At Home in a New Country: The Dentist Test

I don’t know about you, but the final measure of whether you’re completely at home in a new place, especially as an expat, is when you’ve found a new doctor and dentist. And not just anyone, but somebody you really like. Just a few days ago I realized that, judging by this standard, we’ve finally arrived in South Africa. Almost one-and-a-half years after we actually set foot on African soil.

If you’ve been an expat before, you know what makes this process so lengthy: First you actually ignore the whole issue because you’ve got other, bigger ones on your plate. You’ve got to battle the Department of Home Affairs because you’ve been waiting for your visa for three ...  Continue Reading

The Medupi Power Station

Medupi Power Station

Following my previous post about energy, where I somewhat romanticized the notion of poverty and low energy usage in South Africa, I thought I should be honest and show the entire picture.

South Africa, you see, is building the world’s largest dry-cooled coal-fired power plant. When completed, ...  Continue Reading

Joburg vs Durban?

Hi everyone – I was hoping for some input from you on this one. Julia, one of my American readers who is relocating to South Africa with her family, is facing a choice: Durban or Johannesburg? My first reaction was envy – what luxury to be given a choice! For us it was just “Joburg ...  Continue Reading

Great Local Blogs

As my blog is discovered by more people around Joburg, I’m also discovering their blogs in return. I can’t believe I didn’t find a single one of these prior to moving here, when I desperately searched for any kind of information. But maybe it’s a good thing, because that is precisely why I started Joburg Expat in the first place. Some of these blogs are very entertaining and shed  more light on life in South Africa, with words as well as pictures, so I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you, in no particular order:

2summers: Just like me, this is another American expat and writer in Joburg. And like Bing, she’s also a member of the Joburg Photowalkers, a group I’d like to join but just can’t seem to find the time for. Very artsy, and great writing.

 ...  Continue Reading

Is Dainfern Safe?

As I mentioned earlier, our neighborhood was broken into the other day. According to the bulletin that was immediately posted by our security office, this was one in a string of similar break-ins throughout the Dainfern area (which makes you feel slightly better, somehow). Apparently the thieves knew ...  Continue Reading

The Very Boring Hike

When you’ve done a canopy tour, a bungy jump, and a whale watching tour in the space of just three days, it is very hard to come up with something else which will excite six kids (our own four and two visitors). It is also hard to come up with more money to keep paying for these excursions, so for Day Four during our recent stay in Wilderness on the Garden Route I came up with the glorious idea of going on a hike. Noisette likes hikes and this was Father’s Day, so I thought it would be more fun than spending our last day simply hanging out on the beach as originally planned. Up the hill right behind Wilderness there is a spot where the paragliders take off from, and nearby there is a place called “Map of Africa,” about which I knew absolutely nothing but it sounded promising. Plus there had to be a view from up high.

Well – the entire way up the hill I got an earful of complaints from the usual suspects – Zax and Impatience (who keep wondering why I won’t change their blog names) – on how this was the absolute worst idea anyone could ever come up with, and why couldn’t we be normal like other families, ...  Continue Reading