Why I love South Africa
What’s so great about living in Africa anyway?
We all have had it at least once. You can be sitting in an airport lounge, minding your own business when someone walks past you with a small SA flag pinned to the side of their suitcase. Walking on an unfamiliar street corner you get a wiff of grilled meat on an open fire and icy cold beer. Sitting in a bar in a sea of unfamiliar faces and languages you hear a ‘howzit’ drift over the gabble of foreign tongues.
Homesickness is that longing pang in the pit of your stomach, where you get a small emotional twitch for that place you know as home. No matter how much I travel I still absolutely and completely fall head over heels in love every time an airplane or car tyre skids onto a SA tarmac or dirt road.
Because I am in a committed, lifelong relationship with this country. Sure it has its bad qualities, its few traits that make me want to go and sleep on the couch and mumble obscenities under my breath. But we have so many amazing things going for us that I am determined to be positive in 2012, and hurumpf in the general direction of all the gloomy, depressing, negative couch potatoes that have nothing good to say or just complain without looking for solutions. Every action no matter how small is important.
I love the fact that we still have open roads and free parking spaces. In a world where the human population is exploding we still have a sense of space around us.
I love our unique words, words that only a South African can identify with. You know ;lekker, yebo, Aikona, Ayoba, Ag, Aweh, Dinges, howzit, just now, dof, larny, robot, padkos, indaba, mzansi, spaza, wena, shongololo and hhayibo!
I love the sound of crickets and beetles in the evening, and the fact that we are still very courteous to our elders. I love hating the f-ing taxis and the way we get all patriotic over a beer commercial when we are overseas. I love the smell of Highveld thundershowers and lying in bed watching the Two Oceans and the Comrades marathon, constantly plotting to enter the next year.
But my real love is our amazing wildlife under the sea, on the land and in the air. We have everything you can imagine; right on our doorsteps. Including some of the most intensely populated floral kingdom in the world and over 900 species of birds. We have some incredibly passionate people who are deeply connected to their history and their natural world. We never loose hope that one-day things will get better and that we can be the ones to make it happen. There is such an amazing diversity of people who still have a fire in their bellies that we can make a positive difference in about 11 different official languages.
You can call it a dopey-eyed, rose tinted, squishy centered optimistic view of our country. But I know that for every bad, corrupt, disappointing, terrible and dark and gloom you might find, there most definitely is still the complete opposite of it; alive and kicking out here.
Why do you love SA?
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