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JohannSmithSA

Going back questions

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JohannSmithSA

I have read some of the posts regarding returning to SA.

I have a question: Before returning to SA, did you do some research?

And then: 

What works in Australia and what works in SA? With this I mean things such as hospitals, roads in good condition, public transport systems. You know, the usual stuff.

We are currently busy with our plans and some how we don't feel that we will miss much. Our family stays about 65 km's from us but we haven't seen them in 5 months and in some cases haven't seen or spoken to family for years. Any communication takes place via phone or Skype.

We don't go out at night or on holidays due to safety and cost.

Miss that? I don't think so.

 

 

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JulesR

Every single migrant family is different - their hopes and dreams, the pull of their family back home, the push of the "things that are wrong", their financial situation, etc, etc, etc.  Yes, some people might return, and yes, the vast majority of people who have made the move might think them nuts.  But I don't think anyone except the people returning themselves will ever understand the complete dynamics of their choice.  

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MichKen

Agreed - this is a deeply personal decision and I'm sure often within the same family there are varying levels of commitment to this process and varying expectations from it.  Truth is that Australia has (to my limited knowledge) one of the highest "success" rates specifically for South Africans migrating there permanently.  Canada, I have been told, has the highest return rates.  Also what makes a migration a success is probably different for different people - by way of example, I know many people who we have spoken to about why they return (or even migrated the other way) have struggled with the opposite of the things that they actually complained about here, such as I have heard people refer to both Australia and Canada as a "nanny state", meaning it's too controlling and they don't like that, yet they probably were driven, in the first place, by the high crime rate here.... Yet others have just viewed it as a career move and the move back was also a career move, because coming back with international experience has given their careers a boost, so to them that was a success.

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Mara

I will attempt to answer your question : " What works in Australia and what works in SA? With this I mean things such as hospitals, roads in good condition, public transport systems. " with the 20 years of experience I have of living in Australia.

Hospitals :

Government hospitals, especially in the big cities, are excellent and give great service.

However, you cannot expect the government to fund all your medical needs, so you will have to take out private medical cover, which, when earning AU$, is affordable.

Roads:

Cannot comment on the other states or cities, but Melbourne, Victoria, is great.

Except for Melbourne, where the roadworks never seem to stop, it can be hell on wheels if you have to travel in peak times. So if you need to use your car for work, then please ensure you are offered parking by your employer, if you have to pay, it could cost you an arm and a leg to park in the city.

Public Transport:

I have never had to depend on it, but I know many do. Although they do have complaints, especially at times of the system being upgraded, it must work, as Melbourne could not do without it. If you need to use public transport into the city, then ensure you live near a train line, try not to depend on buses or trams, as they have to share the roads with plenty of other vehicles/traffic.

 

Life is different, we are encouraged to follow the rules, if you don't, you will suffer the consequences. We travel at speed limits, as we have a point system on our licenses, too many points collected for speeding, you automatically lose your license for a period of time.

Living without electric fences, razor wire, high walls, burglar bars, is an absolute bonus to me.

All I can say is, even with the changes over the last 20 years, I still think it is a great place to live.

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Riekie

Every time we leave Australia, I want to kiss the tarmac on our return.  There is truly no better place to live.

 

Unless you like snow and short days....  then maybe there are a few other places. :holy::ilikeit:B):P

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RedPanda

We have not returned to RSA yet, not even for a holiday, but we only got here a year ago.

I think it's very much about your personality and what your likes and dislikes are. We did extensive research before moving, and have loved almost all of it here so far. For us all the big ticket things work: medical service, road authority, postal service!!! (we just updated our home address[online nogal] last week and yesterday we had our new license stickers in our hands, courtesy of the local postie!), public spaces and national parks are safe and immaculately maintained, you'll find the Aussies run mostly a trust-based society: if you say something the default reaction is to believe you, like if you say:"Hey, excuse me, this price is wrong, the shelf says $3.50 not $4.20" then the cashier will just change it on the spot. Because it's safe, people help each other, we were walking in the park the other day and a granny and her grandson were cycling. The little boy got his laces tied in the pedals and they had difficulty getting them loose. So we just walked up to them offered help, held the bike with the boy on it and undid the laces. A thank you and smile later they were their way. Nobody was tense for a second. The granny didn't look around scared because she had to stop next to the path, 'vulnerable to attack'....that line of thought is totally alien to these people and they will think there is something funny with you if you kept such high vigilance. ...anyway, I digress.

The gripes are about small things like the idiotic tow bar system that they have. Or some medicines that you can't get here. Or the ineffectual gas barbecues they have. For us these are all 'first world problems', which is exactly the point. Law enforcement is strict, if you speed you'll be fined. If you ride a bike without a helmet you'll be fined. If you burn anything on a Total Fire Ban day, you'll be heavily fined. Because all of these things can cause harm to others, or incur medical costs to the state. We regard this as our side of the deal and we are happy to accept it. However, not all laws make sense and you will read about people trying to change them, and it takes forever because the politicians just can't do anything as sensible as vote on it and go on.

We do miss old friends and family.

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JohannSmithSA

Thank you for the message.

It's just so encouraging read posts like this! 

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Peterthe1
On ‎18‎/‎05‎/‎2017 at 2:01 PM, RedPanda said:

Or the ineffectual gas barbecues they have.

Buy a Weber Charcoal Kettle Braai. It will be one of the best investments you'll make. It was one of the first things I bought here due to the useless Gas Braais. I've even managed to convince most of my local "Out Laws" that charcoal is better than gas. I even take the Weber with when I go bush camping. You can use it most times even if fire restrictions are in place as it is not classified as an open fire.

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rozellem

Peter, for the last 9 years, we have braaied (~is that even a word?) in a half drum with real wood. Most of the wood comes from our garden in Sydney (the previous owner had planted lots of little trees in 1962!) or you can see it advertised online or on home made signs around. My husband (a wood hoarder) drives around after storms to pick up wood too. He bought himself a chainsaw for Christmas....

 

RedPanda, whats the towbar issue you talk about?! Did I miss something? I have just had a towbar put on our car last week. We bought a second hand Venter yesterday. :)

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zamunda

@RedPanda

 

I am just curious. What is the issue with the tow bars?

 

I have been towing off road 4x4 trailers both in RSA and here in Aus. I have never had a problem in either place. 

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RedPanda
15 hours ago, rozellem said:

RedPanda, whats the towbar issue you talk about?! Did I miss something? I have just had a towbar put on our car last week. We bought a second hand Venter yesterday. :)

 

9 hours ago, zamunda said:

@RedPanda

 

I am just curious. What is the issue with the tow bars?

 

I have been towing off road 4x4 trailers both in RSA and here in Aus. I have never had a problem in either place. 

 

 

Ok the issue we have with the tow bar that we have on our vehicle is this: they fit a large square tube to the car. Then you can attach a smaller square tube by sliding it in and fixing it with a large pin/bolt. This thing rattles. Then onto the smaller square tube is fitted whatever ball or towing attachment you want. We have the ball. This ball attaches with a really big nut. If all you're doing is towing a trailer then perhaps this is ok. We have a Thule bike rack that fixes onto the tow ball, and here comes our second problem, unless you have super-human strength, or a really large spanner, then you can't get the ball tight enough to prevent it from swivelling with the bike rack. So we borrowed the really large spanner from the local garage.

Look, none of the problems are insurmountable, all can be fixed. But we are griping about the fact that there are problems to fix, when a solid cast tow bar like the ones we know would have had zero problems.

It's also possible that somewhere we don't know of you can actually get the solid cast tow bars here. ("here" is Melbourne) But everyone we spoke to said 'No, that is a normal tow bar, what do you mean you want something else?'.

So anyway, that's the tow bar story.

 @rozellem Hahahaha....Venters are just miles better than any of the local trailers, even the Aussies who saw ours said as much.

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zamunda

@RedPanda

 

Yes I understand. I have never had a bike rack. Only trailers, so the coupling works very well for me. I find the coupling actually works much batter than the ball for trailers. 

 

Cast tow bars are easy to find. If I am not mistaken, even Bunnings sells them.

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Peterthe1
11 hours ago, RedPanda said:


It's also possible that somewhere we don't know of you can actually get the solid cast tow bars here. ("here" is Melbourne) But everyone we spoke to said 'No, that is a normal tow bar, what do you mean you want something else?'.
 

Here is your gooseneck towhitch you're looking for. And it is in Melbourne.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/330996207959

Edited by Peterthe1
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Peterthe1
On 5/21/2017 at 7:54 AM, rozellem said:

 braaied (~is that even a word?)

Yes, braaied is a word. Here is explanation on Google dictionary.

www.google.com.au/search?q=braai&oq=braai&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l3.8146j0j4&client=ms-android-htc&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

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RedPanda
11 hours ago, zamunda said:

@RedPanda

 

Yes I understand. I have never had a bike rack. Only trailers, so the coupling works very well for me. I find the coupling actually works much batter than the ball for trailers. 

 

Cast tow bars are easy to find. If I am not mistaken, even Bunnings sells them.

 

11 hours ago, Peterthe1 said:

Here is your gooseneck towhitch you're looking for. And it is in Melbourne.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/330996207959



Oh...thanks guys :D 

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Rhyss

After 16 years of living in Aus I've gotta comment on the "useless BBQ and tow ball issues". You'll find that after a few years they're actually better than what we had in SA. However I purchased one of the goose neck tow balls (brought it back from SA a few years ago) and bolted it to a wall where my trailer now hitches with a lock so that it cannot get stolen......for the 3rd time!

 

The Aussie tow ball system is great because it's very easily removed, just pull out the R clip and pin and the tow hitch (called a tongue) slides out. No need to have it protruding from the back of your car when not in use. I have a small box trailer and a big boat trailer with different size tow hitches. It takes me less than a minute to swap between the 50mm and 70mm balls, very convenient.

 

As for the braai vs. BBQ well I never thought I'd be a convert but I am! The secret is not to be drawn into using the Aussie sausage sizzler, the plate style BBQ which is more like frying your meat as opposed to grilling / braai'ing. I use the gas bbq with volcanic rocks and the taste of the meat is as good as the wood, brickets or charcoal grilled meat with the exception that you, the kids, dogs, house etc does not smell of wood smoke.It also means that you can "braai" all-year round, even during total fire bans   :D

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SimpleSimon

Come home from work and family want BBQ/ braaied steaks. Light up the gas barbie and they're done in 30 mins. Charcoal or wood braai - the embers get to the right heat after 2 hours and then die halfway through cooking. The old Webber kettle braai went out on the pavement and some other idiot is trying their luck with it.

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Bob

Yeah, I've had to muck around with getting the right sort of wood to braai with.

I brought a little "Go Anywhere" Weber portable barbeque back from England where I was working for a while in 2009. After using gas for the past 35 years . . . or however long it has been since I first started barbequing . . . . I had to find a good wood that kept going right thro the whole braaing process.

I find a heavy hardwood usually has the guts to keep chucking out enough heat to cook my snags (sausages) and steaks.

A South African bloke a few years back taught me to save my old tea bags, soak them in petrol, kerosine or diesel for starting the braai . . . . firelighters.

I cut dead trees outside my place up (she-oak trees) which give a good heat for a long time, but any reasonable eucalyptus ("gum") tree with a bit of weight to it will probably give out enough heat to cook with.

Being the arch scrounge, I've invested in a gold pan (for sifting dirt to find gold nuggets and gemstones) and this works well when I'm travelling around Australia each wintertime. Pulling into a camping spot out in the bush in my caravan, there's invariably an old fire that someone's used and I just sift the larger charcoal pieces to use for my next braai. My wife calls me a "scrooge", but when I coughed up $10.80 at the supermarket for a 3kg pack of Redheads barbeque charcoal that only lasted 4 or 5 braais, I couldn't walk past a big pile of charcoal I saw at one campsite a week later.

I'm now self sufficient in braai fuel with my shopping bag full of other people's old charcoal pieces, as I travel.

Works well.

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StephenR
On 7/2/2017 at 11:58 PM, SimpleSimon said:

Come home from work and family want BBQ/ braaied steaks. Light up the gas barbie and they're done in 30 mins. Charcoal or wood braai - the embers get to the right heat after 2 hours and then die halfway through cooking. The old Webber kettle braai went out on the pavement and some other idiot is trying their luck with it.

LOL! Mate, the only reason you like using gas is because you are time pure.  In order to get the best taste out of the meat and to have the most fun with your mates, there is no substitute for a Weber using wood or good quality charcoal. 

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RichardH

 

On 5/21/2017 at 9:33 PM, RedPanda said:

 

 

 

Ok the issue we have with the tow bar that we have on our vehicle is this: they fit a large square tube to the car. Then you can attach a smaller square tube by sliding it in and fixing it with a large pin/bolt. This thing rattles. Then onto the smaller square tube is fitted whatever ball or towing attachment you want. We have the ball. This ball attaches with a really big nut. If all you're doing is towing a trailer then perhaps this is ok. We have a Thule bike rack that fixes onto the tow ball, and here comes our second problem, unless you have super-human strength, or a really large spanner, then you can't get the ball tight enough to prevent it from swivelling with the bike rack. So we borrowed the really large spanner from the local garage.

Look, none of the problems are insurmountable, all can be fixed. But we are griping about the fact that there are problems to fix, when a solid cast tow bar like the ones we know would have had zero problems.

It's also possible that somewhere we don't know of you can actually get the solid cast tow bars here. ("here" is Melbourne) But everyone we spoke to said 'No, that is a normal tow bar, what do you mean you want something else?'.

So anyway, that's the tow bar story.

 @rozellem Hahahaha....Venters are just miles better than any of the local trailers, even the Aussies who saw ours said as much.

 

I just bought one of these:

https://ebay.us/vgH2az

You get a 2 x bike version too.

 

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