Wednesday 6th January 2010
I was really stressed out yesterday because I was unable to find one more positive factor for living in SA. After a good night's sleep, I woke up thinking that this is because I was trying too hard... I was looking for something big. However, it is really the small things that influence the quality of my life, it is the small every day pleasures that add up...like the mango... my goodness that is really the fruit of the Gods.
Although the mango is a native fruit of Asia, it does so well in South Africa that I truly believed that Johannesburg was its home. In fact, last year, in London, I attended a Toastmaster's meeting and was asked to speak off the cuff about SA. Well the first thing that came to mind was the mango. I introduced my speech with: 'Hi everyone, I am bringing you greetings from the Big Mango, Johannesburg.' If New York is known as the Big Apple, why not Big Mango for Johannesburg? Everyone and I mean literally EVERYONE in Africa, aspires to live in Johannesburg, known by other Africans as the New York of AFrica.
You see the mango is the kind of fruit that only needs one bite to get you hooked for life, and Johannesburg is pretty much like that. It is not really a pretty city, not compared to Cape Town or even Pretoria. The people are rushed and clicky, the streets, everywhere you look there are high rise developments, are full of potholes and crime.... but my goodness, once you have lived in Johannesburg, you get hooked for life, you cannot live in any other city. Johannesburg is such a vibrant, cosmopolitan city, made up of so many different ethnic South Africans, Mandela's rainbow nation, and laced with the flavour of every other nationality on the planet. In fact it is safe to say that it is a microcosm of the world, with its traffic, its malls, its restaurants, its coffee (the best in the world) and its increasingly costly lifestyle. I love its aliveness and its fast paced lifestyle...definitely addictive, no other explanation for living here.
Back to the mango - I dont know whether I want to classify it as a fruit because I love to eat on its own or as an accompaniment to practically everything - in salads, as a sauce for fish (that is quite orgasmic), grilled and baked with practically any meat chicken or vegetable, in desserts, in coctails, as a health drink, however and with whatever, the mango is delicious - the hot days of summer look and taste like a mango. In fact, on a Sunday, I love taking a drive to 'the Dam' (Harbeespoort Dam) to eat a mango chicken salad at an exclusive little boathouse restaurant - such a simple, inexpensive meal, but my goodness, so delicious....
My favourite way of eating a mango is with my hands over a sink. Nothing nicer than a cool mango out of the fridge, after a swim in the pool on a hot summer's day, eating over the sink, with my hands, juices running all down my chin, licking my fingers, sucking the pip, really gives me pleasure... it makes me feel so young and carefree.... I love it. Nowhere in the world have I experienced the same pleasure.
So I am happy to say that the mango is a good enough reason to want to live in the big mango... till tomorrow