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Some days I think we made a BOOBOO!!

(20 Posts)
dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:14:15

As some of you may know we moved back to South Africa after 12 years in the UK late last year.

I can't talk to DH about it because he gets upset, but I absolutely hate it here some days. I miss England/London so VERY much.

Davros if you are out there, I remember your words about London so clearly now and couldn't agree more i.e. it's a wonderful, cosmpolitan, cultural hub. God I miss it!

Have any of you been in a similar situation?

Kayleigh Sun 03-Apr-05 20:15:23

No advice, but welcome back

dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:15:36

that would be cosmopolitan (sp?), god the country is getting to me - I am losing the ability to spell (eeeeek!)

dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:16:34

cheers Kayleigh - I now live vicariously through all of you on MN. I missed everybody on here too!

Beetroot Sun 03-Apr-05 20:22:59

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dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:27:51

Beety - I am planning on coming back to the UK in December and can't wait. I think it's the attitudes more than anything that get me down here. I feel trapped in an extremely sexist and often racist society. These are things I had expected to be vastly improved and for the most part nothing has changed. South Africa is still the same as it was 12 years ago.

South Africans can be the most complacent, lazy bunch of sods in the world at times (NOT all the time though).

DH gets really nervous if I mention being unhappy - so I am keeping quiet for the most part.

SenoraPostrophe Sun 03-Apr-05 20:30:13

sympathy dejags, but it's early days. It took me a year to even start to feel at home in Spain.

I don't understand entirely as i hate London. Remember the worst bits: it's stinky, impersonal, overcrowded and expensive!

dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:33:10

SP - you are right I know. Probably a case of "the grass is greener".

Life here is actually very good for the most part, and I know I should give myself more time to settle down. I suppose that's why I am not saying more to DH.

SenoraPostrophe Sun 03-Apr-05 20:37:31

Plus you always have mumsnet! It was an absolute lifeline for me when dd was tiny.

But in real life the real change for me came when we started to meet people "like us" (i.e. not arrogant or criminal expats) - can you do a course or something, or even volunteer for something to help kick start your new social support network?

dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:41:30

SP, I have met a lot of nice people through DS1's school. I signed myself up as class representative and also make sure I go to all the parties and events with DS.

I am pretty busy so not lonely, I just really, really miss England. I miss the shops, I miss my friends, springtime. Nothing that I can replace here - time will fix it I am sure. Would you go back to the UK now?

SenoraPostrophe Sun 03-Apr-05 20:45:57

I wouldn't go back now, but I still want to go back in a few years (dh doesn't - a touchy subject in our house). And it was my support network that I missed most, but also things like greasy spoons, shops, papers, beer etc. Easier for me I suppose because I'm that much closer.

dejags Sun 03-Apr-05 20:56:28

DH also gets really upset if I mention being homesick. He takes it personally and because he loves it here so much I think he is frightened that I may make him move back to the UK one day.

He says that when the boys go to university they must attend UK universities - there's hope for me yet!

LoubieLou04 Sun 03-Apr-05 21:03:52

Have been told that it will take about 2 years to settle when you make a big move like that. Did you settle straight away when you moved to the UK or did it take time to feel like home? Am very interested as making big move over to Australia later this year and am very scared will hate it.

Gwenick Sun 03-Apr-05 21:04:20

Dejags - I can't remember seeing any in SA - but I know in Zimbabwe the end of the year (september time) brings the Jacaranda's into flower - they're SOOOO beatiful and I always found when living in Zim that it replaced spring for me.

It'll take time to adjust - I know I've been there - though not for such a long period,

I moved to Zimbabwe in September 1997. Met the man of my dreams and got engaged, we planned to live out there forever - I loved it it was 'home' for me. But the situation worsened and we came back (well he came for the 1st time) to the UK. I HATED it for the 1st year or so, life was too fast (I hated the 'slowness' in Zim at first too - but grew to love it) the people didn't seem as friendly, the weather FAR worse (nice and predictable in Zim - and could wear shorts all year round!), the food was too expensive, taxes were too high, racism was worse (amazingly!), etc etc etc. I've been back for 5yrs now and love it again - doesn't mean I wouldn't like to go back to Zimbabwe - think I'll always 'ache' to go back (wierd as the UK is 'officialy' my 'home') but after TIME I readjusted to life here and enjoy it again now.

eidsvold Mon 04-Apr-05 05:12:49

Loubie - when are you going?? I moved my family back to Aus from the UK last year.

Dejags - it would be difficult as this is sooo foreign to anything you know and hold dear. WHen I moved from Aus to the Uk - It probably took me at least a year or so to feel comfortable living in the Uk. ALthough my first year and a bit was rather tumultuous - met dh, married him and was pregnant with dd1 within 18 months of being in the UK.

During the whole four years I was there, I felt okay about being there but there were times when the homesickness was keener than at others. For example when I had dd1 - no one in my family came over to the UK - they did not meet her until she was almost 8 months old and we came back to Aus for a holiday.

IT is great that you are getting out and about - meeting people and getting involved. I found being involved in things helped ease my moods. I also found people's attitudes and ways the hardest to deal with coming from mroe laid back Aus to more uptight UK. So it must be harder for you throwing in such a diverse society as I imagine exists within south africa. I think it is as sp said when you are able to meet people who have interests the same as you that it makes it a bit easier.

Having to rebuild your support network will take time and that will help ease the homesickness somewhat.

And mumsnet is always a blessing!! I found that helped with the move back to Aus as my life had changed so much since I had left but bringing a little of my old life ( other than dh and dd1) helped - you know having something familiar.

Once again sorry you are having a hard time of it.

marialuisa Mon 04-Apr-05 08:59:50

Dejags-if he's adamant that the boys must attend UK unis you'll need to move back at least 3 years before the elder is due to start (unless you're prepared to pay overseas fees and all their living costs!). Don't know how old your kids are though so it might still be a bit dim and distant???

Davros Mon 04-Apr-05 10:03:23

Oh, how wise I am!!! It must be so hard to adjust Dejags. If your future is going to be SA though I'm sure it will get better, its just making somewhere "home". I'm lucky because I love London so much and have always lived here but so has DH so there's little or no danger of upping sticks to somewhere else. Sometimes I do regret never having lived anywhere else though as I'd love to have tried it (Manhattan or Rome of course!!). Is there anything you can do to feel more at home? Maybe it really does just take time. Any visits from family on the horizon, although that could make things worse. The longer you are away the less you will feel that the UK/London is home. My mum still pines for her "home" although she has lived here for far longer than she lived there and she couldn't wait to leave the place when she was young, it has rather blighted her life.

Davros Mon 04-Apr-05 10:06:58

Oh how wise I am! Seriously though, it obviously takes time to adjust and for somewhere unfamiliar to become "home". Not that I'd know as I've always lived in London and so has DH so there's never been any real chance of having to leave. I must say though that I regret that sometimes as I think it would have been great to live somewhere else, at least for a while (Manhattan or Rome!). My mum still pines for where she grew up, even though she has lived here for twice as long as she lived there and she couldn't wait to leave the place when she was young. It has rather blighted her life, and ours to a certain extend I suppose you need a plan, give it a certain time and if you still feel the same then think about your options, if there are any.

Earlybird Mon 04-Apr-05 10:55:18

dejags - It's wonderful to have options/choices, but the downside is that you gain some things and lose others when you make such a big move. It's also easy to romanticise the place you've left behind....especially as you go through an adjustment period elsewhere.

Making a big move for a "better" life can be a double edged sword. Makes you question completely exactly what a "better" life means. And I say this as someone who returned to London last June with the intention of selling up and leaving for good. Nine months later, I'm still here in my cramped 2 bedroom central London flat.....and my big, beautiful "dream house" is sitting empty. I don't have a partner's wishes to consider, but in some ways that makes the pressure to choose even greater as I'm totally responsible for "getting it right".

How long will you be here when you're back in December?

Beetroot Mon 04-Apr-05 14:53:25

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