Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I love about living here

My dear husband, and possibly my blog's only reader, remarked yesterday that my writings have been taking on a rather negative tone. Unfortunately, I have to agree. My initial idea with this blog was to tell everyone of the cool stuff happening in my life, BECAUSE we are living in SA, not to highlight the not so flattering sides to this country. Yet somehow stuff has come up that's had me googling crime, rape and lack of recycling in Johannesburg. Shame. Time for a little praise that this country certainly deserves.

Things I love about living here:

The sun. It is unlike anywhere else in the world. I love it when the sky is just one big blue expanse, with no clouds in sight. Yes, it gets hot, but never to the point of being uncomfortable. There is nothing like standing on the top of a hill, completely surrounded by grass higher than you, with the sun shining down. This city slicker for sure has a new love for nature.


My friends. A cool bunch of through and through South Africans, who love their wine and their country. I have never experienced anything like the open arms in SA. 

Finding shoes in my size. Need I say more?

The wine. Again pretty self-explanatory, given that you all know about my penchant for drinking it. Even good bottles are cheap!!! I'm already planning our next trip to the Cape and to the wine routes. 

The guards at our gate. They had one look at our last name and rechristened us Mr. and Mrs. Guru. Love it! Makes my day every day to have someone holler "Hello Mrs. Guru, howzit Mrs. Guru," when I drive through the gate.

Being able to buy as many books as I want in English, even if I am currently stuck reading the not so awesome Behaviour of Moths. Still, I'm expecting for it to pick up. Fingers crossed. 
 
The Braai and all that goes with it, i.e. the meat and the company (potentially in that order). Having been a vegetarian in my younger days, I never thought I would develop such a taste for meat. A carnivore hoping to be a bit more locavore.

Boereworsbiltong, and droĆ«wors. I'm almost sure, that besides meat in the form of awesome rump steaks, these are the three main reasons why it was not in my destiny to remain a vegetarian.

The relaxed atmosphere. For many years now I have been able to avoid wearing socks, and have managed to wear flip flops to a number of affairs, sometimes to poignant stares (Mexico's First Lady's reception, or the reception for Queen Margrethe II of Denmark). In SA I have finally encountered a dress code that is willing to include shorts as a part of formal wear. Laid back is the order of the day. Hurrah for flip flops and many more years without socks, not to mention pantyhose (that I believe is a plague invented by the devil or some such evil). I also drive home from the pool in my swimming suit, which doesn't seem to faze anyone. Points to SA.

Not being identified immediately as a tourist, or a gringa, or called 'guerita' (blondie), 'blanquita' (whitey) or, and I cringe, 'gordita' (fatty). Mexicans don't mean any harm, neither are they being rude, they are just being... well... Mexican. Here in SA I blend in, except for when someone insists on speaking Afrikaans to me, which they do a lot. I usually answer with 'Dankie', which means 'thank you', just to be on the safe side, and imagine they are all complimenting me, or possibly my shoes. Great self-esteem booster strategy after being 'fatty' for two years.

And the list goes on. Updates coming in the future. I'm glad I still have almost two more years to explore this wonderful place. 

2 comments:

Dave said...

Your blog is great. Funny, insightful and real. Good stuff.

Are you interested in writing a short expat guide to Joburg for my website? I am currently building the content and have a Cape Town guide done as an example. Let me know .. otherwise... so long! - Dave david.fair@wordtravels.com
021 461 1240

Rohini Prasanth said...

What? Your husband was your blogs' only reader.. OMG.. I can not believe it considering how many people including me, are your followers now.

I am a new blogger.. and my husband didn't even read my blog till yesterday.. ahaha.. so, I guess I shouldn't lose heart.. but then my blogging style is no way remotely close to yours.. theres that.. :(

I admire you and your blog very much.