Hello South Africa

Hello South Africa

Just over two weeks ago I made my way to JFK for my flight back to SA. 15 hours, 3 movies, some series, a couple chapters of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” and a glass of wine later, I landed in Johannesburg. As I got off the plane I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about how I’d get to see my little siblings soon after around 9 months of being in the states. Seeing them again was unbelievable and even though I’d seen photos of them throughout the year, I couldn’t believe how big they had gotten.

The next day I had my flight home to Durban as I would be back in JHB the following week for my gran’s wedding. I had planned to surprise my sister Rachel for her 18th birthday and her Matric Dance, so I had to be very careful to not mess up the surprise by talking to her when I should have been sleeping (America is 6 hours behind), or snapchat my little siblings by mistake and ruin months of keeping the secret. My mom fetched me from the airport and it was so good being back in Durbs again.

I was back in the land of robots, Rands, left side passenger seats and beggars on the side of the road, which took some getting used to I won’t lie. Looking outside the window on the drive home from the airport made me happy knowing I was home. I appreciated the sugar-cane fields and the beautiful sea views more than I ever have. Driving through Umhlanga, La Lucia and Durban North made me think how crazy it is that you can spend so much time in places and then be away for almost a year, go back and feel like you never left.

I arrived home freaking out I was so excited to surprise my sister. She knew I’d be coming home soon for the wedding, but I told her I wouldn’t be able to come back before her birthday. The surprise was great, she cried so of course I cried too. Being home again was amazing. Seeing my family, my soul-dog and just being able to chill out at home again was just perfect.

In America I was the one with the accent, ‘cool’ nonetheless, but I couldn’t get a sentence out without getting asked where I was from. Now since I’ve been back in SA, every now and then when I talk people say “OMG you sound so American!” I can never win. Dealt with constantly being asked if I was Australian or British, to say things, speak Zulu, the list goes on, and now when I’m back home I apparently sound American. What can you do.

What has taken some getting used to is how I am back to rands and not dollars. Getting an iced coffee for R32 seemed like a lot of money to me until I realized that was around $2. We went to spar and got some groceries and I realized as I got to the till that I couldn’t for the life of me remember my pin for my card here, so I used my Chase card from the states. The groceries came to around R60 and it took something like $3.50 off my card which is bloody crazy. That’s like a grande coffee at Starbucks. That exchange rate though.

Rachel looked so beautiful at her dance and I’m so glad I got to be there for it, as well as her birthday. She grew up too fast, it makes me feel extremely old knowing she is 18 already. But it is very awesome and exciting.

What took getting used to was how we drive on the left side of the road with the driver on the right of the car, the walls around houses and electric fences, the humidity, and the fact that I could chill out and do whatever I wanted to and not have to be at work for 11 hours a day. What did I miss the most? My family of course, then the South African accents, then the Indian food and samp and beans. I miss my friends like crazy but luckily I’ll see them next week when I visit Rhodes again!

Last Thursday we drove up to JHB. We had my gran’s wedding on Sunday which was absolutely beautiful and so so special. All the grand-kids were bridesmaids, flower girls/ boys; so we all got to be a part of the wedding which was amazing. Not many grandchildren get to be at their granny’s wedding, never mind all twelve of us! It was a beautiful wedding, and I’m so happy for my gorgeous gran and Ron.

I’ve been in JHB for a week now and will be here till I leave for Grahamstown which is next Friday. I’ve loved getting to spend time with my Joburg family whom I adore. It’s kinda scary but very exciting to think about being back in good old Gtizzle with everyone again. I’m so happy to get to be with the kids again, and happy I’ll get to see my friends soon too. Speaking of friends, I didn’t realize how I’d come back from the states having really great friends that I miss already. So even though I do miss them and it sucks, I’m glad I have people to miss back in NJ.

Well that was quite a long blog post but I’ve needed to sit down and actually type this out for awhile now, so here it is! I’ll post one with some photos since I’ve been back soon.

❤ X

15 Questions I have genuinely been asked about living in South Africa, with sarcastic responses.

15 Questions I have genuinely been asked about living in South Africa, with sarcastic responses.

1) How are you white?

– I’m albino.

2) There are Jews there?

– No we are all just one religion of impoverished African children.

3) Did you ride zebra?

– Yes how else would we get to each other’s shacks?

4) Did you have giraffe and elephants as pets?

– As well as warthogs, leopard and rock pythons.

5) Have you been attacked by a lion before?

– Yes and I lived to tell the tale.

6) Ah shame, did you not have a house?

– No. I lived in trees. Be jealous.

7) Did you have to get water and food sent to your country?

– Totally.

8) Do you know Charlize Theron?

– Yes we all know Charlize Theron personally.

9) Why do you speak ‘Brittish’?

– The English tutor for my tribe raised me.

10) What country in South Africa?

– No comment.

11) Did you wear animal skins and live in huts?

– Precisely.

12) When did you become ‘Americanized’?

– When I left the tribe in search of water I was rescued.

13) What’s your real name?

– Nthombiqiqiwethathe Mkhize of tribe flower.

14) Did you survive on bugs and wildlife?

– Yes, great source of protein.

15) How did you get to America?

– In a canoe.

THIS IS SOUTH AFRICA PEOPLE.

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Don’t get me wrong, we have our spectacular wildlife, and we do have traditional cultures. But people need to realize the whole of Africa isn’t what you see on the TV ads, with starving African children standing with celebrities asking to donate food and water. Yes, unfortunately a massive part of Africa, and South Africa deals with those hardships everyday. But people really need to educate themselves, and stop being so ignorant.

South Africa has a loooott of issues. But it really is such a magnificent place ❤

 

South Africans take NYC

South Africans take NYC

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This photo perfectly sums up how happy I’ve been being able to spend time with some amazing people in the last few weeks.

One of my best friends Robyn arrived last week so we could spend some time in New York City together before she headed to Costa Rica on her adventure. It was so incredible being able to catch up and make awesome memories together after not seeing each other for 6 months. I’ve met lots of people here, but it’s not the same as having a best friend in front of you again.

I worked on the weekend so I could take Wednesday off to spend with Robs in the city. We took a tour of the village and later on got to see Jeremy Loops performing in NYC, which was unbelievable.

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Then it was back to Asbury Park straight from the concert. After a long train ride I got home, and had work at 8am. Fun. The only thing that kept me going was knowing I would be back in the city on Friday after work to meet up with Robs, and three other amazing friends from South Africa.

Jaden had been in Boston for a Harvard World Leaders course (I know right). I think his new nickname shall be Harvie. Josh and Jonty were friends from camp that I hadn’t seen in years, but they were staying in Josh’s Aunt’s apartment in Midtown East which was insaaaane, and it was so good to see them again.

Friday was also Josh’s birthday, so we all had pre-drinks at the apartment. It was so good catching up and getting to chill out with fellow South Africans again.

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Long story short we didn’t even end up going out, the birthday boy had a little too much to drink 😛 But it was such a good night just being around these lovely people again ❤

On Saturday we had a delicious brunch and explored Times Square. It rained most of the day, so it was a first for all of us experiencing NYC umbrella traffic. Nevertheless, I would do it all over again as I’m just so glad I got to spend time with everyone.

Saturday night we hung out and played drinking games. I just tried to remember all the rules we made in Cheers to the Governor, but I battled enough remembering them during the game, so that’s not going to happen. I guess that makes a good drinking game though. We had fun 😛

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It was so sad saying goodbye to Robs on Sunday morning, but I’m so so excited for her new adventure in Costa Rica! 🙂

After some yummy bagels and coffee like true New Yorkers, Jaden and I headed off to the MET. The MET is definitely one of my favourite (if not favourite) places in the city. I absolutely love it.

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We were also lucky enough to see the Pride Parade on 5th Avenue which was spectacular. It made me so happy to know everyone in America now has the right to marry who they love 🙂

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Overall I had a fantastic time with some amazing people. It makes me happy to know that across the world I have such special people in my life ❤

Ten things I can say about life right now

Ten things I can say about life right now

1) I just rearranged my room and I am way more excited about it than I should be.  But it’s amazing. It’s very zen, spacious and simply beautiful.  It is perfect! So yeah I’m stoked about that.

2) I’ve always loved gyming/ working out, but recently I’ve become slightly obsessed. Nothing crazy, but seen as I’m not studying anymore (well for now), and I’m working majority of the time,  when I’m not at work all I want to do is workout and then chill in bed.

3) Carrying on with that point, I’ve been doing Kayla Itsines BBG training routine for almost two weeks. It’s a 12 week programme so I cannot wait to see if I can achieve results like so many women who use the guide and have incredible bodies.

I enjoy her workouts. The guide brings structure and good routines. Usually I do whatever body part I feel like doing that day: legs, arms, abs, bum…. This breaks it all down well and keeps me focused. I am motivated and determined to reach my goals!

4) Tomorrow marks the end of my detox skinny herb tea 14 day teatox. I really enjoyed it. Using the morning start and bed time cleanse teas I genuinely feel healthier and more toned.  It increases your metabolism and is great for your kidney, liver, colon, etc… Definitely something I would recommend. I’ve already ordered a 28 day package.

5) Something scary happened to me this weekend that probably won’t even seem like a big deal to a lot of people but it was to me. And seen as you’re actually reading my blog you seem to care for some reason.

I got invited to a house party last weekend so I thought ‘sure why not? MERICA!’. I got picked up by the dudes friend and his girlfriend.  He was too drunk to drive already. Anyways so as we’re driving to the party drugs came into the conversation and he asks if I’d be down to drop acid tonight.  I said definitely not I’m not into drugs.

He tried to convince me how “these weren’t addictive” etc etc. I really didn’t care,  I don’t touch drugs. All they could say after that was “prepare yourself”. I was concerned.

We got to the house party. The front couple of rooms had people mostly drinking, so I assumed people would just be really drunk. We walk around the house to meet everyone and I walked into probably the scariest moment of my life. Everyone in the room were snorting lines of cocaine on their iphones.

Now I know people in South Africa do coke,  but I had never gotten myself into a situation where I’d be in the same room as people doing cocaine. I had never been in a more nerve-racking environment that I had to make an effort to not have a panic attack and seem like a total freak. So I played it cool and asked where the bathroom was so I could leave. That then led to a bunch if coke heads say “BATHROOM” in terrible English accents (Ugh), and a guy literally snorting a line and saying “Welcome to America”. So that scared me.

The next room we got to seemed chilled. There were trippy pictures everywhere but the people seemed okay. Everything was cool for a couple minutes, until someone took out a bag of acid. Someone offered me a free pill (or whatever a ‘thing’ of acid is – I have absolutely no idea). Thanks but no thanks bro. So I left the room seen as pretty much everyone had taken one but me. I don’t know what people on acid are capable of lol.

I just realized I should probably stop now. You see, that’s how great and comfy my new room is. Sitting in my little chill spot. But long story short, drugs are f**king stupid. Don’t do drugs. Yeah I despise them because addiction has severely impacted my life and my family’s life. I know what drugs do to people. I could never be so selfish to put my family through what I’ve been through.

It seems like drugs are seen as so casual in this country and it’s hectic. They shouldn’t be. Whether you do cocaine every couple weekends or every day, it’s a drug you shouldn’t be messing with… You shouldn’t mess with any drug for that matter.

If you’re that bored with your life go to gym instead of using. It’s the better, natural and healthy way of getting those endorphins humans crave.

The rest of the ten things coming soon.

Lingo Thesaurus

Lingo Thesaurus

One of the strangest things I’ve had to get used to is the different lingo in America. The confused faces I’ve seen after I say some words are hilarious, and I’ve quickly had to adjust to using different terms for words that are commonly used in SA.

Bin = trash or garbage. Using rubbish bin makes them even more confused.

Serviette = napkin. Don’t use the word serviette unless you want them to attempt your “English” accent and pretend to be fancy.

Jol = party, good fun kinda thing.This was a hard one to explain. Still haven’t met someone who can even pronounce it the same.

Robot = traffic light

Jersey = sweater

Cool drinks = soda

Sweets = candy

Trolley = wagon

Bill = check

Lift = elevator

Pavement = sidewalk

Chips = dried potato chips like Lays. Hot chips are fries or french fries here. I ordered chips at Burger King once and the next thing they asked me was where I was from. Do not ask for chips they WILL laugh at you.

Cozzie/ costume = bathing suit. A costume here is what you dress up in for Halloween.

Just now = huge confusion to Americans. There is no such thing as just now. To them that means now. But to South Africans just now means in a bit, sometime in the near future or the near past, but not necessarily immediately. Also one of the harder ones to explain.

Now now = right now but not literally now. Trying to type out an explanation for this has made me realize how complicated these expressions actually are.

Chunder = throw up/ vomit/ puke. Using this word only leads to one thing. *Insert a terrible attempt at an Australian accent* “Aaahh I’m gonna chunder mate!”

Dof = dumb/ stupid.

Siff = gross. I’ve only used this one a couple times since being here but each time people think that’s a great word for something disgusting and claim they’re gonna start using it.

Takkies = sneakers/ trainers

Boot = trunk

Petrol = gas

Varsity = college/ university

Autumn = fall

Chune = I literally don’t even know how to explain what this means. Chuning someone means chuning someone. Can be used to say ‘chune when you’re finished’ (let me know when you’re finished) or ‘he was chuning me’ (speaking badly about him/ giving him shit). Very difficult one to explain.

Chop = dumbass. ‘Don’t be a chop’.

Shot = thanks. ‘Shot for coming’

Howzit = hey how’s it going.

What’s worse than having to think of different words that you use all the time is having to pronounce things with an American accent so people actually understand you. For example:

Bathroom. This one is very annoying.

Sprite. Basically pronounced as Spraat with my Durban accent. Literally had a bartender say I was adorable after having to try pronounce SPRIIITEE better so many times.

This list could go on forever.

Another thing I’ve had to get used to is how American’s write their dates wrong. My birthday is the 19/05/93 but here its 05/19/93. Still gotta get used to using pounds, miles and fahrenheit

This all might take awhile.

“South Africa, that’s by Argentina right?”

“South Africa, that’s by Argentina right?”

Yes, somebody genuinely asked me that.

Moving to a different continent was not easy. It still isn’t easy, but I’ll get there. The people I’ve met have been fascinated by my “accent”, my stories of living in SA, and my love for snow. It’s been over a month since my family went back home and I can’t believe how fast the time is flying. It still doesn’t feel real that I actually won a greencard and am living in America. It’s a weird feeling knowing your friends are still at Rhodes studying and partying it up while you’re on the other side of the world,  and my family being at home without me.

I’m so lucky to live in this day and age where I’m only a whatsapp or skype call away from everyone back home. I’m even luckier to have such amazing and supportive friends and family.

Mal & Tom are my new family here and they are absolutely incredible. With their huge hearts, amazing connections around the community and Tom’s cooking skills; I couldn’t ask for more! I don’t know what I would do without them here. They have given me a place to call home, their amazing dogs to love, and unexplainable kindess.

After my family left I needed something to be doing. Chilling in bed watching tv, drawing and walking the dogs was great for a couple days until I started losing my mind. So I started looking for jobs. Application after application,  interview after interview and thanks to my uncle’s connections in Asbury Park, after a week I had a part time job! But when you convert dollars to rands, and you think about how much you could be earning as each hour goes by doing basic jobs here, I needed to find another job for the days I wasn’t working.

I’m now working as the assistant manager at the Showroom; a little independent cinema in Asbury, and loving it! Part time I work at Tao Massage as a wellness assistant/ receptionist kinda thing. It’s been a super busy month but it’s great having something to be doing and accomplishing everyday.

In the couple months of being here I have experienced the following:

Had t

he most amazing times with my family. Taken the train to New York.

Seen the Empire State building.

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mes Square,  Soho, Noho, East Village, Upper East & West side, Brooklyn, Liberty Island.

Central Park.

The Met.

Ramen noodles.

Bagels.

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tarbucks. J

ohnny Macs (an awesome bar).

Had to say goodbye to my family.

Received my Social Security card.

Opened an American bank account.

Got a gym membership.

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merican sim card.

Started working for two jobs. S

urvived my first “blizzard”.

Met awesome people.

Met ignorant people.

S

hoveled snow.

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ecame a regular at America’s Cup – the local coffee shop conveniently situated near my two jobs.

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ealth insurance.

E

xperienced freezing cold weather.

Shoveled more snow.

Gotten used to constantly being covered in dog hair (living with 5 dogs).

I’ve had amazing times,  and I’ve had hard times.

For some reason this post feels like annoying me and won’t work so ignore the random spaces, lack of spaces and messed up sentences. I’ll work it out eventually.

It’s been an adventure so far, and I cannot wait to see what is to come.