What you ship and don't ship to South Africa depends on how much space you have in your container. If this is a corporate relocation, most likely your employer will provide a 40 foot shipping container, which can fit a lot of your household goods, if not all of them. Here are suggestions of what you to consider when packing up your household for South Africa.
My previous post, 19 Things to Put on your Shopping List for South Africa, proved quite popular. Everyone jumped in and had another item they wanted to add to my list, particularly in the food department. Every nationality feels quite strongly about their particular foods. So I thought I'd give you Part Two featuring all those essential reader additions.
You've gotten the job offer in South Africa. You've gotten scared by and then gotten over the crime statistics. You've researched schools and neighborhoods. Your visa is in the works, and you've scheduled to have your household goods packed and shipped. The container arrives a month from now. This means it's high time you went (online) shopping to load up on a few items!
You know how when you're behind on things, you get that terrible pit in your stomach when you're running late or an impossible deadline is looming, and ou curse yourself for waiting so long? You vow, by all that you hold dear, to never ever do it again to yourself. Yet the next deadline approaches, and you find yourself on the same exact track once again. Why do we do it?
We all know that moving day can be crazy. The packers are spread out throughout your house, you're running around like crazy taking care of last-minute business, and everything takes on a life of its own. Including the potatoes in your pantry. Or, well, not a life of their own quite yet. That will come some weeks later, when you'll see (or first smell) said life while unpacking.
Pets, it seems, are dear to the expat's heart, possibly dearer than her children. Every expat I know seems to have brought a pet with them. And every one of them has a story to tell. I decided to ask my readers and go ahead and collect the relevant excerpts from all these stories and print them here for you.
Baby steps. That’s what they always recommend in self-help books. “As long as you move in the right direction, it doesn't matter how fast you move” is one of the mantras in this field. Well, when you move abroad, things are a bit different. While baby steps are not wrong, giant leaps are much better. According to international research, the faster expats settle in, the better.
My kids, who have read some of my blog posts, read this one and proclaimed it as "the most boring story ever." So you are excused if you are now moving on to check out hot sales on Amazon.com. Or hot dudes on Singles.com. But if you're sticking around, I thought I'd share my Ultimate Expat Moving Checklist here with you. Or, if not with you, at the very least my own future self.
Canceling services in South Africa isn't nearly as laborious as signing up. No one asks for passport copies or lease agreements, and most of it can be done over the phone or via email, even online. But even canceling things is not without its pitfalls here in South Africa. For instance, you could once again run into the problem that you're only the spouse and therefore not allowed to cancel.
Prospective expats have asked me what they should buy before moving here, and it is an excellent question. Some things are just too expensive in South Africa, some are impossible to find, and some are at least so cumbersome to track down that it's easier to buy them abroad or have friends bring them when visiting. This blog post features a list of such items.