Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home Sweet Home (with barred windows and a giant dog)

Home sweet home—time to unpack (some things I hadn’t seen since I left Winnipeg a month ago) and get settled.  My nesting instincts kicked in as Sarah and I moved into our new home and it already feels very cosy!  When I look out the window, I feel like I’m back on Maui. I love being in the home of rooibos tea and have even found a gourmet food store! 
A week has passed since we touched down—full of introductions, meetings, and trying to find my place in a foreign country.  There are times here where I forget where I am—there is a large mall near my house with a grocery store, movie theatre, and bookstore--I could be anywhere.  Everyone has at least one cellphone (and doesn't hesitate to answer it in meetings) and there are more Mercedes Benz on the road than anywhere I’ve ever been (huge factory in town).  But then I look at the metal bars on every window, the high gates with barbed wire, the security guards in front of every store, and the warnings on ATMs.  We’ve been told matter-of-factedly that we shouldn’t walk after 6pm and we need to shut our curtains at night if we have the light on.  Note to potential visitors to South Africa: don’t watch the film "Tsotsi".  At least I didn’t see it before leaving Canada!  As we are still very new, it is difficult to gauge whether this is paranoia or whether it comes with living in South Africa—all I know is that I am quite glad that the couple who owns our house have a giant dog, Fido, and his little sidekick Minkey who are always outside and on guard!

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