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.