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AFRICA - DAY FIVE - New Years

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Pretoria | Day 4 Dinokeng | Day 5 New Years | Day 6+7 Umdloti | Day 8 - DumaZulu | Day 9 Hluhluwe | Day 10+11 PE to Knysna | Day 12 Ostrich Farm | Day 13 Hermanus | Day 14 Hout Bay | Day 15 Cape Point | Day 16 Table Mountain | Day 17+18 Namib Desert | Day 19 Sossusvlei | Day 20+21 To Swakopmund | Day 22 Cape Cross | Day 23 Luderitz | Day 24 Walvis Bay | Day 26 To Windhoek | Day 27 Katatura | Day 28+29 Zambezi | Day 30 The Falls | Day 31 Chobe | Day 32+33 Going Home

Click photos for a larger image...

Here's some more pricing info. Gas, or petrol as it is called here, is a little over $4 /gallon, so not cheap. Groceries are more affordable a rotisserie chicken is under $5 compared to $7 at our grocery store. Other grocery products follow a similar pattern, prices once converted to USD are 20-30% cheaper than the USA on average.

 

South African once was a British Colony so there is a strong English influence in the products and culture. However, the Dutch settled South Africa first so as far as language goes, apart from the African Tribal languages 2 other languages are widely spoken - English and a version of Dutch called Afrikaans. 60% of the white population speaks Afrikaans as a home language with the remaining 40% speaking English. Most can speak both to a lesser or greater extent.

 

This is also very regional, in Pretoria where my sister lives Afrikaans is spoken by 80% of people where as Durban, my home town, English is spoken by 95% of the population.

 

In a country of 55 million people, the whites number 4.5 million and it is shrinking each year due to whites immigrating for greener pastures as the government has imposed affirmative action against them so jobs for white people are very limited.

 

Size-wise South Africa is somewhat bigger than Texas:

 

 

New Years Eve was spent with family at their home.

Here's Wendy with our great nephews and nieces we met for the first time.

 

 

A good time was had by all! Running from left is Wendy - (yes, another one!) and Charlene, my nieces, Wendy of course, my nephew's girlfriend, Wendy's mom Gloria, and my sister, Lesley.

 

Speaking of cooking, this was a traditional South African "Braai". Braai is Afrikaans for "grill" and means BBQ. It is a national pastime and a way of life. By the way, BBQ is a FLAVOR in South Africa, not a lifestyle. Everyone has their secret recipes and ways of braaiing but to show you how South African's braai, here is a step by step photo account of a proper South African braai.

First you lay bricks around the edge of the grill. The round brick structure the fire is built on is called a "boma" - an African word for a circular structure for people to sit in protected. Typically a fire was built in the center of this fort for cooking and warmth.

Then you lay down fire lighter. This is NOT like the fire lighter you buy in the USA. This stuff is HIGHLY flammable and bursts into flames with the slightest touch of a lighter.

Kindling is then added and the fire lit.

More kindling added and the grate placed over the fire to warm up for cleaning

The grate is then scrubbed with a steel brush

Charcoal briquettes are then added

Then you have a few frosties while you wait for the coals to turn white

Then the grid is raised to the top as the fire is extremely hot and the meat goes on in stages based upon how long it takes to cook. Chicken first.

You lower and raise the grate according to the desired heat. In between this, the braai meister makes himself comfortable often by taking off his shirt and adjusting his pants for "freedom" of the privates. Mostly just to entertain guests!

More meat is added and everything is basted with a secret marinade.

And finally....
 

The LAST meat to go on is steak because you lower the grate for the maximum heat to sear it.

My friends, THAT'S how we BRAAI in South Africa!

 

 

Today we hung out with the family and everyone was nursing a "babelaas" (South African speak for a hangover)

 

Tomorrow we leave Pretoria and fly to Durban, my home town.

   
 

 

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