THIS being summer, I've found all sorts of things creeping out from the woodwork of winter – quite apart from mutant mosquitoes and braai tongs.
When people get hot, they get hot under the collar too. It's been proven – aren't you more likely to spill your stress in the heat of the seasonal moment?
For the past few weeks, I've read a slew of negative stuff written about South Africa and we, the people.
A sort of "he said, she said” tennis match between politicians, environmentalists, activists, corpulent corporatists and any manner of Joe or Tom who wants to have a say in the paper about this country.
A friend, Milisa, recently asked: "What does it mean to be a South African?”
Thing is, there are whole suburbs full of people who absolutely don't know the answer or, at least, couldn't be in the least bit bothered to ponder it, since any contemplation of citizenship in such a complex country would interfere with waxes and wine o'clock.
But, in the interests of good vibes, is it possible for us to be happy with our spot on the continent – just for once?
It's hard. I know it's very, very hard for racists or the poverty-stricken to jolly up and be positive about South Africa – each for their own reasons.
I have total sympathy for those whose only vision is a hot meal or a weekly wage packet – those people who see spanking new convertibles cruise by every day and wonder when the hell they might ever get to drive one, let alone sit in it.
But assuming that the powers-that-be ensured that nobody – not a soul – went hungry today in this country, how would we answer Milisa's question? Mine has boiled down to the most simple equation: get rid of stereotyping and we're halfway there.
Despite what admired social activist Dr Mamphela Ramphele said last week, not all whites live in Walmer, in fancy houses, or believe that unemployed blacks across the road are "too lazy” to get a job. And not all blacks suffer from inferiority complexes, either.
It's like my gran always said: "If you don't have something nice to say, then say nothing at all.” It seems to me that lately, led by wily politicians, we're fired up on slanging matches, forgetting that a nice cup of tea and a chat might actually save the world from itself.
For my Facebook acquaintance, Zodwa, being South African means being bold and living responsibly, despite corruption, aliens, abuse, a prevalence of women and children's shelters, gross privilege and terrible underprivilege. It's also about touching the life of at least one boy or man and doing one's best, regardless of personal flaws.
And even more than that, says Zodwa, South Africans are world-changers.
They are Africans, intelligent and beautiful.