Summer in South Africa isÂ something only South Africans can understand, a lot of the time. AAISHA DADI PATEL rounds up the summer stuff you’ve been waiting for all year.
Although a barbeque is something internationally recognised, a braai is something else entirely – something special. Your aunt’s secret marinade, braai sandwiches, creamstyle sweetcorn like no other, cold drinks and fireside banter -Â itâ€™s just uniquely South African, and come summertime, there’s plenty to go around.
Whether in the garden, at the local park or at a dam, if it’s hot and you’re in the mood for a lazy day â€“ 30 Seconds and a basket of food is totally gonna be going down.
Mandatory weekends at Zoo Lake
We mayÂ beÂ ashamed of it, but we all do it. A trip toÂ Zoo Lake means more than your average picnicÂ â€“ itâ€™s a stroll by the insect-attracting lake, feeding those demanding ducks, playing a ball game on a crowded green, blasting music unnecessarily loudly and bumping into people you know (and may not necessarily like).
Turning up with the squad, whenever, wherever
Because where else couldÂ you be, other than where your besties are, doing whatever theyâ€™re doing, no matter how YOLO it may be?
Living in front of the fan or AC
Because, bloody hell, African summers are HOT…
Congested coastal towns and beaches
When youâ€™re the tourist, youâ€™re just happy to beÂ by the ocean. When the beach town is your hometown, you spend all summer counting down the days until the inlanders leave so you can get you city back.
– Image by Jennifer Woodard, via Flickr
Living in the pool
When youâ€™re from an inland town or city, and are spending the hottest part of your summer in that inland town or city, the swimming pool may beÂ your only reprieve from heat. Be itÂ your own, yourÂ friend’s, a public pool or the gym’s, just get there.
Chilling on a mountain top
Whether its Chappies or Signal Hill in Cape Town, or Northcliff Hill or Munro Drive in Jozi â€“ sitting atop a hill, looking at the stars and the city lights on a balmy summer night will fill you with peace and gratitude. Not a bad way to spend a summer’s evening.
Awkward family gatherings
Itâ€™s holiday season. Thereâ€™s very likely going to be a point at which you’ll be forced to share a meal with your mad uncle and the cousin you always hated, and the worst part is,Â youâ€™re most likely going to be forced to suck it up. Just deal with it.
The worst part though, is that just when you get used to the heat and the crowds and manage to find your groove, it will all be over.
The truth hurts. Deal with it.