InterNations Featured Blog
Recommended Expat Blogs: South Africa
Everybody who has spent time in a different country knows that expat life is not quite like anything else in the world. The confusion of the first few days and weeks, the slow, but steady process of acclimation, the little peculiarities and quirks that might strike you about your new surroundings: almost any situation you encounter can make for a great story. If you are so inclined and want to blog about it, of course!
Our InterNations recommended blog section features talented expat bloggers from around the world. Their offerings to the blogosphere have been selected for their great entries and high quality, whether they may be funny, informative, interesting, deeply personal or a combination of all of the above.
Let’s hear from our featured bloggers in South Africa:
Life here, quite simply, is more challenging than anywhere else I’ve lived. I wouldn’t say that I experienced culture shock though. I’m an adaptable person. I moved here because I wanted to change my life completely, and to make it more challenging. I love the way Joburg straddles the line between the developing world and the developed world. Everyday life can be frustrating at times, but the joys and constant surprises you experience while living here are worth the frustration.
All in all I think we were well prepared, thanks to a relocations agent who was of some assistance. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact that I didn’t have to fear for my life every time I left the house, and that going places and exploring South Africa was perfectly fine. But regarding the decisions we made, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would always enroll the kids again in a local school instead of an international one, as this has been one of the best developments in their lives.
One thing that I have struggled with, in some respects, is the amount of “help” you can afford here- cleaners, gardeners, nannies, even cooks. Also, at shops there’s always someone to help you find things, help you pack and so on. I just wasn’t used to it. We have a lady who comes in 3 days a week to clean which is fabulous but we do our own gardening and I am one of the only people I know who doesn’t have a nanny even part-time. I think some people think we’re a bit odd for that!
Unfortunately most expats here are on short term contracts and have everything provided by their companies, cars, phones, furnished houses etc. I found many expats easily mainly by hearing the accents, but found it to be a closed group for me either I had to learn to play golf, join singles clubs or be expected to show them around and entertain their young children.
The expat community in Cape Town is well-developed. I have quite a few friends among South Africans but many young and educated people here lack general knowledge and have no interest in culture.
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