Have you ever notice that countries have smells? When you travel to another country and get off the plane, there is definitely an unfamiliar smell in the air. I'll never forget the smell of New Zealand - Dan and I had flown all night, rented a car upon landing in Auckland (can you believe they let us rent a car even though we had never driven on the left side of the road?), stopped by a petrol station in Hamilton to get a cup of coffee, and... (breathe)... what an incredible smell! To this day, every time I see a certain shade of green, I think of the smell of the air in New Zealand. But this is a blog about living in South Africa, so...
What does South Africa smell like? Or more to the point, what does Pretoria smell like?
In the winter it smells like a campfire. You can always see a plume of smoke rising in the distance from a veld fire.
In the spring it smells like flowers. There is a tree with little yellow puffballs on it, and the smell is so sweet it perfumes the air all around it.
In the summer it smells like rain. The good sort of "wet dog" smell. The thunderstorms wash away the dirt in the air - the sweat and smog and hard work of the day- and we are left breathing in fresh clean air. In the cool of the morning after a thunderstorm... that is my favourite South Africa smell.
One can always always smell the diesel fumes and black exhaust smoke from cars that are in desperate need of servicing. I call it the "Third World Traffic" smell, the smell of dirty pale blue buses and beat up taxis.
I would be chastised severely if I failed to mention the smell of the braai - there is nothing like walking out of a shop or walking through your neighbourhood and having the smell of wors waft past your nose.
It's funny how smells affect us, remind us of a long-ago memory, cause us to feel nostalgic. What does your country smell like?