Come humble or be humbled

Sweets for my sweet, sugar for my honey. We walked into a Maccas (Mac Donalds) in Yanchep (a beautiful small coastal town about 15 minutes’ drive from Clarkson, where the Venter Four resides. The store manager (if I had to guess I would say he was Phillipino) took my order, “What will it be, honey?”

And I immediately thought, “My maat, ek is nie jou honey nie!” I smiled, placed my order, turned around to my beloved and said, “He better watch out who he calls ‘honey’.” I continued watching patrons placing their orders and one guy with his dreads and tatts stepped up to the counter and lo and behold he was ‘Honeyed’ as well! He took his order, turned around, walked to his squeeze and thought nothing of being reduced to another man’s ‘honey’.

That is what I love about this country! They get away with calling even the most hardy blokes ‘love, honey and mate’ even when they are getting ready to grab each other by the throat. Ok, maybe not ‘love and honey’ but definately ‘mate’. (I have been witness to that.)

Last week a dear friend who still resides in South Africa asked the question why some people who have degrees think they have the right to speak down to other people. She wondered why it was that they thought a piece of paper makes them better than others. In that moment I was so glad that I am in Australia, where a degree is one of the roads to a job. I was thankful that I have been introduced to the Aussie way of getting a fair go (mostly). I think that people, all people compare themselves and that they always wonder if they measure up. And don’t we want to pat ourselves on the shoulder, sometimes – at least, when we see certain people, and we think, ‘Thank goodness I am not like that.’ I must say however, that I found that to be to a lesser extent here in Australia.

Back to my friend and her post. Another mutual friend of ours, who resides in the magical land of Oz, quickly quipped, “Come to Australia, that is not an issue here.” How true! He has a couple of degrees, one of which is one in chemical engineering. He has however decided that he would much rather be a chaplain/carer. And he became one. That is how it is done here. If you have a dream you can, if you really want to, make it a reality. I am not saying that it will not be hard yakka (work), I am saying that it can be done.

Dear Migrant to the Great Southland,

if you think having a degree makes you a bit better than others, you are going to be cut down to size fairly quickly. If I could give you advice? When you pack your bags, leave your ego outside. Do not pack it. We are not impressed by how big your home is, or what series BMW you drive. Though you have a choice of cars here, most people, especially in the smaller towns, go for a Holden or a Toyota (because that’s the dealers who have set up shop there), and often times a buggered up 4×4. A car gets you from A-B and enables you to go driving on the beaches and have a view on some of the most exquisite places on earth.

We are not impressed by what positions you held, or how many businesses you operated. And we are not intimidated by it either.

You do not have to convince us of your reasons to come – whether it be for adventure, because you want to get away from the crime of because of BEE and your children’s future – we who are here get it. But leave it behind when you come. Arrive here with an attitude of new journeys, new adventures, new cultures and above all, a new you.

Your senses will take a beating (good one). You will see people with lots of tatts, dreadlocks, from other countries, bikies, tradies, people in business suits, homeless people, old people, young people, people who do not share your religion, people who have no religion – do not bring your pre-conceived ideas with you regarding ‘those’ people. Everyone here has a story to tell – some show it with tatts on their bodies, because their words do not necessarily do the stories justice.

Come humble or you will be humbled. Come with a can do attitude and you will be accepted.

And remember – as jy kan lees kan jy presteer – and do not forget to bring your ‘ruggraat’ because that is the only ‘graad’ that you will really need.


10 thoughts on “Come humble or be humbled

  1. Beautiful. Straight to the heart of things. I loved this post and although I don’t have a degree I did come to Australia with preconceived notions along with ‘my’ stories and ‘my’ regrets at leaving South Africa, and I quickly realised that it life here is so different. It is just as you say it in this article. Australia welcomes a can-do attitude and is egalitarian by nature. Immigrants should be looking for a different life, new adventures and as you say a ‘New Us’.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My sister Bly in mandurah naby perth wil bitter graag gaan maar niemand wil ons help nie my man is 53 en ek 48 hul Se ons is te oud maar ons kan werk tot ons neerslaan


    • Obviously Clara ,you didn’t understand,part of the trouble is speaking in your own language.How will you fit in with this multi cultural society when when you comunicate in your native tongue.


      • Dear Jim,though you addressed Clara you did so on my blog and therefor I will answer as well. She spoke to me – a fellow Afrikaans speaking person who in turn answered her in Afrikaans. As you might have noticed from my about page I also home school my kids and the department of education has no problem what so ever that I teach them Afrikaans as well. In fact, they promote languages other than English at school, with Mandarin being one of the languages. They also promote multi-culturalism, as you correctly stated. Therefor, as long as you contribute they will accept your back ground.
        Does me being in another country intrinsically imply that I am not allowed my language. When we completed our visa applications being able to speak another language contributed to our points.
        Communication is about understanding. I understood. If you did not, just ask and I would have happily translated for you.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Marlize

    Dit is excellent en maak my baie beter voel. Ons het so 3 weke gelede in Perth geland en ons soek na werk. Nog niks sover nie, net teleurstellings!! Ek hoop en glo dinge sal gou regkom.


    Nicky Goosen


    • Sterkte vir julle. Daar is ‘n FB blad – South African Job Australia of iets in dier voege waar jy dalk ook net kan plaas dat jul opsoek is na werk. Sterkte en mooi bly. Jy is welkom om my op FB te add as jy dalk so wou kontak maak.


  4. Sjoe ek wens ek kon ook na Australie immigreer. Dinge in ons land lyk nie positief nie, en dit gaan nie binnekort verander nie. Dit sal net baie moeilik wees om my ouers wat al oud is agter te laat. Daar is egter so baie “scams” van plekke wat mens moet betaal om jou te help met die immigrasie, hoe gaan mens te werk om nie ingeloop te word nie? Baie dankie vir die goeie artikel.


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