Personal · Photo-Illustrated Questions

Right now, at this moment, what do you want most?

A family braai , which is Afrikaans for barbeque, with my family who are all the way in Cape Town, South Africa.

My fellow South Africans will know that no one barbeques quite like we do. And for everyone else who hasn’t experienced a lekker braai, let me assure you that you can travel all over the world and eat grillables, [that’s a word now] but nothing will ever compare to a South African barbeque. Ever.

For those of you who’ve just stumbled onto this blog or have no idea what South Africans put on a grill, let me set the record straight: No, we do not grill scorpions. Nor do we grill snakes.

Although, Hussam was invited to a braai before and the hosts put snakes on the grill. So let me rephrase: Not all South Africans grill snakes for dinner.

Unfortunately, the last and only time Hussam and I were together in Cape Town he was there for ten days; he never got the chance to experience a family braai with my oddball family.

It’s not only the good food that I’m missing, but the whole family getting together. The jokes, the insane laughter, little kids running around, seeing my sisters dance crazily and being unable to resist joining in, I miss all of that and more.

I’ve told Hussam countless times that one day we’ll have a braai in Cape Town so that he can experience an event that I truly love. Even though I didn’t grow up in South Africa, there’s a part of me that’s South African through and through; it’s part of my identity. And there’s no way I’d let my kids miss out on such a typically South African get-together.

In the past I thought it was a sad truth that the only time you see family members whom you haven’t seen in years is at funerals. That’s still true, but braais are a way to bring us all together without mourning. We’d braai at someone’s house, usually taking turns having it at my grandma’s place, my aunt’s place and so on or having it at one of my favourite places as a child, Wynberg Park.

I haven’t seen my family in ten months, but even when I was there ten months ago I wasn’t in the right mind to be completely grateful.

So, for all those who have amazing siblings, moms and/or dads and cousins you’ve grown up with, I hope you get to make more memories together, and for those of you living abroad missing your family, just do what I do sometimes; look at old family photographs and catch up with your kin.

If you want to know a little more about braais, click here.

8 thoughts on “Right now, at this moment, what do you want most?

  1. You are so right – there is NOTHING like a South African braai, and I say this as an American from the South where we have a huge tradition of barbecues.

    I thought I would miss my family barbecues, but other than missing my family I do not, and if they came here I think they would feel shamed…. 🙂

  2. An awesome post. While in South Korea, a Korean BBQ isn’t like back home in Canada as BBQ’s there are awesome. I do kinda miss having my own BBQ on the back deck of my own house, plumbed into the Natural Gas line so I could BBQ all year round. And Koreans have this weird thing about burned meat causing cancer so they always trim any burnt pieces off. Talk about taking away flavour!

    Being a self-avowed meatatarian, BBQ should have been my middle name. There is a burger chain in Canada that speaks to me in a purely spiritual form through their motto: “Meat, Fire, Good.”.

    I’ve experienced a Brazillian BBQ place here and I swore I had died and gone to heaven! Seriously….I have never done drugs but I’m pretty sure it felt like what I experienced there!

    Having met a few friends from South Africa, and an open invitation to visit, I am more than just a little curious about a braai now!

    1. Trimming off the burnt pieces? That’s the best part! :p
      And no no no, I’m sure Brazillian bbqs don’t come close to South African ones. So you have to go to and taste for yourself. My uncles are really good at it so one of the first family get-togethers back home will be a braai for me, definitely 🙂

      1. Sadly, there is no SA Braai here in South Korea that I am aware of. 😦 Maye you could take some pictures and I can live it vicariously through your experience? 😀

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