After our return from our holiday in Australia in July 2010, I felt differently about South Africa.
I am sure there are many who came to a new realisation without leaving South Africa. Some leave SA on holiday or emigration and come back with more positive views than before they left. I came back with a changed perspective. Not necessarily negative, just different.
It feels to me as if I opened “Pandora’s Box”. I realized, saw, experienced and felt something which can not be undone. I am different. Difficult to put my feelings in words, but these feelings are there. It is real, I can’t argue with it.
Did I get an insight into something others already knew?
Please understand; I still love South Africa. This is my country of birth. This is the country my ancestors fought for. South Africa helped raise me, sculpted me, formed me. But …. as it is today, it is not the same country any more. The country I am talking about is not there anymore.
I only realised now that most of us already emigrated - since 1994. It was just a very slow process. With every street name that changed. With every “package” offered to the white employees. With every TV channel that transformed. Schools are different. Values are different. People’s way of living is different. We all emigrated, we just did not move yet.
This new country … some like it, some don’t. Some accepted it, some didn’t. Some work toward a new future for all, some just toward a future for themselves. We all experience it differently.
I feel like the little frog which ended up in a pot on a stove. He did not realise that the water is slowly heating up; he was gradually getting used to the temperature. By the time he realized that the water is boiling, it is too late to leap out.
I realised that my water is getting too hot for me and I want out.
It took me a long time to come to this decision, but I feel uprooted. I am ready to find my roots somewhere else. Somewhere, where I feel welcome.