Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tolerating Intolerances

This post is going to be very much a 'This is my blog and my opinion and if you don't like it then leave'  bitchfest. I know my blog is password protected but diverse opinions and people do still read it. I am not here to insult anyone or point fingers at anyone reading this but it is a highly [my]opinionated post and critical of some. The post title and post content are very much in the vein of the mean girls telling everyone to play nicely on Social Media - I am not being tolerant of anyone or their intolerances!!!

When we went on our "look see" New Zealand trip, I was not overly impressed. I am not lying when I say New Zealand can be very Betty Benoni {yes some lovely people do live in Benoni} but that is just the way I would describe a lot of places and people in New Zealand. Auckland, on the other hand, is stunning and I love that place. I did not know what "being a city girl" meant until I stepped into Auckland. Not just Auckland Suburbia but the City Centre too. Living in South Africa we can't really define ourselves as City People - we are Suburbians - only stepping into the City with a gun to our heads as in with no option under duress, but yes probably could result in a real gun to the head situation as well.

So I love Auckland but Mark [and Chad] before we went to New Zealand hated Auckland - never seen it but hated it and they [Mark] wanted to live outside Auckland in a rural area on a lifestyle plot. You guys, there are sheep in the middle of Auckland. A massive park - One Tree Hill, full of walking/running/cycling trails and sheep and cows. Mark didn't want to live in a crowded city with lots of people. You know you are more alone in a city than a small town.

As it turns out we can't move to Auckland - we are too old and don't have enough points for Auckland [ we knew that before going there]. Wellington is the Capital of New Zealand but Auckland is the be all and end all of a buzzing area. Something I would say like Pretoria and Cape Town - Pretoria is Wellington and Cape Town Auckland only both Wellington and Auckland way way better.

So we traveled around with Mark going for interviews and he was offered this amazing job that he could not refuse in Masterton which falls under the area of Wairarapa Wellington. I hated Masterton. It was rural as it comes and looked very Betty Benoni. Strangely enough, wherever we went we met South Africans and one lady from Zimbabwe in Masterton. The South Africans are very friendly not so much the New Zealanders [Kiwis]. I started to grow attached to Masterton on our second visit there when Mark went to sign the job offer. It has a beautiful park and deer park. The park is outstanding even by New Zealand standards. I loved the freedom of walking to feed the ducks and deer then stepping over into Town. I loved the idea of living in an area called Wairarapa - how cool is that name - say it fast with heavy emphasis on the R's. Mark was also offered a job almost as good in an area called Whakatane - which is pronounced [F] Phakatane - play around with that word and you can come up with quite a few South African [Afrikaans] phrases. Mark chose the job in Masterton and Chad convinced himself he loves Masterton. I loved the idea of walking along the river and although some hooligans go racing through there on motorbikes, it is safe enough for an old man to shout at them and shake his walking stick in anger and he is not stabbed, beaten up or shot. New Zealand is very politically correct and they refer to hooligans like that as a troubled family and that family can and will be reported to council. However, there are very un-politically correct people in Masterton and Mark chose the job with bigots and racists.

We always hear stories of how badly foreigners are treated in another country especially in the workplace. I have never really believed it and when Mark complained about how tough it was working with Kiwi people we thought he was just whining. Mark gets on with almost anyone and from all walks of life. He gets on with the most obnoxiously rude people - like I cannot stand most of the people he gets on with. People that are bordering on psychopathy, in my opinion, he got on with them, they were paying clients and he befriended them.

So many people have warned us that New Zealanders are not friendly people and Mark did not believe it. Here he was complaining about rude obnoxious people bordering on low class and dirty and we could not understand why he wasn't getting on with them. Seriously that describes a lot of his Facebook friends and customers I can't stand. Chad came up with a very logical reason. What do South Africans talk about - the crime, the ANC, corruption and of course "the blacks". I am not anti-social, I just cannot stand the pathetic racist South African dinner table talk and campfire conversations - I get into major arguments with customers even. Now we have the formidable EFF and devious DA to add to our conversations and seriously that is what the average South African conversation consists of. We have nothing in common with people from New Zealand and we thought this may be the problem.

We told Mark to try and find common ground with his peers and be part of their life conversations. We met a lovely older couple who run Mawley Park resort when we were in New Zealand and they have taken him under their wing. The lady is from Eastern Europe origins and the man is well travelled which could be part of the reason why they are so open and friendly towards foreigners and don't fear anyone different or they could just be very nice people. I honestly believe that besides the handful of bigots and racists, South Africans are very tolerant and friendly people, but let's face it our conversations rarely involve anything but politics and crime.

It also turns out that we have very distinct accents and I don't mean the very Afrikaans or vernacular accents, but our accents are very distinct and as we drove around people {South African expats} knew we were South Africans straight away. Mark has had customers at work say "Ah mate you from Africa" "Yea South Africa" "I have a mate in Kenya...." For real that happens.

Mark is having a very difficult time adjusting and has said often he wants to come back [a lot is manipulation] and move to the Cape when I remind him about why he left and the business was a noose around his neck blah blah blah. Someone brainwashed him into believing the Cape is a well run City - yes well run into the Mannenberg gangs and general Cape Flats gun warfare. Where little innocent babies get caught in the crossfire and other children robbed of their innocence willingly join the gangs. I love the Cape and Cape Town but I am a realist - the illusion of Cape Town being a well-run city and not part of South Africa the way some people seem to believe is the same as the good old Apartheid days - good for who??

I am not moving to Cape Town and although I never wanted to move to New Zealand, I gave up my home and packed up and cleared Clint's room and it certainly was not to move to Cape Town. I understand it is very lonely for Mark but he should make the most of it. Last night I was up half the night with Spike who decided to drink water too fast and choke then spend 20 minutes outside doing who knows what whilst I froze waiting for him - being alone far away sounds like a better option. I come up with these tidbits every time Mark gets homesick.

It does upset me that his boss has become such an arse. It turns out that after Mark signed his contract an associate of the boss needed a job. He left his job and he was employed with what would seem to be the position offered to Mark. This happened whilst Mark was waiting for his work visa and instead of emailing Mark to say something came up, his wife continued to "look" for places for us to stay. When Mark arrived there the boss just gave him a really hard time - this after Mark worked long hours like no lunch starting at 5 am some mornings and finishing at 6.30. The others have an hour lunch and work 8 to 5. Any big jobs that came in they just refused to do so he did them on his own. I didn't believe this at first then I looked at their Facebook page and Website where they have the other new guy on the Facebook page and already had him on their page before he started. Mark still isn't on the website or Facebook page, which sounds petty but is proof that the boss found a local after signing Mark's contract.

The New Zealand immigration and work visa process is supposed to be very strict and proper due diligence is supposed to be done and proof submitted that you cannot find a local and that you can afford the foreigner you have employed. This clearly was not done. Mark was asked if he would step down as foreman and take a pay cut. After discussing it with us and our agent, he decided to do that and look for another job, which he can do and won't get deported. The reason for our latest setback. I hate that he is having such a hard time and they are treating him really badly but at the time our stuff was on a ship somewhere and he chose to just suck it all up. Nevermind that he chose that job against my gut feeling. I guess very much like we [South Africans] treat our staff from neighbouring African countries, New Zealanders treat us. Bosses think they are desperate for a job and treat them badly - basically the same is happening to him. If he finds another job, he has to reapply for a new work visa and then it delays our residency. As it is I asked for an extension which I was granted and now have three years to enter New Zealand as opposed to by the 8 August 2017 but it hasn't really solved our issues - it has compounded them.

I would love to go live in the Hawkes Bay area and although we never got to go there, it feels like it could be home. A bit of a double standard saying Mark didn't like Auckland before he went there and I think I will love Hawkes Bay, without having seen it,  but yes I have been to New Zealand and thinking of Masterton fills me with dread and Hawkes bay with joy. Weird, but who wouldn't want to live here:

When we told people, even when we were getting quotes from removal companies, people rolled their eyes when we said, Masterton. Masterton is a bit like Fouriesburg in the Freestate I would say. I am trying to be excited and positive about this venture and I hope one day we can move to Napier or anywhere in the Hawkes Bay area.

Unfortunately, Mark chose the wrong job and town. I told him he was attracted to the bullshit - he always is. He was telling me this morning that his boss's wife showers at work in the shower/staff toilet. She jogs and then comes to work and showers and puts the same clothes on that she wears almost every day and leaves her razor in the shower - so she shaves there as well. It is all good and well but apparently, NO ONE cleans the shower/toilet. It has not even seen a glimpse of a mop even in the two months Mark has been there. Like why shower at work. You are the boss's wife if you going to take all that time in the shower at work why not at home - oh and there is no traffic there. Mark works 7 km away from home and obviously does not speed there and it takes less than 7 minutes to get from gate to gate. So traffic can't be the reason to shower at work.

It proves my theory about camping versus 5-star hotels. Some people think camping is beneath them and they would rather stay in a hotel. You may own an airplane [his boss does] and have 5 Star money but that doesn't mean you have 5-star hygiene. Looking out the window at all my laundry on the washline, and all my intimates and under garments on the clothes horse, obviously not on the clothes line for the whole world to see but on a clothes horse for half the world to see, I think to myself am I going to get so tired of the rain and doing everything myself that I wear the same clothes for a week and shower in a filthy shower at work... I certainly hope not. On the plus side, his landlord is really friendly and accommodating. Although he does things on New Zealand time [his words] and New Zealand time being worse than KZN South Coast time, he is very helpful and goes out of his way to make Mark comfortable in his rather large three bedroom cottage. It seems all the really sucky bigots and xenophobes landed up at his place of employment. Two people have confirmed that Mark's boss is a really scally fella and they don't go near his place. Mark attracts bull shitters like flies to bull shit.

I won't lie I have tried the re-wearing of clothes and the Universe says take this half a cup of coffee down your pajama top or have this smear of mayo across your shirt and this lovely muddy paw across your pants - go forth and make dirty laundry - that is who you are.

I reminded Mark that for what it's worth today is Mandela Day and he asked what I was doing for Mandela Day. I said probably give the donkey's oranges. To be honest, although my views on Mandela Day is don't do good one day a year, do it all the time, I haven't done anything good in a long time. Unless you can call giving Sheila a massive trailer, bakkie [ute] and two car loads of furniture, clothes, curtains, household appliances and goods including food over and above her retrenchment and long service package, I have done zippo good for anyone in a long long time. I feel like my ask bucket is over flowing at the moment but also that my give bowl is over saturated.

The makings of this blog post was not to harm or insult - just a rambling of my opinions.

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