A Spanish person asked me the other day what South African men are generally like. I started an answer but stopped after a stuttering minute of indecisive rambling. 'It's complicated', I said, 'there are so many different types'. Are there really?
Thinking about it later I decided that local guys can probably be divided into two groups; the jocks and the nerds. If you're neither, you will be, at the very least, more comfortable in one group than the other. If I was forced to choose between being labelled as a nerd or a jock, I'd choose jock every day of the week, purely for convenience's sake. I might be patronised a lot and have to give far too many high-fives, but because I wasn't forever picking my textbooks off the floor or being told by girls to stop calling the house, that would be mild punishment. But ideally I'd be neither. The expectations are the killers though, aren't they? You're not a man until you can do a good lamb stew, you're a jock because you like rugby, and you're a nerd because you wore that tartan half-jersey once. Are us guys not all of these things at the same time, just more obviously one of them? I've watched rugby while wearing a half jersey. I wonder what that makes me.
If you think you can accurately describe the typical South African man, email us and we'll publish the best descriptions next month. In the meantime, we present you with the edition of Extra Virgin, in which we interview 5's DJ Fresh, travel to Ghana to escape the cold and review all the latest film and music releases you need to know about, including the phenomenal film Pan's Labyrinth, which we recommend you see more or less immediately. We've also gone green with the first of our monthly column on our environment. Relax, we're not going to making you feel bad for flying aeroplanes or shout at you for not recycling your teabags. This month we investigate South Africa's less than flattering contribution to Africa's greenhouse gas emissions and what, if anything, the government is doing about it. Fresh thinks those who don't care about global warming yet should be shot. But then his hero is Johnny Bravo, so we'll allow you to decide whether or not he's to be trusted.