Wednesday, November 6, 2013

10 things that I am used to: one year anniversary special

Do you recall this little post of mine? I was lamenting the strange things about living in the US that I just wasn't getting used to.

Well today, I've been here a year!

A whole year that I've lived here. (year,here, year, here- say it fast)

I have such mixed feeling about this fact. I think it's not the being here that's hard on me today, but rather that I haven't giggled with my sister in person, had cheap sushi with Belinda, shopped at Woolworths, frantically checked my surroundings as I was entering our property late at night, in a year. So there's that.

Hold on. I feel this post turning it self heavy, and really, I'm here to celebrate the things that I have gotten used to so far...

So make some joyful noise as I present to you these minor victories.

1) Ordering breakfast.

Weird one right. I'm from a world where the options were choosing white or brown toast.  Ordering breakfast for the first time was more intense than passing airport security.
 If you're not used to making choices fast then

"how would like your eggs? Cheese on your hash-browns? Rye, wheat, sourdough, English muffin, English man making your muffin?  More coffee? Cream and sugar with that? Extra bacon with that?"

might be as overwhelming for you as it was for me. Not anymore though, I have mastered the fine art of ordering my eggs finally.

2) Spelling color without the 'u'.

But let's be honest, things are just more colourful  with 'u'.

3) Stopping for pedestrians.

LOL no, I keep forgetting to do so and that's really frowned upon around here.  Let's all hope I get used to this one faster.

4) The responses to "I'm from South Africa"

Some of the responses I've had after answering where I was from have included:

"Oh cool, I've always wanted to go to the Giraffe museum in Nairobi."
"Our uncle lived in Madagascar 4 years ago."
"My sister once went to Africa to build houses for them."
"My son just moved to Australia."

I know I sound like a bit of jerk here, because really, I love that people ask me where I'm from and then try to find a way for us to connect. You, America, would however be perplexed too if you told someone "I'm from the US" (Although, I've noticed most Americans, even while traveling abroad, will answer with their State when asked where they're from) and their response to you is "Oh wow, my cousin once worked in a tourist cocktail bar in Peru".

As I said, I'm used to this and kind of love the strange responses I've had over the last year.

5) Drive Thru's.

Fast food is one thing, but...

Banks, dry cleaning, charitable donations stores, pharmacies.


6) Expensive stuff,

I've gotten better at not working everything back to South African Rand. I still do it sometimes, "did I really just spend R45 on a coffee, I wonder how many tubes of toothpast I could buy for R37 and so on.

Stuff here is more expensive, I'm used it now. In fact I really look forward to my next South African visit, BUY ALL THE THINGS! Drink all the wine! Eat all the Sushi.. ALL OF IT.

7) Driving on the "right" side of the road.


8) Fast and unlimited internet.

How oh how did I live without you. While we're here celebrating internet things: Netflix, I'm very much used to watching my TV and movies on demand by now. I remember in the good ol days when 2 Gigs was all our family had for a whole month.

Disclaimer: It's not like South Africa doesn't have unlimited internet, it's just that it was too expensive while I was still living there, and now I have it, so this is more a 'me' thing than a SA thing. 

9) Converting C to F temperatures.

From all the conversions I've had to learn this one has been the easiest. Probably because I talk about weather so much. People ask me a lot about weather in South Africa and I also give a daily report on the weather to my family in SA. So that has helped.

Although, 1 Degree in Celsius still seems much colder to me than 34 degrees in Fahrenheit.

10) I got used to those long days of summer way to fast, now I'm screwed with these dark at 4:30pm days. dammit.

I wonder if I'll be used to everything by the time I write the 'Two years and loving it' post. Probably not.

Hey, here's a fun idea, how about we follow each other on Twitter and you'll get see what else I'm getting used to in this fabulous country. Follow here.  

Also! This is my 200th post, yay for me.


  1. Happy Ameriversary!! I'm still not used to converting C to F, I just switch the setting on the iPhone there and back depending who I talk about weather to. And I talk about weather a lot. You know that :-)

    1. ... but the weather is a big deal! I'm still pretty hopeless when it comes to kilograms to pounds and kilometers to miles. x

  2. Yay, well done!!! :D Those are some tough things you've had to get used to! I love how people respond to "I'm from SA"... here they usually respond with "Oh, I was there/my sister/brother was/is there" or they speak some Afrikaans to me... when somebody responded with "Ekse Meisiekind" I was quite shocked. Or they look confused and ask about my parents.

    1. Oh man, I would near pass out if someone had to say "ekse meisiekind" to me here. Love it! It's weird, I've only met maybe 2 or 3 people who've actually been to South Africa, and I usually love talking to those people about where they went and what they experienced. x

  3. Geluk Lanette! Sjoe, that happened fast :) I've been here now 10 years!!! Can you believe? And I'm still not used to it all... Love are some of my favourite responses to my answer, "I'm from South Africa."
    "How did you get here?"
    "Which Country?"
    "Why are you white?"...which my brother now handles very un-pc like by telling the individual that he's only white in the Winter.
    "How did it feel to wear shoes for the first time?"...not even joking...
    Mis jou dame...kom ons gesels bietjie in person :)

    1. I can't believe it's been a decade for you! When did that even happen. "Shoes?! I love it! Don't you just love being from South Africa? It's like a super hero power sometimes. Ja kom ons kuier bietjie! xx

  4. I can't believe you didn't mention that when we had coffee yesterday! Congrats, welcome, and thank you for letting me be a part of your first year. You make my country just a little more fun xoxo

  5. Hi Lanette, I've just moved to Spokane too, via Nashville, via Joburg where I grew up. I'm glad to know I'm not the only South African up here and it would be nice to hear another accent similar to mine. I'd love to meet for a cup of coffee or tea if you're interested.

    1. Yay! I've been the only one here (that I know of for the a year), it's even written in my Instagram BIO... so if we meet I'll have to change that ;) I'd love to meet for coffee, that would be the best idea ever- my email is Tell me everything!

  6. I wince at the American response to the S.A. news, but I also love the fact that you found the good in it (the desire to desperately find ANY kind of connection). It turns my wince into a bear hug.

  7. Kind of reminds me of this TED talk, actually: