So ja, you know you’re South African when…

  1. You respond to almost everything with “ya, no” (“ja, nee”)…or “yebo”
  2. You put the word “hey” or “man” at the end of most sentences.
  3. The sight of Christmas beetles means that summer has officially arrived.
  4. There is nothing better than a Wimpy breakfast and a Cream Soda when you have a babbelas after a hectic jol
  5. You can proudly say that your country has 11 languages but you’re lucky if you can speak 1.5 of them
  6. You expect all country houses to have broekie lace
  7. You know the difference between “just now” and “now now”
  8. You either love or hate Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema
  9. You were warned about the Tokoloshe as a child
  10. You’re aware of all the Totsis, especially at robots
  11. You use “shame” in both good and bad situations
  12. You say “eina” when you’ve hurt yourself
  13. You know at least one person who has moved to Australia!
  14. You don’t know what trainers are until another person explains that they are tekkies
  15. The combination of boerewors and watermelon slices make a beautiful, sunny December’s day perfect
  16. No matter where you end up living, lipbalm will always be called Lipice
  17. You’d prefer to have rain spiders in the house than parktown prawns (at least for us Vaalies)
  18. You crave a holiday in the bush
    Holiday in the bush, South Africa
  19. I tell you to bring your own “chop and dop” to the braai and you know exactly what I mean
  20. You say “you’re picking up stompies” when someone catches the end of the conversation
  21. There are 10 hadidas squawking on your roof and you want to kill them all for waking you up at 6 am
  22. You’re travelling with international people and you’re always the loud one
  23. You tell people that you’re from SA and they say “but you speak English so well!”
  24. You think Zapiro always hits the nail on the head in his cartoons
  25. You rearrange your day according to loadshedding
  26. You set aside R2 for the car guard
  27. You don’t know when Easter is but you definitely know what date Youth Day is
  28. You have moments of craving biltong, bunny chow, potjie kos, pap and vleis, samoosas and milktart
    Bunny Chow Durban
  29. You check and recheck that you locked the house and the gate, all the windows are closed, alarms are on, etc
  30. You know with resignation that taxis undeniably rule the roads.

    Taxi by Sam Cross Art
    Taxi by Sam Cross Art
  31. You have to have Ouma’s Beskuit or Marie Biscuits with your morning tea or coffee
  32. You laugh at Trevor Noah because the things he says are so true
  33. You just want a glass of good old-fashioned Oros
  34. You run to the corner cafee to get whatever you need
  35. You refer to Nelson Mandela as Madiba
  36. Something is great or beautiful and you say it’s “nca
  37. You say “howzit” or “sharp” as a greeting
  38. Someone tunes you and you tell them to voeksek
  39. You were born and bred in this beautiful country, whether you associate with these things or not 🙂

“We have our own history, our own language, our own culture. But our destiny is also tied up with the destinies of other people – history has made us all South Africans.”
– Mangosuthu Buthelezi

For more posts from Aurelia Waliszewska, visit her blog here:


AURELIA WALISZEWSKA: I’m a 20 something year old South African from Edenvale, Johannesburg, living in the south east of Spain (Murcia). I teach English and have a passion for tattoos, travelling and art. That just about sums me up. This is my little travel blog about my adventures, mishaps and life lessons. I fully believe and support dancing in public. I wrote the blog post above after visiting home (Jozi) for a week…and being reminded of all these things.

“I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.”
by William Ernest Henley