It is Christmas and that always brings out the South African in me. We eat Koeksisters and Braai boerwors. It made me think about things only South Africans would understand and I came up with this list of things we all mastered some time in our lives
1. The perfect amount of milk in our Pronutro
Pronutro is breakfast cereal that is crushed maize. My favourite was the chocolate flavoured. But too little milk and you were eating maize flour and too much and you were drinking your breakfast. Just keep in mind because of sanctions South Africa has some very interesting food stuffs. So don't judge us on our cereal eating habits.
2. Flicking your toes on the beach
I lived near a beach with black sands. If you looked at it your feet would end up covered in it. You soon learned how to flick your toes in just the right way that you flicked off the sand instead of ending up pitch black to your knees. This is a regional skill as there aren't that many black sand beaches
3. Tap your shoes
Once a year there is a burst of life from frogs and they end up everywhere. Think plagues of Egypt. In the morning you have to tip your shoes up on its heel and tap it to make sure there aren't any frogs hiding away. This becomes second nature and there everyone in the family is going flip shoe, tap shoe, tap again to be bloody sure there isn't a frog, look inside then finally put on your shoe. Repeat for other shoe.
4. Catching snakes who just bit you
Really you should get a friend but if you find yourself walking around in Africa and a snake falls out of a tree and bites you, you need to catch it. There are some snakes that the only way to get an anti-venom is from the actual snake. Also, there are so many types of venomous snakes in South Africa that look just like normal harmless snakes it is often better to make sure when you go to the hospital you have the snake with you. Preferably alive.
5. Look out for bricks and bridges
There are highjackers on the road who are insidious but there is one hobby that is just as deadly. Kids will sit on bridges with bricks on a rope. They'll wait for a car to pass underneath and drop it. Smashing in the wind screen and often killing the person inside as they crash. The rope is there so the kid can drag the brick back up to try again.
6. Watching for snow in summer
We call it Zululand snow. When the farmers who grow sugar cane have to deal with a parasite they will often burn whole fields of sugar cane. This creates a snowfall of ash that is you don't move fast enough could turn your clean washing into a soot coated mess.
7. The washing merry go round
Some days it is so hot in Zululand that when you put your washing out on the line by the time you finish the first lot you put out is dry. So you do this merry go round of washing. First put it up then fold and put it away without having to wait or go back inside.