There is a saying: “The grass is always greener on the other side”. I have come to realize that it is not greener, just different. Each country, or experience, has both its pros and its cons.
I have always loved the country of my birth. The land is beautiful, the weather on the highveld is perfect, the people are friendly, the lifestyle healthy. I grew up spending a lot of time outside during both the summer and the winter months. I ate food that was grown in South Africa. I spent time with people who were welcoming and friendly even to strangers. The one blight in people’s daily lives is the escalating crime. Poverty and unemployment reign supreme while the government is unable to create a society in which more people have all their needs addressed.
Toronto seems to be a city in which most people have what they need – and sometimes even more. It is a city that is not used to being without. Plenty of bureaucracy exists in this Canadian city – but things do run smoothly. Public libraries and community centres are not only available but are able to provide the service that has been promised. Health care is available to all and the rate of unemployment is low. The crime rate is much lower than South Africa and a single murder is splashed over the front pages of the newspapers. The people living in the city do not let people into their lives too easily. Friendly chats over the counter do not happen on a daily basis. Time is believed to be a premium and help is not often given willingly.
Both Johannesburg and Toronto have positive and the negative points. At the moment we have made the decision to live in a developed country in the northern hemisphere. Who knows – maybe there will come a time when we decide to try live on the grass on the other side of the world.
If you have missed any of my Migrating North posts, head on over here.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2014
(This post was written for the FMF 31 day challenge hosted by Kate Motaung. Today’s prompt is: say)