Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Our flat is the one on the bottom left.

We’ve arrived! We now LIVE in Cape Town, South Africa. This is now our HOME! It’s been an exciting two weeks centred on 5 days laid up in bed with the ‘flu. That part wasn’t so fun. I guess our bodies just gave up the ghost after being on the go for so long. Our goal has been to just get here so that once we got here our immune system finally enforced a rest.

It’s been interesting finding the differences between Sydney and Cape Town. In so many ways it’s much like living back in Australia but it’s the little things that remind you that ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto’.

  • You can buy milk in bags.
  • Electricity is prepaid
  • Actually a lot of things are prepaid - cell phones (not ‘mobiles’) are more widely used off contracts and even landline accounts are prepaid.
  • Receipts = till slips.
  • Tipping is normal.
  • Car guards: men (I’ve never seen women doing it) ‘guard’ your car and help you load your shopping. In exchange you give them a few rand.
  • Petrol stations are not self-service. You tip the petrol attendant.
  • Roundabouts = circles.
  • Traffic lights = robots.
  • Most traffic signs are in English and Afrikaans.
  • People say ‘shame’ as a verbal acknowledgement of commiseration.
  • People say ‘sho’ as a verbal exclamation of surprise or shock.
  • People say ‘Is it?’ as a verbal confirmation that you said something new or interesting.

That’s just a few of the strange things that happen around here that I’m sure will be so normal in a few months.

We really do hope to make this place our home. We’ve been so transient for a long time that we went nearly giddy at Mr Price Home (a cheapy version of Ikea) buying cushions that match our new couches. It was a bizarre experience to think about decorating our house in a ‘grown up’ and non student fashion. Let me reassure you, we’re still buying cheaply and will DIY a lot but it’s a different feeling than when we were in Sydney and everything was always temporary. Even those four years at Moore were seen as temporary.

George Whitefield College on the beachfront at Muizenberg, Cape Town.

People have been very friendly and welcoming both at George Whitefield College and in society in general. People here are very kind and sympathetic that we are new. (Although, generally, unless people are working in a tipping type industry, they haven’t been *that* friendly!).

Slowly. Slowly. We’re making our way. Constantly grateful that we are here and that we are supported through Christian brothers and sisters both here and in Australia.

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