Day 8: Is the Grass Greener?

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.

photo (10)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)


20 thoughts on “Day 8: Is the Grass Greener?

  1. I think you are right about that, there are positives and negatives where ever you go. Good idea pointing that out to people. I was saddened to hear that you don’t get the friendly banter over the counter, I would really miss that. 😀


    1. I do miss it. I wonder at times whether it would be different outside of Toronto. In the city, though, both the cashiers and the people behind you are often too much in a rush to chat.


  2. Yes, it’s definitely different, and I think we must take the positive things and build on them. Unfortunately, the escalating violent crime in South Africa, tends to negate the good things about the country, of which there are so many. It’s so sad.


  3. Your description of your home country, South Africa, reminded me of my own country. It is warm and friendly but there was not much economic opportunity for most of her people. Crime is commonplace. When I moved here in the US, one of the first things I also noticed was the aloofness of the people. But you are right, one gets to appreciate what we now have overtime.


  4. Since I do not live in the city, I can’t disagree, but I can tell you that the GTA is all those things you said the city wasn’t.
    Friendly, random conversations, and people willing to help 🙂


  5. I love it when people say they should move when going through a difficult time since problems are everywhere. But it is exciting and beneficial I think to live in a foreign place. It really expands our horizons and makes us more well-rounded.


  6. Your posts offer a glimpse into my future, I hope I can write about the changes (for which I have been preparing slowly over the course of years in some ways!) in an honest fashion. I am definitely in my grieving period as I let go of all that I have known here. But at the same time embracing all that is to come in my new life!


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