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SimpleSimon

Turn off the heating and or wifi until your teenagers surrender and beg to do their chores. Works a treat,

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Our Numinous journey …   I love words.   I love the meaning of words.   I love the impact of words.   Numinous (adj.) Origin: Latin   Describing an ex

This journey is such an emotional roller coaster. Reading about other people's visa grants last night and though happy for everyone, was feeling rather sad that we didn't seem to be moving forward. 

The joy of the end of the wait is sublime! After 5 months, I eventually received a positive assessment from Vetassess for my experience. Initially received a negative assessment because they said

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9 hours ago, Husky said:

then have to do shopping ,cleaning, washing, admin and cooking

 

Its like that across the world. This video shows the distribution of activities across 24-hours for USA

https://dms.licdn.com/playback/C4D05AQEChn6ppIGHrA/631d9da3b5a749d1b43a92d80be6a2e6/feedshare-mp4_500/1479932728445-v0ch3x?e=1525989600&v=beta&t=QTbJaVqgb4uNS8y-Pm5OhtMs0qOfqfz17Nr-dUm8h3g

 

 

 

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ChrisH
10 hours ago, Husky said:

cleaning, washing, admin and cooking. I am so very tired!

 

Haha welcome to the first world!

 

I just laugh when people from South Africa come to visit, usually by the third day they will comment something along the lines of how Australia is not for the lazy!  My sister in law actually asked: "Wanneer hou mens op werk?:D

 

Something else that I've come to realise is that it is actually embarrassing how little we paid our domestics/gardeners in South Africa.  Most middle class South African households probably spend more on groceries a month than they paid their domestic workers.

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SimpleSimon

It's not just South Africa - occurs in Asia, other African countries and South America that domestic labour get low wages are exploited. Enjoy it while you can - otherwise your staff and extended families would starve.

 

Australia sells the myth that it is a laid back relaxed place to live. I bought into the myth and one night in my employer's office at 7:30 pm (after arriving at 7:30 am), I finally realised I'd been had. The thing is to be competitive in a 1st world country like US, Germany or Australia, you have to work bloody hard to keep up. You also have to be pretty quick off the mark and absorb a lot of information quickly and be very politically savvy.

 

When I was single I complained about how very busy I was. Then we had kids (with nanny) and Jees it got really busy. That was nothing compared to how busy we got when we moved to Australia. Now we're negotiating with our kids who've taken on some of the chores - cooking, dustbins, keep bathroom clean, do own washing etc. We've managed to get away with paying them less than minimum wages for the honour of doing the chores. However, I hear rumours of a strike coming.

 

Still our family got to spend a lot of time on the beach and in forests so it's not all bad. 

 

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Ta2Bryan
6 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

 However, I hear rumours of a strike coming.

 

 

This tickled me. :lol:

Our domestic resigned and we decided not to replace her in order to get the kids ready for Oz. They strike every Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of "having to go to school all week"! Works with Mommy, but not so much with Dad. :angry:

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Eyebrow

I have also noticed that this laid back thing is just a myth.

I am in a good job and get paid well, but boy, they do want their pound of flesh.

I work much harder that I have ever done in my life. I too am leaving at 7 at night and am still wondering what happened!

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TamTam

Doing all the housework really gets easier over time - you just have to plan carefully. The following has really helped me:

  • Clean once a week - you don't need to eat off the floors
  •  Get rid of your nik naks - they are just extra things to clean
  • Online shopping saves me loads of time
  • EQUAL sharing of chores (though not yet for my little one (only 2)
  • We buy clothes we don't need to iron ;) 

I really agree - you look back at what you paid your domestic and it's a bit shameful. Could I have lived on that amount? Definitely not!

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Piet1234

Been in the UK over 10 years, we also used to clean ourselves and I did the dishes for 6 years until my kids came along then I didn't want to waste my weekends cleaning, and the plates started piling up when you 4 people.

 

So we now have a cleaner who comes once a week and I bought a dishwasher. We mainly have the cleaner for the bathrooms and vacuuming etc, if you are generally tidy once a week is enough. 

 

Totally agree with @TamTam with online shopping, I absolutely hate shopping so my wife set up an online account and you very quickly develop a basket of regular goods so its quick and easy. My son (5 years old) loves helping the delivery person bring in the shopping. On weekends he even packs his own bags and knocks on the door pretending to be the deliver man :D then I have to repack my cupboards.

 

My wife does the ironing, but that's one of the reasons to get married right? :P

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MaraJade
2 hours ago, Eyebrow said:

I work much harder that I have ever done in my life. I too am leaving at 7 at night and am still wondering what happened!

 

Hi, I am just curious, is this the norm in oz to work so late? How does one manage with daycare etc if both parents have to work late? It it specific to certain industries? 

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SimpleSimon
10 hours ago, MaraJade said:

How does one manage with daycare etc if both parents have to work late?

@MaraJade you decide as a couple who will be the breadwinner and who will work part time. The part timers salary goes completely on day care, but at least she (normally) gets to interact with adults for a while. It’s tough to make ends meet during that period.

 

We have a consultancy and employ quite a few people who work during school hours and then when the little ones have gone to bed. They have 20+ years experience and are highly qualified and specialised. They can’t go back into the normal workforce because of the demands on them. When they do they feel guilty - it’s a sacrifice.

 

Australia is completely globalised so you are competing against the best and brightest around the world. If someone cleverer and cheaper in India can produce the same quality of work as you and the job doesn’t have to be localised, then they will get your job. Also, in the mornings you work with colleagues in the US, in the afternoon with Indians, and at night with Europeans. The clash comes when you have a meeting/TC with all of them together. That’s 3 am for Australians.

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13 hours ago, MaraJade said:

 

Hi, I am just curious, is this the norm in oz to work so late? How does one manage with daycare etc if both parents have to work late? It it specific to certain industries? 

 

I'm not sure if it is always the case. I have found the opposite, in SA everyone I knew worked really long hours, it was rare for any of my friends to finish work before 7. I personally  used to work 16-20 hours a day, but when I move to Aus the expectation was much lower, more in the 12-15 hours a day range (this is for a specific industry that is famed for its long working hours though so not really the norm).

 

I have since left that industry and at my new company everyone is gone by half past 5. Also a management consultant friend of mine is home by 5 in Melbourne where he would probably only have been home by 8 in SA.

 

It seems to me that companies are really flexible wrt to flexible working hours as well.

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Tntaglia

I am definitely working harder than in SA, but part of the difficulty for me is also the commute. In Johannesburg I was 20 minutes from the office (15 with no traffic, 30 with massive traffic) so the commute barely even registered on how I spend my time. Now I take a bus and train to work, and door-to-door the journey is about an hour and 5 minutes on a good day, each way. So even on days when I am only in the office for 8 hours, I'm away from home for more than 10, which means I barely see the kids during their awake time and there's not that much time to clean etc. during the week. At least my OH is still unemployed, but we're hoping to change that soon and then things will get really interesting! Officially I have flexible hours but have not taken advantage of that at all - I feel like I need to prove myself at work before being all flexible. Having said that, twice this week I got home during daylight because we had a crazy busy week last week and this week the deadline is over so the pressure is less. 

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ChrisH
17 hours ago, MaraJade said:

Hi, I am just curious, is this the norm in oz to work so late?

 

It's really dependent on the industry and company culture.  Personally, I came from working for an investment bank in Sandton (time is money, work work work) to working for a way more chilled corporate (they are in the top rated companies to work for in Brisbane).  

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Eyebrow
18 hours ago, MaraJade said:

 

Hi, I am just curious, is this the norm in oz to work so late? How does one manage with daycare etc if both parents have to work late? It it specific to certain industries? 

 

No. It is dependent on a lot of things. And different for each person. For us:

 

1. I am the main breadwinner, not by choice, but because visa based on my job so I have to work

2. We are on a temporary visa. So if someone suggests "jump", I respectfully request details on the required height of said jump... AKA if I loose my job, I am out of work but also out of country!

3. I have a fixed term contract that gets renewed. And now there is legislation that with every renewal it has to be advertised, to see if an Australian wants it. So I am working to prove that no one will able to fill my shoes, Australian or not.

4. My OH couldnt find work (around the kids' schedule - we have 3 - until recently), so the less he earned, the more important my work became. (Oh, and the more stress our relationship took as a whole. :()

5. We left RSA with nothing. We used an immigration lawyer, who charged us $22k on top of visa cost, and did not help us all that much. Well. you live and learn. I still cry about that money. We also sold the house at a massive loss. And after paying the mortgage there was nothing left. The estate agent knew we were moving overseas and took advantage. I then had to move within weeks of getting the visa for a job in Aus as my new employer was chomping at the bit, and so had to get rid of my business ASAP, which no one wanted to buy because it was not showing any profits yet. So, I literally gave it away in the end if someone just took over the building's lease! So we desperately need money. I cant downscale. (Interesting  we have no money, considering that I am in a traditionally well remunerated profession. But that is a whole other story.)

6. Services for my kids are very expensive without the benefits that permanent residence gives one and a large chunk of disposable income just goes to that

7. The job I have now has great benefits eg pay for me to fly across Australia for training opportunities. (Something I most certainly didnt get in RSA and also not with my previous Australian employment.) To do my job I very much need Australian based training. I really struggled with my RSA qualification only. I could not afford to pay for this myself. So I understand that with these benefits my current job gives me, comes the fact that I give back by applying this knowledge.

 

I do note that the Australians doing similar work to me make sure they leave on time...

 

I am sad that I don't see much of the kids. It really hurts.:cry: But there is only one way now. Forward.

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On the topic of modern day economic slavery and how much time we spend at work, often not by choice, watch how "time is free but it is priceless. The bad news is time flies, the good news is you’re the pilot"

https://www.facebook.com/JayShettyIW/videos/2023234317991023/?t=192

 

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TamTam
On 5/10/2018 at 8:38 AM, Ta2Bryan said:

This tickled me. :lol:

Our domestic resigned and we decided not to replace her in order to get the kids ready for Oz. They strike every Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of "having to go to school all week"! Works with Mommy, but not so much with Dad. :angry:

I think doing this is a really good idea!

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On 11 May 2018 at 7:30 PM, ottg said:

On the topic of modern day economic slavery and how much time we spend at work, often not by choice, watch how "time is free but it is priceless. The bad news is time flies, the good news is you’re the pilot"

https://www.facebook.com/JayShettyIW/videos/2023234317991023/?t=192

 

You are the oracle!

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  • 7 months later...

How you going? Hope everyone is well.

I always wondered why reasonably active members stopped participating fully after making the final move to Australia. Now I know. Life happens and the busyness of acclimatising to a new culture, people, home, job, cleaning and rules takes over. Not really an excuse, so apologies for being so quiet on the forum. During our application process and initial move, the forum was my lifeline and I have made some precious friends in the process.

It feels surreal to sit here at my dining room table with the gentle cool breeze of a Melbourne evening blowing through the open doors. We will be celebrating one year in our new city on 31 December, having arrived just before midnight last year. Let me say up front that despite this being the hardest thing we have ever done and despite many tears, we have no regrets and absolutely LOVE Melbourne. We are very grateful to this wonderful country for accepting us. The purpose of this journal entry is once again twofold in that I think it is important to reflect and keep a record of our journey, and I hope that some of our experiences may be useful to others.

What I am grateful for:

1.       My husband – thankfully our marriage is solid, and we really enjoy spending time together. I believe that we have grown even closer and relied heavily on each other for support, friendship and advice when unsure how to handle challenges. With our kids being older, it often feels like we are dating again as we take advantage of being able to use pubic transport to go into the city and have fun. I’m a bit of a dreamer and “just do it” kind of woman and my OH keeps me grounded and realistic. He is also great at sharing the load of household chores. In fact, he probably does more than me because he works from home a lot more than I do.

2.       My children – the kids have been amazing, and I am in awe of how they have thrived this year. My daughter passed her first year of university well, found herself a great part-time job, goes out and has a diverse group of fun friends. My son passed year 9 and did better than he had in SA, has embraced every new experience (surfing, skiing, traveling alone on the train, cycling to school), plays golf with his dad every weekend and joined a fabulous youth group at our local church.  They both love the freedom, safety and sheer volume of things to do in Melbourne.

3.       People – we have a handful of cousins and friends who have openly and warmly welcomed us into their lives. Some fellow South Africans have gone out of their way to help and support us on important dates. As an example, my birthday turned into a bit of a rent a crowd moment (if we’ve met you, you’re invited kind of thing) and I loved every minute of it.

4.       Opportunity – my husband and I both found reasonably good jobs within a few months of landing. We have both been able to integrate and found our experience and skills valid and valued. Though a little different to what we are used to, we both enjoy the flexible work culture here and general focus on learning, wellbeing and inclusion. After almost a year in my first role, I was recently offered a new job at a company I initially connected with 4 years ago and start my new job in February. Very excited as the company is very innovative and I feel they value my experience and skills already, i.e. I don’t feel it’ll take very long to prove myself.

5.       Melbourne – what can I say. This city is amazing. There are all the big things like having access to world class sporting, art, cultural and music events; the eclectic culture and food; the amazing infrastructure; the education; and the access to beaches, mountains, snow, winelands and forests. Then there are the little things that make us smile, like visible policing at train stations at night; Hello Fresh (our 3 times a week meal delivery service); free tram in the city; coffee (yes, this is a thing); dog friendly parks and beaches; Korean BBQ; Chemist Warehouse (trust me on this one); Aldi (it’s odd); and Footie (Go Tigers).  

6.       My health – as some of you know, I had a back operation in October 2017 and have struggled with a few health issues. I am slowly starting to see the light and feel pretty optimistic about my future health. This is largely due to the health-conscious Melburnian culture and an amazing clinical pilates physiotherapist I see for classes. I also walk far more than I ever did in SA and average 8500 steps a day. Given that much of my work is office bound, I am really happy with that.  As a family, we also believe that not having to live with the constant stress and fear we had in SA is good for our general psychological wellbeing.

7.       Bayside – we’re all very excited that we will be moving closer to the beach in 2019. It almost feels surreal because as someone who grew up and lived in Gauteng her whole life, living near the beach has always been a dream. My son is also very excited as he wants to join a life saving club in the new year.

 

What has been challenging AND stuff we’re still working on

1.       Finances – it does feel expensive even though we have stopped converting. A lot of this has to do with feeling like we have taken a few steps back in our careers and starting again as a couple in their 40s. Though we are definitely less focused on material possessions than we may have been in SA, we do miss some of the privileges we took for granted. We unfortunately still own a home in SA which we cannot seem to sell. Our tenants have also just informed us that they are breaking lease, so we will need to support a bond in SA along with rent here. Given that we used a lot of our savings to get here, this is adding a lot of stress to both of us. We are very aware that our super balances (pension) are inadequate for our stage of life and it looks like we will need to work way past our 70s to ever recover. We have also realised that it is going to be a long time before we can afford to buy a house in Melbourne. Really need to sell the house in SA.

2.       Making friends – it may be that we both work full time and our kids are older, but we don’t get to meet a lot of people outside of work. I have found that everyone is very polite and friendly but that deeper friendships are tough to build, especially with Australians. The people I have connected with have been other South Africans and Kiwis, who tend to be warm and understand the emotional roller coaster that is immigration. Not that we haven’t tried. My husband has met a few people through adventure biking and I have made a real effort with people at work. My 15-year old son (who is at that hormonal age where moods can be tricky) told me he would never have friends like he had in South Africa because they had been his friends since birth. When I asked him if he would be happier in South Africa, he replied in typical Aussie fashion by saying “100%”. That made me very sad. Though he has made a few friends at school, they are not very sociable kids and tend not to visit or go out anywhere.  Plan to make more of an effort with neighbours and get involved in the local community in 2019. I have had the realisation that things will never be the same as they were in South Africa and that we are not trying to replace our close friendships, some of which are decades old.

3.       The missing – I find that on some days I just cry. It feels like a deep sense of loss; loss of identity, loss of country, loss of belonging, loss of my people. On some days I miss my family and friends so much, it physically hurts. On some days, it feels like I don’t speak the same language as everyone around me, even though they’re all speaking English. On some days, I miss what I feel we have lost, our home we built over 18 years, our village, our garden, our bar, our swimming pool, our bed, our stuff we gave away or left behind. No need to point out how privileged we were – I know. I also know it is just stuff. I miss having someone help me clean my house and my garden. Some days I miss just being surrounded by the warmth and vibrancy and genuineness of South Africans. Some days I miss the bush and the Drakensburg and the Vaal dam and the beautiful Cape and Sun City. Some days I miss South African wine, real bacon, Spur, Steers and my mom’s roast lamb. Some days I miss our local Pick ‘n Pay where the manager knew my name and I would bump into at least 5 people I had grown up with every time I walked in. Some days, I just miss Woolies!

4.       Making decisions – despite being pretty decisive, it really is difficult to make a decision here when you just don’t have all the tacit knowledge that comes from living in a country your whole life. When you don’t have a dad or an aunty who can guide you or give you the information you need. Even something as simple as which butter to buy becomes a deliberation of note. We have not been that happy in the area we live in so have been looking to move and after much deliberation, have decided on Mentone. Whilst I am very excited for the move, the reality is that my son may need to move schools (again) and because of the time of year, we will not know whether he can get in until school starts. Eish! Still, it is all about moving forward.

 

Reading back, it looks like the challenges outweigh the benefits. They do not. It is all worth it and I know that with time, the challenges will ease away and different ones may emerge. We have no regrets for our decision and talk more about how grateful we are for everything we have than how difficult it is. I would not trade this life we have chosen.

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Eye opening post! thank you. We are also arriving in January with older kids and will probably experience a lot of what you have experienced.

 

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Thanks Husky - this post resonated with us too. We are a year further along the journey than you are. We are living pretty close to where you are moving in 2019 so if you would like some tips let me know. You wont regret it - Bayside is a wonderful place to live.

 

FYI Costco has the closest thing to South African streaky bacon we have found. Its an American style bacon. The brand name is Coburg.

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Thank you @Husky for your informative and helpful posts as always.

We leave our beautiful South Africa in just 3 days and whilst I am nervous, anxious and excited, just a day ago, I am beginning to feel angry. I don’t get why I am feeling this way!  I am working on it as I don’t want to leave on such a negative note.

Anyways, I am so glad that you are doing well and although it is not really easy, you’re settling in well.

Reading your posts gives us all so much of hope and encouragement.  Can’t believe it’s been a year already! I hope that you and your family find more happiness and blessings with your move to Bayside.  All the best wishes for a glorious festive season and a fabulous 2019.

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