Penguins, Roadworks and Peeping Toms

Here are just a few of the most unusual and memorable signs we’ve encountered in South Africa.  In many ways they reflect our experiences here.

  1.  Always expect the unexpected …and in South Africa always expect wildlife, anywhere and everywhere at any time.

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Watch out for the poor little penguins.

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Farewell 2017, Hello 2018

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Farewell 2017, Hello 2018

The holiday is over and it’s back to reality.  New posts are already in the works.  In the meantime, just incase you missed them the first time around or just really really want to read them again, here’s a quick round-up of Expatorama’s top posts from 2017.

  1. Ponte Tower – A Tale of Glamour, Garbage and Gritty Regeneration.  I read about Ponte Tower before moving to South Africa and was intrigued – an unusual hollow cylindrical building with a checkered history.  I didn’t realise you could visit the tower until early last year.  The tour is fascinating and I highly recommend it if you’re in town (i.e. Johannesburg).

  2. Hair Raising and Hair Razing Experiences Abroad.  This post falls under  ‘lesser known challenges of expat life’ that don’t normally get covered on expat blogs.  Getting a haircut may be a lesser known challenge and yet the struggle is real.

  3. Expat Life Through Rose Tinted Glasses.  This was a fun post to write, it involved wine and LEGO.  When it comes to expat life, not everything is always as rosy as it seems.

The most read post ever is Why Expat Partners are Like Dung Beetles – a post basically detailing how completely awesome both expat partners and dung beetles are.

An A-Z of Expat Life – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Part I

Everything you need to know about expat life in one easy A-Z list.

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A is for the Armpit of the Earth: This would be an affectionate name for a really tough posting that will only be undertaken by the most badass of expats.  It’s a term to describe the furthest flung, most chaotic, challenging and maddening places on the face of the planet.  A is also for Airplanes and Airports, we often become overly familiar with these.  Any glamour we previously associated with international travel will quickly lose its’ shine, especially if frequently travelling solo with young children. Continue reading

Scorpion on the Line

 

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Did you ever hear the story about Thomas the Tank Engine and the scorpion?  It’s got a sting in the tail.

This is a passenger announcement.  Regular blog services are running late.  Normal service has been severely disrupted by The Christmas Holidays…and a scorpion on the line.

Regular service will resume shortly.

In the meantime, just incase you missed them the first time around, the most popular 5 posts on Expatorama in 2016 were:

  1.  Why Expats are Like Dung Beetles
  2.  The Escape Room Phenomenon hits South Africa
  3.  10 Things I’ve learned from running and Expat Facebook Group
  4.  Ladies who Lunch
  5.  Which School? An Expat Parenting Dilemma

 

The scorpion has now thankfully left the building and I’m busy working on some brand new posts for 2017.

Why Expat Partners are Like Dung Beetles

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There’s always a bit of a brouhaha when it comes to labelling or describing expat partners. A few of the titles used include Expat Spouse, Expat Wife, Trailing Spouse, Trailblazing Spouse, Lady of Leisure, Lady that Lunches, Guy that Golfs, Excess Baggage or as my husband endearingly calls me Expensive Habit. None of the terms is perfect and some are deeply loathed by the expat community.

So, I’ve come up with yet another alternative for you.  It’s an analogy that first occurred to me when I wrote about the industrious dung beetle after we saw hundreds of them on safari.  They are completely fascinating little creatures and the comparison between expat partners and dung beetles has been scratching about in the back of my mind ever since.  Yes, I am comparing the Trailing Spouse to the Dung Beetle.

Confused?  Here are 6 ways that expat partners are like dung beetles:

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The Big 4 – part II

Sorry, I’m not quite done writing about the bush yet.  Here we continue on our safari quest to spot the Big 5 (or in our case the Big 4).

Game Drive 2:

Guide: “What would you like to try to see today?”

Us:       “A leopard please.”

We set off with high spirits, very much hoping to spot one.

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En route to leopard territory our guide stopped and pointed out a curvy trail through the sand. “What do you think made this kind of trail kids?” she quizzed. I bit my tongue, desperate to shout out the correct answer. “Er, a rhino?” said one of the children. “Try again”, said the guide. I’m now bursting to shout out “it’s a snake track, ha ha, it’s so obvious, can’t you see it’s a snake shaped trail made by a snake. Easy peasy.”.

“Is it an elephant?” asked one of the children. “Doh” I thought to myself.

“Yes, that’s right, well done” said the guide. “The elephant sometimes drags its trunk along the ground leaving this kind of wavy mark”. I nodded enthusiastically as if I had known the answer all along and said nothing.

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