Tuesday, October 16, 2007

expats...

expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence. the word comes from the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country, fatherland), and is sometimes misspelled (either unintentionally or intentionally) as ex-patriot or short x-pat, because of its pronunciation.

this is quite a controversial subject…and i’m not judging anyone…but i live in a country where every single person here knows someone who has left our shores for good…my brother and his wife are living in the US…kansas city…hurricane country…but apparently they’ll rather take their chances with a hurricane than with our criminals…i can understand why they went…my brother was hi-jacked (car jacked)…it scarred and scared him simultaneously…which is understandable…but it’s still sad…i miss my brother so much, haven’t seen him for 5 years…when he was approached for a good job he jumped at the chance…they love it there…but i can’t help myself wondering how great is really is to uproot yourself and to walk into a new culture…some i have heard from first-hand says the culture shock is quite severe…it takes time to fit in…to make friends…it takes a long time…and i just wonder…aren’t you always labelled as a foreigner…cause face it that’s what you are…you don’t laugh at the same jokes…you don’t get the nuances right away…there are traditions and under currents that don’t come naturally when you put your suitcases down…that’s gotta be tough…my cousin married a german and is now a german citizen herself… she says it took her 10 years to actually laugh at the same jokes as the germans...she just did not get their jokes...and sometimes she would laugh hysterically at something that no one else found funny...imagine that!...she now has three deutche kinders …they come to visit south africa every year … then there are 3 american cousins that came to visit south africa over christmas for the first time…and they all l~o~v~e~d it…they were surprised that what they found here was not the picture the world painted of how it was here…the one german cousin's dream is to emigrate here and to open a biltong kiosk (ok he’s only 12 years old but still)…aint that funny…lol!...i just think it must be so tough to give up your roots and to survive in a new country…you guys living in the UK and US that read my blog…what’s your take on this…are the people who make their homes in your country really welcome?...even the basic terminology is different …my brother went into a supermarket and asked for a trolley…they didn’t know what he was talking about…trolleys are called carts there…another one is a robot…a lot of us talk about robots…not a traffic light…and of course the gas…we use gas in cylinders here…for when the power is out…or when we go camping…we put petrol in our cars…kilometers and meters and centimeters...i don't understand inches and miles…i understand the reasons for leaving, crime mostly and affirmative action, but we all try to manage the crime to live a normal life…i’m not ignorant…i know crime is at a all-time high…but as far as i know you can get hi-jacked in the US too…i just can’t believe that it’s so damn awful living in this beautiful country…i know we are facing change...but we'll get there...i know we will...i love south african people, all the cultures…the diversity…so i will be staying right here…i have a braai with a huge open fire right in my back yard as often as i can…i get tears in my eyes every time we sing nkosi sikele at a rugby game…it’s silly stuff but i can’t imagine my life without them…

here’s some of the stuff my german cousin takes back to germany with every visit:

peppermint crisps…chocolate bar with peppermint mixture inside…yummy
cream soda… it’s delicious~!

rooibos tea…a local variety of tea...sweet and very nice

mrs. balls’ chutney


all gold tomato sauce...no ketchup thanks...i want 36 (shhhhhhhhh) tomatoes in one bottle...
zambuk ointment~ i know this is crazy, my cousin grew up with zambuk, for every scrape, cut or bruise call zambuk, she literally takes about 50 tins back when she visits…i promise...
biltong…although you are not allowed to take it out of the country anymore…raw meat…seasoned and dried…good stuff

koeksisters: doughy and syrupy…

milk tart...
marie biscuits: love them, do you get lemon creams abroad? i would not survive without lemon creams...
swear words: kak, bliksem, moer, fok!

anyway i think it’s quite sad that we are loosing our sisters and our brothers… i can’t imagine doing something like that myself, i love this country too much, i love my family too much…i want my kids to know their family and heritage..i would not survive any other place…to me africa is home and always will be…

we miss you guys!
hope all your dreams come true...

9 COMMENTS....bite me!:

Wenchy said...

My son jokes that I put Zambuk on everything... but it works dammit!

Glugster said...

Psst. Don't tell anyone but Popular Mechanics (the magazine) did a test to see whether they could fit 36 tomatoes into an all gold tomato sauce bottle. They failed miserably (Shock, horror!)

Sweetass RSA said...

wenchy: lol!...it does...just the smell...eeeeuwwh!

glug: tell the guys at popular mechanics that they should use a bigger bottle, a purity bottle will definately be too small!!! ;-)

Mr R Rabbit said...

I have a few South African friends over here, and they've been accepted easily enough. Admittedly we mock each other incessantly about our respective accents, but I still get invited to their braais, and they still come along to my tea parties.

Nosjunkie said...

Oh my goodness a S.A. blogger I thought all of us had imigrated to facebook.
Anyway I am a big patriot this week. I cant wait for the Rugby final. and I intend to have biltong milktart creamsoda and balls....I mean Mrs Balls

Sweetass RSA said...

rabbit: good to know,...tea parties..come on! lol!

nosjunkie: yip i don't do facebook...shocking i know...i need to get paid every month...just don't have the milktart creamsoda and the chutney together ok?!

angel said...

fok maar dis lekker om in hierie bliksemse taal te kan kak praat!
mwaaaaaaahahahahahahaaaaaa...
i miss a few people who've left, but i aint goin' nowhere!

Fish said...

People do, what they think is best. Thou running away, is usually not the answer.

Sweetass RSA said...

angel: dis fokken lekker ek weet! lol!
fish: if you ever told an ex south african they ran away, you will never hear the end of if, but i agree!!!

 
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