Monday 7 November 2011

To whom it may concern

Dear South Africans and expats where ever you may be....

I'm not unhappy, I'm not complaining, I'm just over whelmed and under supported.
it's a hard enough decision to move with kids away from family and friends and familiarity, to find work, to organise removal firms, change of address, set up new utilities, find new schools etc, within the UK, been there and done that. I've also helped and supported more family and friends than I care to remember when they've done the same.

But this is slightly different. I've moved to the bottom of the earth. I talk to expats on twitter, via email and even face to face at various expat get togethers I've found either on the net or been invited to join via other tweeters and everyone and I mean everyone is appalled at the lack of help and support from my husbands company, despite what we were promised assistance with.

When you move north to south, east to west of vice versa, within your own country, everything is still the same, you know the names of the insurance companies, you have your mobile phone, access to interent, you transfer your services, contracts etc with you. You know there is a post office, you know it is still called a post office, you know the person you'll stop and ask in the street can give you directions to the post office.

But when you move to another country everything is different. We've been fortunate that English is commonly spoken here, but WTF is a robot and when someone says Now, now, at the robot, what do they mean?

I love South Africa, the climate, OK it's taking a little to get used to the constant heat, but we'll get there and winter was a surprise with frozen water pipes. I love the scenery, the animals, the people, but they just don't understand how hard/difficult it is for us....I know from talking to South Africans that everything is painful and drawn out, but for someone who comes from a different culture it's twice as hard.

I'm not asking for help, you can't stand in the queue for me and get the information I need as you're not me. You'll not understand what it is like until you decide to move abroad, lock, stock and barrell and alone.

And as for the rest of you, you have been great twitter, just remember we're not on one long holiday, we'll not gain from the experiences here until we return to the UK and compare the good and the bad and I love to hear about your boring, normal routines as after all after 10 months here, life is just a routine for us also.