Tag Archives: blog

Potential reasons why the blogging stopped

1. I hit a slump and never came back. (Never say never?)

2. I became a full-time primary school teacher and feel weird about how readily available my  inner thoughts are (which have been known to include ‘drugs’ and PG encounters)

3. Who knows what’s acceptable for a teacher to say or write.

4. Its an endless game getting Facebook and other social media sights to cooperate and show your content to people. #algorithms #paidposts

5. If I write something good and stats are low I die a little inside. I put so much effort into each post and then Facebook plays hide and seek with it.

6. I became increasingly unsure of my brand and what I was bringing to the table. It became less about travel and more about me and my opinions. Perhaps I needed a new space.

7. But I love my space! Just look at it!

8. If my personal online behaviour and click-through rate is anything to go by……. no-one reads things anymore! So what’s the point.

9. Someone I Once Met was the most continually successful dimension of the blog. Somewhere along the line I lost my nerve writing about people I know and who know me and who I can potentially insult. I need a formula.

10. The haters. People are violent bullies when they have a cyber facade to hide behind. Just like I left South Africa before I became a statistic, did I stop the blog before people said shit I couldn’t handle?

11. I find it very difficult to ignore negative comments/feelings/cybervibes. Things stick with me and ruin my day!

12. I’m lazy.

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Faces That Say “I Just Finished the Hong Kong Marathon”

As a tidal wave of marathon finishers surged past me, I waited for my marathon runner to appear. Unfortunately we were not able to find each other in the sea of 75 000 people and had to rendezvous back at home a couple blocks away.

I had an inkling this might happen but I also had a feeling I’d get in some good practice with the zoom lens I hardly ever use. Asians to the left and right of me obviously put my weighty lens to shame with their stereotypical telescope look-a-likes. With the zoom I was able to put faces to the otherwise faceless crowd. I found Caucasians, Asians, Africans, celebrants, wincers, stretchers, sitters, elders and all the combinations of adjectives you can think of from ecstatic to defeated and everything inbetween.

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Wild: Part Book Review, Part Self-Analyses

I was hoping to swap an old book for a new one, but that’s not how this sleepy bookstore somewhere in the Indian Himalayas worked. I’d have to part with some rupees if I wanted to leave with any new reading material. There wasn’t much to choose from, but one did catch my eye. Judge a book by it’s cover and go from there is what I often do. This one had a pleasant look about it – white and pink and with the image of a well used hiking boot on the front. Red laces.

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The story was about a young woman, called Cheryl Strayed, who decides to walk over 1000 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail , on her own, in an attempt to overcome the death of her mother. The PCT allows hikers to walk from the Mexican border to the Canadian one- or the other way round. Incorporating California, Oregon and Washing states in all their glory.

This book ticked a lot of boxes for me: uniquely travel related with just the right amount of adventure, set in a part of the USA I could easily visualise because I’d been there before. I liked the book. I liked that it was written by a woman, I liked that she climbed an actual mountain to deal with her demons, I like how she took condoms with her for in-case. I like how, since reading it, I’ve watched the book gain popularity and be tuned into a screenplay starring Reese Witherspoon. I like how I didn’t know if it would be a good read, then I wasn’t sure the movie would be any good, and I love that its turned out to be Oscar material.

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I feel like I’ve journeyed with Cheryl from a random bookshelf in a Tibetan refugee town in India to her glamorous appearance at the Golden Globes, attached at the hip to Reese Witherspoon. Even more so, Wild has kept me awake at night thinking about that book I’d like to write. I’ve always loved writing, I’m inspired by travel and I’ve lived on 5 continents over the past 4 years. But i didn’t get married at 18. My mother didn’t die when I was 22. I didn’t become an adulterous sex and drug addict and I didn’t trek over 1000 miles to fix myself. 5 continents in 4 years but what the hell would I write about?! It’s a conundrum that’s got me thinking about writing fiction for the first time.

Then there’s the very real issue of having never finished anything longer than article before. I don’t think I could even claim to have written a short story. Any longer piece of writing I’ve ever considered writing has died not long after it’s birth. This does not bode well for undertaking and executing the huge task that is writing a book.

Wild is not about to be the next Harry Potter- read by billions- or turn into of the the great classics. And I’m sure it was never meant to be any of that. But what it has achieved, certainly in me, is a heightened appreciation for the average woman doing something for herself, thinking not much of it, and turning it into a source of inspiration for others.

I am increasingly of the opinion that anyone can be inspirational – just not everyone knows how to go about it. So good on you Cheryl. you were just another lot girl with a bleeding heart who navigated through various mountain ranges all alone and now everyone, including Reese Witherspoon, loves you.

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How to Grab Some Quiet Time in Hong Kong

There’s not much opportunity to get away from it all in Hong Kong. It is the most densely populated part of the planet and boy can you really feel it sometimes. Every now and then you’ll find a place all to yourself – but you’ve gotta make sure of a couple things first.

Don’t go in search of quiet time on the weekend. Seriously- rather just stay in doors or you will be competing for sidewalk space with the rest of them. We went to the seaside village of Shek O last Monday {which we’re lucky to have off every week}. Everyone else is working which kind of makes up for having to work Saturdays.

Go in winter. In the summer, Shek O will be crawling with people- Monday included. Like anywhere else in the world, summer means no school and no school means packed beaches and other fun places. Winter vacations seem bearable since everyone heads out in search of snow…or sun for that matter. Neither of which Hong Kong tends to offer in winter.

Not a long list but a fool-proof one. See how uninterrupted and glorious it all looks? The sun coming out to play helped a lot too of course but that’s not something us mortals have much control over.

So just remember- if you’re looking for some quality quiet time outside of your house in Hong Kong – make sure its a Monday, absolutely not during summer vacations and organise some elusive wintery sunshine and you’re good to go!

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Someone I Once Met: The Stalker

Looking back on this situation I shudder to think what could have happened. 

Over a year ago I was new to the town of Antibes, France, trying to land my first job onboard a luxury yacht. The yachting industry is saturated with twenty-somethings trying to edge their way into the world of being over paid for menial labour.

I was not the only newbie in town, in fact there were thousands of others prositiuting themselves on the docks, trying to make an impression or a contact that may somehow somewhere come in handy. You do whatever you can to get your foot in the door. They tell you not to tarnish your name at the local watering holes because no-one will want to hire you, although some have been lucky enough to score a job in exactly that way. The industry is slippery and unpredictable and landing a job is no exception.

In my first few weeks there was the Antibes Yacht Show where boats are more shiny than usual for people to come and pretend to buy them. At this particular event a certain tall individual of the male species locked eyes with me. He edged his way closer and when someone spilt a drink on my shoe he disappeared down to clean it off. Interesting tactic.

There was no turning back from there for this French man from Reunion Island. Over the next few days my friends and I got to know him and I tolerated his flirting and tried my best not to lead him on. Unfortunately he was probably well aware of my state of mind. During this time I, and others like me, saw the sky as the limit for things you’d do to get a job. He claimed to have dabbled in the industry, but not really but kind of. You hear what you want to hear I’ll tell you that much. He offered to drive me to Cannes one day to ‘introduce me to some people’. As the day wore on I lost hope in my contact as he was shrugged off by one person after the other just like the rest of us.

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Then he ran a red traffic light and next thing I know we were being pulled over. On top of that, he was driving with an expired license. Let me fill you in on all the things that were running through my mind at this point; ‘How on earth do I explain to the cops who I am to this person? Am even safe with him? Am I going to get deported? And finally- I can’t believe I’m going to the police station right now. And in separate cars to Thomas (that’s his name by the way). Could this situation get any worse?

Well actually yes it could. Waiting in the cop shop while my chauffeur was being questioned I called up my friend to find out how her day of dock walking was going. “It’s going really well actually. I got a job!”. I’m ashamed to admit the way I felt at that moment as rivers of jealousy ran through my body combined with disbelief that I was wasting precious time at the police station in the hope that some nobody would help me find a job.

The day didn’t really get any better. All I wanted to do was go home but he dragged me around town, first to his grandmother’s house so she could come and reclaim the car. Then she gave him money which he insisted on spending on me. Let just say that by the time I finally made it home I was one ring, a jar of honey, a jar of seaweed and frozen octopus richer.

He loved his granny

He loved his granny

In the days that followed his stalker tendencies really started to kick in. If there was anyone who couldn’t take a hint it was Thomas. I started by trying to ease him off gently and then resorted to completely ignoring his phone calls and texts. When he showed up to a night time get-together on the beach completely out of the blue and uninvited- that’s when I lost my temper.

I was finally free of Thomas except for the times I’d see him around town and I’d duck out the way.

But fast forward a couple of weeks to when I was still jobless and living in a different apartment. I told my story to someone I shared the flat with and this is where things started getting creepy. Her expression changed from entertained to intrigued when she began to realise that this all sounded terribly familiar.

The girl I was sharing a room with, she told me, had had the exact same experience. And when that girl got home and I asked her directly. It was official, we had both been overly admired and ruthlessly pursued by the same man from Reunion Island.

She didn’t necessarily find it as funny as I did, rather she felt quite annoyed that he had lead her to believe she was special while perusing someone else. As a result she told him what for in a not very nice way.

My favourite memory from all this? Shortly after my co-admiree lost it with Thomas he showed up at our doorstep (naturally he hadn’t been there before but being Thomas he knew where we lived). I watched on from my bedroom window, craning my neck to get a good view and trying not to fall out. I watched as he stood patiently waiting for one of us to show up – and I wasn’t going anywhere. When one of us finally arrived home he started his with his apology which of course came with a gift.

While she accepted his apology she was not keen on the apology jewellery he was trying to give to her. Eventually he forced it into her hands and walked away. If there was ever a man who didn’t understand ‘no’ it was this one. Poor girl, I had a great stifled chuckle at her expense that day. I was completely entertained.

The forgiving/open person in me saw something else in Thomas. I saw, after pushing through all the creep, a very lonely person with a kind heart. I know the picture I’ve painted of him here makes this hard to believe but the poor guy never appeared threatening. When he’d see my (male) friends out and about he’d offer them lifts or even just his company on their route home. Maybe they just do things differently on that little Island off the Island off the coast of Southern Africa.

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Turning 26 in the Philippines

This year my birthday fell on  Monday. On the bright side, that Monday happened to be part of a long weekend over which we decided to escape to the Philippines. Since I now live in one of the world’s most impressive cities, along with the fact that cities don’t really ‘do it for me’, we rummaged through a list of 13 beaches near Manila for the perfect spot. Long weekends are exactly that- not much longer than a weekend- so if you’re looking for seclusion in another country be prepared to mission.

Straight after work on Saturday (yes we work on Saturdays), we hopped on a flight that took us from Hong Kong to Manila in less than 2 hours. A quick couple hours of shut-eye in a nearby hotel and the adventure continued with a two hour bus ride south. From there we boarded a ferry which got us to our final location by 1pm. Perfect. A day and a half in paradise before we do that all again.

Now, in case you were wondering, that airport hotel, the bus and the ferry didn’t just miraculously arrange themselves in preparation for our arrival. No, a 72 hour getaway involves a decent amount of preparation because who wants to waste time in-limbo on a blink-and-it’s-over whirlwind tour? The vagabond in me took a back seat as I wrapped my head around the way ‘normal’ people travel. When time is limited, that obnoxious person who ‘doesn’t like to make plans and just goes with the flow’ needs to take a hike. Aint no-one got time for that.

Before I give you a blow by blow on the few hours- and even fewer days- I spent in paradise, there’s one thing I must share with you. You’re never experienced enough to be a cocky traveler. The moment you think you know it all, someone’s gonna come out of the woodwork and scam you. Here’s ‘Miss Wanderlust’ and her equally as wandering boyfriend handing over a small conservation tax fee to a man on the boat after being told NOT to pay anyone but the right people at our final destination.

This dude played it so chilled and there we were handing him our money like idiots. A moment later we realized we’d probably cocked up and said to him we’d like our receipts please. He came back with two torn pieces of paper that weren’t going to fool me (again). I tapped him on the shoulder and held out my ‘receipts’. Without saying a word he slipped my money back into my hand and carried on trying to scam people.

In other news, Filipinos are some of the most friendly, kind and helpful people I’ve ever come across. They definitely made an impression. Two ladies fanned me on separate occasions while we took public transport together. Now THATS hospitality.

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A Day in my Hong Kong Life

I roll out of bed, but not before I moan and groan and make my ‘monster’ noises. Getting up never seems to get easier. God help me when a child arrives to dictate my sleep pattern. I do the usual routine, one that is common place for anybody recently risen and preparing for work. Rub sleep from eyes, shower, dress, eat, put off walking out the door and then eventually do it.

I call the lift to the 21st floor and get in. Its an old lift and not the most efficient. By the time I reach the bottom I’m already two minutes into my commute. Then, depending on my mood, I have a quick chat with the doorman. ‘Doorman’, as he asked to be called, speaks a high level of English. Either he is chatty by nature or he just enjoys practicing his English with one of the few people around to do so. I don’t mind either way. I’m grateful for his presence and interest in my activities. He is easily the closest thing to a father figure that I have in Hong Kong.

The lobby, or doorman’s office, is blistering cold. In Hong Kong, it’s not uncommon to counteract the miserably hot summer with subzero indoor temperatures. As much as I love Doorman, he has a bad habit of exaggerating a problem. “Ohhhh, its a big problem,” he says when you ask where to dispose of your trash. It didn’t take long to figure out that we have differing ideas of what is ‘problematic’.

Its a good 5 minute walk to the bus stop. 7 if you’re taking it slow. And the beauty of finally having been here a while is knowing the short cuts. Up this side street, through that building and voila, your commute to the bus stop involves only one problem traffic light instead of three. Newbies waste so much time.

And waste time they do! Before my education ‘on how to catch the bus to work’ by the School of Life, I knew of only one bus I could take. There are actually five- and now I no longer have to curse as I see the 601 drive by while I’m stuck on the other side of the busy road. Within 3 minutes the 680, 10, 8 or 19 will be around to take me to work. Settling in really has its pro’s.

Work starts around 10am. This depends on when your first and last class is. Either way you are expected to be there for 8 hours. I’m a teacher, but not at a ‘real’ school. Here we are expected to bend over backwards to please the richest of the rich while helping their children gain entrance to UK schools like Eaton and Harrow. Hong Kong parents are no joke. Being a Hong Kong child is no joke either- their childhood is so vastly different to mine that I struggle to comprehend it. I won’t go into much detail but let’s just say they enjoy a one day weekend, and seeing your friends is reserved for school.

As each day passes and my hope of becoming someone who writes for money lessons, I think more seriously about becoming a ‘real’ teacher at a ‘real’ school. With a PGCE under my belt I could increase my already high pay check by a third, enjoy summer, winter and Easter holidays like a real teacher should and use that time to get my ass to new and old favourite places.

But for now I’ll enjoy my late morning starts and short commute to work. I’ll hope that someday someone feels like employing me as a writer but I’ll also accept the fact that I’m too lazy to pursue that goal entirely. It’s no small mountain to climb and while I feel like I have the equipment, I’m not sure I have the will-power to push through all the others trying to do the same. Even if their equipment sucks.

Oh and speaking of equipment, my laptop is broken and I have to pay through the ass to recover my hard drive and I’m writing this on not my computer and I’m feeling very sorry for myself.

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Why Moving Across the World Doesn’t Always get Easier

Each person, city and country will present its own relocation difficulties, but today you’ll hear about Hong Kong’s (slash mine). I can almost officially say that uprooting yourself does get easier after a while, but there are always those hidden stumbling blocks.

Time to get my gripe on about moving to Hong Kong….

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Its fucking hot. I think its appropriate to have this at the top of the list. I never knew I was one of those weak people who cant handle hot, humid weather, but turns out I am. Its the boob sweat, dehydrating kind of heat that leaves me wondering if next time I’ll be so stupid as to join in on the hike. the only place to be is indoors with the AC on. Although apparently the AC needs to be sub zero in order to counteract the heat. You can’t win.

Finding an apartment. On the one hand there are a tonne of apartments available because people come and go like its nobodies business. On the other hand, property costs about a zillion dollars per square meter. The moment you start looking at places within your budget, you realise your previous ideas of big and small spaces will soon change.

The best part is the down payment on your over-priced apartment.In Hong Kong, be prepared to part with 3.5 month’s rent for your initial payment. Its made up of your first month’s rent plus a 2 month deposit plus half a month’s rent in agency fees. Most people I know had to ask their parents for help when they first set up shop in Hong Kong. Me? Well I payed my dues on the yachts.

I share a 3/4 bed with another above average sized human being. This may sound impossible to westerners but its doable I promise. I’m 5.9 and he’s around 6.1 ft and we, believe it or not, have managed to make it work for us. Its not even that we cuddle the whole night through. The early days and winter are clearly behind us.

The mattress incident. The extra-length mattress we had delivered to us but then needed to return is the mattress we sleep on today. Why is that? Because coffee spilled directly on and ALL over it before they managed to take it away from us. Think of one of your worst 48 hours and then think of this. A stressful and PMS-filled move, topped off with ‘the mattress incident’ that brought me to tears. The mattress now fits because it has to. When I tell this story everyone always wants to know ‘who spilled the coffee?’ the answer is and has to be ‘both of us’ to avoid ruining a relationship over spilled coffee.

An initial loss of social life. Drinking at any establishment is as expensive as if you were doing it in Australia. Drinking alcohol is abut 50 times more expensive, relatively speaking, than anything else here. We’ve been here 3 months and only went out for the first time a few days ago. Moving to Hong Kong without a job or steady income means that you SHOULD NOT have much of a social life at first. That is if you want to keep your head above water, financially.

Other than that, things are going swell 🙂

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Eye Spy With my Little Eye Something Beginning With ‘Mainlander’

Us westerners are guilty of a lot of things. One of them is being of the opinion that all black people look alike. (It makes me feel better to know it works both ways though). We feel the same about Asians. To the majority of white people, the majority of Asians look alike. We can’t tell them apart.

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When you live in Asia this changes a lot. I have fun eyeing out the hordes of passers by on my way to work. Looking more closely at their individuality. There differing styles, facial features and body types and noticing that they’re just as much, if not more, unique than us whities.

Hong Kong is full to the brim with people. There’s not a moment in time when its quiet and there’s almost no place you can go for some reprieve- apart from your home. This overflowing of people has been an issue on the news recently and it’s not because Hong Kongers are reproducing at a rate of knots. Its the influx of mainland Chinese coming to visit (shop). Recently the visa rules have relaxed and mainlanders have been taking advantage.

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But how does one tell the difference between people from mainland China and their lookalikes- the people of Hong Kong? Here are four giveaways that I’ve noticed so far.

1. Luggage. If someone hadn’t pointed it out to me I would be none-the-wiser. People come from mainland China with one thing in mind… to shop. But what do you do if you’ve hopped across the border for a quick weekend throughout which you intend to buy more than you can carry? Well you take your luggage shopping with you of course. Blocking up sidewalks and escalators are tourists on their spending sprees with their trusty roller-bags by their sides. If you didn’t know any better you’d think folks were between the hotel and airport. These suitcases are actually for shopping-till-you-drop purposes.

2. No-one loves their luxury brands like the Chinese do. Luis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Versace. The more I’m exposed to them here in Hong Kong, the more I am of the opinion that a sometimes ugly item of clothing, branded with these household names, is the biggest waste of money. If you see someone walking out of one of these high fashion, luxury brand stores, they are almost definitely Mainlanders. They probably also have roller bags by their sides- Gucci of course.

3. The subway/underground system in Hong Kong is called the MTR. The MTRC (corporation) own everything- but that’s besides the point. The MTR swallows people up and spits them out at different places around the city, just like any semi-functioning underground system would. The MTR is always busy. A good day on the metro is when you have breathing space- not a seat. This is one of the areas of concern regarding the influx of Mainlanders.

It’s argued that their numbers are clogging up the main arteries of the city. A counter argument is that without them the luxury brand business would suffer.. hmmmm. If you see a Chinese walk out of a metro carriage and straight up to a map, congratulations, you’ve spotted a Mainlander! No Hong Konger needs a map! Not even me… well sometimes.

4. Hong Kongers speak Cantonese as opposed to Mandarin, which Mainlanders speak. Now, its very much the case that you would never ever be able to tell the difference between the two. However there is a way to tell if you listen really closely. Mandarin, spoken by Mainlanders, is much higher pitched, uses much more intonation and is way more sing-songey.

The only time I am able to make out a difference is when the metro speaks to you about what stop is up next. The clever metro speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese and it is here where you will observe the very obvious difference between the two Chinese languages. I’m yet to identify an actual Mainlander based on their language, but there’s still time.

 

 

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On Being an ‘Angry South African Expat’ and What Really Makes us Tick

Lets get one thing straight- there is no such thing as a ‘South African expat’.

People who have chosen to live outside the country should not be lumped into one category. Even though the term applies to anyone living abroad, its much more complex than that. There are South Africans living all the over the world for reasons that vary from being racist, to a career move, to prolonged travel. And for a long time now ‘South African expat’ has become somewhat of a curse word, a word used to describe deserters full of hate.

I felt the need to bring up the issue of the South African expat because a) I am one of them and b) I’m pretty damn tired of feeling guilty about it. (And also a recent trending article got me thinking.)

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The first category of South African expats are of an older generation. These individuals have many enemies. They have been living outside of South Africa for years, if not decades. They are targeted by anti-expat articles written by naysayers who write with just as much hate as their accused ex-countrymen supposedly harbor.

This generation of expats left South Africa around the time of the country’s first democratic elections. In the months leading up to them, petrified white South Africans fled the country for fear of being the victims of a counter attack. (That or they were just downright racist and couldn’t deal with a black president).

There is a certain (large) amount of negativity towards this group of people. You can find proof in all the long winded pieces about evil-expats written by gushingly proud South Africans. We get it- there are South Africans living abroad who talk shit about their native country, it’s crime stats and corruption.

But if you ask me, one of the few places one might be exposed to these bad vibes and negativity is in the comment section of an article written by aforementioned gushingly proud South Africans who love singling out expats and their ‘stupid’ decision to leave. Being picked on for being ‘unpatriotic’ and leaving is only going to cause debate, negativity, a lot of back and forth and name calling. I do not condone bad behavior from either side. No-one is idiotic for choosing to leave or stay.

But, as with most things in life, there is a new generation.

Not all expats decided to ‘run for their lives’ around 1994. What about those who left more recently. Those who stuck around long enough to see Mandela become president, watch the ’95 Rugby World Cup and maybe even long enough to enjoy the 2010 festivities….. but eventually still made the decision to leave. While l don’t hold the all answers about the increasing flow of South Africans out of the country, I do have a few questions for those who love to complain about it:

Did you know that people all over the world leave their native countries to pursue better opportunities? Did you know that it is not necessarily unpatriotic to leave your country to live in another one? That often, living outside the country makes us more patriotic than ever before? Especially because, and did you know this, being removed from South Africa and it’s problems helps us keep a more positive outlook on it that you might?

Arriving home the day of Mandela's death was extremely special for for. I was humbled and totally appreciative of my country.

Arriving home the on day of Mandela’s death was extremely special for me. I was humbled, appreciative and proud of everything my country stands for. I was like a tourist experiencing the magic for the first time.

If you meet an American living outside their country, or a Swede or a Kiwi, would you question their patriotism? Probably not. And their countrymen probably wouldn’t give two hoots about their decision to leave either. So why do South Africans get so upset at the idea of, God forbid, a South African living outside of South Africa?

Remember, a lot of people who leave South Africa intend to return in the future. The experience and knowledge they gain overseas and eventually bring home is priceless and should not be underestimated or downplayed. I like to think they’d contribute massively to a better South Africa one day instead of assuming they’re making things worse.

Unfortunately the dilemma continues for new generation ‘deserters’. Although we’ve gained the right to vote abroad, we’ve somehow lost our right to an opinion on the state of the nation.

American expats wouldn’t think twice about calling George Bush out on his stupidity. They’d second guess their country’s gun laws in the blink of an eye . So why are South African expats at the point where they feel guilty about making judgments about home? We seem to have lost our right to speak negatively about South Africa after making a decision to leave. Apparently leaving means we’re no longer entitled to think along the same lines as people who remain to contribute: Zuma is a dick, crime sucks and growing your savings account takes decades.

If someone makes the decision to leave, so be it. Instead of reacting with negativity and blaming them for their lack of positive contribution to the country, rather give them a hug because you know how hard it must be to leave and a high five for managing to do it on a South African passport.

In the past four years living abroad I’ve encountered a lot of questions related to South Africa, its political and social situation. I don’t sugar coat things. I say yes, my house is fortified and yes, my heart does race when I arrive home late at night for fear of being hijacked at my gate.  I say these things because I have been asked and because they are true. NOT because my favourite past time is to talk shit about South Africa.

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It is also my experience that once these people have heard what I have to say they are, naturally, quite shocked. My answers are often met with more questions. And this is most likely the reason why when you meet foreigners they might bring it up in conversation with you. Not because I’ve exaggerated or gone on, but because they were shocked by what I had to say. Because a lot of the time what South Africans call their reality, is insane.

In the same breath I try and encourage the people I meet to visit there one day because just like a problem child, my problem country is completely delightful and they’d be missing out if they never got to know it.

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