Scary stories from a lovely place
Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday. Happy Birthday Ian, wish I was there.
It’s also 3 years ago to the day that I arrived in South Africa. I had planned to come for 2 years, but Stephen had other plans. So I got to be here for the World Cup in 2010!
When I used to talk to people about my plans to come and live in Johannesburg I often joked that if I wanted to stay longer than 2 years I would have to find a hapless South African to marry so I could get a Spousal visa. I didn’t think that’s what would happen. Though I was more the hapless one, and Stephen is Irish, not South African.
Reading through my rough journal entries from this time three years ago there certainly isn’t a clear sense that I wanted to stay for 3 years, let alone even come for 2. Truthfully, I was pretty torn about the whole endeavour and while excited to come to Joburg, I also really wanted to stay and was very scared of everything – missing home, not fitting in, being lonely, struggling with work, crime, changes to my independence. As I reflect on the last 3 years, those fears were realistic in varying degrees.
Today I am still unsure if I should have come, am pretty torn about leaving but don’t really feel scared anymore. A lot of good has happened. A lot of things have changed. I wonder what will happen in the next 3 years.