In the third part in my blood curdling, spine chilling revelations of what life (if you can even call it that) in Europe entails I’m going to talk about the general lifestyle.
If one were to paint a picture of the lifestyle in South Africa you’d a full palette of colors to express the diversity of scenery and cultures we have at our disposal. For Europe on the other hand one need merely wipe your ass with some canvas and hang up for display and you’d have an almost photo perfect rendition of what to expect. It’s for lack of a better word : crap.
I’m sorry my friends , but before we even start to paint out picture the dice are already loaded. Weather and scenery wise god’s radiance truly has smiled upon South Africa whilst at the same time urinating on our European friends.
It’s fair to say that god really hates Europe. I don’t think we need to look any further than ABBA as to why. Or the Italians. You know what Italians are ? They’re like teenagers ! They’re loud, obnoxious, sex crazed adults with mommy issues, except shorter. Only a nation of true dimwits would hold as their source of pride some crumbled buildings and a tower that’s bent over. It’s supposed to be straight you idiots ! Seriously…who celebrates their ability to build badly ?
Anyway , let’s not get distracted. As I was saying : the weather.
A lot of people don’t get the big deal about the weather. Let me point it out for you. Apart from the obvious depression that stems from the lack of sunshine (S.A.D : seasonal affect disorder …Wikipedia it)…here’s the irony.
Many South Africans laughably claim with a straight face that they can’t leave their home anymore in South Africa. I don’t know who these creepy anti-social people are , but they’re certainly not part of the 100% of South Africans I know who almost nightly socialize in pubs and restaurants and golf clubs etc. Who spend their weekends scuba diving , or fishing or hiking , or simply enjoying the sun and braaing while watching the rugby in their big gardens. I just can’t relate to anyone who doesn’t leave their house and have a damn great time in this country. No wonder the internet gives a bleak picture of South Africa…its only these assholes who have nothing better to do than go on it and write that rubbish.
Anyway , here’s the irony. The so called idea that South Africans live a life of being “caged in” is truly laughable when compared to the very real caging in that comes from living in a cold and expensive country. I guarantee you that if you emigrate to Europe you will spend far more time than you could ever imagine confined to your home because either a ) it’s too miserable outside …or b ) it’s too expensive even for the average middle classed person to engage in anything fun.
Once in Europe you will yearn and pine nostalgically for what you had in South Africa and the freedoms you enjoyed. The ability to play golf twice a week, eat steak and drink a bottle of wine once in a while. To pack up the kids and go to your holiday house (yes…do you know what a freakish proportion of middle classed south Africans have a holiday house compared to the crappy realities of the “real” world ?). To have a garden for your dogs to run around in. No my silly little friends …South Africa is one big adults holiday camp and playground. The likes of which you will come to realize the moment the cold , stale, listless, boring reality of living in Europe hits you.
This all assumes you can even find a job in europe in the first place. Unlike South Africa where an amazing 96.4 % of white people over the age of 18 are employed, it’s not easy to find a job in Europe. You’ll be sweeping streets you can’t afford to drive on and serving meals and drinks you can’t afford to eat in no time. The only reward to return to the dingy hole you call your home so that you can do the laundry, wash the dishes yourself. No maids for you anymore sunshine….if anything you’ll be the maid. But look on the bright side…you won’t need a gardener …YOU WON’T HAVE A GARDEN !
When you live in a country folks that it’s so shocking that I have to emphasize it in capital letters for it to seep in that you won’t have someone to keep your garden tidy, then my friends…you have it pretty damn good !
But I suppose you feel well that all sucks but hey ! At least there will be people like me all around me !
Stop ! Do not pass begin ...do not collect 200 euros !
I’ll let you in on a secret. South African whites are a simple bunch. Endearingly so at times, but laughably so at others. You’re not very likely going to be much welcomed in the economic circles you walked before. You’re not savvy or educated enough about the socio political issues of your new home. Welcome to classism my friends…don’t be afraid. You’ve actually met it before, you just don’t recognize it now because you’re looking at it from the other end. The bottom end. You’re peers with be the typical folks who make up the embittered and struggling low class. Hardly the typical civilized folks your silly stereotypical mind dreamed up could be found in Europe. Instead mostly uneducated and not very curious about you or interested in pandering to your exoticness. Seeping with drug addicts, thugs , Neo fascists who hate foreigners and the general dregs of society. Welcome to utopia buddy.
Even if you do manage to somehow assimilate and accommodate the desired values and discourses of your new land, you’d be bored to death with polite company at best. Whether you like it or not you’re a South African and will be until you die. With that comes our unique sense of humor, a serious amount of baggage and a penchant for drinking too much, being obnoxious and arrogant, shouting at referees and having chips on our shoulders. We sacrifice a good deal of social grace for “telling it how it is” in this country. We come rough and ready and that’s just not everyone’s cup of tea. Back home you’ll be loved and respected for you lack of pretentious postering, forthright politically incorrect opinions, dark humour and light hearted sexism. Not so much I think you will find in the western world. I think you’ll find at times South Africans aren’t quite refined enough for the western world. Or to put it another way : sometimes the western world just isn’t ready for south Africans.
There's a reason south african expats spend so much time on the net spewing crap about their exc country : they can't afford to do anything else and even if they could there's nobody to do it with. So they take out their misery and blame black people for their predicament. The psychology of a happy contempt person is not that which motivates them to behave the way S.A.S behaves.
Before you give up the vibrancy and the exciting challenges, the buzz that screams you are Alive that comes with living in Africa…you must realize something : You’ll be investing in a very sanitized and tranquilized way of life. Something I think you might only realize once you’re too dopey to do anything about it. I know sometimes this country can be frustrating and tricky …but it’s also so achingly vibrant and exctiting and bursting with potential and love and joy. Leaving South Africa for Europe is like dosing your soul on valium. Not always entirely awful, but never…..much good. Like a like warm bread pudding made with artificial sweetener.
There’s a Radiohead song that goes :
Fitter, happier, more productive, comfortable, not drinking too much
Regular exercise at the gym, 3 days a week
Getting on better with your associate employee contemporaries at ease
Eating well, no more microwave dinners and saturated fats
A patient better driver, a safer car, baby smiling in back seat
Sleeping well, no bad dreams, no paranoia
Careful to all animals, never washing spiders down the plughole
Keep in contact with old friends, enjoy a drink now and then
Will frequently check credit at moral bank, hole in wall
Favors for favors, fond but not in love
Charity standing orders on Sundays ring road supermarket
No killing moths or putting boiling water on the ants
Car wash, also on Sundays, no longer afraid of the dark or midday shadows
Nothing so ridiculously teenage and desperate nothing so childish
At a better pace, slower and more calculated, no chance of escape
Now self-employed, concerned, but powerless
An empowered and informed member of society, pragmatism not idealism
Will not cry in public, less chance of illness, tires that grip in the wet
Shot of baby strapped in back seat, a good memory still cries at a good film
Still kisses with saliva, no longer empty and frantic like a cat tied to a stick
That’s driven into frozen winter shit, the ability to laugh at weakness
Calm fitter, healthier and more productive……. a pig in a cage on antibiotics
And either that sounds like heaven to you…or maybe you’re like me : A born and bred South African…nurtured in a beautiful chaos that exists somewhere between nature and civilization....with all the luxuries of the modern world without the total alienation from the wild that thunders in your hearts. In full knowledge that nothing without risk offers reward. That living without ideals or great aspirations….but for the pure purpose of staying alive is not to transcend your existence, but rather to reduce all that you are to a simplistic meaningless organism. If that resonates with you….and if you’re anything like me…..then you just read the above and it sounds like hell.