Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Deep Midwinter

Have I mentioned that I Love This Country?

Woke up this morning with a horrible high fever, and guess what? It had snowed overnight in Joburg!
First snow since September 1981.

I remember that snowfall over 25 years ago. I was studying on that day, at home - I was so far into my Astro that it had been snowing - silently - for a good couple of hours before I looked up out of the window and saw a world transformed.

This time round, I wasn't fortunate enough to be in the snow zone, which, given my unwell state, is probably a good thing, for I'd have rushed outside to play in it.

But it was bitterly cold. My partner and I went out to buy a potjie, a cast iron cauldron on three legs, and some vegetables to make a lekker potjiekos (which we've just eaten thank you very much, under the critical gaze of all four hounds).
Since I was feeling lightheaded I was a little tetchy.
But every person we came across-from the car guard to the teller, from the newspaper vendor to the trolley-pusher at the greengrocer- had a smile as wide as this continent, and a laugh for -no,with us.

It was cold and windy and looked like staying that way for a few days, and most of these folk don't have central heating in their houses. Hel, most of them don't have houses as such, just shacks, if they're lucky.
But each one smiled where he could have frowned; laughed where she could have scowled.

On the way home, the sun through the car windscreen was so warm it felt like it was burning me.

This is Africa.
Beautiful climate, even when it snows.Beautiful people.