Saturday, March 17, 2012

The neighborhood #77

I haven't been blogging for a few days so I have to catch up on back blogs...

So I will do a set on my house and the neighborhood, first you will see the outside and then I move indoors. I know many of you want to see how my 'new' house looks :-)

I live in a cul-de-sac and my house is on the left, with the heart on the front door, the white one. Very quite little street, which I like!

Behind our house we have a little park, where people can walk their dog, so no neighbors in the back, which is great you have the feeling that your own garden is much bigger. The bright white fence on the left is our house.

When you walk out of the cul-de-sac you will see this street. Left on the corner is my neighbor's house.

This is the same view but then from the other end, where the little park is, and now my neighbor's house is on the right and the first street on the right is where I live. Not many cars you will see, since only the people who live here or come to visit you are driving here. It is no main street, so that is very quite and relaxed!

97% From the expats I know whose kids go to the American International School live in a secured estate. That means there is a gate/wall around the estate and you have to have either a code or little card to swipe to come in, otherwise they won't let you in. The school busses come to pick up our children up from door to door. The estate we live in is called Dainfern and is the biggest estate with 1800 houses around Joburg. It's a golf estate, so in between the houses you will find an 18 hole golf course with club house, tennis courts, soccer field, play areas and little parks to walk your dog.

Once inside the kids can go and play anywhere, because it is safe! That is important living in one of the most dangerous cities in the world, although we don't feel the danger so much... it is because we live in a secured estate.

But outside many things happen to people you don't want to happen. Living in a dangerous country is always a big step to make as an expat, why would you go there, if your children and yourself could be in danger?? But the thing is because it is dangerous the areas where the wealthier people live are secure, because they make sure it is secure otherwise how could a country survive? So wherever we go there is security, in the malls, around the restaurants, the schools are hard to get in without a sticker on your car that you belong. Security checks are everywhere, so once you go through that security you feel safe!

We hear things that happen to our maids or gardeners, since they don't live in such secured places and yes family members are getting robbed, raped, killed sometimes even just for a cell phone or even less. Although they live fairly closeby in an informal settlement called Diepsloot with corrugated metal shacks without running water and electricity just 5k's down the road it seems it is a world apart. We only go to those areas with escort or combined in cars. Some of us do volenteer work in those areas, and you only go there during the day and never at night! That is where most of our maids and gardeners live.

The 2 opposite worlds almost next to each other is hard to get used to. I wonder a lot of times how they must feel to come and work every day in such opulent neighborhood to go back home to almost nothing, that's how so much crime happens here!

But coming back to my neighborhood in Dainfern, it is safe and fun to live here. There are many many kids from JJ and Jezz's school who live at walking distance. So the kids can play and visit friends without me going to drop them off for a play date, which makes life a lot easier!

Enjoy your day!
Mireille xx


Miss Footloose said...

It's great that the kids can live and play in safety -- that's what we all want for them. You mentioned the contrast of the two worlds, and I am wondering about the middle world, the middle class South Africans. Do they live in your neighborhood? Is it possible to get to know locals other than the people who come to clean and work in and around the house?

A heart on your door, very nice ;)

Mireille said...

The middle class doesn't live here in Dainfern. We don't really know that many locals... it is really hard to get in touch with them. People are very on their own. I find that the disadvantage of living here in Africa.


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