! I want! Actually I can be quite a negative person sometimes, so this list was good for me, you can choose to focus on the good or the bad right?


  26. Ordinarylife
    Sep 19, 2008 @ 19:08:00

    What an excellent idea.


  27. Ewan
    Sep 21, 2008 @ 01:08:00

    Great post, agree about the sunny skies (one of my top 10) and the barefoot thing.


  28. po
    Sep 21, 2008 @ 01:19:00

    Thanks Ewan, am glad to hear from so many barefooters, I sometimes thought I was alone on this one.


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