What I see


I always believe everybody has dreams that extend beyond the life they currently live. And I reckon that one or two hundred thousand rand would go a long way to realise these dreams. I further believe that one or two years in a place like Taiwan is the ideal way to muster that type of capital.

What I tend to forget is that the life of an expat is often rootless, and that many people prefer a different kind of life. These people have homes – spaces they have customised and equipped over many years to be exactly how they want it. They have friends and maybe family that live in the same city, or in a neighbouring town. They have pets. They have pension funds they’ve been working on for years. And they dream of having kids – if they haven’t already started a family, and to have these children grow up in an environment familiar to them, the parents. It is a life about which these people often complain, but it’s also a life in which they feel safe. It is a life they reckon they can sustain, and which they hope they can continue living until they hit 60 or 65 and that pension starts paying out.

The fact is not everyone knows what they would do with a hundred or two hundred thousand rand between when they return from a place like Taiwan and when they reach retirement age. People tend to choose what they know – even if it means you have to punch your timecard, the same time every morning, for forty years.