At the recommendation of @talloracle, I accepted the invite and joined Internations.
It’s a social network site for expats all around the world and my nearest group was in Johannesburg.
I register on the site with my location as Centurion, no cost for basic membership. I’m not sure what extras there are for paying or even how much the fee is.
There were a few messages of welcome; I had a go on the message board, and invitations to ‘meet ups’
But sods law they were on nights hubby was away or Dan had football training and anyway I really didn’t fancy driving into Jo’burg at night
But then a Pretoria group was started and I was invited to Rhapsody’s, just off the N1, the next junction from Menlyn Mall and the turnoff I use for Dans football.
So off I went, was given a name badge with a UK flag and told to sit where I wanted. Unfortunately Rhapsody’s was busy that night, music playing and 4 tables of 10 set up for us, with 2 in an alcove and little walkway space. It was difficult to move around and it seemed that most people knew one another, lots of air kissing and cleavage, only 6 men and about 25 women. It became clear pretty quickly that I was possibly the only non working person there and as a result the conversation took a while to get going.
I sat with four South Africans who had registered on the site when they had worked abroad and I learnt a lot, they’d had similar problems here when they returned, cell phones, paying bills etc so I didn’t feel too bad. I met some British people, working for the High Commission in Pretoria advising on foreign policy.
I left after two hours and took with me advice on changing the status of my visa, information on UNISA for continuing my degree and an invitation for coffee, plus endless advice.
I’ll be going again and I’m definitely going to explore the site some more, but next time, I’ll dress far less conservatively.