Most people, if they don’t initially mistake us for Ozzies, recognise our South African twangs.
The first thing I normally hear is “why did you leave South Africa?” followed by “its so cold here.”
Well I left South Africa, one of the most beautiful countries in the world because I had to escape while I could. Yes, this beautiful country is unfortunately being destroyed by high, violent crime and corruption. It is fast becoming just like the other African countries.
I was hijacked by three black men in my driveway. There is no way to describe the fear when they point a huge firearm to your head. I thought they were going to kill me. They stole my car with all my personal belongings and camera but as all complacent South Africans say “at least the children weren’t in the car,” “at least they didn’t hurt me” True, and I am thankful for those small mercies but what they did to my mind is not funny. I lived in fear, I was afraid to go to my own house alone. If I saw people or cars outside our house I would drive around the block a few times while I waited for a gate escort from our security company.
The very sad thing is, almost every South African has a similar or worse personal story to tell. It is crazy there, you get in from work and batton down the hatches, all security doors are locked and when you go to bed at night the house is alarmed in and out and the armed response are on the alert.
Every open window has burglar bars, every external door is secured with an iron security gate. Those that aren’t are few and far between.
So essentially when we got to our houses we locked ourselves into our jails, safe from the outside world – no way to live.
I can honestly say that during the five months I lived in Northern Ireland and the eight months I have lived in England, I have not missed South Africa, I have not been home sick – I am glad we all got away before the troubles start up again.
My own personal opinion is that the underprivileged people move into an area, they degrade the area by erecting their makeshift tin shacks which are interesting, but an eyesore, not to mention a huge firehazzard. These people drain every resource offered to them, from the land, government and public, then they get up and move on.
So, there are a couple of the reasons I have for leaving the country. As for the cold, you will not believe, but I have been colder in SA than I have ever been in the UK. You are geared up for the cold here. In SA it gets extremely hot and cold but few homes are equipped to handle the temperature.Clothing in SA is also very thin and skimpy, not for wearing in the extreme UK temperatures.
I will be discussing other issues in future blogs. Please dont let me put you off going to visit this beautiful country at the bottom of the African continent – just be aware, be alert and dont trust anyone – remember, its not being a racist, its being a realist.