Jump to content

Missy: new arrivals


Missy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I am new to this forum. Just thought I would pop in and introduce myself. I am living in Dubai but we are thinking of moving to Australia soon, that is, rather than going back home. The idea of going home is very scary so we are looking around for alternatives.

Just a few days ago the South-African security minister made a statement to the effect: I wish white South Africans would stop complaining all the time about the crime rate, if they dont like it here they can leave.

Both my husband and I find this astonishing to say the least, and having been victims of crime ourselves feel we cannot contemplate returning there lightly. We wish to start a family and the minimum requirement for this is a low crime rate, not so?

Any-way I will be reading any info I can find here about life down-under and trying to make sense of not going home after our stint in the middle East. The hardest is letting every-one down that we promised we would see again. We just cant make that promise anymore. Sad hey? :ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 62
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Riekie

    6

  • DesertDaisy

    5

  • chatterbug

    6

  • Missy

    22

Guest Seoul Sister

Hey there Missy of the desert,

Welcome to our forum. We hope you will enjoy chatting to us and that you will get answers to all of your questions. Do you have a specific area of Australia in mind and do you know yet which visa you are looking at ? I am also curious to know what you do for a living as there seems to be lot of interesting Saffers in the Middle East. Please tell us more !! :ilikeit:

Looking forward to seeing you around !

Love

Seoul Sister

:ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello from down the road! We're Saffers based in Abu Dhabi, attempting to move to Aus.

Hope you're surviving the heat here in the desert!

There is a ton of useful information on this website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think at last count there are at least 48 000 of us in the UAE. We do any-thing and everything here. From dentists to engineers. There is even a garden centre staffed by SAns. The pay is excellent but the cost of living is also high, so it's all important what kind of contract you get, housing included, plus car, at least 2-free return tickets to home per annum etc. Otherwise just living eats away your income, though new cars are cheap. I drive a Porsche and my husband has an SUVmerc.

Our future plans are very much in the air, as we look around for ideas. :ilikeit: Meantime it is Dubai. I am quite certain though that a lot of SAns moving from this area to Australia find it quite difficult in the beginning to adjust.

I heard from a friend of ours that they dont even have maids or gardeners or anything like that there. Boy oh boy will that take some adjusting. Especially for double income earners like us. When I come home from work dinner is already cooked the shopping has been done the house is clean and the dog has been fed and even walked, our cloths are washed ironed and packed etc. :ilikeit: It frees us up to spend what little free time we have together doing quality things, like after dinner going and sitting on the beach and watching the sun set, or having a leisurely walk or braai with friends. It's all possible even on a week day.

Spoilt rotten we are, out here. I highly recommend. Hi Desertdaisy it's poopiekaka hot, can you believe I saw some tourists lying in the sun covered in oil!!!! Ha ha ha that is going to hurt some.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Jules

Hi Missy :)

Welcome to the forum! Wow, another Saffer from the middle east, there are quite a few of you on here :ilikeit: How long have you been there and what do you do if you don't mind me asking? :ilikeit: It's great that you are contemplating the move here, hope to see you around the forum, I'm sure you will get answers to all your questions and concerns.

Julie :P

Sorry Missy, I didn't see your second post until after I had posted :ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Missy,

Yeah, that servant thing is a hurdle that you are gonna have to cross. Currently I think I am sitting astride the thing. It is just too hard for me to do everything, and work full time. At least my hubby is FINALLY earning a good salary, so that I can settle for a part time, or school hours job. He is also a very handy dishwasher and vacuumer! ;) he refuses to iron though :ilikeit: And I have to confess: I HATE IRONING!!!!! Which has its benefits, as recently our bedroom burnt down, and most of our clothes were in the ironing basket in the laundry room! :) (Well at least now I can smile about it)

It is hard at first, but we are getting into a rythm now, with the cleaning and all, and the creased look is big fashion here in Aus! I even found an ironing lady that doesn't charge an arm and a leg, and she really needs the money, so that "justifies" it. She even does a decent job of it!

Greetings,

Dreamy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dreamcatcher, that is a nightmare, if you don't mind me saying. :ilikeit: I just can't start doing domestic labour and holding down a full time job at the same time, and it's no bet which I prefer. My husband is keen that we have a few kids but this is going to make life intolerable. Running after tiny tots as well as doing domestic chores as well as working.........na, it's not going to happen. As I say every-thing is up for grabs for us, so we will try and settle for the lesser of all evils.

If you have an ironing lady this is a good start, is she local or from Asia? What I don't understand fully at this moment is, given that Australia has a relatively high standard of living, why no domestics. We lived in Hong-kong before Dubai and we got a maid through an agency. Is this illegal in Australia or what? Surely they must realise that this might hamper productivity or even cause a decline in birth rate, as more and more mothers choose to work instead?

This is causing me to sweat. I know,I know, poor little rich bitch. But no, it is our lot, for us woman to take advantage of opportunities where and when ever we can. I must look into this in more detail. Perhaps a question for another section. How do woman cope with this intolerable situation? Besides burning down the bedroom! Yikes I hope no one was hurt?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Missy,

No, no-one was hurt. I was just too lazy to make the bed.... :ilikeit:

The thing is that Australia does not have enough people to fill all the positions available, and so things like petrol attendants, waitresses, and cleaners are few and far between. Most people get into the skilled workforce as soon as they possibly can. There are cleaning services, and I am sure you can employ a cleaning person via one of these. The logistics for hiring your own would be too much. You have to insured, registered, etc. etc.and cleaners are generally well paid. You will be working, and handing over most of your money to the cleaner. The lady that does my ironing is an Australian (white) mother with a disability, and prefers to work from home. I don't know if she has a registered business.

I am not trying to say any of this to dishearten you. I was the same (very spoilt). I always said that I worked hard for my money, and it was my choice to pay someone to pick up after me. My kids have seldom cleaned their rooms untill we came to Aus. The way of life here is just different. Things are more practical, and there are several coping strategies. Just think, you can buy a proper dishwasher, washing machine and tumble drier, and they will last you forever. You don't have to settle for junk, just because you know that "Happiness" is gonna break it eventually, no matter how expensive or cheap it was! :) You will find it much easier to adapt than you think. We are five in the house, and even though it is sometimes tough, it is still better than SA. I will much rather live in a house where the windows don't get washed every week, but they don't have any burglar bars!

Greetings

Dreamy

Edited by Dreamcatcher
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long as there is an ironing service, I'm happy...

I don't have a maid here in Abu Dhabi (we are on a lower rated package and quite simply cannot afford one), though I had a lovely lady Grace come in twice a week when I was working full time back in South Africa.

I have huge issues with ironing....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your windows are never washed??? This is too much. I couldn't live like that honestly. I would be up until midnight washing windows rather. We have a washing machine and a dish-washer, we dont need a drier here as we have a outdoor area for drying, and the maids use them perfectly well. No "happiness" types here, rather Sheraton trained housekeepers, who even selected the dish-washer themselves. They have a life too remember.

I get your point about there being a shortage of unskilled labour, or just a shortage of people full stop. So why no foreign labour, like almost every other western nation in the world.

I make no bones about domestics, it's a job pure and simple and it feeds and clothes millions of people who if otherwise too proud, would be destitute, and in many cases their families would be too. I would do it, if it helped get me out of poverty, heck who wouldn't, as it pays well,plus all the perks like travel anf free tickets home, and, and, and. Employers of domestics in Hong Kong are even taxed for having a maid.

I don't find it very cheap having domestics, but it is a no brainer if you live the lifestyle we do. It is impossible otherwise. One of us would have to stop working. I truly can't imagine spending my productive time washing clothes or grocery shopping. I am all for free choice or the right to choose. But it is sounding like there is no such deal in Australia.

May I innocently ask here, if woman in Australia are a little behind the times and still do all the domestic work and stay at home, or do part time, that is most of the time?

Edited by Missy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All,

I am also having troubles to accept that there are no domestic workers in Australia, but then again, how many people in the world have the luxury of their own domestic worker?

I'd rather make my bed than being shot in my bed!

I agree with DesertDaisy, as long as one have access to Ironing Services, all will be fine!

Pippa!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry Desertdaisy I keep missing you. Seems as I type so do you, but you get in there one fraction before I do. Any-way I am sure we have a lot to natter about. Are you working? Because I find that not many wives do work out here. It feels like I am very much operating in a man's world. Not because woman here don't work, they do especially in Dubai (the faceless people who actually do the work) if it wasn't for them half the banks would close I am sure, but rather in my line it is mostly ex-pat men I am afraid. Ex-pat wives have kiddies to look after as well.

I think if you are used to being at home, you will ironically be better equipped for Australia than a person like me. I am all nuts and bolts these days. I don't think necessarily that you got a lower package than us, it's just we don't have kids (a huge difference) and our rent is paid, that we can afford domestics and a driver. The last doubles as a gardener, I wont let anyone near my car :ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your windows are never washed???

Hey, that's not what I said! I said they don't get washed EVERY week! :ilikeit:

I would not say that Aussie women are behind in any way. You do get the odd one that is a stay at home slave, and complaining all the time, and then you get the woman who is a stay at home "Goddess" (Thanks SS) and loves it! Then you get your part time workers, and your career woman, they are all here.

I just find that families have a way of working together here, and it is something that I value, in the times that I can get my kids to co-operate. Luckily these times are getting more and more. And you DO get cleaning services, like the hotels have, that come in and clean, if you want them. It is just not the culture in this country, but it is our culture, and your choice. :)

Greetings,

Dreamy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ladies

Please let me put you at ease, and calm the nerves - all these services you are yearning for are available in Australia, even gardening services too nogal. I personally know a couple of people (SAffers and Australians) who have domestic cleaners and what not. I all depends on your priorities and how much you have to spend. Those that don't make use of it choose not to. I even know of a SA lady that does some ironing and domestic work for others.

How much does it all cost? It's almost like "how long is a piece of string" question. It is a 1st world country, yes admittedly with some skills shortages, but it is a capitalist economy and generally you'd be able to "buy" whatever you want.

Chatterbug

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think we need to "import" cheap labour to Australia. Because of the ridiculously low unemployment rate, any labour is very expensive and people tend to rather do it themselves and spend their money on the more important things in life : living it! My son cleans hotel rooms as a part time job and for that gets paid more in a day than the average "domestic" in a third world country earn in a month! No job here is looked down upon and no worker either. The business woman in her "Prada" sits in the same food-court and have her lunch as the road-worker in his overalls. This is what I love so much about Australia!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You mean it's not part of your culture?

Nigella Lawson the "domestic goddess" yea if only we all earned a zillion bucks pretending we were stay at home super chefs with a real ex-treasurer as a daddy. No, as I say I believe in the right to choose. Ironically, as you say, it's not the Australian way, but only if you are a very rich Australian then it is most certainly is the way.

I am sure this will eventually change. It has too, otherwise the country and it's economy will ultimately be the looser. I already notice that there are a fair number of Nigerian taxi drivers. Is there much industry in Australia? Or is it still very much an agricultural, mining and tourism economy? We are just starting out on this quest, so much to learn :ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Missy,

Where to start.....?

I don't think you need to worry too much about the domestic worker situation in Australia. From the couple of hints you have "dropped" in a couple of your previous postings, for you this aspect is very important and it does not seem that financially you'd have a problem to afford domestic help and the like. So you can tick that one off!

I don't think having them in abundance will uplift or kill the Australian economy to be honest. It is a supply and demand situation, I believe. If all Aussies all of a sudden placed a huge importance on the domestic servant situation there would be all sorts of plans made to indulge in these needs or economic demands. They would probably have some mixture of cheap(ish) labour some other labour (not so cheap) and would have developed some alternative domestic devices like robots or automatons or something. The point is the demand would be met. People here are quite innovative and there are many labour saving devices to be had - not all problems are solved over here by throwing extra humans at it. To give you and example our household was "packed" in RSA by about 12-16 people - over here 2 people unpacked in the same time with the help of many clever labour saving devices etc.

The reality however is that I'd say most don't use domestic help extensively either for financial reasons, or because it is not a priority for them, or they simply don't believe in it or they are feeling particularly masochistic or a combination of the above or other reasons. Its a choice thing - but I don't think it is because they are somehow backward or "behind the times". Like I said I know many who do use these - some of them well to do and others not particularly.

You'd find Australia to be quite an egalitarian society compared to what you seem used to - this might take you some time to adjust to, to be honest! There is a bit of a tall poppy sindrome and arrogance is generally frowned upon! SAffers often have a good dose of this when they arrive and truth be told it is a "negative characteristic" often talked about amongst Australians.

If I was you I'd focus more of my attention on the "real" issues needed, in my view, when choosing a new country - the big ticket items like crime, education, health, economy, defence, foreign policy, justice, policing and the rule of law to name a few. Your question about the Aus economy ("is there much industry in Australia?") indicates to me that you still have some research to do on this front. Its a bit like being asked by foreigners if there are lions roaming the streets of JHB? Simple answer to your question is YES. Riekie has some great stats resources to do some research about Aus economy but you'd find its up there with some of the best in the world. "GDP per capita for Australia" typed into Google will give you a hive of information also do a comparison with RSA you'll be blown away!. Also reading this forum will point you to many other sources.

I don't know about the Nigerian taxi drivers - I haven't seen any where I live (Brisbane) and I regularly use taxi's - Where did you get this info, and to what city/area does it refer? Again I think it is less relevant what the nationality of the taxi drivers are? They operate on normal economic principles - there is enough supply for the demand in the market and the drivers are from a mixed background - around my area i'd say about 50 % pucka Aussies and the rest foreigners, immigrants and the like!

I hope this helps!

Chatterbug

Edited by chatterbug
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I could not have said it any better! :ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Seoul Sister

Hi Missy,

Wow things sure have evolved in your line of thought from your initial introduction up to now ! :) From caring about crime and feeling bad for potentially disappointing your family "back home" to affordable housekeeping and Australian industry. :D I am sure you have impressed all of us with you honesty and openness concerning your life and lifestyle in Dubai. I can't help but feel sorry for you tho’. From what you have said I sense your urgent drive for all things material and fear you have lost any/all sense of life/work balance. :( The only expats I have known to live like this, constantly pre-occupied with where they live, what they drive, how much labour they can afford and compulsively announcing it to any willing ear, have been those living above their means. Keeping up with the J's is such a vicious and difficult cycle to break and I can see what it is doing to you. Sad that you have to spend such loooong hours at the office, with very little time to share with your husband, leaving no time to even walk the doggie or lazing around with other expat women. I am not surprised that you find the office a man's world, as all of the other expat women are enjoying lazy coffee mornings lounging around, on shopping dates at their favourite boutiques, browsing and admiring the latest exhibition at their local or favourite art gallery or pampering spa days of relaxation, peace and quiet.

They are not in the least concerned with what car it is that will be picking them up, as long as it shows up on time and with the aircon on full blast. They also have no idea what kind of washing machine, tumble dryer, dish washer/whatnot they own, nor when/how the grocery shopping is done, nor will they discuss any of these mundane issues with friend or foe. None of the stress of having to drive themselves around in a crammed-in little sports car, spending ridiculous hours in an office with a load of chauvinist men, never pondering giving up a job in order to have a baby, scrambling around on the internet for a few morsels of opinion on immigration, etc. They are pampered, relaxed, cared-for, real expat wives. Their main concerns are the next outfit for the upcoming charity event, deciding on their next holiday destination, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the designer jewellery being made for them, or what to get hubs for Christmas this year (after all what do you buy the man who has everything) ;) . You need real money to live this life-style ! As you would also have seen in Hong Kong if you were part of one of the members-only social clubs * the outstanding one way up on the Peak comes to mind, lovely ppl, not to mention the view !! * :ilikeit:

As you are already struggling to keep things afloat in Dubai, I understand your concern for Australia, as the cost of living is much higher and labour harder to find. This could really burst the bubble, especially when planning something as expensive as a baby ! :o On the other hand I think Australia could be really liberating for you. Setting you free of all pretences and saving you from the spiral, enabling you to maybe find some balance between home and work ? I am afraid that things may be so out of hand, that your judgement has been completely clouded – with worrying about issues mundane and trivial, like housekeepers and the nationality of taxi-drivers. ;) (BalancedBug what a fantastic piece from you !! ) As you would have seen from the other group of expats - living and working is just so much better than Living to work.

As you are also such a well-travelled little sparrow and not a naive, sensitive, fresh-out of SAer, I trust you will take my well-meant suggestions in the spirit they are intended. Please give my love to ol' Rajaram over at Al Nabooda's when you next have an oil change !! ;)

Love from the other East

SS

:)

Edited by Seoul Sister
Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are not in the least concerned with what car it is that will be picking them up, as long as it shows up on time and with the aircon on full blast.

I had to laugh at this one - it is SO me!! He-He!!! :);) Can't wait for you to get here and we can share a taxi (with aircon off-course!!) :ilikeit:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very funny Seoul Sister, you are a buffoon :);):)

Riekie I adore driving my Porsche, you haven't lived until you try. I consider myself equal to any man in my work place. On the subject of ex-pat wives most that I meet are very unhappy not being able to work, and a lot just live for the moment that they can leave. It is quite sad, because going home comes as a huge shock to most of them. Also a lot take to drinking too much, when the kids go off to boarding school, and the husbands on long trips. There is a high incidence of dependance on Prozac for support. Trust me on this one ladies I am very close to the source of this information.

I dont consider Australia a typical ex-pat destination, it is more an emigrant one. So I am sure it is a completely different ball game. True returning ex-pats are usually a very sorry lot especialy those going back home to the UK. Their standards of living take a dramatic plunge. Unless they were both working of course.

I think a lot of people especialy successful career woman like myself, will find life quite difficult without maids and nannies. We have enough to do at work without having to run the domestic side of life. If it is one thing a successful career woman learns it is to delegate. If you don't learn how to do that you will never succeed.

I think we were also spoilt in South Africa with so much cheap labour. But it is a different story outside SA. Maids are expensive, we are paying 3000 usa a month for each one of the three, this includes lodging for 2 of them but not the air tickets home each year or the medical insurance or food. No one says it's cheap. But if it enables me to devote 100% of my time to the precious little kids I administer to, then I am happy. And I am also proud that that I earn a good salary,I certainly deserve it, it also keeps me sane at least compared to the other wives. :ilikeit:

Edited by Missy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

WOW... what a change in direction!

Chatterbug and Seoul Sister have said it well, not sure there is much more to say!

But I want to add my 5c anyway... life has changed must the past couple of years for my family and me. First we left the hustle and bustle of Egoli for a more relax KZN, looking back, it was in preparation for our recent move to Aus. We also had the standard equipment: DSTV, Double Cab, kids in private school stuff like that. And off course two very important employees: Benjamin, Garden Executive and Nellie, domestic executive.

We don't have a garden boy or a domestic here. As others has noted we do the things ourself. Yip we are 4 in the house and even the 4 year old does his bit, it is not much but setting the table is very important! Because if it is not set we can't eat. The same goes for their room, if it is untidy they can't sleep... and for the ironing and cleaning and dishes and so on, I do my fair share... yes I do my fair share...

Maybe you should start working on your husband and prep him to help in the house, you as a looong hours working wife should not be responsible for the whole house, is is not fair! :ilikeit:

Remember you are married and it was for better or worse, imho is the house work the worse part...

Last 2c - why would you come to Aus... to obtain more material things or for the more realistic stuff like safety, security, opertunities... Reading between the lines is sounds like you have to work to keep afloat of your very exclusive lifestyle ... must behard working all those hours and not able to enjoy life... :)

D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pleased to meet you Dannie, if you read the other thread you will see I have already said that having domestics frees up your time so you can spend quality time with your partner and also earn a lot of cash. Don't worry about us we are not battling to keep afloat, thank-you for asking.

I am concerned about crime in SA, but you must remember I am not coming from SA any-more. Our original plan, as it is with many SAns here is to earn a fortune and go home to SA. We could afford to buy a game farm with cash, but what good is that if you are going to get your throat slashed????

I think some people here are more concerned about promoting South Africa as a death destination than helping people considering moving to Australia. It is not the same thing at all. We all have different concerns about the place we are considering moving too. For us South Africa is looking more and more out of the question because of crime, but Australia remains a possible, the same as Spain, Portugal and the South of France. Heck we have even looked into New-Zealand, if the weather there wasn't so iffy it might have had real chances.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just a note - not all expats live quite the life of luxury btw. We sure don't. When I said we are on a low package, I meant it. We have one cheap car, no maid/driver/gardner, not a designer label anywhere in the house. We count our pennies very carefully. And unfortunately life here is getting more and more expensive - our school fees have gone up 20%, we can no longer afford to live in a 3 bedroomed place, and have to move to the city limits to a 2 bedroomed place. Statistics released yesterday put Dubai at the 25th most expensive city in the world. But it is 100% better than back in SA - for us anyway.

We want to go to Australia, and sure as hell are not expecting an expat-style life. We want a real life, free from crime, racism, social divides and a culture of fear.

I may be a stay at home mom who does the housework (except the ironing, thank god for Al Farah Nour Automatic Laundry across the road!) with the able assistance of my husband and children. My eldest has been making her own bed since she was 4, and my younger one sets the table. They are also responsible for cleaning their own room.

And while I am a Stay At Home Mum, that is not all I am. It is not an endless round of coffee mornings and shoppings for me. I also happen to a published freelance writer.

I was a high-powered zoom around career woman back in South Africa. But one day I looked out my car, and saw a lady checking her child's homework over the steering wheel of her luxury-never-seen-a-dune 4x4 at 6am, and saw my future.

And I hated it.

Now I relish being a full time mum and part time careerist. I'm fully aware that I may have to go back to working full time when we get to Aus. And I'm okay with that.

We may not have enough money to buy a game farm cash, but I sure as hell am happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"We may not have enough money to buy a game farm cash, but I sure as hell am happy."

Glad to hear it Desertdaisy, so are we. There is nothing at all wrong with a proper home maker career, nothing at all. At least you are doing the right thing. If I didn't have such a rewarding job involving children I would be doing the same.

Are you in Dubai? I thought you said Oman? One of the posters here said there were so many SAns from Dubai posting here, do you know whiothey are? It would be great catching up.

" I was a high-powered zoom around career woman back in South Africa. But one day I looked out my car, and saw a lady checking her child's homework over the steering wheel of her luxury-never-seen-a-dune 4x4 at 6am, and saw my future."

Yes that's exactly why I chose to get a Porsche. It is mostly husbands who drive them here, boys with their toys, well why not a woman I asked myself. A lot of wives have Pradas here, ugly looking things like caravans with an engine, I prefer the Tuareg if it has to be a 4x4. We use my husbands 4x4 almost every weekend on trips into the desert, it's great.

A lot of SAns I have spoken too here seem to be battling to keep afloat. We only arrived a year or so ago and knew exactly what to ask for in our package as this was not our first post, we were in HK before and before that we were in Paris. Many seem to have come very badly prepared, just wanting to get out of crime infested SA as soon as possible. You could almost call them newbies not only to the UAE but to the world. It is quite a thing negotiating a package and I wish more people would find out more about it before committing.

The problem with Dubai and elsewhere in the UAE for a lot of SAns is their packages didn't even include an inflation differential. In other words your salary is increased as the cost of living increases. This is very important. The UAE was quite a reasonable place to live awhile ago but inflation has dealt a heavy hand to a lot of ex-pats, this plus the surge in cheap labour and expertise from India and elsewhere.

I feel you are coping though, and you can be proud of that at least, a lot have had to pack up and go home as a result. I know Seoul Sister made fun of non working ex-pat wives, but I can only show admiration for their efforts. So what if they lounge around the pool once a week, they deserve it. :ilikeit: as do I for working so hard. See you at the Sherton!

Edited by Missy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...