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I’m 7,858 miles from Charleston, South Carolina, my hometown..

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It’s January, here in Cape Town and also back at home.. Guess what? The wind is hot and dry here. In January.

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Summertime is among us in Cape Town, and unlike my pops back at home, I’m sweating and fighting mosquitos right now..

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Today is my 40th day..

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I’ve been almost 8,000 miles from home for 40 days..

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And I really can’t believe how easy it is to be here..

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How at-home I feel amongst the South African culture and people..

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How relaxed I feel right now laying on the patio looking up at the setting sun, knowing it’s only noon in South Carolina..

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But there are a few things..

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I hate to break it to you, but there are a few things that make living here in Cape Town fucking difficult..

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And I’ll share them, in case you ever dream of booking a flight and that night, shoving your suitcases in the car and flying to South Africa (like I did myself..) 😬

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It’s been great and fun and life-changing but I’ve always been honest with you guys and I’m going to tell you the truth… lol


1. I can’t understand 50% of people here..

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Can you believe it? They speak English yet I can’t make out what they’re saying to me when I get groceries or go to the movies with my boyfriend..

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(Yes, I now have a boyfriend…. Can you believe it?? 😆)

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I almost understand what the waitress says at a restaurant, but I don’t… And I look at my bf with desperation in my eyes, hoping he can see that I have no idea what the lovely caramel waitress just said to me..

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It’s funny to me now.. I just prepare myself to say:

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“I’m sorry?”

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“What’s that?”

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“‘Scuse me?”

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I think most people at the stores know I’m American by now and at least they don’t speak Afrikaans to me (which I didn’t even know was a language people used here until I plopped down in Cape Town, expecting English speaking people everywhere)..

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So I’m speaking to English speakers everyday, unable to understand what they’re speaking.. 😆


2. People are rude..

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Seriously, some people are so nice and so warm and so friendly..

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But I’ve been at shops, in restaurants, on the phone with local customer service, and the tone of voice is cold..

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When I go to the store and ask where something is, sometimes someone will say,

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“I don’t know.”

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Or,

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“We don’t have that anymore.”

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The latter is usually BS. And when they say they don’t know where something is, that’s the end of it. They don’t even try to help you find it, or find someone who DOES know where it is..

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And don’t even think of asking for a price check.. 😅

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Now, this is only at a select few of the stores I’ve been to, but overall, the attitude of the employees is terrible..

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I had no idea that one of our specialities in America is quality service..

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I believe the reason why some of the employees suck here is because their boss can’t fire them on the spot, whereas in America, if you are a rude cold employee, you’re off the team. Fired. Outta there.

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Here, in South Africa, you have to give employees 2 months to redeem themselves or to prove them incapable of their jobs..

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Something like that..

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Anyways, that’s something I already miss about USA in my first 40 days: quality service 😭


3. It’s fucking hot, like 93 degrees hot, and not every store or facility has “air con” (AC/air conditioner)..

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It’s hot in South Carolina, really hot, even hotter than here… Like 98 degrees hot..

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But SC has AC everywhere you go..

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Customers won’t walk into a building if there isn’t AC. It’s customary there..

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But here in SA, it’s hot af and inside buildings is even hotter..

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Not great for someone like me, who typically sweats through their shirt when it’s just a little hot and they get even just a little bit anxious..

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And with the people here who are rude and push me out of their way or completely ignore me as they’re walking through the mall, I get pretty anxious..

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And my bf likes to walk fast sometimes, so I get even more anxious when people don’t move out of my way..

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All in all, I’m so happpy to be here. But GOSH, in order to experience new things, theres bound to be hiccups and unexpected curveballs along the way..

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To cope with this lack of service and occasionally missing my family, I’ve been thinking of this as a new culture that’s bound to be different than my own..

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After all, isn’t that the purpose of life: Experience new things? Get uncomfortable?

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It feels right to be here. It felt right to book the flight 40 days ago. It felt right to fly over the barren deserts and mountains of Africa, only to arrive over the sparkling blue coast of Cape Town, ready to meet the guy of my life for the first time…

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More on that later.. 😉

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Good Night May

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