I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 35 years, the longest I lived away from Jozi was when I was 19 and I lived on a Kibbutz in Israel for 8 months. In fact, the only country I have been to outside of South Africa is Israel.
Uprooting your life and moving countries is hard. You realise that there are things you miss that you never thought you would miss and there are things that just don’t make a difference.
Here are my Miss/Don’t Miss lists.
- My mom, desperately! We used to see each other at least twice a week. Thank heavens for Skype!
- My friends. Again, thank heavens for Skype, Viber and social media.
- My car. I enjoy being able to walk around and to take reliable public transport, but a car would be nice on weekends.
- My old job. I really, really enjoyed what I did. And the people I did it with.
- Aletta. I miss our conversations and the great hugs she gives. I miss hearing her interact with the kids and listening to her sing songs with them. I miss having a babysitter available at night and on weekends if we needed.
- Pap and Gravy. I have no idea if there is an equivalent to Mielie Pap here.
- My dogs. I really, really miss them but they are happy and settled and being totally spoiled by their adopted mommy and daddy in Kimberley and that makes my heart happy.
I Don’t Miss
- Load-shedding. Looking at all the tweets and FB posts and talking to my mom makes me realise how much worse it has gotten. I am so grateful that we don’t have to deal with that anymore.
- Driving. I know I said I miss having a car but the commute to work is so much less stressful when you are not the one driving. I just sit back, close my eyes and have a snooze. Also all my kids friends live within a two block radius of us so no schlepping to play dates either.
- Aletta. Again, I know I said I miss her, and I do, but I don’t miss having someone else in my house all the time. I don’t miss having to discuss meal plans and grocery lists. I don’t miss having to wear clothes all the time. I don’t miss sorting out misplaced clothing, I mean really, Faith is a lot smaller than I am, those socks were not going to fit me.
- Roadside beggars. So far I have not seen a single beggar. There are people in the main centers like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who will ask for money, usually for a charity or religious organisation, but road side beggars are non-existent.
- Busy weekends. Friday mornings are a bit busy since the kids are at school and we do all our errands in the morning but from the time we fetch the kids to the time we go to work on Sunday, its quiet. There is no rush. We go for picnics in the park and we take a slow walk to wherever we are going. We sometimes get invited to someone for Shabbos lunch and we mostly eat and sit back and chat and relax until its time to walk home again.
There are probably a dozen other things I miss and don’t miss but these are the ones that jump into my head right now.