Why I will never leave Canada

Every now and then, I get an e-mail or a face book notification to the affect; “why I will never leave South Africa.” What follows is normally a tourist brochure or video, or sometimes some photos from professional and non professional photographers about the life and times of South Africa. The essence of the information is normally a written, photographic or video of the beautiful scenery of South Africa:  the abundance of wild life, the flower carpets, bird life and of course the luxurious affordable accommodation available in the country. The previous two e mails extolled the wonderful outdoor BBQ’s with boerewors, biltong some traditional delicacies and of course the vineyards, where some excellent meals with the best wines can be enjoyed in a wonderful setting sunset.

 This made me think, if I had to post something like why I won’t leave Canada, what would I show. Scenery, I don’t think so, the big wide world out there is unbelievable if you look. I have been to many countries in the world and can assure u that there are many places as or even more beautiful than SA or Canada. Try NZ, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Peru, China, Thailand, Denmark, and Switzerland, a trip down the Danube or the midi in France and so the list goes on and on. Wild life, maybe not the variety of South Africa, but ever seen a Grizzly beer catching Salmon on the annual spawning run in BC, a cougar standing majestically on a rock outcrop, wild horses in the hundreds running freely across the ground, at least twenty deer in the middle of a big city like Calgary and my personal favorite, sailing right next to a school of Orcas? (Which is very do able along the coast of British Colombia)?

Sport, cultural activities like the arts or theatre should also not be let out of the equation.

But let’s leave that for another day.

 So what shall I say WHY would I not leave. Most of these may seem trivial to you,  but to me they are important:
 1)In the twelve years I have lived here I have never locked my car when going to the movies, shopping, theatre, attending a hockey game, taking the kids to soccer or skating or whatever. Never been afraid to drive through the centre of Calgary at the darkest hour or to park at an open air car park and walk to the theater a few blocks away.

 2) The year before 2012 there was a big splash in the news papers because there had been 32 homicides in the year, this in a city of 1.3 mill people. Sure there are crimes committed, we have our housebreaking, hi jacking and so on, but the incidence rate is such that we as residents, commuters or revelers never even think about such things.

 3) Three years ago friends from Pretoria were visiting and we took them downtown to the city centre. On the way back we had to drive on one of the main arteries entering or leaving the city and it was at peak traffic time. Suddenly all movement ceased. We sat for a while and then saw several of the drivers had exited their vehicles and were shooing some Canada geese plus their chicks across the road between the cars to the other side. Once safely across everybody got back in their vehicles, started up and soon the line was moving. The beauty of it all ?, not one person blew their horn, no one shouted in frustration, no one was kicking their tires, no sign of road rage. It was one of those moments when u realize that there are still some people with empathy and soul somewhere in the world.

 4) Sometime in 2012 my wife was visiting my daughter in the USA. To keep myself out of trouble I had been working in my workshop. It was already dark when I realized I was rather hungry as I had skipped lunch. I put on a jacket and set of to a steak house. The waitress seated me at a table next to two young executives (suits and ties and animated conversation about business seemed to suggest this). I as usual, took my time in deciding what I wanted, making the poor waitress roll her eyes. Eventually my order delivered and I tucked in to a beautiful Alberta AAA steak and finished off with a cup of coffee. My two execs had by this time departed and it was time for me to do the same. I called the waitress and asked for the bill. “ Sir your bill has been paid by the two gentleman who sat next to u and have left” Now I am not sure whether my perusing the menu in detail ,as I usually do ,or whether my clothing from the workshop may have left the impression I was financially tight. But a perfect pair of strangers even gave the waitress a very good tip.
 Post script: when I phoned my wife and told her the story, her logic was very precise, “it’s because u looked like a bum.”

4) In winter time they have a slogan here “Be an angel” that is a request for people to shovel your neighbor’s pavement, believe it or not, people do it, particularly senior peoples pavements.

5) I have yet to see a homeless person sleeping on the cold pavement (they are escorted to homeless shelters), or a drunk in the streets.

6) At most your dinner guests will have two glasses of wine, but they make sure the driver only has one glass, or maybe a beer. I have ten year old KWV Brandy as well as Malt Whiskey which has never been opened, no takers.

7) When they say have a nice day, they truly mean it!

 I suppose I can go on and on, but I think u get the idea. Canada along with Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and New Zealand Australia are but some of the countries voted “most attractive countries to live”

So, why will I not leave Canada?

 They accepted us without reservation. No recriminations or innuendo’s, nothing. We were soon part of an extended family and I just love the general feeling of safety, friendships that are more than skin deep, and a lifestyle that cannot be better. My biggest anchor to this land is; this is a place with empathy and soul and I love it here.

I am sure those of u who went to NZ or OZ feels the same.


Poloyatonki Kgosi814 2014/08/05 08:25:16 AM
Minus one problem. Thanks God.
Thoughts from JHB 2014/08/05 08:36:06 AM
So why are you reading news 24 after 12 years? Not sure what you getting at and why you have to justify why you in Canada. Canada is lovely, and peaceful and yeah probably quite a neat place to live. But we live here in crime ridden, politician thieving, bushveld viewing, sunny SA. We know the problems and dont need you to point out the obvious.
Robert Sidney 2014/08/05 08:46:20 AM
While you do paint a fantastic picture of your country, can I ask a question here: were you originally from South Africa or any other country? Sorry, I would just like to get a little more background. And I do adore the annual salmon run when shown on tv here in South Africa. If I had the time and money that is one thing I would like to see for myself.
Nigel van Ysendyk 2014/08/05 08:46:44 AM
Why I would never live in Canada, because its miserably horribly freezing, we don't appreciate your negativity about South Africa, rather go & post on Canadian websites.
Michael Abdinor 2014/08/05 08:50:44 AM
Professor Louise Tager wrote in the 1980's "It is sad that so many South Africans have little faith in the future of their country. There is no paradise on earth. One has to choose a place to live, commit oneself, and then learn to value and enjoy the moment. Torturing oneself with forecasts of possible future disasters will not change anything except the quality of one's present life"
Johnny B Goode 2014/08/05 09:18:45 AM
Hi John, are there many muslims in Canada? I only ask because I have been thinking of emigrating a lot the past year and I would ideally like to go where Islam is either nonexistant or the community is very small with no real likelyhood of growing and becoming a cancer upon its host society.
Gerrie Pretorius 2014/08/05 09:28:18 AM
I would move there in a heartbeat,(or NZ) but immigration regulations are really making it extremely difficult to do so. Would love to have my kids grow up in a society where they will have a future and where we do not have to lock ourselves in security estates in fear of barbarians coming not to steal our TV but to commit murder.....
SunshinyDay 2014/08/05 10:01:29 AM
I have heard that Canada is lovely and you are very lucky to have gone there. However, some of us don't have that luxury of being able to afford to immigrate. We stay here and make the best of our country, crime and all. No it's not nice, but ultimately it is home and some of us are trying our best to turn the country around. Some of us stay by choice, because again this place is home. I love my country despite the crime. I love my country for it's beauty and potential and I hope that one day we return to our former glory where we didn't have to worry about being murdered for R10 or being raped in broad daylight. By the way, I have stopped in peak hour traffic many times to try get a dog out the road and I have never been hooted at, and I don't drink at all so I'm always the designated (safe) driver. My friend hire a taxi to take them home... we aren't all impatient drunkards here. :)
Siebert Mazus 2014/08/05 10:01:49 AM
Home is where the heart is. I love SA. Enough reason for me to stay here.
Mike 881 2014/08/05 10:03:10 AM
Seriously, who in their right mind sends an email "Why I will never leave South Africa", besides poloyantonki and the other corrupt clowns?