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3 Essentials for Handling the Snow if You’re from Southern Africa

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3 Essentials for Handling the Snow if You’re from Southern Africa

When Winter comes around in the Northern Hemisphere, we Southern Africans don’t know exactly how to cope with the spine chilling weather and that weird icy stuff these people call snow.

Matthew Svenningsen
Matt Svenningsen. Photo supplied.

I grew up in Swaziland, was at boarding school in South Africa, and now find myself in Geneva… so lately I’ve been taking what you could call a dank lang doss trying to make sense of my surroundings in this so called “Winter Wonderland” of Switzerland… and just trying to survive.

Swazi in SwitzerlandWhen those first little snow flakes start to drop from the grey clouds at the beginning of winter, a lot of people in this part of the world tend to get excited. They light up their wood burners and get their winter boots and funny hats out.

Meanwhile people like me – people who were made for the warmer climates and who just generally do better in sunshine around a good old braai – tend to think to themselves: “Agh not that time of the year again, no more plakkies and boardies for the boys!!”

In my first year in Switzerland I was so under-prepared for the winter it was a joke.

I mean jislaaik that snow is cold. Winter boots? Winter coats? I had no clue what was needed in order to survive… and what made it worse was the amount of choice you had! It was rather overwhelming for a guy straight out of rural Swaziland where the only warm clothes I owned were the ones given to us at school for our so called “Winter”!

“When your trotters are feeling as cold as your ex-girlfriend’s heart, it’s HELL…”

So I decided to formulate a little list of the essentials every Southern African needs in order to survive a Swiss Winter. Or any snowy winter. So the next time your connection tunes you to pull into their place with the boytjies remember these three essentials for arriving alive, bru:

  1. Warm skoene

    (For all you EU readers out there, that means shoes.) Absolutely essential my chine! When the upper part of your body is a tad cold, okes can survive that; but when your trotters are feeling as cold as your ex-girlfriend’s heart, it’s HELL! So get your wallet out and invest in a relatively decent pair to keep those hooves warm. Just a word of advice to all the manne out there, get a pair that looks good, you know, so you can keep slaying them betties, boet.

  2. Umbrella

    A decent Umbrella. I know what you’re thinking, “don’t tune me kak bru, surely an umbrella is for when it rains, not snows?” NEGATIVE GHOST RIDER! You need an umbrella to keep that fresh ghey cut looking fresh otherwise you are going to end up wet as, my bru! Now, no one ever told me about the umbrella trick, but it is an absolute must in snowy season. It’s simple, the snow drops onto you, your body temperature melts the snow and you get wet. So get an umbrella, it’s a game-changer!

  3. Tea

    Stock your cupboards full of it at work and home. Especially rooibos. It’s a lifesaver out here during the winter months. No more slurping down that ice cold bruski boet, tea is in the winter, just do it, trust me.

Swazi in Switzerland
Editor’s Note: Tip no. 4 – it’s probably not a wise idea to wear shorts in the snow!

It has taken me a while to catch onto surviving these harsh conditions – conditions that no man should have to go through, but I reckon these three tips will keep you going until the “Sun’s out guns out” seasons starts again, and all you boytjies can get your beaters on… for the boys of course.

Right boys and girls, brus and betties. That’s it for now, I’ll be back just now hey…

Mr S.

View Matt Svenningsen’s original post here. Follow Matt’s blog: mrsvennblog.wordpress.com/