Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Between Two Worlds

I forgot about Halloween.  I forgot about the baseball World Series.  I even forgot that October is autumn for the Northern Hemisphere.  I guess four years of living in South Africa will do that to an American.

There are days, though, when I still feel very much like a foreigner, days when I wonder if I'll ever fit in.  My accent identifies me as a foreigner.  My lack of knowledge of slang words (i.e. I learned yesterday that "dicing" is informal drag racing) gives me away as an outsider.  There is usually something to remind me that, despite the strides I have made, I did not grow up here and therefore, will never fully belong.


I keep wanting to say that I'm homesick, but the truth is, South Africa is home now more than America.  Maybe what I am is "family sick."

6 comments:

Brunilda said...

I have followed your blogged here and there on google reader. I am a South African living in UAE and soon moving back to South Africa. This post made me want to reach out to you. I dont know about other South African's but honestly how I feel no matter where you are, you belong there. There is no such thing as since you havent been born there you dont belong. You are so welcome in South Africa, I hope you enjoy it. I love the country and are beyond excited to go back. I hope to find out where there will be halloween because my kids love it and would be devastated to loose it. (they were born here in the uae). Missing the family, that is a tough one thats for sure, and also one of the reasons why we are so glad to be gong back to be near all the ouma's and the oupa!

Annie said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement, Brunilda. I appreciate it so much! You made me smile. I hope you have a smooth transition back to South Africa, and let me be the first one to say "Welcome Home" (is jy Afrikaans of Duits?)

I don't know where they celebrate Halloween here in South Africa, but I do know that the American Society of South Africa (based in Jo'burg) hosts a party every year, and anyone is welcome to attend.

Brunilda said...

I'm Afrikaans, just happen to have both a german name and now german surname. My husband is Afrikaans too though, not german.

We will have to go have a look at where to find allt hese fun things we got used to here.

Very excited, much to get used to. I plan to first get the house sorted a bit (want to do something fun for th ekids rooms) before venturing into some kind of job or starting off the photography sessions.

Annie said...

Welkom terug! Laat my weet as ek iets vir jou kan doen.

Nikita said...

I agree with Brunilda. I've been reading your blog for more than a year now and you definitely 'belong' to South Africa. You've made such an effort to learn not only the language [Afrikaans], but also a lot more about the culture across so many groups in SA, even the Afrikaans speaking society. So many Americans [I know, one of my blogreaders and online chess friends is American, know him since 2007] are so negative towards Afrikaans speaking Saffas, discriminate towards them due to 'Apartheid'[which is so unfair] - etc. You are 100% Saffa. Don't let your negative thoughts make you negative.

Annie said...

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. There, is, however, much I still have to learn, but I am excited to learn it.. I love being a student of this nation and its people. :-)