Friday, 25 January 2013

They call my son a 'Salty'

Well it's been 2 years since we arrived from the UK to South Africa. Don't get me wrong I absolutly LOVE South Africa and wouldn't change living here for the world.

It's not SA that's caused the problems, it's the lack of support from a company my Husband has been employed with for 27 years. I've read many experiences from other 'trailing spouse' expats around the world and they've all experienced similar things, commonly that of isolation, lonliness, depression. That has been what's helped me and is moving me forward.

So a lot of thinking has been done over the past few weeks, alot of reflection and moving on, but not forgiveness.

I've moved on in many ways, measured by my achievements, not only was it a difficult process to close down the UK side of things, tenants, bank accounts, change of address, organising shipping etc, it was a million times more difficult to open up SA alone, in a foreign country, not knowing how anything works, where to go, what to do? Do we need TV licences? Is there car tax? what about MOT's etc?

You see I'm British born and raisied and I only know the British way of doing things.....or do I?

I think I've arrived now, understand how things work, have renewed policies, had daily dramas such as emergency ER trips and just got on with normal life, shopping, dental check ups, school runs.

But yesterday I realised I'm actually in 'no mans land' Last week I asked if cheque books were still in use in the UK, many understood and knew that I'd been out of the UK for 2 years and answered, but a few were quite scathing in their reply, almost taking the piss 'ooohhh don't you know?'

I also had to ask about family allowance (I gave mine up when we left). I no longer know or care about the exchange rate, we are paid in local currency and as long as the UK tenants rent covers our actual outgoings it's not a problem.

But I'm still getting confused. I arranged to meet Hubby in Cafe Nero, he was there on time at Mugg and Bean and he didn't even cotton on that I'd mixed the two coffee chains up. I asked the kids to SKY + a programme for me and all hell broke out....'sky + ha ha ha ha ha don't you mean DSTV'? (annoying little brats) I popped out to Morrisons to do the food shop and hubby said 'that was quick' I'd actually been to Pick n Pay. On my last trip to the UK I sat at the fuel station for almost 5 minutes before I remembered I had to fill my own car, pack my own bags in the supermarkets and actually have to reverse out of a car park space without assistance.

There's lots about SA I don't like and could do without, mainly people's inabilities to make firm arrangements and answer queries within any sort of time scale, but I don't miss dirty public toilets, the over crowding, rudeness and agression that I so often witnessed in the UK...but I do miss the snow.

So why do they call my son a 'Salty?'

He has one foot in each Contienent and his Balls are dangling in the sea.


  1. Do you do home visits? I also find it amazing when we go back for those. Our next home visit is in April and I would have been in Thailand for 16 months then and I know it's going to be a bit of shock to see the difference

  2. I think it is wonderful that you went to SA with you husband and brought the kids along. Even though there are many ups and downs, maybe more downs then ups, you have given your kids an amazing experience.

  3. I love reading your take on life in SA, reminds me of growing up there x.

  4. Hah! That last line made me laugh so hard I scared the dog :-D Brilliant, as ever!

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