For all the expats

I have recently become a follower of a new blog, as a result of a reblog by a blogger I follow.

This blogger is very young from my perspective. As in late thirties, early forties, I would guess. She is a Saffer living in SA. She is very defensive and I like her style. I haven’t back tracked much (no time) but I did read one blog. “On angry expat South Africans”.

Us expats are constantly having to defend ourselves for leaving. Accused of scouring the net for bad news, simply to justify our reasons for abandoning the beloved country. And so the endless mud slinging goes on.

Many South Africans who left have returned, with huge relief no doubt. I don’t doubt that had we been younger when we left, we would certainly have returned. This is a difficult one. If you have young children you have responsibilities, and this is a valid reason for departing and staying away, making the best of it. Then again, if we hadn’t been heading into our dotage at the time, we would never have made the decision to leave anyway. Returning has never been an option – too old – and we count ourselves lucky for having had the option to leave in the first place. Living on a farm way out in the sticks became fairly nerve wrecking, and we now live an almost entirely placid life.

And, dear God, is it boring.

Would I rather be murdered in my bed than die of boredom? It’s debatable.

I’m not an ‘angry’ expat. But I am regretful.

Did many of us expats become addicted to adrenalin? Is this one of the reason so many of us long for South Africa and are never able to let go entirely?

Just thinking 🙂

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25 Responses to For all the expats

  1. Gunta says:

    An interesting conundrum indeed.

    • footsy2 says:

      Thank you for understanding what I am trying to put across, not very successfully, obviously 🙂

      • Gunta says:

        It just sounded so similar to what my ‘clan’ encountered….. those who escaped when the Iron Curtain came down. Then there was all the soul searching every which way once Latvia regained its independence in ’91. Trying to mesh the two disparate cultures back together again after close to 50 years made for both sad and funny situations. Of course, now the Russian Bear seems to be stretching its claws all over again and fear ratchets up several more notches. I had thought of a trip back to the land of my birth, but pretty much dropping that plan for the moment. Not just because of Putin. Health had a bit to do with it, but all in all, it didn’t seem like the best of times…

        Of course there was that element of defending ourselves for leaving… then again there was the other side where they were accused of blending too well with the Soviet influence. Seems to me folks are far too judgemental and then some.

      • footsy2 says:

        And I, who do not judge, seeing merit in both sides of the story get sniped at by both sides. LOL.

  2. I think everyone who left all had their own personal reasons for leaving…..

    • footsy2 says:

      It’s not so much about leaving, as about the difficulty in putting down new roots elsewhere.

      • Putting down roots just takes time, but I think attitude makes a difference and you have to adopt your new country’s customs and mix in your own cultural roots with theirs….I always say half of me is SA and the other half is American and home is both places….I can never see myself moving back to SA, home is where the kids are….this subject certainly brings out reactions……I can remember when we told the family we were leaving and we were accused of being on the “chicken run”. back in 1991……

      • footsy2 says:

        I am lucky enough to spend a large portion of the year in Spain where lifestyle and attitude is way more relaxed and a lot closer to home. As to adopting a ‘new’ country – I am a Brit by birth and upbringing – also spent a few years in London during the sixties. Never fitted, and don’t fit now :-). Not the only one either – Spain is knee deep in expat Brits. BTW, I adore the States but the option to settle there was never available.

  3. Annie’s so right. We all have free choice, and I feel sorry for those who would love to leave, but for one reason or another, can’t do so.

  4. colonialist says:

    I think anyone who could leave to a reasonable life overseas and doesn’t, or returned to SA from such a life, should be committed to an institution. The list of why would take a volume of posts.

  5. Denise van den Berg says:

    I thought I was the only one who since leaving for New Zealand am totally bored out of my skull. When one reads on the front page a litany of complaints about people who take their dogs for walkies and don’t pick up the poo, then you realise just how boring it really is. The people here look for something to complain, they don’t realise how lucky they actually are – no going to sleep in fear, driving somewhere with everything locked in the boot of the car, windows wound up, door locked….I could go on and on.

  6. Arkenaten says:

    And, dear God, is it boring.

    The character, Death in Terry Pratchett’s novels is fascinated, bemused and somewhat saddened by humans who he states with all the amazing things they are surrounded by they are the only species in he Multiverse capable of inventing Boredom.
    He has a point…. :>)

    I must be honest, I do get nervous from time to time, and the thought of moving to Portugal close to Celeste’s family, is appealing and maybe, just maybe we will pull up sticks and do just that one day.

    Or come and annoy the hell out of you, of course!

    • footsy2 says:

      You’ve been promising that forever! As for me, I am an ingrate, also an unrepentant reprobate, beyond salvation 🙂

      • Arkenaten says:

        Be careful what you wish for…

        I am an ingrate…

        🙂 I named a cat Ingrate in one of my books. First time I have seen it written since.

        I could well imagine a Reality TV show….Footsy in dark glasses, floppy sunhat and poncho style outfit cruising the local Mall pushing her Tesco’s Wire Trolley.

        “Meet The Shoplifters”

  7. Ruth2Day says:

    well I’m an ex-pat, but ex UK living in SA. For the last couple of years we’ve been altering our life to move back, and hold thumbs this will happen this year. The one thing I have learnt from being here for so long is to embrace the opportunities and lifestyle I’ve had in SA.. It took me about ten years to settle here, and during that ten I did a lot of whingeing and comparing to the UK, until I finally woke up and decided that I was doing myself no favours and unsettling myself no end. I suppose what I’m saying is, if your bored out of your skull, should you be changing your mind-set to remembering your SA years, but finding the pleasures where you live now, because I’m betting there are quite a few.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Too true, Ruth. Boredom. as in: Walking the dogs without a care, parking the car in the street cos the garage is full of ”stuff”, the highlight of local crime is someone nicking supermarket trolleys. and half a dozen strangers say Hello or Good Morning when you go for a walk to the shops.

      I like the sound of that !

    • footsy2 says:

      The Women’s Institute is a possibility. Book clubs,. Church Groups… What I miss is a challenge? Maybe take up shop lifting – just for fun 🙂

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