Theres a saying: “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence”. It is said to many people for many reasons. Want a new car, a new house, a new life. Chances are you’ll be told this. What the other person is really saying to you is “I cant change myself for the better, so therefore you shouldn’t either, and you are selfish for thinking you can”.

Yes, there are problems all over, and with everything. Your new car will be different from your old one. Your new house might have one less cupboard. There will be a list of negatives. But weigh them up next to the new positives and they pale in comparison. You new car might drive differently from your old car due to the fact that it has power steering, is a 4×4 and a nice big 6.5 l engine. See where I’m going with this. Change often isn’t bad at all. In fact, people thrive on change. Comfort zones make one lazy and fat. Maybe there grass looks greener on the other side due to the fact that you have eaten all the grass on your side?

So when moving country, I got told this a lot. It usually went along with “Every place has its problems. No where is perfect”. Well since living here for a while, let me weigh up the pros and cons for these un-named Negative Nancies.

Crime: In South Africa, I had friends who were tied up, robbed in their own homes, hijacked, held up, guns pointed at them, cell phones stolen, etc.
In New Zealand, I have yet to see burglar bars on the windows. In fact, the mere act of one child breaking another childs push-scooter at the local playground caused 3 cop cars (with two cops each) to pitch up. I have walked through the center of every city I have been in at any time from 11PM to 5AM in the morning alone. A feat you will only do in South Africa if you have a death wish.

Cost of Living: Ah, this one is a doozie. Everyone claims everywhere else is super high to live in. While in the UK, I noticed meat (South African beef no less) at being charged less than if I went down the road to buy it at home. While in New Zealand, I have noticed that the prices here are relatively the same. Shop at a Woolworths-like store and expect to pay Woolworths-like prices. This is hardly rocket science.

But Its So Boring: Yes, I have really been told this. News Flash – everywhere is as exciting as you make it. In Wellington, there are planned activities every single weekend, provided for free, for your entertainment. Every single weekend. Durban never had events going on, and PMB had one event called “The Mall”. Exciting? Yeah… Maybe exciting in the sense that you aren’t getting held up.

The Weather: While its true that South Africa has beautiful weather, I have to admit its not the best. In the winter, the temperature drops, just like every where in the world. But in the summer…? Where in SA does the summer sun only go down at 10 PM at night? Maybe Cape Town if you are lucky. In the UK and New Zealand, at 10 at night, the sun is starting to think about setting. In Nelson (A town in the South Island) during summer, they have 20 hours of daylight a day. Best weather in the world? Nah!

We Have To Work Together For The Benefit Of Our Country: Ok, seriously, apart from voting in rigged elections, what else can you do? I am looking for a really good answer here. Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, thats the answer I get when I ask… Just being born in a place does not mean I have to fix it. I also have a life to live thanks.

So is the grass greener. In my opinion yes. Everyone is far more relaxed with life here. The way it should be. People walk around after work. Kids play in the parks till way after dark. The cops stop for a freaking broken scooter. Oh and to top it all off, the people are the friendliest in the world.

Hello green grass.

Categories: Blog

1 Comment

Evan Russell · July 15, 2012 at 10:22 am

I am from Mississippi, a state whose nickname is “The Hospitality State”. I may be a little country boy at heart but when I first set foot in Auckland, I was greeted with a smiling face and asked did I need any assistance. You don't get that ANYWHERE in the states. If you ask for help from a clerk or an officer, you get this look like “WTF do you want? Could you inconvenience me any more?” Even though they are just standing there looking like they are bored with nothing to do.

New Zealand for the win!

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