Monday, 28 November 2016

Happenings On The Home Front 27 November 2016

Another month is over and another week to wrap up in my Happenings On The Home Front Posts. Nothing much has happened but these posts are to get me to get stuff out of my head more than anything else. I do end up harping on and then run out of steam and leave out stuff we have actually done. So we will see how it goes today.

As I type this someone is busy looking at our house - at 15.43 on a Sunday afternoon, by the time I hit publish it may be 10 pm tonight. I don't know what happened to "by appointment only." Just phone and send them around on their own to a house that looks like a tornado hit it every Sunday. Not looking forward to this.

Last week we had to have passport type photos done and Oh. My. Gosh. I looked like a mass murderer in mine. We went to a proper photographer at his studio (Mark's client 😏). I know Passport/Id/License photos are usually scary but that is because they are done under a tree at the entrance of said Government department, but these were in a studio with supposedly better equipment. Chad and Mark tried to convince me that they were OK, that was after Mark said that I looked VERY angry. Chad later agreed with me and said when I redo them maybe I should wear something lighter because my hair is so dark, I won't look as though I am about to commit a mass murder. A week later and I haven't gone to have my photos redone.

On the blogging side of my life, I discovered, also the week before that all the links in my posts prior to changing from to .com no longer work. I think if  I had not canceled the hosting and changed to domain parking then the change from to .com would have gone smoothly. Now I need to go and change all the links - or just leave them 🤔.

Chad said the other day that we are scared of change and it is true, all three of us hate change and just carry on in a safe rut. In life things change and some things stay the same. The other morning I climbed out the shower and there was Piggy lying in the bathroom on my slippers. I took a photo and later on during the day, Google photos kindly sent me a reminder of the year before and it was a photo of Spike in the bathroom. Some things remain constant in our lives and that is my showering buddies. I aways have an animal in the bathroom with me when I shower.

We had to go to Home Affairs this week and like every Government Department in the World or DMV you need to pack a picnic basket to sustain you through the long queues. At this time of the year visiting our Home Affairs department a picnic basket will not suffice. You need a hearty breakfast, lots of liquid to stay hydrated, a picnic basket full of snacks, lunch and maybe dinner to get you through. Oh no, wait the doors close at 13h00 so you won't need dinner!!!. What you will need, though, is to bite hard on your tongue, but so hard that you ooze patience and politeness whilst bleeding humbleness and humility in the face of arrogance and disrespect. They have something you want and all you have to offer is more work and that isn't acceptable. Don't Be That Person!!

We went on Tuesday morning after the traffic. My thinking was that no one likes working on a Monday, so if anyone needs to renew a license, get an Id or a passport or any official document, they will take time off on a Monday. The staff at The DOHA also don't feel like working - it's Monday leave them alone!! My normal theory of going midmonth when no one has money didn't work because registering a baby is FREE - no money needed for that or did it work? Imagine the queues when people have money.

We arrived there at 9.30 signed in at the gate at the friendly security. Walked to the entrance to see signs plastered everywhere that the systems are slow and it is Nationwide so they can't do anything about it and inside was already full and bare in mind we close at 13h00. Yes, they open at 8am, the systems are slow, there are queues of people but we will close at 1PM. There were people everywhere and I went to the shortest queue, inquiries - I knew from when we renewed our passports last year.

I told the man that I needed a copy of MY unabridged birth certificate, he gave me a form (I got one off the internet the day before and completed it) and told me to go to counter 7 or 8. They have chairs to sit on but as you may or may not know South Africans can't and don't queue. I looked at the form and although I brought a black pen, (Government departments don't have pens, police stations don't either, although the security at The DOHA gate does have) the form I was given was different to the one I got online (not from DOHA website). I looked at the bodies sitting on chairs and leaning against walls, floors, and notice boards and said to Chad - I am not doing this and we left.

Yes at my age I need an Unabridged Birth Certificate. My mother gave me my birth certificate in March this year, I never opened the envelope until last week on Saturday. I thought it was my unabridged birth certificate so that nightmare could have been completed 6 months ago. If you don't have an unabridged copy of your birth certificate go get one. You never know when you may need it - or your marriage certificate or any unabridged certificate you can think of. Chad has his we got it years ago. Mother and Father have to go together to get a child under 18's birth certificate - to apply for it, one can go collect it. Mark has his unabridged birth certificate - from Zimbabwe!! It took two days a few months ago. It cost him R1200.00 and he has it after giving the person only his name and Id number and the town he was born in. I don't know if it was done legally, but this is Africa. Things are made to be difficult so that someone can make money. I have learned to accept that - if you can't beat them - join them.

I phoned Mark and said that I need to find a "queue for you" company because I just can't do this. By the time I got to work he had found someone - a company in Pretoria for R1500.00. I agreed it was worth the hassle and they would have it in 5 days. They sent an email and it was R1500.00 ex-vat, ex-department fee, ex a few fees and I needed certified copies of my parents Id's and it would take 5 days provided everything was in order at Home Affairs. I couldn't justify that cost so I told Chad I would go early on Wednesday morning and he said he would go with. It is always nice to have Company and someone to hold your place - if need be.

We were meant to leave at 6.45 but only managed to leave at 7. I don't know how we used to leave so early to get to school but 7 felt like 5 am. Tthe traffic was not too bad because we were going against the traffic. I did get a bit lost because I wasn't thinking and made my way towards the DMV.  It was a bit stressful driving in morning traffic, getting in the wrong lane and wondering which lane I should go in. Chad said, "mom it is South Africa make it any lane you want" after we watched a stream of cars go through the red lights. If you stop at a red light, you get sworn at, if you in the turn only lane to turn you get hooted at.

We arrived there at 7.30 and joined a queue. There were two queues and one seemed to be applications and one was collections. Closer to 8, the security sent his clipboard around for signatures and details and a man came back from speaking to him and I heard him tell his son the queue we were in was for passports only, so Chad went to ask the security. The security said he should go to the other queue. I told Chad to stay in the queue and I would ask. The security then told me to stand right there behind another man so I was second in the queue. I sent Chad a message and said stay where you are and fill in the security form. Another man was told to stand behind me and he was talking to the security man in an African language. I asked the man if I was in the right queue because I would hate to cause a riot because I was moved to the front. He said I was in the right queue - he saw my form and said he was also applying for copies of birth certificates because their stuff was in storage.

The gates opened, I went inside, second in the queue, Chad eventually joined me. My forms were checked and copies were made and what could have been printed right there and then (surely) will take 8 to 12 weeks. We then had to queue to pay. That queue was quite long because passport renewals are paid for first. One man was taking forever, then the Cashier came out and said that the speed point was not working and everyone must go draw money from the ATM across the road. I had cash, then she asked someone to ask me if she could see my form - she was determined to shorten her queue at 8.20 am. I showed her my form and she said "Oh Ok you have had it signed - I said yes and stayed in the queue. Chad said he would hate to work there - I said why it is the only place that you can eat breakfast and serve your Clients with a mouthful of food and then walk away from long queues and have a conversation about your night out with your colleagues whilst the queues get longer and longer. Anyway, it is done and now I wait and join the long collection queues again.

So whereas some things change others stay the same. With simple system changes, things could be less frustrating. Incidentally, JD went to apply for her ID at Randburg Home Affairs and was told both parents have to be with. Mark took Chad when he went and I never went with. It might have changed since then - who knows and her mother lives about 60km's from here.


My other constant in my life is Miss Piggy begging for biscuits every morning. I took a video of her the other morning and then Google photos made it into a GIF. Technology is amazing. Then I took a video of her sleeping. Tummy full of biscuits then back to bed whilst I have to go to work. The noise in this video is actually my coffee machine in the dining room. Hectic loud!!!

Listen to the snoring.... that was more what I was recording than the dark image. This morning we woke up to another power failure. Before it was called loadshedding and it was for two hours, now we have had a change in political parties ruling the city and it is called planned outages and it is off for 6.5 hours. I don't really like my gas stove, except when there are power outages so we can still cook. I sat outside having breakfast and watched this little bird bathing in the {chlorine} pool water. They love drinking that water too.

I saved lots of Money on the Black Friday specials by avoiding any and every store. Were the specials worth the fights and pushing and shoving. Sorry, I just can't handle it. It also irks me that we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in South Africa, Black Friday is a {very} American thing and I am so tired of retailers commercializing every single thing. I did, however, buy some more Essence Nail Polish on Thursday for R14.95. It was a pre-Black Friday special. I saw it and I took it!!! I don't know why I buy Essence nail polish because I always bitch about the thick brushes. I can't paint my nails without messing as it is and a thick brush doesn't help. My nails are also too short for red but I am always drawn to colourful nail polish.

I am going to say goodbye with another heavy heart. I went out just now to put the bins out and noticed how the garden by the gate is flourishing since the rains. All the plants in there, except the strawberries (which was one tiny plant we bought last year) and one other bush, all the plants are from seeds I bought and the gardener planted. The Sweet Peas are from seeds from our Sweet Peas from last year. These along this wall grew, the others burnt and died along the other wall. They smell heavenly as you walk past.

I hope the next time I post I don't say our house has been sold 😢 Now it is time for Carte Blanche, so who knows when I will publish this post. Chad says that he is sure the producers of Carte Blanche own an Immigration Agency because after watching it you either want to shoot yourself in the head or immigrate 😁 .... And, they did not disappoint this week

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  1. Gee can't believe you are wanting to sell after all those renovations. Your marigolds do indeed look very happy. I don't envy your home affairs fun, currently I can't leave the country because my passport is expired and the thought of renewing gives me a headache. I also skipped the Black Friday malarky and I haven't spoken to anyone who got a fantastic deal of any sort

    1. Hi Sula, Selling the house is a very reluctant decision on my side. I just hope the reasons for doing it are the right ones. We just have to wait and see.
      I have no advice for you re your passport other than if you want to save your sanity don't go now. Go in January when school and work is back to normal and no one is going away. I must say we were very impressed last year when we renewed ours. It was not as bad as we thought and renewing passports was more organised and streamlined. At this time of the year it is just too busy as everyone leaves it to the last minute and no one wants to work


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