A Joburg Winter’s Tale

by Roxana Bouwer

So we can’t go for picnics in the park anymore. Swimming has lost all appeal. And any form of outside living is less than exciting. Now what?

Happily, Joburg life doesn’t end when the days shorten. If you have the know-how, you’ll be fine. Here are a few tips to inspire you:

Get hairy

This one only really applies to the ladies (and effeminate men). Cold weather is an awesome invitation to do less. Less shaving, waxing, plucking and whatnot. You see, covering up means that nobody will know that you are harbouring three months worth of caveman hair growth under those classy navy tights. It is one less thing to do. And it’s great.

*Please note: people in relationships, and those looking to be in one soon, should, at all times, remain hair-free. Sorry about it.

Take a lover (and ignore previous pro-hairiness sentiments)

Winter means we need warmth, and cuddling a hot water bottle can only do so much. We want to be cuddled back. That’s just the way it is. And since there are few decent, stay-warm-and-still-have-fun options, it’s nice to have somebody to do nothing with.  Risking sounding like an infomercial: taking a lover is a cheap and easy way to keep warm, fit and have fun all winter through.

Eat more

I know of only one person who finds eating to be a chore. The rest of us delight in it. Thick coats hide spare tyres and love handles better than Madonna hides her age. And boots not only balance out robust thighs nicely, but they also mean that cankles are, for at least three months, non-existent. Score! So eat. Eat well. Eat hard. And worry about your shape never. Life’s flipping short yo.

*It is important to make the connection here between taking a lover and eating more. The more active you are. The more you get to eat. Bonus!

Drink even more than you eat

I, personally, cannot attest to this, but apparently the ‘drink to keep warm’ adage has a lot of merit. Ever noticed how, on a winter’s night out, only the sober folk notice the cold? Alcohol helps. Pick your poison, grease those joints well, and winter will go by in a (warm) blur of cocktails, beer and shots. (Alternatively, be friends with your liver and sip Horlicks while reading a good book under a thick blanket. – This option is not just for pansies.)

Be entertained

Look around. People are strange. Take, for example, engineer students. There is always one that will arrive, winter’s day in, and winter’s day out, in a pair of tired, these-were-once-a-vibrant-colour, too-tight shorts. Pale, veiny, limbs tempting frost bite every step of the way. Yikes.

And then there are those girls who choose looking hot over being hot. They prance around in single degree temperatures with their legs barer than Nataniel’s head and their skirts shorter than Hitler’s temper. They’re amazing. I’m almost impressed.

And that’s that

See, Joburg can be fun in the winter too. And it’s cheap fun. So keep warm, keep happy, and cultivate your sense of humour. It will keep you going until the sun’s rays are strong enough to call us outside again.