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A South African Goth in the Food Courts of Australia


Ladyfingers
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Dear Everyone,

In case you're wondering where this massive slab of text is coming from, I've BCCed it to just about everyone I know. After about six years of saving, processing and waiting, I left Cape Town for Sydney on the first day of February. This is everything of note that's happened to me so far. I try not to do mass-mailing, but there are far too many of you not to send one of these.

I suppose I should say that won't go into reasons why I left South Africa, but I think it's interesting to note that when I first decided to leave, I was quite frequently branded as a "traitor" and "coward", and in my last few months I was more often than not the object of of envy.

I'll leave it at that.

I'm not going to say that it was easy to leave. I started the process at a low point, and I left on what must have been my highest - with both a girlfriend and job that I loved. I still haven't entirely dealt with the loss of Niki, especially because I'm continually reminded of her by parrots that I know she would love.

This little essay has taken some time to write, with many weeks of nothing to report and quite a lot of re-assessing of my earlier thoughts on my new home. Hindsight being what it is, it's funny reading this and thinking that the person I was a month ago was a rather different person to the current me.

Leaving was rather hard. I've never lived away from home before, and although I was very excited, seeing the shrinking faces of my parents and girlfriend at the airport. and my doting grandmother in her home, was enough to make me want to shred my ticket. But, telling myself this was simply a working holiday of indeterminate length, I wrestled my way past the brusque automatons at security and got on that plane.

Johannesburg

The flight to Johannesburg was short but pleasant enough, after the heart-seizing and grief had been beaten down by the drinks trolley. The size of Johannesburg airport saw me realising the stupidity of buying hand-luggage without wheels. Especially considering that in my typical South African paranoia, I had decided to put my entire uncased CD collection in my hand luggage to protect it from the scum in handling. It's a bloody miracle that nobody weighed it, or I'd have never been allowed to take it on board. I managed to buy a little folding trolley for a small fortune at a luggage shop at the airport. I think they sell a lot of these.

My flight to Sydney was delayed by eight hours, so I'd already been awake for sixteen hours when we left.

During the wait (which had a free buffet), I made friends with an ex-Rhodesian from Hobart (that's in Tasmania). She spotted my Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and we both had a chuckle of the mental acuity of people sitting on the floor in a three-hour queue for the plane when their seats were already reserved.

We parted at the plane door, and an ex-pat South African started chatting to me. The most openly bloody racist bastard I've ever met. Thankfully, I lost him quickly. I was briefly unnerved, thinking that I might encounter more of his ilk in a country chock full of expatriate malcontents. I'm pleased to report that I had nothing to worry about.

The flight, bluntly, was Hell. Fourteen eternal hours in a seat apparently designed for pre-schoolers. I had one of those little inflatable neck-pillows, but it didn't help. I was physically and emotionally drained, but so uncomfortable that I couldn't drift off for more than fifteen minutes. There was a nice selection of movies, but I was nearly suicidal with exhaustion, and so my enjoyment of the selection was limited. Even heavy doses of free scotch didn't help. In future, I'm going to try for the window seat so that I can at least have a corner to lean into. Plus you don't have people with tiny bladders climbing over you every few minutes to sidle down the aisle to micturate.

Sydney

We flew into the night, and arrived over Australia in what felt like dawn, but was in fact dusk. I feel I should avoid a cliché about espying green shores though the vessel's portals, but I did and it was a good feeling. Customs was seamless. Straight through with no fuss. John (my uncle) and Gareth (my old buddy) met me at the gate, and we drove to drop off Gareth and then to John and Melissa's house.

Driving through Sydney at night was dreamlike after the incredibly long flight. Through the haze of insomnia, the harbour bridge and opera house, as depicted in a million tourist gewgaws, were bizarre in their familiarity. They certainly added a sort of finality to my arrival: "yeah, mate, you're in bloody Sydney." After a quick chat with John and Melissa, I retired at a normal bedtime, and woke up at a normal breakfast. No jetlag at all!

We took a trip to Hornsby, a very leafy suburb, and I stocked up on all the conveniences I left behind. Hair products, a trimmer, phone card, everything that might have aroused the ire of the X-ray monkeys at airport security.

The difference between South Africa and Australia became apparent when, in my post-travel muzziness, I left my expensive shopping under a food court table and the staff found it and gave it back to me.

Different.

We then took a quick drive to Bobbin Head, a surprisingly deep estuary, used for yachting and so on in nearby Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park. The park is quite beautiful. I feel I should say that after the general incredibleness of the Western Cape, Australia can seem quite uninspiringly dun. It's more a case of unfamiliarity than anything else. When you've lived here for a few months, you see the subtlety and fragility of the land and its genuinely distinct ecology. Gum trees, not the dessicated plot-filling weed they are in South Africa, are quite elegant. I miss all the oaks of Cape Town, but there are European broadleafs aplenty in Sydney, and far more trees overall than in Cape Town.

John, Melissa, Max and Isabelle live in a verdant suburb called Wahroonga in a multi-layered, hillside residence straight out of every seventies and eighties Australian television show you've ever seen. Brick walls, multi-terraced pitched roof, gable windows. It has numerous balconies and an amazing view of the gum-forested hills of the area. In the mornings and evenings, exotic parrots fly down to eat food off the windowsills. With coaxing I even got a pair of rainbow lorikeets and a king parrot to sit on my arm and eat gently out of my hand.

It was a little far from public transport, so I got lifts to the station in the morning and then met John at work in the evenings to get home. I bought a rather pricey but comprehensive travel pass so I could explore Sydney without constant ticket-buying in the time I gave myself to explore. They have a small dog called Gallop, and a very cute, tiny puppy called Roxy, who appears to have an alternate dimension for a bladder.

Gareth and I trekked through the Sydney CBD together and took a look at Sydney's multitude of incredible shops. Things are really, really expensive, except electronics, which are very modern and quite a bit cheaper than South Africa. Also cars. Cars here are a fraction of the price. They're also generally a quite a bit bigger. Holdens, the local GM division, are apparently a hallmark of a "Bogan" - a kind of unpleasant, boorish local.

Prices... the general rule of thumb here is that cheap things are more expensive, and expensive things (besides houses) are cheaper than in South Africa. But the salaries are an order of magnitude higher, and the Australian government makes every effort to ensure than everything runs as slickly as possible. People get fired here when it doesn't.

I resisted buying stuff (it'll still be there when I'm earning) and the next day we went to the Sydney Opera House, which isn't really very exciting except for the revelation that the roof isn't pure white, but rather a fetching diamond-check pattern of ceramics and what appears to be quartz.

We also visited an Observatory-esque area called Newtown, which is very big and full of nifty alternative and thrift shops.

Gareth lives with two genuinely nice chaps called Owen and Al in a modern townhouse in a fairly central suburb called Lane Cove. His place is a centimetre from the bus stop which makes it very convenient for most of the relevant bits of Sydney.

Sydney is really, really big. It's mostly modern, leafy suburbia, like a huge Durbanville if you venture away from the railway line. Unless you go West, but it does not do for one to go West in Sydney. North and East are the orientations of choice for a Sydney-dweller of means. The suburbs next to the railways are reminiscent of established areas like Kenilworth, Rondebosch, Claremont and so on, only with Aboriginal names like "Turramurra" juxtaposed with English names like "Pymble". Quaint, old-timey public buildings, little restaurants, small town-style pharmacies with diverting garbage in the window. Pavements with little benches. Quite lovely. The trains, I feel I should mention, are superb. Double-decker with comfortable seats that can be flipped to face in either direction. LED readouts to keep you informed. The platforms are mostly equipped with widescreen LCDs that inform you in immense detail about schedules. It's seamless.

"Seamless" is a word you use a lot to describe Australia. Government departments really work here. And the staff are not only competent but helpful and very friendly. It's all intelligent people, smiling faces, quick processing and "no worries!" There are no queues. You just take a ticket and wait in a comfortable chair. Public works (which are of excellent quality) are carried out with minimal inconvenience and there are friendly workers assigned to walk you safely through pavement detours. Yes, they're as big on safety as rumour suggests, but since I've always been a thoroughly careful person, I seem to be in compliance by default. Australians moan about trifles, but it means that troubles tend to stay trifling, which is fine.

Food in Sydney is not up to Cape Town if you're looking for your old Cape Malay favourites and slap tsjips, but it's superb if you're more adventurous. I haven't found a really good pie yet. And no pepper steak. I may have to investigate making my own.

Before I move on, I should mention that the weather in Sydney has been like a Cape Town winter. Cold with relentless torrential rains. The few hot days have been rather hot, though, and Sydney is far more humid than Cape Town. I got a nice, solid case of influenza at the end of the first week. I felt better after a day or so, but it stuck around for ages, occasionally levelling me.

Melbourne

Well, after a few weeks in Sydney, I journeyed to visit Rochelle and Andre in Melbourne. Getting to the airport is handy. Just hop on a train to the airport and there's an escalator from the station. The flight was quick and boarding a pleasure because I limited my luggage to carry-on. I made friends with an older Melburnian fellow on the plane. He lives outside Melbourne in the country, and used to make a living doing everything from programming in the early days of computing to renting out a giant punchcard organ to fairs and other events that need a three-tonne hurdy-gurdy. I have an invitation to drinks in the Melbourne countryside. I plan to take advantage of this.

I arrived at Avalon airport - which is an old air force base and basically just a hangar with a counter - and boarded a bus to Melbourne. The countryside bears an uncanny resemblance to Malmesbury. Golden fields broken by occasional gums and pines. Really quite refreshing after the relentless exoticism of Sydney's landscape. Sydneysiders claim that Melbourne is a flat, sprawling shithole with lousy weather. Melbourne weather seems relatively glorious after the Sydney humidity. And no lingering threat of deadly funnel-webs! My mild arachnophobia has only to deal with redbacks (basically a black widow or button spider).

Melbourne city centre is exquisite. Sydney has malls, Melbourne has streets. The streets are immensely wide, with large plane trees for shade, and rails in the centre for very handy trams, gently chiming their way around the city. Sydneysiders seem to do their thing in the suburbs, while Melburnians are out-and-out city people. The whole of Melbourne is abuzz with nightlife under the branches of trees. The city is full of great parks. And great shops! The shopping in Melbourne is terrifying because of the startling vividness of your impending bankruptcy.

I met Rochelle at her office, and met her boss Nathan, who said that he wanted me to work for him. So, having been in Melbourne for an hour, reservedly said I needed to consider my options.

Well, we left the office and went straight to Rochelle's lovely little house in Clifton Hills. Picture a clean, giant Observatory, with immaculately preserved Victorian architecture and the smell of gutter urine replaced with roses. Add a little bit of Rosebank's infrastructure (lots of fields and communal sports grounds) and the space of older Plumstead, and there you have Clifton Hills. We went out for a walk to the Yarra River (much like the Liesbeeck but safe, better smelling and with cycle tracks) and when we returned Andre was home and we went for walk to the local High Street to get dinner. Best chicken tikka masala curry I've ever had. And cheap! We then went for drinks and explored. It's bizarre feeling so safe on the streets at night. I still flinched at people who looked slightly dubious, but then I reflected that I probably look more dubious than them, so I was just being paranoid.

The next morning we went for a stroll through the city centre and I saw a variety of shops that will leave all my friends in conniptions were I to describe them in their entirety. Suffice to say that if you are interested in anything beyond beer and braaivleis, Melbourne has ten shops for it and they're all astounding.

We met Andre at his office in the city's tallest building, the Rialto Tower, and had coffee and chips on the observation deck, the only conspicuously touristy spot I'd so far encountered in Melbourne.

Melbourne makes up for its lack of topographic interest with human creativity and general effort. Beautiful Victorian Gothic Revival cathedrals, lovely bridges, amazing parks, fairytale avenues. In some ways it's a more sophisticated place than beautiful Sydney, in some ways a rougher and grimier place. Well-tended parks full of broadleaf tress. And it's not tourist Hell. Melbourne is by and for the locals, and you're welcome to join in whatever's going on.

To finish off the night, we took the tram from Federation Square, a cultural pavilion, hosting a Nick Cave (he's from Warracknabeel, Victoria) exhibit at the time, to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The gardens were really quite a bit bigger than you'd suspect could be squeezed into a city. Not Central Park big, but still quite overwhelming with their huge sloping lawns and tall, ancient trees. Sipping cold beer, we watched "The Darjeeling Limited" in the warm dusk on an inflatable screen in the middle of the park as the moon rose and hundreds of massive bats (perhaps "flying foxes" will sound cuter to the chiroptophobes) flew up to greet it.

Sunday was a long walk starting at the top of Brunswick Street in the Bohemian (but immaculate) neighbourhood of Fitzroy. It's chock-full of amazing boutiques, eateries and all kinds of other intriguing shops. We bumped into Nathan at a bistro in Fitzroy and I said that I'd be happy to move to Melbourne, and we talked shop for a little while until I noticed my hosts' eyes glaze over, and got up and continued walking. We eventually ended up on the banks of the lazy Yarra River, dodged a probably lethal snake, and had an excellent curry courtesy of Chef Andre in his back garden.

On Monday morning it was time to leave for Cairns to visit my aunt Kathryn. If you didn't know, she recently had her stomach removed due to cancer, so I have been anxious to see her.

Cairns

The flight to Cairns was icy cold, and I was wearing shorts for the first time since school. People had warned me about the heat (and I hate heat) so I invested in slightly more practical legwear for my stay in the tropics. I was almost looking forward to stepping off the plain to warm up a bit. But then I did, and it hit me like mallet to the kidneys.

The heat in Cairns, while not necessarily high in the Celsius department (although it often is), has all the virulence of a steambath. I mean that. It was the rainy season, and I arrived in a break in the weather, and the entire town was filled with clouds of hot steam as the sun burned the water off the tarmac. The air actually feels thick. It's unbearable. Rob was there to meet me with a smile, describing the thermal onslaught as "nice and steamy".

Most places that one visits have a defining characteristic that's slightly exaggerated in one's expectations, and turn out never to be quite the way you imagined them. Cairns, however, could only be more definitively tropical if I was driven from a lei-toting kettle drum reception at the airport by Tom Selleck in a Ferrari GTO. Palm trees. Heat. Suddenly-black monsoon skies full of hot gobbets of rain. Fields of sugar cane. Plantation-style houses on hills peeking from the jungle. Everything almost worryingly green. Tourists. Casinos. Glitzy hotels. Mosquitoes. Vast, luminescent cockatoos winging their way from rainforest to rainforest. Every window, upon inspection, revealing ceilings full of humming fans.

Kathryn lives in a small development that could really be anywhere if you don't look up and see the endless jungle hills boiling photogenically behind the houses. Every ridge, silhouetted by palm trees, was picked out by the curtains of vapour like a hotel room watercolour.

Kathryn, well, let's say that she looks as well as a person with no stomach can really look. She's quite devastatingly thin, and totters a little when walking. It was quite a heartrending sight, but mitigated; by her being alive and her big smile at seeing one of the nephews she loves to spoil. I was afraid to hug her, fearing the sound of bones snapping, but gave her the biggest gentle hug I could muster.

I retired fairly early after a quick walk around the neighbourhood with Kathryn and her two little dogs: Brutus and Mia. Brutus, a mongrel with some pug in him, and Mia, a fluff-faced, foxterrierish thing. The next day I was treated by Rob (who is a diving instructor) to a tour of the Great Barrier Reef.

It started in a massive, catamaran-hulled, three-deck boat, filled half-and-half with Chinese, Korean and Japanese tourists and Australians on short holidays. First stop was Green Island. Again with the tropical clichés, it's a tiny jungly island in a blue ocean, surrounded by white beaches. Exactly as one imagines it. It is sadly also a bit of a tourist hellhole, with expensive bungalows and a crocodile park with what has to be the tackiest gift shop I've yet encountered. After exploring the jungle half of the island for about twenty minutes, surly from the heat, I discovered a small bar next to the resort's pool and reacquainted myself with my old friend gin and tonic.

Oh, to be a white devil, mellowed on gin and tonic on a pool lounger on a steaming tropical atoll in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by giggling Japanese bikini girls. Alcohol, my old friend: how you do put things in perspective.

It occurred to me at that point that my ticket to surviving the tropics was to keep myself in booze. Where I saw alcohol, I bought it. The numbing, cooling and relaxing effect of alcohol, combined with its very slight increasing of one's appreciation of nubile females in swimming costumes, makes it the most logical choice of mental filters for the Goth away from home. That or opium, but I didn't ask.

I left Green Island slightly hazily under clear tropical skies, and we journeyed to the outer reef. The events of the day took place on a large, tented pontoon with diving facilities and a buffet. I don't swim (I just don't, okay?), so I sat around taking advantage of Rob's access to the bar and got further loaded on beer. There was a submersible tour that allowed me to see the Great Barrier Reef's symphony of life, so I rode in it using my iPod to drown out the engine noise and Babel of the multilingual tour guide loop. It is very impressive. Not quite as colour-saturated as the editing studios would have you believe, perhaps, but certainly like nothing I've seen before in person.

On the way back to the mainland, an older Japanese couple asked me very politely if they could take my picture. They did, and then gave me a very cute little bookmark as a thank you. The gentleman, himself sporting a neat little Asian-scale moustache, made a gesture indicating that he was very impressed with the size and shape of my facial hair. More incentive to tour Japan, I think. Perhaps red carpet treatment awaits this hirsute gaijin in the Land of the Rising Sun.

That evening I was treated to a sample of the local nightlife: a trivia contest at a bowls club. Now, I'm usually in my element in these sorts of things, but I was still slightly slowed by the day's drinking, and the humidity (still horrid at night), and the quiz, sadly, had a rather distinct regional bias. I'd wager I know more about Australia than the average non-Australian, but I'm buggered if I can name ten lead vocalists to Australian one-hit-wonder bands from the sixties. It was a nice plate of fish and chips though, so I had a good time guessin' with the oldies.

I also became gradually, uncomfortably aware that one should remember to apply sunblock to one's legs when wearing shorts. I stayed out of the sun, as I am wont to do, but the ocean is a giant tanning mirror, and I got a mild burn on the shins anyway. It's months later and I still have farmer-tanned legs.

The next day I spent on the internet, recovering, writing, and generally doing nothing until Kathryn got home from work at half past twelve and her kind and supportive friend Trish came round for tea, specifically to meet me, apparently.

We then took a drive around Cairns to see the sights. It's very much a little holiday town, and a tourist trap, but it's certainly an experience for me, since I've never been in the tropics before. And despite the heat, there's something to be said for the sheer verdancy of the middle latitudes.

Sydney Again

I boarded the plane the next day for Sydney again (it was still raining), to spend a final day with John, Melissa, Max and Isabelle before spending my last week there with Gareth.

I think the pilot purposely took a scenic route over the ocean. Thanks to my window seat, the Great Barrier Reef was laid out for me to see, and it was almost beyond comprehension. Over an hour of flying over azure waters motleyed with dayglo reefs. It was a moment in which I grasped that I was very, very far from home. On a side note: there is no wilderness on the east coast of Australia - it's entirely farmland.

Staying at Gareth's house was a blast. Firstly, internet access. There's only so much you can do when you have no access to the web. Everything here relies on it. Secondly, it's my old buddy Gareth, and he's the same as ever, so we had a good catch-up on matters geek.

I managed to get myself a cheap flight to Melbourne from Sydney, but the price more than trebled when, for the first time, they checked the weight of my twenty kilograms of hand luggage. Bugger.

I was actually very sad to leave Sydney now that I had become so acclimatised. And it was hard leaving friends and relatives again. I can't say I wasn't looking forward to Melbourne, but there was a little trepidation. Justified, although not for the reasons I thought.

Melbourne Proper

My job offer turned out to be too good to be true.

My employer did not listen to my warnings about my limitations in the field of Adwords management and proceeded to task me with things that I could not do without substantial training (that he would not provide except in the form of backseat driving), leading to me making very uncharacteristic mistakes. A paranoid, narcissistic control freak, every minute at the office was spent avoiding invoking the ghastly little man's wrath. Eventually, after one too many condescending lectures, I had an apoplexy and slapped a resignation on my homunculus of an employer's desk and booked a ticket back to Sydney. I felt rather vindicated when more employees quit after me.

To compound the difficulty, Melbourne has a rental crisis. It's overpriced for what you get and you have to somehow beat all comers to actually secure a place. Tough when you're foreign and look like me. Rochelle and Andre were gracious hosts, but I could not ask them to put me up for very long.

That's the bad news.

The good news is that I met relatives I never knew I had in Melbourne:my second cousin Pam, her daughters and her boyfriend Wayne. My other second cousin (one I knew very well), Cheryl, was in Melbourne by pure coincidence, and so we all met up for a day in the countryside. It's strange how blood, no matter how thinly shared, is such a strong bond. You only become aware of it when you have no relatives near you for a while and suddenly the familial flame is rekindled. Pam had been similarly isolated from family, although for decades, and so the feeling was mutual. It's quite funny sharing observations about your family with a complete stranger, and spotting the little family quirks in them. Parting, again, was difficult, although Melbourne is an easy trip from Sydney and certainly worth a weekend jaunt every few months.

A thoughtful friend of mine in South Africa, Helene, also set me up for lunch with her relatives in Melbourne, Marcella and Edward. Edward was kind enough to drive to pick me up from home. They live on an extraordinary property at the foot of the incredible Dandenong ranges. We had an incredible traditional roast lunch complete with gem-squash and talked about the good - and bad - old days in South Africa. They've lived in various countries and are quite happily established in Australia. More people to miss.

Pam, Wayne and I went for two fantastic trips into the Dandenongs. The first on an ancient steam train called the Puffing Billy (a hair-raising, thrill-a-minute ride at the general pace of an asthmatic tortoise), and the second in Wayne's V8. The Dandenongs are magnificent. As a South African wary of invasive species, I suppose I always thought of gum forests as being inherently a bit dry and disspointing, but I've never been in an environment that lush. And the local variety, the mountain ash, is unbelievably tall. Until it was felled, the tallest tree ever recorded was a mountain ash. Even the tree ferns were enormous. Amusingly, in the middle of the Dandenongs I found a huge model railway on display, complete with attendants to operate all the little lights and gizmos in the diorama. I don't suppose most people over twelve really care about that sort of thing, but I like it, and I like the fact that there's room for it in the middle of nowhere in Australia.

Sydney, Final Stop

I'm back in Sydney with Gareth, Al and Owen now. I must say that I'm happy about it. I until I found a job courtesy of a reference from my previous employer, Jonathan. It's a bit of everything. HTML coding, design, writing... all the stuff I like to do.

I have even managed to sort out a more-than liveable eating schedule by finding a secret food court that piles your plate to teetering with the best, most diverse selection of Asian cuisine I've ever seen. I don't eat supper any more and I've still gained back the substantial weight I lost in the move.

I was living in a very decent townhouse next to a highway, which was very convenient but rather noisy, but we've since moved to a lovely old Deco-era quasi-Federation Style house in a suburb called Riverview. There's a bus-stop at the end of the road, and a small shopping district a few minutes away, so not much change in the convenience department, but I now have my own room with a door onto a front porch, a giant garden full of parrots and the occasional possum. I have latterly discovered that some of the common black and white birds that I thought were currawongs are in fact the extremely aggressive Australian magpie, which actually attacks humans during breeding season. The occasional eye is gouged, so I'll be watching the skies from now on.

If you walk for literally ten minutes, you end up in Tambourine Bay, a small crystal-watered estuary. Yachts bobbing in the evening sun surrounded by multi-million dollar villas with private jetties. Even my most laconic housemate's reaction was "Wow." It's hard to believe an underachieving daydreamer like myself has managed to end up with his arse so thoroughly in the proverbial butter.

It's hard to say that everything has gone swimmingly, but even though things haven't been quite as rosy as I thought they would be, I don't regret the move. I love Australia and I really like not having part of my brain constantly occupied by the terrors of South Africa. I suppose some people took them forgranted, but I never could. I never quite managed the guilt-rationalisation that allowed aflluent suburbanites such as myself to live surrounded by teeming squatter camps without shame. It's good to feel so much angst and fear dissipate. I naturally have brand new angst and fears but they'll dissipate when I'm more gainfully and routinely employed and able to undertake the occasional trip back to South Africa to visit all my friends and family.

In short, if you have ever considered the move, I recommend it. The initial pain and cost are absolutely worth it in the end.

Thank you to everyone who helped me make this journey over the years preceding my departure. I can't name you all here because it would exceed the length of the rest of the letter. I hope to see you all soon, either you here or me there.

Best wishes,

Ladyfingers

Edited by Ladyfingers
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Geluk "Mate" Hierdie stuk is die beste wat ek nog oppie Forum gelees het. Ek weet Antjie Krog is ook nou en dan bedrywig oppie forum, maar ek dink selfs sy, sal erken jy is 'n puik skrywer. Jou skryfstyl herhinner my aan 'n perd met 'n eiland en 'n huis in Kaapstad. Kan nie sy naam nou onthou nie agv ouderdom ens ens.

Uitstekend, hou so aan

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Geluk "Mate" Hierdie stuk is die beste wat ek nog oppie Forum gelees het. Ek weet Antjie Krog is ook nou en dan bedrywig oppie forum, maar ek dink selfs sy, sal erken jy is 'n puik skrywer. Jou skryfstyl herhinner my aan 'n perd met 'n eiland en 'n huis in Kaapstad. Kan nie sy naam nou onthou nie agv ouderdom ens ens.

Uitstekend, hou so aan

Dankie Jan!

n' Perd met 'n eiland en 'n huis in Kaapstad? Jammer man, ek't te dof hier in Maklikeland geraak!

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Slat my nou net tussen die oë. WILBUR SMITH natuurlik.

Haha! Dis miskien die probleem: ek het nog nooit 'n Wilbur Smith boek gelees nie!

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Wow, thanks for that, very interesting, and good luck in Sydney.

Just a pity you did not visit Perth and Brisbane, would of loved to have read how you described these 2 cities.

Cheers

Kathy

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Wow, thanks for that, very interesting, and good luck in Sydney.

Just a pity you did not visit Perth and Brisbane, would of loved to have read how you described these 2 cities.

Cheers

Kathy

Hi Kathy!

I have had both cities described by South African friends whose opinions I value as "Pleasantville", if that helps.

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Thoroughly enjoyed your perspective of the cities you visited and your great writing skills

Take care and all the best with settling in…will continue reading tonight

Cheers

Jo

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Thoroughly enjoyed your perspective of the cities you visited and your great writing skills

Take care and all the best with settling in…will continue reading tonight

Cheers

Jo

Thanks, Jo! Glad you enjoyed reading it.

Settling in, apart froma few months of scraping by, has proved surprisingly easy.

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Thanx for sharing that. I enjoy reading other forumites take on things Australian.

Good luck with all your future plans in this amazing country.

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Thank you for sharing your insights with us, best of luck to you for the future. If IT doesn't work out for you then try compiling travel guides for the Australian tourist industry! you seem to have a knack for it.

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Chris, ek het lanklaas so lekker gelees aan 'n post. Dit het my skoon uit my forum-fatigue geruk! :ilikeit: Uitstekend

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I really enjoyed the read... thanks for taking the time and sharing your experience...

take care,

red

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Hi LF,

I really enjoyed reading your post! About the pies - try the Four and Twenty brand, I believe it is the most popular...

zorba

Edited by zorba
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Thanks everyone. Coming up on one year, so will be providing more of the same soon enough.

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Dankie LF. Ek het myself nou so ingeleef in jou wedervaringe dat dit voel of ek self daar was. Goeie skryf werk! Doen so voort.....

BasinOzson

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Dear LF. This is sublime writing. You have so "got the gift"

Keep em coming- and if that great job does not materialise- consider writing. You are very,very good.

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Excellent journal LF! A tour de force of a new arrival's observations and experiences.

I also enjoyed your blog, it seems as if I found a soulmate i.r.o. Microsoft anf Harley Davidsons.

Cheers,

Dax

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Thanks everyone. Coming up on one year, so will be providing more of the same soon enough.

Hey Ladyfingers, just want to thank you for your stunning journal. You write beautifully! I see on your blog you are a fellow Cancerian - great people hey - just kidding! Please keep us informed regularly, because who needs to buy books when you describe everything as clearly, and as down to earth as you do (clearly, I do not have your talents at writing).

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