Kudu and Blesbok, Peacocks and…Paintball?

If you had given me a choice at the beginning of yesterday, I would have chosen to play paintball with Kurt and his coworkers. But it was an employees-only bonding experience, so I spent the day driving around with a friend.

expat life living wildlife viewing
Paintball course in Pretoria, South Africa

Although Kurt had fun, I know I ended up with the better experience.

expat life living wildlife viewing
Kurt and his boss at a paintball outing in Pretoria, South Africa

Kurt saw a few wild peacocks wandering about while getting half a dozen aggressive paintball hits from a few, er, peacocks and spent the evening proudly counting up his large welts.

expat life living wildlife viewing
wild peacocks in Pretoria, South Africa

Meanwhile, I had a delicious lunch outdoors on a warm and breezy South African day, then saw a beautiful, elusive buck kudu (big as a horse and so majestic!) while 4-wheel-Jeeping through a wildlife reserve with my friend, Melissa.

expat life living wildlife viewing
Adult buck kudu (tall as a horse!) standing in front of an adult blesbok in the wildlife reserve of Silverlakes Estate, Pretoria, South Africa

Today we spent the day driving around looking at rental houses. If you think house-hunting in the states is stressful, the “racket” here is insane. The laws aren’t the same, and you have to keep your poker face, because agents and owners collude and will increase the price on you if you show interest.

expat life living wildlife viewing
Young kudu on the wildlife reserve in Silverlakes Estates, Pretoria South Africa

I started the day armed with knowledge from several of Kurt’s coworkers and held firm when the representative tried bullying me into looking at houses that were clearly not matching our own modest requests for a home within the company-allotted budget. She, in turn, “accidentally” switched on the heat in my leather passenger seat in the hot sun. I pretended not to notice.

expat life living wildlife viewing
Buck and doe kudu guarding their young. Wildlife reserve on Silverlakes Estate, Pretoria, South Africa

It wouldn’t be such a problem looking at any and all houses she wants to show us, except that per policy, we are only allowed to look at a total of 15-20 houses before we are required to choose one. (Previous expats spoiled the process by taking advantage and looking at hundreds of houses and spending six months in a paid guest house or apartment while being aggressively picky.)

The point is that if we allow ourselves to be bullied into looking at 7-8 houses that don’t meet our own interests, just because they are through her “friend” or because they give her a good deal to let (rent) it, we lose half our opportunities to look at houses we might really like.

expat life living wildlife viewing
Blesbok on the wildlife reserve of Silverlakes Estate in Pretoria, South Africa

My no-bull demeanor waned within hours, however, and by this afternoon I was almost apologizing for being such a “bitch” in the morning, when in actuality I was only being assertive. {Sigh} I am trying hard to work on this pushoverness, but it’s an uphill battle.

Anyway, wish us luck and strength in finding a place we can call “home” for the next couple years. I think we’re going to need it!

Love, Marla

8 thoughts on “Kudu and Blesbok, Peacocks and…Paintball?

  1. Finally catching up on blogs this evening. Glad you arrived safely and are back doing your own blog. I do want to tell you that I enjoyed your guest bloggers and even went to some of their sites when my interest peaked by the guest blog. I’m glad you are back and am looking forward to your adventures. Good luck on the house hunting. BTW loved Brandon’s comment and was looking for a place to “like” it. LOL Take care, be safe, have fun but don’t get arrested. Love ya!

  2. Those Kudus are beautiful. I’m sure it’s just the beginning of wildlife photos you’ll be sharing. What an amazing experience….enjoy and hope you find a place to call home soon!

  3. So happy you safely arrived and you’re already exploring and seeing some African nature. That real estate agent lady is a whore. You should have vomited, from “heat exhaustion,” right onto her lap.

  4. You are stronger than me! I’m like Milton from Office Space when it comes to assertiveness sometimes. Ugh. And don’t you think you could have waited a few days before posting all of the jealousy-inducing pics? Ha! Glad you guys made it safely. I’ll have a veggie artisan for you later.

  5. You are a strong woman – just think of these people as me and you will find all the assertiveness in the world! LOL… Craig always tells me (from the salesperson’s perspective) that it is all part of the game,.. their job is to be pushy and to get as much as they can. Your job is to resist their sales tacticts.) Don’t worry about it – enjoy the game… she isn’t going to be taken advantage of by you – don’t be by her!
    Can’t wait to see where you land – it will be in South Africa, so how can it be bad???

  6. Kudos on the Kudus! So exciting!! I think you’re gonna have such an exciting time!!
    Love you

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