Sunday, December 30, 2012

Assimilating the Borg

This weekend marks the fourth in the UK - one whole month we've been here now. Sometimes I feel like it's been a lot longer than that.  

It is hard to articulate all the feelings running through me at this point in my life.  The adage 'be careful what you wish for ....' keeps echoing in the back of my head.   Firstly, i have to state that i am not unhappy to be here in the UK but for a variety of reasons (half of which I haven't figured out yet), I'm not exactly happy either.   I can't see myself ever going back to South Africa to stay ... but I do miss the place, the familiarity, the family, knowing where shit is and how to get things done.

I definitely feel alien in this place.  Even though I was born British, lived here until I was in my teens, that doesn't mean that I am British.  Does that even make sense?   I always used to joke about this when I lived in South Africa - that I didn't really like British people, even though I was one myself.
I wasn't expecting to feel like this, it's disconcerting to me.    I know I have to be patient, assimilation into any country as a migrant (and that's what I am really, isn't it?) is difficult.   However, I didn't ever feel as though I would feel quite so strange as I do here. 

Maybe it's because I have no familial, psychological, historical root or ties to Norfolk.   When we first arrived here at Heathrow and things were somewhat stressful - i.e. finding the hire car depot and what not -  Hayzel and Kevin kept saying to me 'Well, you're British, you should know what to do!!'     They didn't really stop to think that er,  well I'm not British, haven't lived in this country as an adult ever ... so I am as much in the dark about how things get done here as they are.  I'm experiencing daily life in this part of the world as any new migrant would ... everything (from buying groceries to joining the library) is worlds' apart from what I am used to or understand.

Besides all the obvious emotions that we are trying to deal with on a daily basis (missing everyone back home, settling in, sorting out employment and blah blah) ... Kevin and Hayzel don't deal with things on an abstract level, like I do. They are very much 'meat and potato' type people, dealing with things that are in their faces - they don't discuss how they are feeling, don't emote or dissect what's going on in their heads.   So I don't have anyone to knock these issues about with and get them out ... I need to do that, otherwise I internalise and become morose. 

I am hoping that once I manage to find something/someone that hooks me, I will in turn find a centre and somehow 'connect' with this place.   I am trying to find out as much about the area where we live as I can, searching for something that I can bury myself in because right now I feel like a bit of a spare fart in a wind storm.  I have so many ideas, as well as potential sources of income and new direction to choose from, I feel like a kid in a candy store - too much choice!  That's a good thing but it's scary as well.  I don't want to end up going in the wrong direction.  I don't want to get stuck just being the stay-at-home kiddie sitter/home help ... that's a trap that is all too easy to get into. 

I will not post these random thoughts onto the 'Country Life' blog, as this may be upsetting for the rest of the family.  These are my feelings, somewhat raw and probably mixed up as all hell, it will be interesting to see how am feeling in a months' time.

Oh, and I haven't bumped into Rory McCann yet but I do keep an eye out ... hur hur.


  1. Being born in a place doesn't make you a citizen of that place. Well, ok, it DOES, but you know what I mean. Truly being a citizen of a locale is largely based on experience, of which you are lacking. You had your start there, but then made a radical change. Your return to the locale is just as radical, if not moreso as you are going into it with adult sensibilities. Look forward to catching up on your journey. xoxo

  2. thanks sweetie, hope things are a bit better for you now.

  3. You know, I just heard this phrase (your post title) again today. It may have been slightly rearranged, but we had a conversation about it. I find it peculiar since I'd never heard of it until your post title. hmmm.

  4. You're not a Trekkie then? Oh my God ... how are we going to get around this bombshell! (just kidding)

  5. Almost insurmountable, right? ;)