Joburg Expat: Starting My Day in South Africa

April 10, 2011

Starting My Day in South Africa

I was pouring my breakfast cereal one day last week and it occurred to me that I should take some pictures and share them here. When you’re an expat, you are often quick to condemn the things that don’t work in your new country (can’t help but put in another Eskom dig here), and South Africa in particular gets a whole lot of bad press due to its crime, but there are also many, many pleasures in your new life that you will probably only truly appreciate when you’ve moved elsewhere. So I thought I would start a mini series on the little joys of being an expat in South Africa, with this breakfast post being the first.

My day usually starts with a sunrise like this one, as viewed directly from our bedroom window:


This gives me enough energy to get the kids fed and out of the house. Most days this is an easy job, as the kids like to read over breakfast, but there is the occasional scream of  "Mom, where are my school shoes?" when everyone is already running late and I'm in the middle of signing five permission forms that weren't given to me yesterday while brushing knotted hair with one hand and making a charity sandwich I just found out about with the other, followed by the demand that I immediately go look for them (the shoes), even if it is crystal clear that they are going to be at school or wherever it was they were taken off yesterday... But as I said, those days are rare and anyway, this was supposed to be a joyful story.



So – once the kids are out of the house at about ten after seven, walking to school (oh, the convenience of kids walking to school! You know, you don’t have to be an expat for that, but sadly it is not the norm in our time and day; our parents mostly had that luxury, which leads me to think that while we’ve gained many modern day conveniences, we’ve also given up on some that we used to have, but that’s a topic for a different post), I pour myself a bowl of Woolworth’s Luxury Muesli (no sugar, but a wonderful sweetness from dried dates or figs, I can never tell the difference between the two), add some Cape Gooseberries (I get irritated on the rare days that they are out of them at the grocery store) and a generous scoop of Woolworth’s plain Ayshire yogurt (it says low-fat but I swear it is so creamy it could be full-cream), and voila – there is my breakfast.


My Woolworth staples: Luxury Muesli, Cape gooseberries,
Ayrshire yoghurt, and the occasional passion fruit

This is my breakfast almost every day, together with a steaming cup of Rooibos tea and yesterday’s New York Times on my Kindle. I can’t imagine a much better way to start the day.



3 comments :

Bing said...

Okay, that's it. I'm never eating breakfast at your house. Unless you put a big jar of sugar or syrup next to everything. Heehee...

Sine said...

I might have to spring for my German apple cake when you come. But honestly, I'm not sure if I can match the quality of cooking at your house!

W. A. Jeffrey said...

Sounds nice and I love the dawn photo. I don't eat breakfast (pointless as I don't get up until 11) but I love the look of the fruit. When I get to SA I will probably take advantage of the time difference to develop a different schedule. Mainly because I've recently discovered that some of the restaurants serve full english breakfasts (or at least an african variation thereof) which would be a breakfast dream come true for me.

Can't agree on the New York Times, though. I can't imagine reading that for pleasure. I might be able to stomach USA Today or the Wall Street Journal, though. Might be fun to try one of the local papers, especially a foreign language one if wanting to get practice reading Afrikaans.