Life in the Garden route......

Wild Dog Adventure Riding

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Mikie

Grey Hound
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Hoekwil
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I have worked at my current employer for 15 years now, in that time I have worked with some of the more odd Dogs as well, the likes of Kilroy, IceCreamMan, DirtyXT, Zonkelnut and I think there might be one or 2 more that I have forgotten about, but this isnt about the distinguished gentlemen that I have worked with. I was born in Vereeniging, at age 6 moved to Kroonstad, attended Primary school there, high school I was shipped off to boarding school in Klerksdorp, I think my Portuguese dad was afraid that I might end up with an afrikaans lass if I stayed in Kroonstad, and the boarding school was a catholic school, so I would grow up a good catholic boy, with a passion for going to church every Sunday and every other religious occasion, that part failed.
In Std 8 my father sold hi share in the supermarket that he had and they moved to Snor City (Pretoria for those not in the know), by this time I loved boarding school and opted to finish high school there.
After High school I joined my family in Snor City, worked in my fathers shop while attending Technikon and eventually started my career......
All this time I wished that we lived at the sea, I always loved the beach and the ocean.
After having worked for my current employer for about 5 years I tried getting a transfer to the coast, I wanted to go work in our Durban office, alas my manager at the time insisted that my job required me at Head office. Besides getting another job in Durban I was stuck working in Joburg.
Skip a few years and The Armageddon of Flu's came to visit us, COVID Happened and the switch to working from home started, when SWAMBO's Step father passed away, they lived in Brenton-On-Sea, I saw the opportunity to move down to the sea, her mom is still here and was all alone, perfect excuse to move down, I always hated Jhb and Pta, the lack of an ocean, the pretentiousness, the crime, the traffic.....
We sold our house and moved.
It was a massive adjustment to me, at first you feel like youre on permanent holiday, then it starts to sink in that you live here now, youre a Semigrant, or for the locals, an INKOMMER.
Not once have I felt unwelcome or out of place, but there was much to adjust to, the weather for one, that ocean air can get really cold, you get multiple seasons in one day, One day will be super hot and the next youre back into winter, makes it quite tricky to decide what to wear each day.

I want to use this thread to share how I see things here, and my experiences.
Things really are very different here compared to the highveld, it feels like another country, it honestly does and so far I am loving it.
 

GRUNT

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Heidelberg Gauteng
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following!....always wondered how easy(or not) one would adapt coming from the big smoke
 

Mikie

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We moved here in the middle of December, peak holiday season, the place was crawling with holiday makers from all over the country and also with Swallows (These are foreigners that spend 6 months here and 6 months back in Europe)
I immediately noticed how different people are here, people are friendly, you get greeted randomly in the street from time to time, you always see a smiling face when out at the shops, there are a lot of older retired folk down here.
Living right in front of the sea gets cold, some days it honestly feels like the South Pole blows directly over this coastline
What also makes this place feel like another country? The sun rises and Sunsets in Summer, at the peak of Summer sunset was at 20:45, this shmockeled with my brain, supper time is usually at 6pm for me, but it looks like 3 pm at that time, so you put it off, you end up eating supper at 9pm, very close to my weekday bedtime, I dont like eating supper and going straight to bed after.
Did I mention that I find people friendly here, if you disagree, then you clearly dont know people in Jhb, while out at the shops, cashiers always smile and greet, I used these friendly folk to buff up on my use of the Duitse taal, having grown up in Kroonstad my afrikaan used to be very good, I worked in my dads shop there, so I was forced to learn, but having moved to the Highveld and making English friends, I spoke less and less Afrikaans, I felt like a stuttering idiot, trying to get my afrikaans words out without choking on them. Mom In Law has a coloured chap that works for her, I used him as my major afrikaans practice, but his Afrikaans is also different to what I am used to, lets not even get into his Whatsapp messages, they are like trying to decipher the Bible code. But I think its gotten better, or maybe not as the locals still often switch to english after I have had my say in Afrikaans.
We initially stayed with Mother-in-law, that wasnt easy but it was absolutely awesome to live 700m from the beach, I got some amazing bonding time with my staffie every morning when taking her for a walk on the beach.
But I quickly learned that living by the ocean isnt all its cut out to be, within 2 weeks my old Hilux and my old GS had started to develop visible rust, the only way to manage that is to wash them often, keep washing that sea air off, and no matter how much you wash the rust keeps coming......
 

Mikie

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Many things about the Highveld I do miss, but there are far more that I dont miss at all
I miss having friends close by, Family, almost all of my family is in Gauteng, I have one cousin down here, she is part owner of Oysters R Us here in Wilderness, but we werent ever that close.
Convenience shopping, up there you can get pretty much anything you want and you wont have to drive very far to get it either, Makro, big centres with big varieties, here not so much, yes in George there are big shopping centres but there are things that you struggle to find here.
I am sure I have already mentioned it, but George and basically most of the GR has the worst service levels I have ever experienced in my life, let me just add, its not everyone here, but the majority really dont understand the concept of good service and communication with your clients,

For example, before we moved I had been doing stickers and some bike stickers kits on the side, more of a hobby for me nothing to make me millions though, even though I did struggle to find a reliable printer in Jhb in the past, it was much easier to sift through the chancers and find the people that actually take their work seriously. When I got here, one of my first missions was to find a printer down here that could do my printing and laminating for me, I called on 3 different printers in Knysna, one didn't print on Vinyl, the other had someone else printing for him in CT, the third a local young lass, in her 20's whose father owns some bottle stores in town, so he paid for her business and got her all the good equipment, pity he didnt get her an education on how to communicate with your clients, I couldnt wait 2 weeks for responses from her only to then hear countless excuses as to why her response times are so bad. I didnt even respond or go back there, that initial interaction told me that I am going to get upset with the work from her. I then hunted around in George, after asking around most places do not print on Cast Vinyls, for bike kits I wont use anything else, eventually I found a group of ladies who had a little printing business on the go, they said they could do what I wanted, so I prepped some old jobs to redo and a panel or 2 for my bike to redo just to judge the quality of work.
Then I got the prints, firstly it was NOT cast vinyl, then they did not have a laminator so the Lamination was stuck on manually by had, not ideal. I got the prints, paid for them and never returned, I bitched and moaned to my mate who had now also moved to George, and told him how no one here is able to deliver quality work, but I also wondered if I am just too impatient and maybe my expectations are just far too high, That wasnt it, my mate recently got his own printer and tried finding a laminator locally to assist with that part of the jobs, and he too got as annoyed as I did. So my sideline printing and sticker job has basically been put on hold until I actually do get some good service and quality work.
 

Crankshaft

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Brackenfell
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AJS (all models)
Congrats on the move to the Garden route. Even myself that was raised in the Cape, in Strand and Gordon's bay, would love to end up that side of the world one day...
 

m0lt3n

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Kathu (NC)
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subscribed.
My mother also moved there a year ago, they also still cant believe they are not only on holiday.
 

Beebop

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Pretoria
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BMW R1150GS Adventure
George is not an area you go to run a business, unless you are doing it remotely.
Its too laid back for that. Its a great place to retire to, which is why I'm planning on
doing that.
 

Mikie

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Hoekwil
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[email protected] the printing Mikie, go buy a MTB or a fishing rod.
:ROFLMAO: I pretty much did park it, I have far too much other things to do on my plate.
On the Fishing, I have considered it, however, I have never fished in my life, I dont know where to start besides buying a rod, I am not a patient person, so I am going to hate standing on the beach or rocks casting with some crap bait that catches me nothing
The MTB, I have wanted one for ages now, but as I was about to bite the bullet, I got different opinions from different people, some said, get a cheapie from Makro, another mate said no, nothing less than R10k, and services on those things arent cheap either, that budget also doesnt work for me, so I parked another idea, my GSA is less tiring as well 🤪
 

Mikie

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Hmmmn, no one can laminate in George for you, nor for your friend; seems to me you now have a DIFFERENT business opportunity in your immediate future!
Absolutely agree with you, judging by the service levels and lack of expertise around here, we have both seen a HUGE gap in the market and an opportunity to make money, BUT for me its a side line, I dont have the time nor the money to throw at a laminator, my work from home day job is my primary income, I cant lose that. But my mate is very hard at work trying to get that part sorted, he is still going to make a killing down here with printing
 

Mikie

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subscribed.
My mother also moved there a year ago, they also still cant believe they are not only on holiday.
I think Winter made me fat realize I am not on holiday, I wouldnt want to come down here in Winter on purpose, its really crap
 

Mikie

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George is not an area you go to run a business, unless you are doing it remotely.
Its too laid back for that. Its a great place to retire to, which is why I'm planning on
doing that.
I agree and disagree, there is opportunity, and run in the correct way could be lucrative, the only issue we may run into is the Clickyness, most locals prefer to do business with other locals, But I am sure quality can trump that attitude
 

Frikadella

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Eastrand
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I cant wait to move down permanently to the Garden Route, still 7 year to spit before retirement at my house in Keurboomstrand, Plettenberg Bay.

For me personally the best sea retirement that there is in SA.
 

Mikie

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I cant wait to move down permanently to the Garden Route, still 7 year to spit before retirement at my house in Keurboomstrand, Plettenberg Bay.

For me personally the best sea retirement that there is in SA.
If you arent used to it, the Winters are something else, they are loooong, Sunday we had 27 Degree weather, I even got sunburned doing some gardening, then came yesterday, me still half dressed for summer, and it was so much cooler, that said, it still beats the dry highveld winters.
 

MegaPix

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Zero (all models)
Lovely area. I was in Oudtshoorn in the army and on weekends I went down to Hartenbos, George and Knysna when it was still less busy. WOuld like to move there too but I hate bad service so not sure if I'll survive :ROFLMAO:
;)
 

Mikie

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Lovely area. I was in Oudtshoorn in the army and on weekends I went down to Hartenbos, George and Knysna when it was still less busy. WOuld like to move there too but I hate bad service so not sure if I'll survive :ROFLMAO:
;)
Funny thing, it frustrated me to no end in the beginning but you learn to chill and accept it as this is just the norm here if I have a choice I shop around till I find better service, but sometimes, you just shurrup and take it.
 

MegaPix

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Funny thing, it frustrated me to no end in the beginning but you learn to chill and accept it as this is just the norm here if I have a choice I shop around till I find better service, but sometimes, you just shurrup and take it.
I have a few friends staying down there. So that should be fine to start. Problem is to go there I need a job because I won't be able to retire. I can / must work until 5min before my funeral
 
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