By the time one item is cooked, you’ll have started to chew your own hand or roast your family members in the oven.If you don’t have any sense of shame or are great at pretending to cook like Frodo, this might be the thing for you. Starting it up requires some actual skills, and my few attempts have mostly resulted in setting myself on fire. Once everything is fired up, and you’ve got the smell of burning wood and meat coming through, you’ll most likely be busy chatting to your friends, neighbours and random bypassers.Be careful not to confuse a South African braai with an American barbecue! Barbecues are made for laziness, safety, comfort and speed. Patience is key, and you’ll probably be completely drunk before the first piece of meat ends up on your plate.

Regardless of how you see it, South Africans are completely obsessed with it.

You can find braai areas everywhere, especially in parks. (Whatever it is in the Netherlands, it is pathetic) 3. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, the latter might need some elaboration. In a country with such extremes, I can imagine you immediately toughen up.

I mean, they even have a national holiday dedicated to it (re-branded by some for Cultural Heritage day, or ‘braai for Heritage Day’) with a mascot called Jan Braai. I guess the main purpose of a braai is togetherness and enjoying the simple way of making food outside over a long time, with a group of people. Here people grow up with an abundance of meat, endless games of wrestling rugby and the constant looming of a potential hijacking at gunpoint.

Recently, I saw some people walking barefoot in the local supermarket. Unimpressed, the girls mentioned no help was needed, and explained to me that this was their way to stay connected with the earth.

This phenomenon comes along quite often, and my initial reaction was to offer assistance. Later in the queue, one of them was definitely connected with a slice of ham, some used dental floss and a cash receipt.

I forgot to mention the as a specific subject, as I feel this deserves a dedicated article in itself.

A braai, or braaing, derives from the Dutch word ‘braden’, which means roasting.

I envy the abundance of opportunity South Africans have for this. For that reason, survival skills are the basics, including the making of a brutal fire.

In the Netherlands, this type of event would simply not work because of three reasons: 1. I, however, refuse to prepare a mango because it makes my hands sticky, and I cut an onion wearing a snorkel. You can get anything pre-cut and pre-cooked, so we have nothing to do but to nuke whatever is to be done.