Sunday 13 November 2011

Shhhhhhh keep this one to yourself

I don't seek approval from my hubby before blogging. All he asks is I keep the name of the company out of my blogs, don't reveal our surname and I'm on my own if I blog about anyone and they don't like it.

We've not had an easy time of settling into our life in South Africa, his job is going very well and he gets to travel and see new place, the kids settled into school within 48hrs and on one occassion when I said I wanted to return to the UK the kids begged me to stay here, with their new friends, school and opportunities they never had in the UK.

But my whole life changed, no work, no studies, no friends, I was lonely (still am a little) nothing to do, no where to go and no money to spend anyway.

If you've been reading the rest of my blog you can see all the issues/problems we've had. South Africa is a beautiful country, I love the climate, the people, the countryside, the animals, but I don't love the violence, the fear of crime. It's difficult to explain, but the fear of crime is far greater than I could ever have imagined.

It is this fear of crime, this different culture that has stopped me just getting out there and on with things.

I certainly recommend you come here for a holiday, it is safe, as long as you plan your routes, avoid townships, don't drive alone at night, but trying to live here is hard, having to go to places off the tourist route to register your car, pay your bills, and I can't just go for a drive to explore and to find new places.

But this week, the boss is over from Europe, we made a formal complaint about how we were struggling finacially with the rent, a car loan, loss of my salary, big deal you may think, but the point was, we didn't come here on an inflated salary, we came here with the promise to be helped out, made to feel safe and we were let down badly. Not just by the company but by the UK side of things, their lack of interest once they'd recieved their payment. The removal company who were unobtainable for 3 working days when customs here demanded more money, then lost our container for 2 days. The UK bank who failed to inform us that all the benefits of the account didn't actually apply as they don't have a branch here, so we had to take local finance, transfer money from the UK for huge deposits, high interest rates and a car loan that has to be repaid in 2 years because of our visa.

It's been me sorting it all out, walking around with large sums of cash to purchase a car, driving on my own to places to set up utility bills and having to return with more documents...on my own, lonely, tired, upset and depressed, but I've donr it, I've managed, I've screamed and shouted and thrown things.

The company can't undo the past, although dismissing the HR woman who cocked up did help, but not replacing her for the past 7 months hasn't helped. Some compensation is good, help finding a cheaper place to live, with the same level of security is good. Although I'm not accepting help on the that, I've informed them and they've accepted they must find me several places to view and pay for removal costs plus packing and unpacking.

I now know what I need to do, where I need to do it and how to do it comes to renewing car insurance and registration, utility bills, medical aid, tv licence but I'm going to claim ignorance and I now know who to ask to get them to do it for me....

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