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Recent Posts

Character Building in South Africa- Registering as a Taxpayer

I’ve been on vacation in Canada for the last little while, which kind of spoiled me, I guess, cause I ALMOST forgot how to be mind-numbingly patient. And if you know anything about South Africa, you’ll know that it will bring anybody who holds things like efficiency dear to their knees. You can beg, plead, and make deals with God all you want, but you won’t be able to get things done as quickly as you think. And such was […]

Christmas Song

Need Some New Christmas Music?

It’s almost Christmas, so I should probably get around to posting a sappy holiday entry soon, but in the meantime, I thought I’d help you all out with a perennial holiday conundrum. If you’re like me, you love Christmas but hate Christmas music (mostly). Cause let’s face it, most Christmas songs suck. Do you like Carly Rae Jepsen? This has nothing to do with her. Almost. A while ago, I had street cred and played in a band, which happened […]

If You Don’t Know How To Use A Public Bathroom, This Post Is For You!

Look, South Africa, we need to talk. You’re home to some of the best wildlife, okay-est food, most wonderful people, and most hilarious fashion choices. I love all of it. But as evidenced by the fact I recently wrote about being on peed on in a public washroom, your bathroom etiquette might need a little tweaking. And if you don’t believe me, just check out this sign I recently saw in a public loo: There’s just so much going on there. […]

The Time I Got Peed On At A Urinal

You Wanted A Urinal Story- You Got It!

OK, let’s be honest, nobody has ever asked for a urinal story. That’s just insane. The title is mostly to warn people what’s coming so they don’t click the link. But YOU clicked, you giant weirdo, so let’s do this. I’ve been knocked out with the flu for the last several days, so I’ve been slacking off on pretty much everything but binge watching American Vandal (which is truly, truly hilarious) and hurling my guts into the toilet over and […]

8 Benefits of Expat Life

8 Colossal Benefits of Expat Life

Last week I posted about 8 Ways Expat Life Sucks Worse Than Puppy Cancer, and I meant every word. But I also said I wouldn’t trade my expat experience for the world, and I meant that, too. So for the sake of balance, I thought I’d post about the benefits of expat life, cause there are many. 1)  You’ll Get To See The World This one’s super obvious, but it still needs to be said. If you want to travel, but […]

Expat Struggles

8 Ways Expat Life Sucks Worse Than Puppy Cancer

Exactly one year ago today, we were waiting in the Vancouver airport for our flight to South Africa. Everything we owned was already stuffed into a container and floating across the ocean to meet us at a later date. We were exhausted, excited, and nervous. We had said all our goodbyes to friends and family and were about to embark on our new journey. Expat struggles were something we didn’t even think about. Fast forward one year later, and we pretty […]

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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.

What a lot of codswallop.
-Random South African Woman.