Friday, January 30, 2009

Warm people, the Aussies

South Australians are warm people. Today I found them particularly warm and chatty. Perhaps the 70-year record temperature of 45,7 degrees has something to do with it. “Our air conditioner packed up,” someone shared, half smiling. “It’s too hot to eat — I’ve lost my appetite,” said another. Global warming, warned the television. Expect more of it.

I remember feeling for Upington in summer. Mostly, it’s the hottest place in South Africa, according to the weather forecasts. But now I’m experiencing an Aussie heat
wave, which beats Upington, and my heart’s thumping and my brain feels fried.

It’s the wild birds I worry about. I’ve placed an assortment of containers outside in hope that the cool water will resuscitate the magpies, miners, rosellas and lorikeets. Most sport has been stopped and the ambulance services have had a 12 % increase in call-outs to assist the elderly in Adelaide who have dehydrated.

I’m not sure how the Proteas managed to play in the heat on Monday. “Who did you support?” is the question posed by all my South African friends. It’s complicated (sounds like a relationship status on a teenager’s Facebook profile). Some expats vow from day one to support the Aussies, no matter what. They train and reprogramme their brains and this can take a month, a year or more. I started off the day of the cricket in a patriotic manner. I bought a chocolate cake with an Australia Day flag stuck in the middle. After polishing half the cake (showing true and complete support of Aussie Day and Aussie confectionary) I joined the family on a trip to braai and watch the cricket with other expats. We passed a car with a huge South African flag hanging out a window. In an instant I forgot my loyalty and commitment to cake and country. I waved and flung my arms about wildly, almost falling out the car. I believe expats at the cricket oval were divided in their reactions. Most of those of two years and less supported the Proteas.

Apparently, some expats have been known to astound themselves by suddenly shouting for and supporting the Aussies. Once it happens, there’s no turning back. Then there are the others who work diligently and for many years “to do the right thing” ie. become one with all Australian teams. For them, it happens in the head but never from the heart.

I really find the Australians warm and friendly and I can’t deny that, given some time, I’ll be cheering enthusiastically for teams from Down Under. That’s providing I don’t spontaneously combust before then, of course.

4 Opinion(s):

FishEagle said...

Must be horrible being torn in two.

Anonymous said...

Supporting "other" teams!?

I really don't understand this concept!

I've been based in the UK for 9 years, and could never dream of supporting England, Scotland or Wales! Perhaps the fact that in my own sport, I still represent South Africa at representative competitions; in most though, I just race for myself and to earn a crust.

I still blame the rest of the World for forcing us to give away all of SA, and leaving us without a country, so I just couldn't support anyone else. If I had to stop supporting SA, due to foreigners (Zulus, Xhosas, Sothos and Tswanas) filling our teams (when they could've had sports teams of their own in their own countries - the Sothos and Tswanas still have Lesotho and Botswana), I'd support France, as that's where my name originates from... albeit a few centuries ago!

Good luck to you Aussies!
Give me a Boer team anyday.

Doberman said...

@ anon 6:49..hear hear! Our blood will always be green wherever we may find ourselves in the world.

Vanilla Ice said...

It must have something to do with the weather. I can't say Canadians are particulary warm.