It’s only when one starts throwing out colloquialisms that you get to explore some of the cultural traditions that contribute to the exoticism of a place, and simultaneously discover similarities with another far flung location. Such is the case when I tossed out “roof wetting.” It’s a South African construction tradition to mark the milestone when the roof of the building has been completed to a point that the rain can be sealed out. It gave pause to many, and an unexpected shared recognition with others.
Bermudans, it turns out, share this same tradition, often choosing to christen the new roof with some of their famous, douple proof rum. The very large team working on Cape Town’s Green Point Soccer Stadium (capacity 70,000) celebrated their roof wetting a month ago. And our very modest but supremely talented team celebrated our roof wetting on 4 September.
We very much wished we could have been there too, especially after seeing these photos of the new status quo and reports of the fabulous braai (barbeque, only better). Our starchitect-cum-braaimaster (cum photographer) whipped up a makeshift outdoor braai and cooked up a feast for the team of builders, quantity surveyor, local friends and possibly our engineer.
The result on this side of the Atlantic is that over the past fortnight, even the faintest smell of sizzling meat on a grill has the Pavlovian effect of turning our minds to a haven that grows closer to completion on the construction spectrum.