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Best of Both Worlds


Black Label
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Best of Both Worlds.

I've been fortunate.

I've been blessed.

I had the opportunity to live in both worlds for the past 28 months.

We live in Queensland, Airlie Beach to be precise, for the past 28 months I’ve been commuting between SA an Australia, one month in Australia one month in SA.

Initially it was the ideal solution, my wife and children safe and secure while I carried on running my company in South Africa, the months in Australia we spent traveling, going to different places and seeing new places.

My children just love Australia, made plenty of friends, and excelled in sports and academics, however being away from home so often and for such long periods is not good for any family.

I had to think long and hard, and this was probably the hardest decision yet, but on the 14th of June 2009, 3 days ago I’ve made the decision that we will be moving back to South Africa, bought some property in the Western Cape, and soon will be commuting between Cape Town and JHB.

The following is what influenced my decision, please people this is my personal opinion, based on my current living and working experience.

1. Starting a business in Australia is not easy, and by that I don't mean a coffee shop or take-away, the way Australians say it describes it best "Made by Australians for Australians" 90% of Australian people will support their own people before supporting a foreigner - at least the Auzies stick together and i admire them for that.

2. Business culture is totally different " South Africans are street wise, and have business savvy, Australians are very rigid and is as flexible as a tree trunk. (Business culture are two worlds apart)

3. Australia is a beautiful country, with islands forests and mountains, South Africa even more beautiful and what i miss the most are the variety of animals.

4. In Australia, South Africans are willing to do jobs, they will never do in South Africa, in Australia South African adults are willing to work as maids cleaning houses, work at McDonalds, be points men on road construction sites, woman working as truck drivers - in South Africa peolpe think they are to good for that, and worry what their friends and family will say.

5. In South Africa you will rather pay someone R2000 a month to clean your house and R1000 to mow your lawn, but in Australia funny enough the whole family pitch in to do what you paid R3000 a month for in South Africa.

6. In South Africa we are quick to blow the horn an swear when the service is not quick enough at the Gas station, but in Australia we get out of the car, fill up with fuel , clean the window and walk in to pay at the quick shop that is manned by a single person.

7. In South Africa people want to send their kids to the best schools in the best neighborhoods, in Australia, some South Africans are willing to send their kids to whatever school is closest, schools where body piercing and tattoos are the norm and discipline non existing - the only alternative expensive private schools.

8. In Australia ,South Africans will live in a small prefab 3 bedroom house, and drive a Toyota yaris, or something similar, in South Africa ,its all about where you live and what you drive (again keeping up with the Jones)

9. Compare the way some South Africans you know are willing to go to church or to the mall in Australia, to the way people dress up for the same occasion in South Africa. (South African peolpe in general are well groomed people and look after them selves, but 1 ,2 or 3 years in Australia and they start to accept the norm.

I am not negative towards Australia, Australia is a great place to live, Australia and in particular South Africans in Australia have been an eye opener for me during the past 28 months - Some are really quick to bash South Africa and point out all the bad - but in my opinion South Africa is not as bad, compared to 95% of the places on earth where you could go and live.

People are so quick to complain in South Africa, but if you watch current affair and see what is going on in Australia, e.g. glassing in night clubs, serious assaults on Australian police officers, drug and alcohol abuse under teens, drive by shootings, gangs and street fighting etc........

And yes i know about the serious assaults and pointless murders in South Africa !!

Life is what you make of it, not where you make it.

Family and religeon is what is most important, and if God can save you in Australia,London or Peru he can and will keep you safe in South Africa - It's been an expensive lesson but one i am grateful for - i will always look back at Australia and be thankfull for the experience.

South Africa does have its problems, but peolpe need to compare apples with apples - There are propably 300 or more countries around the world you will be worse of living in than either South Africa or Australia.

I hope I did not offend to many people, as I said this is just my personal opinion - therfore i urge you to read the entire post again before throwing stones.

Edited by Black Label
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Good luck, I hope your journey back to South Africa is all you expect it to be!

I am just so glad that our experience has not been the same as yours!

In ten years in Australia:

1. My husband started his own business, electric servo motor repair, his clients being multi million dollar businesses, absolutely no problem in the support he has had and going from strength to strength. Has not encountered any problems with Aussie support, in fact even has clients in New Zealand.

2. Business culture is totally different, I will give you that, but for me it is slightly different to your experience, I find most Aussie business people very law abiding and in South Africa I found most business people quite happy to circumvent the law. I know where I feel more comfortable.

3. I have found some really beautiful places in Australia, and just as beautiful ones in South Africa, so here I think we are on an even par.

4. In Australia keeping up with the Joneses is not a necessity, you can just be you, how absolutely refreshing.

5. In Australia your kids will learn that they need to be capable of cleaning, cooking and mowing the lawn, or they will have to study hard enough, to get a great paying job, so that they can pay someone else a living wage, to do the jobs they don't like to do or that they think they are too good to do.

6. I am quite happy to fill my own car, and imagine the economy of only having one person manning a whole filling station....only in Australia!

7. Some South Africans cannot afford to send their kids to private school in Australia, but at least they brought them to a country where the likelihood of rape and murder is extremely slim or non-existent! I find that with kids it is probably more important what their parents teach them, so that they can define for themselves what is good and bad examples from their peers!

8. In Australia, South Africans will live in a small prefab 3 bedroom house, and drive a Toyota yaris, or something similar, in South Africa ,its all about where you live and what you drive. Once again, this does not count for everyone, and thank goodness each one can live as they see fit, the Aussies won't look down at you for where you live or what you drive, this is mostly reserved for status conscience South Africans!

9. Compare the way some South Africans you know are willing to go to church or to the mall in Australia, to the way people dress up for the same occasion in South Africa. What you wear is not what makes you a good or bad person, it is what is in your heart that counts.

I did not give the answers above to deny Black Label to state the way he feels, I just gave the other side of the coin, for all those waiting and praying for their visa's to come through so that they can start the new phase in their life.

We all find our journeys different, and all I can say is that in the past eleven years of living in Australia, I am happy and secure and SAFE!

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Good luck back in SA, though I cannot say I agree with your reasons. For example,

We live in huge house in Australia, we had a small house in SA

Both of us had to work in SA to support the family. In Australia we are doing better than in SA and that is on one salary

In Australia, I can afford to see the tourist attractions, I couldn't in SA.

I went shopping barefoot in SA, I don't do that in Australia. It is a little frowned upon.

We get excellent feedback from school, the kids are happy.

I never had help cleaning the house (except for 6 months once). So there is no difference for me.

I do not think your crime comparisons are valid. I haven't heard of one police officer being killed in Australia in the 11 months we have been here.

That said, I wish you all the best. Enjoy your trip back. Your family should be quite excited to be spending more time with you.

Edited by polly
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"I've been fortunate.

I've been blessed."

Black Label, I wish you and your family every happiness in South Africa, and that your good fortune and blessings continue.

Everyone has a different story and no-one should judge you - its your life! Some may question 'why?' but no-one has a right to 'throw stones'.

I am curious though, do you have your Aussie citizenship?

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Are you lucky Black Label? I think you are very lucky that you never became a crime statistic in SA.

Yes I hear all you are saying about SA and Oz. Try live in SA again and not be in Oz. We did and we came back to Oz.

We are alkso hoping for a miracle in SA but living in SA fulltime is huge PT.

We also have a business in SA and it is lucrative but we have started a business here and to be honest it has been difficult

but what really inspires me is people's honesty in Oz. In Joburg I was forever getting fake deposits, scams, bounced cheques, fake cash,

theft, huge staff problems, not BBBEEE enough,and more staff problems,blocking phone numbers to divert calls to the crooks. so go ahead, agreed SA has very street wise people and you have to be

or you can die there pretty quickly as we found out when we got hijacked outside our shop one morning or gang raped inside our house.

I find Ozzies to be very innovative, look at the Ozzie inventors program. Public schooling, well this depends. My son went to an upmarket private school

and when he got here he was behind in Maths, English, reading and social skills. He has now caught up and he is so happy at school now. He has become

more confident and is no longer that scared child he was. I have had a very good experience with a public school. You may not have

South Africans are a special breed of people, entrepeneurial, like to dress well, to be seen to be dressed well, wanting to be the best at everything. there is nothing wrong with that. I agree there are yobs,bogans, trailer trash in Oz which can make you wonder why you are here but at least they do not kill you or invade your home. I am very much a Sandton/Hyde Park person myself and have had to come to terms with the ugliness in the society here but you know what, it is up to you to make it wherever you are and you can bring up kids properly wherever you are. Drug culture is big in SA too. It is just behind closed doors, not so much in your face. I ahve a friend who is a police reservist and he says drugs are rife in SA and especially in the wealthier suburbs so do not get the idea that because things look good on the outside that thay actually are.

Look it is your choice and I respect you for your choice, SA has not burnt down and it has some very special things that other countries will never have agreed so we all hope and wish you the best of luck with your future. I am visiting SA soon and will give some feedback

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Hi Black Label

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Airlie Beach is a lovely part of Queensland.

I wouldn't normally comment as I believe that the choices we make are that- the choices we make, but I am a little confused by your decision as you say your kids are really happy here- how do they feel about going back?

I agree that being away from your family is not good and so don't understand why you have chosen to commute between Jo'burg and Cape Town- aren't there any nice places to live much closer to your work?

Forgive me, but I sense a real ambivalence in your words............your list of pro's and con's doesn't seem to make an argument for either country.

I don't think you have been negative - just realistic.

Anyhow, good luck with your decision, I wish you and your family the very best.

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"I've been fortunate.

I've been blessed."

Black Label, I wish you and your family every happiness in South Africa, and that your good fortune and blessings continue.

Everyone has a different story and no-one should judge you - its your life! Some may question 'why?' but no-one has a right to 'throw stones'.

I am curious though, do you have your Aussie citizenship?

Hi Eva

No we have PR -not citizenship.

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Hi Black Label

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Airlie Beach is a lovely part of Queensland.

I wouldn't normally comment as I believe that the choices we make are that- the choices we make, but I am a little confused by your decision as you say your kids are really happy here- how do they feel about going back?

I agree that being away from your family is not good and so don't understand why you have chosen to commute between Jo'burg and Cape Town- aren't there any nice places to live much closer to your work?

Forgive me, but I sense a real ambivalence in your words............your list of pro's and con's doesn't seem to make an argument for either country.

I don't think you have been negative - just realistic.

Anyhow, good luck with your decision, I wish you and your family the very best.

Hi AndreaL

As you said, Airlie Beach is a lovely place, and the place i would probably miss most.

Our Kids are really happy in Oz, and they do not look in particular forward to go back to SA, my hope is to take with us the good we experienced in OZ and try to build onto that in SA, we bought a beautiful horse farm in the Western Cape, surrounded by mountains and rivers, it is really an amazing place, i've decided to commute between the Cape and JHB because of the quality of living and the upside at least it is 90minutes flying compared to 16Hours.

The word "ambivalence "you used is 100% correct, but in some point in a persons life, you have to make a decision and stick to it for better or for worse.

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Good luck, I hope your journey back to South Africa is all you expect it to be!

I am just so glad that our experience has not been the same as yours!

In ten years in Australia:

1. My husband started his own business, electric servo motor repair, his clients being multi million dollar businesses, absolutely no problem in the support he has had and going from strength to strength. Has not encountered any problems with Aussie support, in fact even has clients in New Zealand.

2. Business culture is totally different, I will give you that, but for me it is slightly different to your experience, I find most Aussie business people very law abiding and in South Africa I found most business people quite happy to circumvent the law. I know where I feel more comfortable.

3. I have found some really beautiful places in Australia, and just as beautiful ones in South Africa, so here I think we are on an even par.

4. In Australia keeping up with the Joneses is not a necessity, you can just be you, how absolutely refreshing.

5. In Australia your kids will learn that they need to be capable of cleaning, cooking and mowing the lawn, or they will have to study hard enough, to get a great paying job, so that they can pay someone else a living wage, to do the jobs they don't like to do or that they think they are too good to do.

6. I am quite happy to fill my own car, and imagine the economy of only having one person manning a whole filling station....only in Australia!

7. Some South Africans cannot afford to send their kids to private school in Australia, but at least they brought them to a country where the likelihood of rape and murder is extremely slim or non-existent! I find that with kids it is probably more important what their parents teach them, so that they can define for themselves what is good and bad examples from their peers!

8. In Australia, South Africans will live in a small prefab 3 bedroom house, and drive a Toyota yaris, or something similar, in South Africa ,its all about where you live and what you drive. Once again, this does not count for everyone, and thank goodness each one can live as they see fit, the Aussies won't look down at you for where you live or what you drive, this is mostly reserved for status conscience South Africans!

9. Compare the way some South Africans you know are willing to go to church or to the mall in Australia, to the way people dress up for the same occasion in South Africa. What you wear is not what makes you a good or bad person, it is what is in your heart that counts.

I did not give the answers above to deny Black Label to state the way he feels, I just gave the other side of the coin, for all those waiting and praying for their visa's to come through so that they can start the new phase in their life.

We all find our journeys different, and all I can say is that in the past eleven years of living in Australia, I am happy and secure and SAFE!

Thanks for the post Mara, as someone waiting for their visa its great to see the positive side as well... :rolleyes:

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Thanks for sharing your experiences and good luck to everyone. This is really an interisting post

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Hi Black Label,

Thanks for this post, I admire your strength in going back. Moving to Australia is a really hard thing to do, one of the hardest things I have had to do. We live in Emerald, which is in Central QLD, we have been here 22 months now, Emerald is out in the sticks, 3 hour drive to our nearest "city" Rockhampton, to do decent shoping and a further 45 minute drive to the coast from there, I think if I can do 22 months in Emerald, I can live anywhere in Australia, I have done my penance. It was tough the first year, probably till about 2 months ago, then things started to settle, I miss South Africa less, we always said we wouldn't go back for a holiday till 2 years had gone by, now at the almost 2 year mark we don't feel the need to holiday and feel we will leave it for another year or two, rather want to go to NZ or to the UK. I don't know why I am waffling on about all this, what I am trying to say is, you are tough, to move over to Australia, then make a home here, now to move back again 28 months later, I don't think I would have the strength to do it again.

There is a SAfrican couple in Emerald in exactly the same situation as you, he kept his business going in SA, got someone to run it, it was just ticking along, then started working here, didn't enjoy it too much, then business in SA started going like a rocket, so left wife and kids here and did two trips back and now they have decided as a family to move back. This international commuting isn't working. Also moving to the Cape after living in JHb before.

Good luck and I hope everything goes really well for you and your family, the place you have bought in the Western Cape sounds absolutely beautiful.

Cheers, Jill

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Hi AndreaL

As you said, Airlie Beach is a lovely place, and the place i would probably miss most.

Our Kids are really happy in Oz, and they do not look in particular forward to go back to SA, my hope is to take with us the good we experienced in OZ and try to build onto that in SA, we bought a beautiful horse farm in the Western Cape, surrounded by mountains and rivers, it is really an amazing place, i've decided to commute between the Cape and JHB because of the quality of living and the upside at least it is 90minutes flying compared to 16Hours.

The word "ambivalence "you used is 100% correct, but in some point in a persons life, you have to make a decision and stick to it for better or for worse.

[/quote

I can now see exactly how hard this decision has been for you- it would be so much easier if you didn't like Australia.

Perhaps this is just another part of you and your family's life journey, so rather than stick it out for better or worse, do as you say and take the good back with you and if at a later stage you choose to either return to Australia or elsewhere, that too will be part of your life journey.

The very best of luck to you.

You are blessed to have all these wonderful opportunities.

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For a business person Africa and other emerging markets will always offer more opportunities compared to developed markets. Good luck with your move and ventures!!

Edited by GTrotter
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"............your list of pro's and con's doesn't seem to make an argument for either country"

This is what I thought.......actually some of it was much bigger positives for Australia than SA...but that's just me. Good luck! I wish you all the best.

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Good luck, Black Label and all the best for the future. The horse farm sounds beautiful.

Liesl

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Black Label, thanks very much for your post. I always appreciate peoples honesty. Always nice to hear best of both worlds from people who actually experienced it themselves.

Enjoy Cape Town! Indeed a beautiful part of our country!!

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Good luck Black Label, hope you'll be OK back in RSA. Myself, however, I've made my own choice 12 years ago. It also took a lot of thinking and soul searching, but in the case of my family and I; we're Australians now.

Cheers,

Dax

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"............your list of pro's and con's doesn't seem to make an argument for either country"

This is what I thought.......actually some of it was much bigger positives for Australia than SA...but that's just me. Good luck! I wish you all the best.

It's not just you, I thought the same but agree with some previous posts that everyone one's circumstances / reasons are different. It either works for you or it doesn't.

That's was makes us all unique. Also its a freedom of choice.

All the best for your move back to SA Black Label, i hope that it will be a smooth one and you settle quickly.

Regards

S

ps: Is it not the Black Label beer your missing :whome:

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I must say that if anyone goes back to SA, then the western Cape is the best place to go to. It really is different to the rest of SA (in a positive way).

Good luck with the move and enjoy the Cape.

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Wow.. this was interesting to read.

I guess the freedom of choice is the winner here.... Something we all respect (I hope)

Good Luck to you and your family......

K

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I really wish you all the best in your move back - that horse farm sounds so wonderful and I'm sure you will be very happy. I think its very hard to keep your business in SA and try live in Aussie. Its like keeping one foot in each country and not good for family life.

May I ask why you are not getting citizenship before you leave? I only ask because I went back to CT and because of my kids came back . As you say, each person and their circumstances are different ( my girls were a lot older, had been here 5 years at that stage and refused to live in SA again) . Getting citizenship is is like the prize at the end - security in another country should you ever need it -or your kids need it.

Thats just my theory- but I have friends who went back after 2 yrs without getting it and they have no intention of moving again.

You will have learnt so much in the last 28 months, you know what you and your family need at this point, so God Bless and I wish you all the happiness.

Lindy

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"............your list of pro's and con's doesn't seem to make an argument for either country"

This is what I thought.......actually some of it was much bigger positives for Australia than SA...but that's just me. Good luck! I wish you all the best.

Have to agree with you. It is difficult for the reader to see the real point, and one has to read between the lines. He mentions that in business Australians only support their own, (which I do not think is true) and I can only conclude that business did not go well in Australia.

Filling your auto yourself, that is what the rest of the world do. In the US you can have "full service" but you have to pay extra. (a whole lot) I am not sure if South Africans have a problem with that, but I myself prefer to filll my own car.

My daughter lives in Queensland (six years now) and loves it. Airlie beach..so beautiful. I would move there today if I could. As for SA, I will NEVER live there with children. It may sound harsh, but that is just me. Just the news from SA on this forum is more than enough for me to know that I could never live in that country again. I lived in Cape Town, many years ago, it is beautiful,,,but, not safe enough for me.

Black Label the horse farm sounds great. We had a couple of horses in Texas, the kids loved it. Wish you all the best in SA.

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Filling your auto yourself, that is what the rest of the world do. In the US you can have "full service" but you have to pay extra. (a whole lot) I am not sure if South Africans have a problem with that, but I myself prefer to filll my own car.

As for SA, I will NEVER live there with children. It may sound harsh, but that is just me. Just the news from SA on this forum is more than enough for me to know that I could never live in that country again. I lived in Cape Town, many years ago, it is beautiful,,,but, not safe enough for me.

Hi Bluebonnet

The only reason we have people to fill our cars etc up for is to create jobs!

I believe that if the employment rate here in SA wasn't so high we would be on the same system as the

rest of the world.

I completely agree with your second point - my children might / might not have a future in 10 years time when they ready

to seek employment but i can't take the risk. They are the world to us.

Our decision to migrate to AU came up after my family (incl. my 6 and 9 year old at the time) were held up at a school.

We had guns put to our heads!!! That was the final straw for us.

To see my girls fear and terror in there face, in those circumstances is heart breaking . . . i will not risk it again!

Sorry SA but you have let me down . . . Here's to one day living with peace and safety, no matter how hard its going to be.

NOW THAT IS A RISK I AM WILLING TAKE!

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I had someone wash my windscreen for me at the BP the other day! Big surprise!!

And I have had some young guys who work there offer to help fill up and do air too!

The seem to charge more for their petrol though!

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Good luck Black Label. Enjoy the western Cape - it's a wonderful place to live! I find it very hard to leave myself. :unsure: I'm happy for you that you've made your decision. All the best. x netta

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