Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Different strokes for different folks

From the time Paula was born, until she was 5 years old we lived on a property adjoining my parents' property in a small town in the KZN midlands. Eunice and Impi lived in quarters on my parents' property and we had Goqo and her grandson Ndu living in their quarters on our property.

The kids loved it, they roamed freely between the two properties, in and out of each other's houses, a happy little gang of four. Naturally they would often eat together; if they were at my house at lunch time I'd give them sandwiches for lunch, if they were with Goqo or Eunice, they would tuck into whatever she was serving up at that point. And this is how Paula developed a love of traditional Zulu food. Her favourite was and still is phutu and amasi - crumbly maize porridge served with fermented milk. But she would happily tuck into madumbis or whatever else was on the menu. As long as I live I will never forget the day I came around the corner of Goqo's house and there was Paula, a toddler in nappies with a chicken head protuding from her mouth! "Walkie, Talkies" (chicken heads and feet) were on the menu and Paula was partaking with gusto!

As time went by the kids settled into a loose sort of routine; Ndu would usually come and have breakfast with me - Coco Pops or chocolate spread on toast were his favourites - and Paula would head off to Goqo in the morning and have phutu and amasi. Strange set-up, but it worked for us.

Nowdays not much has changed. Goqo and Ndu don't live with us anymore, but given the choice, Paula would still rather eat phutu and amasi. We love eating out and generally eat out at least twice a week (my large butt can attest to this fact). Rox and Paula have eaten out with us since they were a couple of months old, it's how we live. And yet frequently Paula will opt to have supper with Eunice instead of coming out with us. Just yesterday we were heading out to a local restaurant and Paula (yet again!) begged to be allowed to stay with Eunicie and eat phutu and amasi.

I truly don't get it, imagine wanting to eat sour milk and porridge instead of a delicious plate of prawns or calamari?! But hey, whatever makes her happy :-)


Simone said...

I never took to Phutu pap - the men in husband's family enjoy pap with marmite, fried egg and tomatoe gravy.
that just makes my stomach turn.

Joanne said...

That image of a chicken head hanging out of Paulas mouth as a toddler - ewwwww

Shayne said...

I so get this. Just today my 3yr told me she rather wanted to have lunch with her nanny - Mphino (pap & spinach) - rather than with us.

it often happens and i think it's great. they need to experience our different cultures i think.

Andrea said...

what a lovely warm post - it is heartening to hear of the cultures meshing so seamlessly...your daughters are blessed to have such experiences, that is what Africa is all about.

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