Thursday, 6 August 2009

Shit in my head

I have nothing funny or interesting to say these days. My mind is like a broken record, going round and round with the same thoughts. It is so so dull being me. I think I should sample my average thought process here to show you how ridiculous it is in my head right now (apart from the thoughts about food, but those occur every 5 seconds or so, like boys with sex):

-I want to move back to South Africa
-I cannot take this bad weather any more, it is making me physically and mentally ill, I was not cut out for living in Northern Europe
-I want to move back to South Africa
-South Africa has many problems, are you sure there is place for you there any more? And stop thinking about yourself, what about kids? If it was just you it would be fine, but is South Africa a good place to bring up lilywhite kids these days? I have no idea.
-Will they always be scared for their safety? I would be
- Will they be able to find work? Work opportunities in the UK seem boundless in comparison to South Africa
-They won't be able to travel easily like we could because of the UK visa thingy and the crapness of our passports.
-Is it selfish to go back to South Africa just because you cannot take the weather in the UK?
- What about the education system in the UK? I have two parents teaching here and from what I hear it is not good at all. But is South Africa's any better? I do think the universities here are excellent; would it not be great for future sprogs to at least have the choice and the opportunity to study here if they wanted?
-The NHS (National Health Service) is pretty bad but South AFrica's public healthcare is abominable and from the sounds of it, the private healthcare is on the line. How the crap could I afford private healthcare anyway?
-If I stay here, my kids could have options and possibilities that I never dreamed of because I never knew they existed
-but will they get to run outside barefoot and learn to love the outdoors like we did as kids? I never go outside any more. How will I teach them?
-And I will be one miserable mommy
-I always struggled financially in South Africa, always. Could I support kids there?
-I could move anywhere else in the world if they will visa me
-I want to move back to South Africa
-maybe I should stay in the UK and get a British passport, that way I can always easily see my family who have now settled here for good.
-but that means staying in this dark, cold place at least 3 more years and I am dying here, dying. THERE IS NO SUN. It has left the building.



There it is, warts and whine and all. It feels pretty ugly to lay it all out like that, but why pretend? This is what is in my head pretty much every day.

I know these thoughts are inherently selfish and self-obsessed, because most people cannot pick and choose where they want to live. Most people in South Africa don't even have a house, never mind the financial security to worry about emigrating.

I didn't have the financial security to emigrate when I came to the UK, I had to lie and pretend I had money and borrow from my grandfather.

But I do have the financial means now to consider moving to other places; anywhere in the world where they will take me, really. Hello world, one times Po looking for a warm sunny corner to call home?

I do need to make a good decision though because I don't have the financial means or the options to do it more than once.

I want to feel comfortable in my skin again. If I were a better, stronger person, a person who had bonded with her wellies, I could achieve that here. But guess what, I am weak, mentally and physically, and I take my energy and comfort from the sun. And slops.

Damn those imaginary children who plague my decision-making. Is it fair that these phantom brats cause me to make decisions that may make me unhappy, all for their future prosperity? I may not even have bloody children. I could be sterile for all I know.

I just want to make a good decision, not the one that is most appealing but one that is sensible.

Why is that so damn freaking hard?

Maybe I should stick to composing songs, cos the internets should not have to deal with this shizzle, innit?


Louisa said...

I vote MOVE BACK TO SA! Yay! :-)

I'll have you know that the weather is much better here this week (over 20'C even and officially it's still winter until the 1st of September) and we have plenty of plants who you can come style up like you do there.

Ps! As for the imaginary children - you came out okay didn't you? Wouldn't you say it was a little more uncertain when you were growing up than now? Also, about the affording of kids: if you wait till you can afford them you will NEVER have any. They're bloody expensive, but the biggest thing they need is love and attention.

Tamara said...

I didn't know you felt it that much every day, Po. That must be hard.

What about the BFG? What are his thoughts on it?

PS: What's so crappy about our passports? I've been to the USA (twice), Mauritius, Australia, the Caribbean, England, Ireland, France, Bosnia, Croatia and Zanzibar on mine with no problems whatsoever.

You have been to loads of countries on yours too.

Helen said...

Wow, that's a lot of deep thoughts... I guess it's about what's more important to you - financial security (and being away from our Zumalicious politics) or sunshine and South Africans.

I know I will probably have to leave SA one day to find a decent job, but I also know that I don't want to raise kids anywhere but here - I've spent a lot of time in the UK and I don't like the kids there (generalisation I know). The idea of raising kids somewhere where you dont go outside, there's not nearly as much cool wildlife, people aren't as awesomely friendly, as well as the education which, while good on a tertiary level, regular schools seem to leave a lot to be desired. Plus if you can't afford public(i.e. private) schools then your kids end up in classes with kids who are only there because they ahve to be because they have an option of the dole later, which we don't have here.

The obvious answer of course... don't have kids? Find a sunbed? Convert a greenhouse and live in that (save on the heating bills but spend a fortune on curtains)?

I don't know, and I'm glad I don't have to make that decison just yet!

In the meantime I suggest a big cup of tea and a chocolate digestive. Faling that a caramel one will do.

Spear The Almighty said...

I struggle with the exact same issues daily and it drives me mad. I WANT to return to SA. The main reason I'm not returning to SA is because I have a little boy and I don't know if it would be a good move for his future.

One start to live for your kids once you have them.

The other thing as you mention is the simple issue of getting a job.

po said...

Louisa: haha I'm not sure about turning out ok! Yeah, I know what you mean, but if I am in a position to give my kids good opportunities, don't you think it would be selfish not to? My imaginary ones!

Tamara: our passports are dodgy in that countries are suspicious of them, as the UK officials have often told me! But I know what you mean, we can still travel with the right visas. I have had a lot of trouble getting Schengen visas and have had to cancel 3 separate trips, which is a pain in the arse, but again, it is still possible to travel.

My main concern is that the UK no longer offers that 2 year working holiday visa. If it was not for that visa I would not be here, and I would not have been able to afford to travel, possibly at all. I would still be in SA battling away. If you have the money to travel from SA it is all good but I didn't.

Here I can afford to travel and things are closer and cheaper. So I am worried if I have kids and they end up in the same situation as me, they will not have the option to come here and earn money to travel. I know people can make other plans, but it does make things so much more difficult.

po said...

Helen: I see you have a similar dilemma, having to move to get a job but wanting to bring your kids up in SA! I agree with you. But it is crap about the work scarcity and I know exactly what you mean. Now if I kids knowing the struggle to find work, especially for scientists, am I not knowingly putting them at a disadvantage?

Spear: I hear you. And I don't even have kids yet. But you have to think of these things and do what is best for them, or virtual them.

po said...

OH p.s. Tamara, I think BFG leaves all the thinking up to me. He is happye here so long as he can climb every weekend. He is suffering with the weather at the moment too, but I doubt he would bother to move, or think about it, or agonise over phantom sprogs :)

Goblin said...

I still vote that our education system is worse, if it's not, it will be soon at the rate we're going. 'Oh not enough kids passing matric? Let's drop the standards a bit more to let them through'

But you've gotta do what makes you happy. It's all very well thinking about the phantom sprogs, but miserable mommy won't exactly be a happy time.

I'll tell you what, I'll trade with you. It works out great...I hate the sun, you hate the Brit weather...brilliant plan!

Helen said...

Goblin makes a good point, I forget that the students arriving in first year every year are worse than the year before. And to a scary level... maybe homeschool is the only option! Then they'll be socially awkward but very educated!

po said...

Goblin: I have heard scary things about SA education, especially at uni level. And I have experienced it myself. I am very disappointed in my UNISA experience. We were using A level textbooks at second year level. I worry about that a lot.

But you should hear what goes on in schools here, seriously it is scary. My parents basically hate their jobs.

But maybe we should do an exchange, and we could exchange phantom sprogs too!

Helen: I have heard scary things, like apparently the average third year biology student would not be able to pass a French school leavers exam. I have no evidence, just going on one lecturers experience. But that worries me so much, because my education is the most valuable thing I can think of , it really is.

LadyFi said...

Is it just the weather bugging you? Or do you just hate Britain? Or is it just life in general?

If the latter, then those feelings and problems will follow you wherever you go...

BTW, lots of South Africans emigrate to Australia, especially the west coast. Ever thought about it?

po said...

Ladyfi: pretty much motly weather!

Ches said...

Po...your reasons are your own. But I think if you want to come back, you should. Sounds like it would make you happy.

6000 said...

Well, SA is waiting.
And yes, there are always challenges, but it's all about balancing these things out.

Happiness is the key. And if you're not happy, then you have to do something about it.

As for kids - I feel quite safe bringing my two up here. The education system is as good as in the UK (if not better) and one HAS to remember that the perception of crime is far higher than the actual incidence of crime. And as for the future - well - who can predict that anyway?

That said, Why on earth would anyone want to move here?

6000 said...

P.S. At first I read the title of the post as a request.


po said...

Ches: ah happiness, that elusive thing!

6000: ah but your situation is different cos your kids do have good options. Because you are British they can get ancestral visas if they want and come over here. They have the best of both worlds cos they have choice. I think that is what I would love to give my kids: choice.

SonnyVsDan said...

sounds like you are spiralling a bit. hate when that happens.

I say we'll take you. but don't live down near melbourne, or canberra. Pretty much stick to the awesome ness of queensland. And you might need to invert the colours on the back of your cricket guernsey. ;)

EEbEE said...

You think too much.

solution is V clear.

1. Move back to SA to fill the void.

2. Become a plumber for job security.

3. Don't worry about kids growing up here. If they are like you, they will feel the same way about SA as you do.

Dora said...

Haha! You're thinking about kids already!

On another note, yeah it is always the weather (and the food) that makes me want to be somewhere else!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I face the same issues daily, but I am here so that my sons who have had the best of SA (they are 23 and 21) will have better opportunities and choices from the full-spectrum of the first world. The weather is lousy and the people are boring but you got to focus on the positives. You are at the centre of the world, so many things to do, places to see, unlimited choices and huge opportunity. Embrace these things, make weather smaller.