Friday, 14 October 2011

An English Gal In South Africa ..

Wo-oh, I'm an alien. I'm an illegal alien, I'm an English gal in South Africa.

Actually, I'm not illegal at all. Well, I won't be as long as I stop procrastinating and renew my visa before the end of next month ... ha.

But I have been thinking lots of late, probably due to the pending visa application, about my move to South Africa and the difference it's made to my life and how I live it.

I'd travelled before, but living your life in another country is different. It truly opens your eyes to, firstly, the fact that other people live differently and secondly, to the fact that this is okay :) Sometimes change makes us insecure, when in fact we should embrace it as a chance to experience something new and learn from it. Get more positive us.

The first thing that happened was I very quickly learnt a lot more about South Africa than I could have ever done so living in the UK. News reports and even history as it's told is just not an accurate way to get a feeling for a countrys people and their way of life.

It's a lot greener than I thought it would be. The nature has totally blown me away since I first arrived and still does so every day I am here. Such a beautiful country to live in. Aside from the weather, which is an obvious plus point to an ex-UK dweller, used to more grey skies than blue.

The segregation and standard of living for the majority of the population shocked me, it was worse than I thought it would be but at the same time, so much more complex an issue than I thought. BIG changes take a looooong time to happen. Even in a positive, forward thinking country like this one.

 And it's HUGE. I mean, really MASSIVE. The space is so freeing, even living in Joburg I can have space and trees and fresh air. Being able to literally see further, somehow helps you to open your mind and see further there also.

I've been lazy in learning Afrikaans, I have had to alter the way I speak English with changes of words and phrases and it's amazing how quickly your mind adapts to thinking in South African English as opposed to UK English. Now I only struggle when I speak to family or friends from the UK, and have to stop and think to go back to the way I used to speak.

They also think I have an accent, because some of the words I've learnt to use in everyday conversation our new words to me, and I have learnt them by listening to South Africans. Hence I pronounce them in the same way.

Here's some examples;

UK                                SA
Film                              Movie
Trousers                       Pants
Shorts                          Short Pants
Pants                            Underpants
Pick Up Truck                Bakkie (pr. "bucky")
Satsuma                       Naartjie (pr. "Nartchee")
Corn                             Mealie
Too                              Also
Yeah                             Ya

I think my new life out here has taught me many many new things and that can only enhance and broaden my experiences of life and people. And I get to have an all year round tan too! Happy happy joy joy.

The only downside is that I miss my home. Rather, the people I love who live there, and I wish they could all come over and live here also. At least I have a lovely holiday destination to tempt them with ....

Come visit, all are welcome.