Happy 2021 bathong! January was a trial month so we are still very much in the new year spirit.
Unlike when I say this in my work emails, this time I truly do hope you are all well, in good health and in good spirits. (I’ve typed “Hope you’re well” so many times, it may have lost all meaning, but I digress.) I haven’t done this in so long, I had to have a mini refresher course on how to blog, so forgive me if this post is all over the place.
I was planning to apologise for disappearing for so long, and tell you how sorry I am that I just fell off the face of the earth without any explanation, but that would be a lie. The truth is, I am not sorry I’ve been gone for so long, I’m not sorry that I haven’t posted on here since last year September, I’m really not sorry at all because I needed that time away, in fact, I’m not sure if I’m even truly “back” yet.
However, with that all said, I have missed this little piece of the internet I get to call mine. I do enjoy unloading all my shenanigans on whomever is unfortunate enough to read my ramblings.
Anyway, as you may or may not know, I moved to Manchester, United Kingdom in October 2020 – that being part of the reason for my disappearance. I guess you can say that I’ve been adjusting to my new life in a new country, and wowza, what a ride.
If you’re here to read about my “Emily in Paris” tale, I’m sorry to disappoint but it hasn’t been like it is in the movies & series, not for me anyway, although I suspect that I owe that experience largely to the global pandemic we are STILL in (for fuck sakes, you’d think covivi would be over by now, geez).
Moving to a new country is a huge task to take on under “normal” circumstances, now try doing it alone in the middle of a bloody pandemic, to a country you’ve never been before, let’s just say that it is an experience and a half. The already annoying airport admin is tripled and so frustrating, but thankfully, I made it through all that, although I must say, it sucked big time that my friends and family weren’t allowed inside the airport to see me off and I had to go through that alone. I am still very sad about it, I am salty AF that I didn’t get the dramatic & emotional airport goodbye with my loved ones, I honestly feel a little robbed.
It’s not all bad though, I am so fortunate that I got to fulfil this life long dream, even in the midst of a shit storm of a contagious virus, and I’ve made some great friends here (read 2 friends ), people who have truly made my time here bearable, and I have the most supportive family, friends & partner in the whole wide world. My colleagues have also been so wonderful, it’s interesting that I have been at my new job for 3 months now, but still haven’t met any of them in person, , heck I haven’t even been to the office, I literally had my laptop couriered to me and I have been working from home since day 1, and I must say, it’s been an interesting journey. As much as I was working from home in SA before I left, it’s whole different experience when it’s a new job and you’ve never met any of the people with whom you are working.
My time here hasn’t been easy, and I think that has been exacerbated by the fact that everything is closed due to the lockdown, so I’ve pretty much been alone, indoors and cabin fever has been having a field day with me. By the way, did ya’ll know there’s something called expat depression? WHAT. A. BITCH! Oh my goodness, it’s the hushed-up dark side of living abroad my friend, and what a ruthless bitch it is. I’ve been here for 3 months now, and when I say I haven’t been myself that whole time, I’m not exaggerating, but that’s a separate blog post on its own.
Being in a foreign country without a built-in support system is one of the hardest things a person can do in life, but it’s also reassuring, in a sick & twisted way. Having gone and still going through that, I now know what I am capable of, I am so deeply reassured in my abilities and tenacity that I feel like I can get through pretty much anything (not that I am daring the universe to throw more shit my way, I have had enough, please, abeg!).
There’s also something strangely poetic about literally starting from scratch. I got here and I didn’t know anyone, didn’t even have a phone number and a bank account, I had to start all that from scratch. Side note: I’ve been here 3 months and telemarketers already have my number, yeses they work fast.
When I first got here, the first shock to my system was the weather, but I quickly adjusted, however, I am still struggling to wrap my head around the fact that at 3pm in the afternoon, it’s already starting to get dark outside, that is something I doubt I’ll get used to, but time will tell.
The number 1 thing I miss about home, besides my family of course, is the food Oh my goodness, I miss the kotas, malamohodu, skopo, BILTONG, yoh I miss it all. I even miss the chicken licken wings and I don’t even like them that much.
I plan on writing a lot more about my experience here; things that I like and things that have shook me to the core, with that said, please let me know if there’s any specific topic you’d like me to address and I’ll happily do so.
This post is all over the place, which is quite fitting considering my life right now, but I wrote all that to say that I am still alive, I am well on my way to thriving, and I still plan on unloading my thoughts and experiences on all of you, so be on the lookout for my next post.
I truly appreciate your patience during my hiatus.
Until next time fam.