You were wonderful but I can’t say that I’m in a rush to leave my South Africa. While there are so many awesome things I discovered about this big country (for example the free refill drinks at Burger King), looking around at my own land I still see a lot of potential and many good things here. I spent this winter’s varsity vacation in a hot 30 degree climate – yes, Canada has a summer season too. It was a great holiday spent in a great country; however I still believe that one of the most uniquely South African things to be found here are the friendships and the people. My family moved overseas about 10 years ago and even to this day they remark how there are no people in the world like South Africans.
The flying time just to get to this maple leaf country added up to about 21 hours. Being in this faraway land was an enjoyable experience and I’m not just talking about the beautiful scenery such as Niagra Falls, Lake Ontario, the parks and the wine farms. Even the small things, such as the subway system in downtown Toronto, made my heart leap for joy. This may seem silly but it was a truly wonderful and relaxing experience not having to worry about leaving my handbag in the car or not having to clutch my purse so close to my chest in the city to prevent it from getting stolen.
While these things certainly make life easier it still seems that no amount of reliable public transport, free quality healthcare and (FREE) WIFI almost everywhere can make up for the relationships I have attained here in South Africa. In between the social and economic troubles we face, there is a closeness we have as a nation as well as in our individual circles of friends. There was a certain “South Africaness” missing in Canada, something I think we are blessed with and need to appreciate more.
So, I would love to go back and visit Canada one day, but for now I am content to be proudly South African and get by with a little help from my friends.