|11 Feb 2009|
|Update: shortly after my last post below we received an email to say that the container is arriving in Fremantle early next week!!! That is pretty fast and much faster than anticipated. Then apparently it takes up to 14 working days to get through customs and then the long haul cross country. I think we'd better follow up on that house! |
Has anyone got any idea of what actually happens to your stuff in customs? I've heard of container contents being strewn across a warehouse floor while customs sifts through it. I've also heard of washing machines being taken apart. Do they really do that? I asked Allied Pickfords about the washing machine story and the rep said no way, customs aren't washing machine technicians with the skills to do that sort of thing. Makes sense but where do these stories come from. They have asked us to make keys available for locked items. Don't think we have any.
In a sense, I am in no rush for the stuff to arrive, though I am keen to lay my hands on baby's current size Naartjie outfits that accidentally got packed in the seafreight instead of the luggage. I'll be so disappointed if she has grown out of them by the time they arrive. Not knowing what I'd be facing here in the middle of nowhere, I stocked up on Naartjie wardrobes for her at the summer sale at the Hout Bay (sigh) shop in her current size and the next size up. I'm glad I did as clothes shopping is dismal here and it will be a while before we go shopping in Perth. Apparently we can use up our two trips to Perth at any time but I want to save them up for a good while until we really feel the need to hit the city. I wonder how long I'll be able to hold out on my sushi craving. I've tried making veggie sushi before and it was decidely inelegant. I called it 'boeresushi' but I have to admit is tasted good.
In answer to Diovee - baby is managing fine with the heat in the sense that we don't go out much in the heat of the day. When we do go out, her cheeks do get rather pink but she doesn't complain at all. What I must get her is a UV bugscreen for her stroller. Yes, for the pesky flies. There aren't too many of them and they don't bug you all the time but when they do it is really annoying as they love to go for your face. It freaks me out having flies going for my baby. She finds it very amusing when we flap our hands and pull faces when under attack. I'm using a makeshift bugscreen for her stroller at present (her campcot mozzie net). It looks rather pretty and bridal but I want the UV one - not that we are much in the sun. The chemist here only sells a plain bugscreen without UV filters - weird in this kind of place. I do plan to walk a lot with her come autumn and winter (can't wait) so I'll be needing more sun protection then. She is such a little charmer and loves cooing and babbling to the indigenous folk. They are a bit shy about this but respond favourably. Heck, she is so cute and full of smiles, who could resist her charms! One said to her in a strange Mr Bean voice, 'Take it easy. It is really hot out today.' She absolutely loved South African blacks so she gets very excited when she sees dark skinned people. Car guards were her absolute best. Much to her delight there are lots of other African blacks here. I met a black woman from Zim the other day and she says she knows of 13 black Zim families in town. Needless to say, she is very happy to be here!
|10 Feb 2009|
|Would you believe it, we have been here for a month exactly today. Wow! We seem to be settling in just fine. I am content and keep myself busy. Don't get me wrong ... I have had one or two low moments. One day I felt like flinging myself on the ground and crying out, 'oh Africa, Africa, why have you forsaken me? Oh Africa, Africa, why have I abandoned you?' But then I quickly realised that was way too melodramatic and I walked smartly out of the bathroom. I suppose the truth is that those African roots do run deep and I am feeling a certain amount of anger and annoyance that we felt the need to flee as the future looks so bleak there. I also had a dream about my mother who looked so old and drawn wearing a Voortrekker kappie and holding a smaller version of my baby without any expression on her face ... kind of like a silent, mournful accusation asking me why I was taking my baby away from her people. Truth is, I do feel bad about that. But other than that, we are fine.|
I can even speak Australian: I applied for my TFN online with the ATO and as soon as that came through, I applied for an ABN. Yip, I'm back in business! I knew I couldn't sit still for too long. (TFN = tax file number ATO = Australian Tax Office ABN = Australian Business Number) I hovered between should I or shouldn't I do it and then I decided it was my best bet as I definitely do not want to return to the workforce (and let's face it, my old career is pretty much screwed), I want to work from home and raise my baby myself and I definitely still want to earn some money. Now I just have to keep moving steadily forward and hopefully make something of my new little business.
Our airfreight has cleared customs and quarantine and we have been promised delivery next week ... a good few weeks later than originally promised. Our seafreight is somewhere at sea between Singapore and Fremantle. Still no news on our permanent house but I'm not getting my knickers in a knot about that.
I met my second South African on Friday ... a nurse at the clinic when I was having baby's vaccine done. She has been here 10 years and I would never have guessed with the accent. I'm getting very confused about accents and can't tell one from the other half the time.