I’m currently in Sydney on the company’s dime. And yes, I’m in conference rooms most of the time but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a change to get a feel for the city. This exposure has obviously made me think of home and since this is one of the top places South Africans emigrate to I can’t help but think of it that way as well.
As far as home goes, this place is weirdly familiar. From the moment of landing it reminded me of South Africa. The city atmosphere is a combination of Pretoria and Durban (it has a harbour and some old fashioned narrow streets- what can I say) and people drive on the same side of the toad while enjoying a similar looking sky. (Stars are different in different hemispheres). A lot of the people sound a lot like us and they dress a lot like us. Somehow, a huge ocean apart two British Commonwealths developed to be very similar at face value.
People don’t emigrate because of face value though and I don’t really want to get into it, but if you’re going to make the change it probably helps tremendously that things don’t seem all that different when you initially land here. Every bit helps when it comes to feeling secure in what was probably the biggest decision in your life.
So, here I am in a city that’s kinda like home running two time zones (because home still needs me when they’re awake). It’s a bit surreal to know I’m allllllllll the way over here and my heart is alllllllll the way over there and yet I feel like I could walk out my hotel room and find my dogs right outside the door because nothing is that different.
Subsequently, I do not have epic comparisons to make about here and there. The only perspective I have gained in the slightest is about my people who are trying to make a life here. I know they don’t always want to be associated with me or their mother country, but that’s ok because Africa is born in you. If you’ve decided to move then I’m not going to ask you to come back, all I can say is that I now get why the move may have been made just a little bit easier and why you weren’t missing Ouma rusks on the first day. Contrary to my own feelings, yet truly, I’m happy for your sake. I never thought I would ever even get this close to understanding your choice so literal perspective was helpful in this case. That is all.