The things we love to hate in South Africa

The Witness - - FEATURES - GABI ZIETSMAN

WE’VE all been there — the sun is just about to start seep­ing into your room but it’s still too early to wake up prop­erly, and you snug­gle for an­other hour or two of snooz­ing — that is un­til the song of the hadedas starts.

South Africans love to hate these over­sized rats of the sky, squawk­ing their pres­ence into your brain, and un­for­tu­nately their hellish choir made its way to the ears of an­other song­bird — Phar­rell Wil­liams — one of the many in­ter­na­tional stars at the Global Cit­i­zen Fes­ti­val last week­end.

A hadeda made him­self heard out­side Wil­liams’s ac­com­mo­da­tion and the su­per­star was clearly not im­pressed, judg­ing by his In­sta-story that has since gone vi­ral in South Africa.

With the di­shev­elled look of some­one wo­ken from his sweet sleep by the vu­vuzela of birds, Wil­liams is al­most at a loss for words to ex­plain the ex­pe­ri­ence that South Africans know too well.

But if you’ve never been wo­ken up in South Africa by a hadeda, were you re­ally in South Africa? Be­sides hadedas, there are other South African odd­i­ties that we love to hate, but can’t re­ally imag­ine South Africa with­out.

Vu­vuze­las

The vu­vuzela is like the hu­man-made ver­sion of the hadeba’s screech. Present — and even some­times banned — at sports events, it will ei­ther drive you in­sane or get you pumped with its toots. There is no in be­tween.

Nowhere ‘dor­pies’

If you’ve ever driven through Brand­vlei in the North­ern Cape, you will know what I’m talk­ing about — that one-petrol-stop type of dor­pie where you ei­ther speed through on a long road trip or stop be­cause some­one is des­per­ate for a toi­let break. But they re­tain a cer­tain charm that you’ll not find in the big­ger towns and cities.

Hik­ing up Lion’s Head

A pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity for lo­cals and vis­i­tors alike, hik­ing up Lion’s Head in sum­mer be­comes more con­gested than the N1 at 8 am. The other half of Cape Town, how­ever, my­self in­cluded, will just get a lit­tle shud­der deep in their soul when some­one sug­gests a hike up the in­fer­nal peak be­fore work.

Taxis

You can’t re­ally call your­self a South African if you haven’t sworn at a taxi at least a few times in your life, but they re­main an im­por­tant part of the coun­try’s trans­port sys­tem, mak­ing for quite a love-hate re­la­tion­ship with com­muters.

— Trav­eller24.

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