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Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Expat coaching | 0 comments

Embarrassing moments…

I thought that it’s about time that I write about interesting or almost embarrassing moments for me since living in a different country. It’s all part of the “inburgering” process I suppose! J

The first time that I went to a grocery store, I innocently walked with my basket of items up to the cashier. I put the basket down in front of her. She looked at me, I looked at her, she looked at me, I looked at her, but she didn’t ring up my items?! I realised that I must be doing something wrong, but it took me a few moments to realise that she was staring at me because I’m not unpacking my groceries from the basket! This was strange for me, because in SA they unpack your basket for you. So small, but so embarrassing! They also don’t pack your groceries into grocery bags, thus you have to do it yourself. So it looks like this: you try to unpack your basket, while she scans your items and slides them to the side. You then rush over to start packing your groceries into plastic bags (while you are actually supposed to pay), then you stop packing and pay. Then while you continue packing the next person’s groceries start sliding by. Talk about pressure! Thank goodness for the self scanning option which makes buying groceries easier these days.

Bus tips

I’ve never really taken a bus in SA, as I always drove by car, so the things that are obvious to bus users in The Netherlands are not obvious to me. For example, the bus comes at a certain time, but it actually only DRIVES BY at a certain time. If you want the bus to stop, you have to jump up and wave your bus card, otherwise it assumes that you are waiting for another bus and it just doesn’t stop. Super confusing when you wait and it just drives by because you didn’t signal.

Also, when you want to exit the bus, you have to press the “stop” sign in the bus just before your desired stop, if you don’t, the bus just drives past. I know it sounds incredibly obvious, but if you have never been on a bus, then it just isn’t.   

I’m fortunate not to have too many embarrassing stories. At least you learn quickly by making mistakes and it is of course part of the adventure!

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