Friday 2 March 2012

My cup of coffee in Pretoria

OK watch out job market here I come...I won't be out off by the horror stories and I will not be defeated...
But I will continue to rant about the situation, I can't work and study is hard to enrole with here (trust me spent many frustrating emails/visits/phonecalls) my kids are teens. So how do I meet people? how do I feel of value? how do I build my career and keep my CV alive?

Here is what I do?

I kick up one holy stink with hubbies work and DEMAND help. I use twitter to contact organisations in the UK that deliver volunteer packages here and I do not give up.

But first I need a police clearnace check...pop to local police station, get fingerprinted, pay R59, drop prints off with SARS, wait 3 weeks and return to collect clearance.

Simple? Easy? surprisingly enough, so far it has been. I'll let you know when I go back on next monday to collect it and it's not ready because they forgot to tell me something.

Anyway I digress, but that is how I ended up in Pretoria for a coffee. I parked in a multi storey car park. Crossed the road, department signposted, handed forms etc over and asked a bemused police man if it was safe for me to walk around the city. I've driven through Pretoria before to go to the Mozambique embassy and through it on our way to Brits on one occassion, but never stopped off.

You see living in a security estate and only going to Malls etc in security areas, it becomes a little difficult to feel safe without a barrier around me. I'm aware all the time for my personal safety and the ability to walk around an open city was quite a daunting process *if you're new to my blog I do live in South Africa.

After being advised to take the same precautions one would in any city I scurried off to the nearest coffee place which was Wimpy for a Latte and gather myself together.

I then wandered round a few arcades and shops. There are the high street shops here but mainly it is independently owned shops where I discovered spray paint for some projects I wanted to work on, a solar panel kit for youngests science experiment, a card shop at cheap prices. I was pleased and amazed with Pretoria and will be going back there again.


  1. I didn't realise how dodgy it was for you there. Where does the danger come from? Very brave of you to get out for a coffee. Good luck with the job search, you have been very tenacious!

    1. We live in probably one of the more dangerous countries in the world that is not at war or a dictatership.
      The danger comes from hijacking and burgalries, the stakes are high and you can guarentee they will be carrying a gun. Our neighbours maid was held hostage at gunpoint in our estate last june

  2. I hadn't realised quite how potentially dangerous it was out there either. Go you for taking the plunge and doing something outside your secure estate..I have to say I fully understand your pain over the job front...OK I'm not in South Africa, but having moved to the Us I find that not only am I unable to work until my green card comes through, but my UK qualifications are not necessarily valid over here, and have had to pay to start the verification process. If they don't stack up over here I will have to retrain to do what I have already been doing. Until all of this is decided I feel in complete limbo and some days so alone because I spend so much time alone. The boys are at school, hubby is working, and I am in the same situation as you where without a job it is really hard to meet new people and make friends.

    I wish you all the luck in the world, and if you find some magic ingredient to make life as an expat easier, please let me know :-)

    Lou :-)

    1. i came across this link about trailing spouses. it makes me feel alot better knowing i am not alone and i was told before me moved that other expats would be my lifeline as only they understand how it feels,