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10 Memories You Have Growing Up in South Africa

South Africa
by Lindi Nolte Nov 14, 2014
1. You remember the 1995 Rugby World Cup victory.

You’ll never forget the sound of the final whistle blowing. The new South African flag was painted on your face, your voice was hoarse from cheering, and you wore your Springbok jersey for the next two weeks. Leon Schuster’s “Hie Kommie Bokke” is still one of your favorite songs.

2. Wearing shoes always felt like a punishment.

Shoes were optional and you always opted out. You didn’t care if your feet were dirty or thorn ridden. You went to school, the grocery store, and church (if you could get away with it) barefoot.

3. You could swim before you could walk.

You came from the womb and basically landed in a swimming pool. You wore your bathing suit under all your clothes just in case you had the opportunity to go swimming somewhere. You loved pool noodles and hated the ‘creepy crawly’.

4. You loved Dirkies.

Sweet, sweet Dirkies. Condensed milk in a convenient squeeze tube? Ummm, yes please!

5. You collected silkworms, tadpoles, and shongololos (and named them all).

Other than the dogs, cats, bunnies, turtles, chicks, and birds you had as pets, you collected every kind of insect you could get your hands on. One of your favorite games was picking the best leaves to put in the shoebox and arranging sticks to make the silkworms feel at home.

6. Most of your income came from the tooth mouse.

You didn’t grow up with a magical tooth fairy. The tooth mouse was a great source of income for you, and you managed to save enough money to buy Simba chips and Fresca from the snoepie at school thanks to that little guy.

7. You loved being carried on your nanny’s back.

Why sit on a hip or in a stroller when you could be carried on someone’s back, wrapped in a blanket?

8. You had to chase away monkeys.

You were probably caught off guard the first time a monkey had the audacity to approach you at a picnic spot in Kruger National Park. You concluded from a young age that, as cute as they might look, monkeys are thieves.

9. You could never eat enough meat.

Every braai consisted of at least 3-4 different types of meat, and you left salad and bread out of the equation if you could help it.

10. You thought your school uniform was better than everyone else’s.

None of them were pretty, but you still think that your school uniform was more fashionable than your rival school’s uniform. Your socks were pulled up to your knees, your hair was tied back, your nails were cut short, your dress / shorts were the appropriate length, and your collar was down.

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