If you’ve wondered where I’ve gone, or why my last post was such a random shout from the dark… it’s because adjusting to a new life in Cape Town has been hard. Even though it is sort of the land of milk and honey (see previous post).
I started the year with a lot of plans (don’t we all) of having a gorgeously decorated apartment that was always neat and tidy, continuing to read a lot, writing more often, working on furthering my career, and having a lot of friends.
Being a well-adjusted adult has turned out a lot less exciting and a lot harder work than I expected. And I DID expect it to be hard.
I live a stone’s throw from my new job, but I also start a whole hour earlier than I did in the Eastern Cape. I can’t go running in the mornings anymore, because then I’d have to wake up at 04h30 and that’s just ridiculous. But running in the evenings is hard because I get home and I just want to sleep!
Work is awesome. But it is exhausting. On that note, I’ve been surprised how hard it is to adjust to such a well-equipped hospital. I thought I could handle anything after surviving two years in under-resourced settings but working in a privileged setting comes with its own challenges… namely having to work with a huge amount of “protocols” and a lot of bureaucracy.
The most difficult has been adjusting in a social setting, though. I am introverted by nature, but living at home meant I was forced to socialise with whomever visited my family. Our humble little under-resourced hospital had a fantastic social committee, which meant that every weekend had something fun to do, some trip or activity to participate in. Everyone invited everyone places.
Here, as far as I can ascertain, there is no social committee. Everyone seems to have their own social circles, and Cape Town is notoriously cliquey. Because everyone works so damn hard, they don’t seem super keen to socialise with colleagues outside of work. But with working so hard, how am I supposed to meet anyone NOT related to work in some form or function?!
Anyways, I have been trying to put myself “out there”. This past week, I invited a colleague and her husband to watch Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with my boyfriend and me at the Maynardville Open Air Theatre. It was fantastic! We only ever did Shakespeare’s tragedies at school, and I loved this comedy. The afro-punk twist the production company used was also just fabulous.
And today, this little introverted bookworm went to a bookstagram meet-up at The Book Lounge (only one of the coolest bookshops around). There were a lot of people and it was terrifying to be honest, but I did finally meet some like-minded people outside of work.
So I guess I’ll keep setting goals like these for myself. And try to adjust. Cape Town is a good place for me to be, career wise. And in many ways, I fit in here, specifically because it is so eclectic that I’m allowed to NOT fit in. But honestly, I do miss home quite often.