South Africa is on the hot side in the summer. The only problem is that even if you have an air conditioner, you would not be able to use it as often as you would like as there is something extraordinary called Load Shedding. Yes, everyone has the app to get notified when they will be without electricity so they can plan accordingly. The reason always seems to be that there has been little or no maintenance at the power plants. We seem to take this in our stride, plug in our solar lamps, and hopefully remember to download a movie to watch in bed, and you have either cooked a meal or have a gas stove to make a meal. Those with generators are lucky (not so lucky due to the increasing fuel prices) to be connected, and life continues as usual. These electricity outages usually last for 2 hours, sometimes twice a day. It’s not the end of the world, and South Africans have this innate ability to adapt!
I was in the supermarket the other day when suddenly all the lights went out. I hadn’t realised how dark a supermarket is until there were no neon lights above. That didn’t faze anyone. We just kept shopping, as usual, using our phones to light the shelves as we went along! I was assigned a staff member to help me with this task as I had left my phone in the car!

Social conversations in South Africa turn around several subjects.

Currently, it is the electricity/service problem. Who has a generator or solar panelling? Who has a JoJo tank? (This is a huge drum to catch rainwater) because being without water is also a thing! Who holds a foreign passport or has family overseas? Not because anyone wants to leave the country. It’s just in case because living in South Africa is realistically fantastic, not only for the diversity of the people, great people who are always so cheerful and friendly. The food and wine are worth mentioning. The wildlife is plentiful, everything grows so fast and green, and the sun always shines.

Driving in SA is also a topic of conversation. It is another experience on its own. When you head onto the highway, the motto is ‘every man for himself!’ South Africans change lanes from right to left. So, think of a high-speed car cutting through all the traffic lanes and passing you on the left-hand lane to take the off-ramp. (you can feel your feet go cold!)
Provisional roads are a nightmare due to the condition of the streets, which are filled with potholes. Hence, you end up zigzagging your way around the neighbourhoods.

Another South African import is the friendly car guards. The shopping centres employ guards to watch your car while you shop (so your car does not get stolen!) They also pack your groceries into the car and return the trolleys to the supermarket. The important thing is finding one shopping centre that has everything you need. Otherwise, picking up a few items will cost you a small fortune because you tip the car guard every time you move your car. It’s an expensive exercise!

With all the challenges South Africans face, which is just a few to mention, they have always had a humorous approach to life and are genuinely resilient. When it comes down to it, we stick together; perhaps this is why we can deal with anything that comes our way.