Africa & the Middle East Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report South Africa, The Shack

Jump to last reply

It is a first for me to drink beer out of a milk cartoon but this is no ordinary beer or experience. Just around the corner from 8115 Orlando West, Nelson Mandela's home, is “The Shack” a local watering hole. Here, I soon discover you can get a more people to people encounter of Soweto.

Initially I am in search of food but for some strange reason I am drawn to “The Shack” and the blaring music coming from it. A brief inquiry and I am a bit disappointed that no food is available, only drinks. Guess, it time for “pork chops in a can”, Soweto style.

As often the case, my beverage of choice is a local brew. I am surprised when the bartender of sort questions my request and summons help. I am further questioned about my request by the help who then retreats to another room. He returns with a colorful green, black and brown bowl along with a milk cartoon.

A “DON'T DRINK AND WALK ON THE ROAD, YOU MAY BE KILLED” warning label tells me this is no ordinary milk or local brew.

Given the choice I take a seat at a table where a few men are already drinking and having an engaging conversation. A few minutes later the conversation stops and one of the gentlemen focuses on me. With a stern voice he addresses me and tells me he has a problem with me sitting at the table. This makes me feel a little uncomfortable until he tell me the reason why.

He jovially questions, “How can you sit at the table and not introduce yourself”. I am embarrassed by my action but his laughter breaks the ice and let's me know my sin is forgiven. I now become a part of the conversation as the milk cartoon is open and my beer is poured. I have made another mistake but this time it is only in my head.

The beer I have purchased is not my beer it is a communal beer to be shared from the same bowl by anyone in the bar that wants to partake in it. Now made as commercial beer, Jo burg Beer originally started as a home brewed beer made for special occasions like weddings and graduations. A process that at home can take weeks to complete.

With a pink milk consistency the beer is non carbonated and has a heavy taste. For me, this makes it more of a sipping beer which works well with the on going conversation. Between sips formal introductions are made and I think “Ja-bo-low” has now taken a liking to me.

Ja-bo-low, a Zulu shares with me about local Zulu life and traditions. For him, even as a father himself, his father is so respected that he cannot slaughter an animal without approval from him. Furthermore, if he shows his father disrespect his brothers would take him to the woods and “fix” him. I think this particular Zulu tradition should be exported.

Our conversation eventually shifts to food. Although he has to pick his mother up at 7pm, Ja-bo-low offers to take me for a true local dining experience. With our beer finished, I am glad we are driving and not walking to dinner.

Video:
http://youtu.be/YvrrV-3NKYg

1 Reply |

Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

View all Africa & the Middle East activity »
  1. 1 South Africa - travel from Bloemfontein via Karoo to Stellenbosch
  2. 2 South Africa - Cape wine lands - Suggestions organized wine tasting tour
  3. 3 Travelust
  4. 4 Drinking on safari
  5. 5 Terrorism, Ebola - no more please
  6. 6 Who to Choose? Africa Serendipity, Rothschild Safari or ATR?
  7. 7 Southern Africa trip - 5 weeks April / May 2015 starting in KZN
  8. 8 Trip Report SOUTH AFRICA WESTERN CAPE TRIP REPORT: SEPT/OCT 2013
  9. 9 South Africa in February?
  10. 10 To Egypt in February - Need some advice
  11. 11 Thinking about The Gambia
  12. 12 Independence Day in Israel
  13. 13 Private Guide in Israel - Cost question
  14. 14 Shots for Morocco
  15. 15 correct date of last post: free ebook available Sunday Dec 11
  16. 16 Dubai Sand Dune dinner
  17. 17 Trip Report Morroco Travel Guide
  18. 18 DAY TRIP FROM AGADIR
  19. 19 Trip Report “Extensive tour around Egypt in 36 Days”
  20. 20 Help in finding Israel tour guide Moshe Nov
  21. 21 Best Time to View Big Game in South Africa
  22. 22 Trip Insurance - a must?
  23. 23 Kenya safari tour/cost
  24. 24 Uganda or Rwanda 2015
  25. 25 Abu Simbel or Valley of Kings?
View next 25 » Back to the top