Today marks the day that I landed in South Africa for the very first time, 8 years ago to be exact. Cape Town was my point of entry.. Just named the world’s best destination by Trip Advisor, it is actually no wonder that I fell in love with this city and wanted to spend the rest of my life there at some point. Although, I must admit that my arrival day was terrible and all I wanted was to go back to Europe. Summer 2004 in Germany had been fantastic so far, loads of parties, afternoons at the lake with friends, ice cream and cocktails.. and then I arrived in Cape Town and was welcomed by a typical Cape Town winter’s day: rain, fog, clouds hanging so low that even Table Mountain was invisible. On top of that, I had made the typical mistake of most foreigners visiting South Africa: you’d think it is Africa and therefore always summer.. Oh what a prejudice.. South African Winter days can be cold and very uncomfortable and so was the 1st July 2004.
I remember calling home and crying. All I wanted was to go back to Germany and back to my friends and family. At least the friend-issue was sorted just a few days later. My good friend Christian from Germany who also did his exchange semester in Cape Town arrived a few days later and things went up hill (the weather, too). So, the next 9 months turned out to be amazing. So, amazing that I came back to South Africa and decided to stay for a while.. well, “a while” turned out to be just over 6 years and it also happened that I moved from my beloved Cape Town to Johannesburg for the man who I was in love with at that time. The man is gone, I am still her, the move to Johannesburg was a career boost and worth it nevertheless.
I sometimes think that I have become very much South Africanized. Some even say, my accent is slightly South African (although I think it is still pretty much German). My daily routine is South Africanized – I am sometimes thinking that I’ll have to adjust a lot if I ever move back to Germany. Life is easy here.. I went shopping today on a Sunday (something not possible in Germany), it is relatively affordable to employ a domestic worker, the climate in South Africa is one of the best (definitely up here in Johannesburg), people are generally speaking friendly, open, curious, smiling most of the time and taking life easy.
I know that I’ll leave some time soon.. not this year (as my uncle and aunt are visiting end of the year, I’ll make sure to be still be here to show them the country I love) but most probably next year. Where to? I don’t know and I am open to almost anywhere. But I know that it won’t be easy to say my Good-byes