It’s been over two months since Raquel and I moved to South Africa after our long honeymoon travelling in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Macau and Hong Kong. It’s been a strange two months for both us in many ways.
For me, it’s was a homecoming, coming back to my roots, my home. Despite this it has not been that easy, especially having to move back home and almost losing some independence when living with parents and living in small town again, but its nice to around the family again.
For Raquel, well it is a completely new experience. Having only ever lived in Europe moving to Africa has been very interesting for Raquel. Sometimes its funny to see how something that was perfectly normal to me growing up here is completely alien to Raquel. Below is an excerpt from an email Raquel sent her friends on some things she found odd:
:: It’s quite common to see children going to the Supermarket barefoot… I don’t have a clue why and apparently no one has a clear explanation it’s just widely accepted. I would love to see my mum’s face if my children ever do it…
:: Traffic signs are just huge, they really want to make sure we all see them, in my case it just works the other way around as I stare at their size instead of driving properly. Ah! they also have traffic signs new to me like “be aware of hippos” or “be aware of lions”, hopefully I’ll never know learn why those signs are there….
:: Every single sentence spoken in English finishes with the expression “Hey”, it doesn’t really mean anything, it’s used as a full stop… I find it a bit annoying but maybe in a couple of months I’ll do exactly the same….
:: Local expressions like “lekker” (really good) and “toi toi” (complain about something you’re unhappy with) leave me completely confused in a everyday conversation. Just yesterday I had a policeman telling me “shap shap” and my face was completely puzzled until Tony explained me it just means “everything is fine”. I can guess locals will have plenty of fun with me in the next couple of months 😛
It will take a while before we get completely comfortable with our surroundings and regain and adopt the habits of living in South Africa, but that’s sometimes the beauty of change and Raquel and I like to face it full on!
There have been other things to preoccupy ourselves with during these two months, which have kept us busy. The first of which was getting Raquel’s paperwork in order. As Raquel took on my last name when we got married, she had to change all her Portuguese documents to include my last before moving on to start the process of legalizing her permanent stay in South Africa.
We also travelled to Mozambique to pick up my belonging, which endured the Libyan revolution. You must be wondering why on earth my belongings from Libya ended up in Mozambique… Well, when I was contacted about my belongings being shipped out, I was living in Mozambique, and for some reason the company, didn’t want to deliver the stuff to South Africa, so they sent it to Mozambique. However shipping the stuff took so long that it only arrived in Maputo, despite me being in Beira and it also only arrived in my last week in the country before Christmas. As I was suppose to move back to Mozambique and didn’t… my things ended up staying there until I could arrange some sort of pick-up.
So after ten months of waiting for my stuff, Raquel and I made the long drive to Maputo (via Swaziland, with post to follow soon), to pick up what was left of my belongs as most of the electronics, such as my Wii, laptops, hard drives etc were stolen, either by the shipping company, or by Mozambique customs… However seeing as I didn’t think I’d see any of it again, I was not going to complain.
We’ve also been doing some serious job hunting, which has resulted in a couple of interviews for Raquel and me, which hopefully might lead to some jobs in the new year and the start of new life proper in South Africa.
That my friends is a not so quick update on our life in South Africa, though I do want to write a longer post about this soon, and will once January is over (as it will be a bust month).