We are in a fortunate position being able to import a variety of South African products for our shops, and the latest are several boxes of Tropika juice boxes. Tropika is a refreshing drink containing fruit juice and dairy.
Drinking one of these mini juice boxes this afternoon took me on a trip down memory lane. I’m a child of the 80’s/90’s and Tropika was a favourite drink for many of us growing up, but it was more of a luxury item to have in the fridge so it didn’t always make its appearance on our monthly shopping list. It was also usually a drink associated with the school holidays when families flocked to Kwazulu Natal for beach, sun and sand. Whenever I think of Tropika, I hear the ocean calling and smell the thick layer of sunscreen being applied aggressively by my over-protective mother.
My childhood was intertwined with family dramas and tragedies, but those are not the moments I remember when I think back to the “good old days”. My memories consists of:
- our friendly neighbours with their annoying son. We were friends and were in the same class and gymnastics team but he was a typical boy nagging/annoying/teasing me with every opportunity he could find.
- my best friend and the countless afternoons we spend together. Her mom would give us money to buy her, her daily soda water and a little bit extra for some sweets. The dairy was a 10 minute walk which we turned into an afternoon excursion stopping at the playground, walking to school friends homes to see if they were home, and eating as many of the treats we can before reaching her house.
- my group of friends. I knew just about everyone in my school year, and were good friends with majority of them. I tend to hang out with the boys rather than the girls as I was very athletic and enjoyed learning how to play soccer and rugby from them.
- athletic meets and gymnastics competitions. I peaked with both these sports during my early High School years, but discovered my passion and talent at an early age. My day would start on the athletic track early in the morning before school started and finished in the gymnastics hall late afternoon.
- boyfriends! I had several boy friends but only 2 boyfriends during my primary school years. One of them was my best friend, and we dated several times during both primary school and high school. It was more of a companionship than what it was a serious relationship. We knew each other so well that dare I say it was like hanging out with a brother.
- family holidays. If we were not with the caravan at the Drakenberg mountain range, you could find us at the beach near Margate or at the coastal areas of the Eastern Cape, also known as the wild coast, or nestled in a rondawel (a thatched roof hut) at the Kruger National Park. My parents were very active and we did day hikes, horse riding, fishing, swimming, body boarding, sight seeing. One of my best memories would be when an elephant bull stormed at our kombi van on one of our trips out in the national park. We still have the video footage of that day.
What is your favourite childhood memory?