Us chilled and friendly Eastern Capers get our fair share of flack for our bathtub-sized potholes, our underequipped schools and our bad driving.
But beyond all the poor service delivery we boast a sense of kinship and camaraderie that no other province can. We love this place with all its quirks and perks.
So you know you're from the Eastern Cape when...
- You take pride in the fact that some of our favourite freedom fighters such as Steve Biko, Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu were born in the Eastern Cape, went to varsity in the EC and now have Eastern Cape universities (or buildings in universities) named after them.
- You know at least five families in every town and you're probably related to a few of them too.
- You think places in bigger cities are further than they actually are because driving for 30 minutes in the EC means you are actually driving out of town.
- Two hours? In traffic? Can't relate.
- You don't romanticise Grahamstown as this creative, ever-bustling hub because you've actually been there when it's not the National Arts Festival.
- You've stopped along the side of the road on your way to Grahamstown or Port Alfred to buy maas, pineapples or a huge packet of prickly pears at a real bargain price.
- You know there's no thirst like Bathurst because Ox Braai.
- The only pies you eat are Shamrock pies. They don't crumble, they're ALWAYS fresh and you can't get them beyond any toll gates taking you outside of the Eastern Cape.
- You believe Nanaga Farm Stall should be visited by every South African who enjoys indulging in local homemade goods. Also, is it even a road trip if you don't stop here for freshly made roosterbroodjies?
- You don't need big holidays or long weekends to go the beach. Any random day will do. Oh wait, Capetonians do this too.
- But do they have The Beach Break Cafe at Nahoon Beach? No. No, they don't.
- You've tried out surfing at least once... for the culture.
- You can escape to one of your parents' homesteads in rural Transkei/Ciskei when the city gets too much.
- You usually start sentences with "ja, no..." Totally makes sense.
- You use the term "gowisha" and it's variations (gowa, mgowo, gowishing, gone) at least three times a day with meals. To gowisha is just a Xhosa slang adaptation of going through a lot, but it's not only Xhosa people who now use the term.
- You're used to only having one mall as an option and you have to wait to visit bigger cities to shop at stores like Stuttafords, H&M and Topshop.
- You think Numbers Dance Club is the best night club experience South Africa ever had to offer. Where else can you get a decades party, Last Fridays and R5 Fiesta all in one week? We lost a gem.
- You think Highlander is the ultimate hangout spot for a Sunday sunset.
- You look forward to The Sands pop up night club in December, but your wallet? Not so much.
- You know at least three blessers by name. You're probably mates with one of their children too.
- You tell people you're from the EC and they ask if you know so-and-so, who's actually from a town three hours away from you.
- You affectionately refer to East London as Slum Town or Slummies.
- Breakfast dates at farm-like eateries on the outskirts of the city are an actual occasion.
See why we love this place?
Can you think of anything else to add to this list? Let us know.