a few days into our transition from Cape Town to Western Michigan in January, here are a few observations that have come to the surface as oddities and un-familiarities we never knew in sunny SA

last week we were wearing shorts and flip flops, eating pap, boerewors and chakalaka

now, we find ourselves in

a land where kids know what snow pants are

frostbite is familiar

and car batteries freeze

a land with plugs in the bathroom

and heat emanating from indoor vents

while icicles hang stoically from the roof’s edge

tortilla chips and salsa

squirt, dr. pepper, root beer

reese’s peanut butter cups and chocolate chip cookies

where jelly is Jell-o and jam is jelly

and boots are trunks and bonnets are hoods

a land of drive-thru banks and pharmacies

self-scan grocery aisles and pump your own gas

a land of comfort and convenience

and cold