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Suzanne: Chickenruby

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in South Africa makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to South Africa, etc.

Born in South Wales and grew up in Leicestershire, Yorkshire and Herefordshire. Lived and worked in the 3 counties Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire prior to moving to South Africa in January 2011. Married with 3 kids and 2 step kids. Left the eldest 3 in the UK.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

Set up a blog in 2009 after winning Fancy Dress Friday and spent the week dressed as a dalek, used the blog initially when 140 characters wasn’t enough.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

Suppose I should add the dalek blog, after all it was what got me started.

Tell us about the ways your new life in South Africa differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Still not sure what ‘culture shock’ actually is. Everything was and is different although both worlds are now starting to merge. I had to forget everything I ever knew and start over from scratch.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in South Africa? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

I’d change everything if I could. Starting with not listening to the promises and guarantees made by HR department, take notes and follow up from day 1. I would next time ensure that the whole UK side of things was sorted, final bills, change of address, house rented.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Tampons, naked saunas and swimming sideways

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in South Africa?

  • Visit the country you intend to move to
  • Insist that HR use an expert relocation firm and you are provided with a full breakdown of what they will do for you
  • Set up a postal address, get SIM cards and internet access the second you arrive

How is the expat community in South Africa? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

Unfortunately most expats here are on short term contracts and have everything provided by their companies, cars, phones, furnished houses etc. I found many expats easily mainly by hearing the accents, but found it to be a closed group for me either I had to learn to play golf, join singles clubs or be expected to show them around and entertain their young children.

How would you summarize your expat life in South Africa in a single, catchy sentence?

Can I go home now? (as it was)

Sandro Pedace

"With InterNations, you'll meet interesting expats wherever you go - both online and offline."

Stephanie Gainsbourg

"InterNations provided me with an "entrance" to the expat circles of Pretoria, so to speak, and helped me get to know other French expatriates. "

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