I like to think that I'm doing a pretty good job adjusting to life in South Africa. For the most part, I know my way around. I've learned a ton of new words in English, like bonnet, braii, and drimac. I've learned to drive on the left hand side of the road, celebrate Christmas in the middle of a heat wave, and eat fruit chutney, biltong, mealie-meal, and bobotie.
Perhaps because of this, I noticed that I haven't had any culturally profound things to write about lately.
Gabriel had a friend spend Saturday night with us, so I decided to get up early and fix French toast, a special treat for our family. We all sat down to eat and after I'd passed out the food to everyone, our South African guest asked for a bottle of tomato sauce (Ketchup).
I cocked my head. Tomato sauce. . .on French toast. Obviously, he'd never had French toast. Especially French toast dipped in a batter with cinnamon and vanilla!
I started to explain that this was French toast and we put butter and hot maple syrup on it. He wasn't impressed and insisted he wanted the Ketchup. This of course was fine with me, as long as I didn’t have to eat it. I did finally convince him to try and my homemade syrup which he (thankfully) said he liked.
I talked to his parents after church because I thought the idea of ketchup and French toast was so humorous. They then explained that to a South African, French toast is a savory dish so adding ketchup, cheese and other such items is the norm.
I explained that most Americans that I knew would roll over and die before putting Ketchup on their French toast!
Coming next: Into Mozambique