But no, I haven’t always lived here. In a couple of mere months I will be making my four year mark in this country.
I lived in central Illinois in the grand ol’ United States of the Americas! (You read it right....!)
I prepared for months to come to South Africa but when I finally made the move it was more of a split second decision.
I had nothing packed or planned to pack but learnt that tickets were cheap...really cheap....for a few days and said that’s it I’m leaving (....on a jet plane du da du da du).
I phoned my Hubby Dearest (when he was still Future Hubby Dearest!) and asked what exactly (meaning stay on the phone as I give you a complete detailed run down of each item) I needed to pack.
Remember, Hubby Dearest has been to America. He started his 9 months in Miami in March then travelled to Chicago in time for the last snow of the year! He spent most of his time in the Midwest finally reaching down into Arkansas in November. I would say 80% of his time was spent in warm and sometimes very hot weather and areas. What little he did experience of a Chicago winter was traumatizing to him!
After having said winter experience he assumed (the mother of all f*** ups!) that what cold I would feel in South Africa would be a walk in the park for me. He assures me many times over that I need to only pack summer clothes and a little bit of spring/autumn clothes. He said bring like 1 pair of jeans and a hoodie just in case. Otherwise it was summer all the way!
I had done some research on South Africa and knew the temperatures that they typically experienced here but still trusted Hubby Dearest because he lived here! He’d know more about what it actually felt like.
For instance, the temperature today is cooler than the average August day in central Illinois but I’m dying from heat exhaustion because of the sheer depth of the humidity!
Back to the point. It was -11 degrees the day I boarded the airplane to leave. I left my coat in the car with my friend and walked in with slops, jeans, a tank top, and a light cotton shawl. People thought I was crazy, but I figured heck it’s the end of summer in Durban!
Since I only packed summer clothes my luggage had decreased tremendously too! I love that summer clothes take up such a less amount of space!
Needless to say the first two months I was in South Africa it was hot. It was ridiculously hot some days. I had the perfect wardrobe and since we practically lived on the beach it wasn’t necessary for so much clothing! I figured I’d build up a wonderful, beach inspired, swimsuit flooded wardrobe over the next couple of years.
We were married in June of that year and the temperatures had already started dropping.
Temperatures dropped to the point I was shaking! I watched as my husband and friends walked around in slops and swim trunks in the middle of the day when it was 15 C outside. Meanwhile I’m considering hibernating!
I had nothing!! I did follow Hubby Dearest guidance and brought only one hoodie and a pair of jeans! I had no winter pajamas!
To be honest, it really wasn’t so much winter! Yes it was cool in the mornings and at night but during the day it was a beautiful spring temperatures. However, what Hubby Dearest failed to register is that we have central heating and insulated buildings/homes in the states. Both of these things do not exist here! At least not regularly.
Houses are built of stone and do not have the insulated walls. There are no central heating units either. So when it is cold outside at night, it is also cold inside. No matter how many layers I put on I couldn’t get warmed up.
In the states, I was so used to being warm inside the house and buildings and therefore only felt the cold through my bundled up layers walking to and from my car.
Not here. Here...you just feel the cold. It seeps into your bones and makes a home there for....well about a month.
Yea, that is how long it really lasts. As we approach July, the temperatures drop and by middle August the temperatures are already warming up again. By October, you’re back swimming in the sea and pools....
Now for me...winter is nostalgic. I long to experience the first snow of the season with my children. I miss the anger as I step down into a pile of slush. I remember fondly watching the news like an addict praying they’ve closed schools. I want to break ice-sicles from the trees to eat.
I know that one winter back home and I’ll beg for the warmer weather, but for now the holidays are a little bit less and the heat a little more.