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Recent Posts

30 Ways You Know You’re Almost A Local In South Africa

I moved to South Africa from Canada in September 2016. When I first got here, everything was strange, confusing, and wonderful. Now that I’ve been here almost a year, well, nothing has changed. But I think I’ve been adapting. One of my favourite bloggers, Joburg Expat, compiled of list of signs that indicate you’re no longer new to South Africa here. It’s a great post, and I thought I’d add some more ways you can tell you’re ALMOST a local: […]

Hey Vodacom, PLEASE Stop Dropping My Calls!

You know what I love about cell phones? You can use them to talk to other people. That’s kind of the whole point. OK, I know they’re also for surfing the web, navigating, and surprising women with pictures of your naughty bits (guys, here’s a helpful tip – no woman has EVER thought “Today’s been a good day. But you know what I could really go for right now? An unsolicited picture of Johnny’s wonder weasel”). But the MAIN reason […]

Food Fail

I’ve Put a Lot of Disgusting Things in My Mouth…

The Background Whenever somebody starts a sentence with “I bet you won’t eat…” I don’t even hear the rest. The cacophonous ringing of cash registers in my ears drowns out whatever comes next. I’ve hate-fornicated my mouth hole with a jug of vinegar, an entire mug of hot sauce, a dried out crab shell my friend Fariyal found on the beach (related-Fariyal is a giant jerk), and the list goes on and on. You know those giant banana slugs they […]

Canada vs South Africa (In a Handy 11-Point list)

I’m sorry if the title brought you here in hopes I’d be talking about who would win in a fist fight between Canada and South Africa. That would be ridiculous because there couldn’t be any possible way of knowing (but for the record, it would totally be Canada. We’re able to harness the power of poutine). When I say Canada vs South Africa, what I MEAN to say is I’m going to look at the differences I’ve noticed between the two […]

The World’s Most Grueling Competition

I’m not necessarily saying I’m competitive or anything, but I like to win. If you beat me at Monopoly, I’ll train bees to attack you. I like boxing with my 7-year-old son because I can beat him at LEAST 78% of the time. He’s a pansy (at least for now). I always finished exams first when I was in school, whether I knew the answers or not. Being first was more important than performing well. Same with sex. I ALWAYS […]

Why You Should Become an Expat (And Why You Shouldn’t), Part 2

Last week, I started to explain why you should (or shouldn’t) consider taking an expat contract. But, like always, I broke the rules of blogging by not keeping it short and sweet, so I only got through three points. Here are some more thoughts to consider before becoming an expat: 4) You Can Totally Show How Valuable You Are To Your Company Your bosses wouldn’t have asked you to relocate if they didn’t think you had great value- or potential value- […]

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Hi, I’m Phil.

I’ve been many things. A university English instructor, a picker upper of dead bodies, a musician, and a sales guy. My work brought me and my family from Vancouver, Canada to Pretoria, South Africa in September 2016, and I’m still wondering how that happened.

I started this blog mostly because my friends back in Canada kept asking me how things were in South Africa, and posting about my experiences seemed more efficient than repeating myself hundreds of times.

Maple and Marula is a way for me to make sense of my new surroundings as an expat who has no idea what I’m doing.

Words of Praise for Maple & Marula

Not a winner.
-Sabrina Duncan

Condescending Canadian.
-An upset South African guy.