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Look, I know my last post painted a rather unflattering image of South Africa. A fair number of people were offended that I dared to point out that corruption and incompetence were commonplace here. Obviously, I know not EVERYBODY here is inept or corrupt, but I do appreciate the reminders. However, these kinds of things certainly are more prevalent in South Africa than other countries I’ve experienced. There’s no denying it. That being said, for the next ten posts, I’m […]
Listen, South Africa, my love affair with you is over. I was once smitten. Head over heels. Infatuated. I tried to look past all your warts, but I mean, you REALLY seem intent on being a bad date. So how exactly did I fall out of love with the country that’s shown me wild elephants and the almighty braai? Well, let me tell you… A few weeks ago, our good friends (the Germans) asked us if we wanted to take a road […]
While Canada has many redeeming qualities, it’s not exactly world-renowned for its balmy weather. We can give you maple syrup and Celine Dion up your wazoo, but we can’t deliver year-round tanning weather. In fact, if you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to have boogers freeze in your nose or wanted to experience the delicate art of peeing in -40 degree weather without getting frostbite on your mutton dagger, I’d suggest visiting Saskatchewan in January. But even though we […]
One of the most mind-blowing things about South Africa is its wildlife. Have you ever watched the National Geographic channel on TV? It’s like that, but with the added thrill of getting malaria (for real- if you go to Kruger Park, take malaria medication). There are kabillions (rough estimate- I’m not so good with numbers) of different animal species to see, but the Big 5 captivate most visitors. For those of you not familiar with the term, the Big 5 […]
Credit card fraud is always a pain in the backside. But credit card fraud in SOUTH AFRICA really turns things up a few notches. Let me give you a bit of a spoiler alert: if it happens to you, you’re pretty much the female lion. Prologue- 4:15am It finally happened. While I’ve done my best to combat the bad reputation South Africa has when it comes to crime, I’m sorry to say I was hit recently. I should point out, however, […]
Although I’ve griped here and there about customer service in South Africa, one thing that blows my mind constantly is the jaw-dropping ingenuity I see on a daily basis. And I recently witnessed this in regards to South African job security. If you’re an expat living in South Africa, chances are you’ll end up hiring a domestic worker. I was torn to start with: do we contribute to a system that contributes to economic disparity and comes across as super […]
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.”
-An upset South African guy.
“What a lot of codswallop.”
-Random South African Woman.