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Al's epic odyssey "A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." - Lao Tzu

Jo'burg & Jobs

SOUTH AFRICA | Wednesday, 5 August 2009 | Views [639]

I arrived in Jo’burg with a day spare before the big job interview. I’ve been getting quite psyched up with the prospect of returning to South Africa to stay. Admittedly Johannesburg would not normally have been my first choice of city to live in, but I am starting to see the place in a new light.

I’ve been to Jo’burg plenty of times, but never really took much notice of directions or places. I’m trying to do so now. It’s a vast sprawling town which seems to go on forever. This is because there is no real culture of high density living that you get in Europe (or Dubai for that matter). I’ve bought myself a street map and now have a better appreciation for where places are in relation to each other.

The interview itself went really well and I’ve been verbally offered, and verbally accepted, a position based in Johannesburg but also covering several other South African towns and cities. The downside is that the project that I’d be working on is based in Nigeria, which currently does not have a high popularity rating.

After the interview I went home and spent the night Googling Nigeria and the current home office advice. It didn’t make for comfortable reading.

Statements like:

“We advise against all travel to the Niger Delta States of Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers (including Port Harcourt) and advise British nationals in these States to leave.  This is because of the very high risk of kidnapping, armed robbery and other armed attacks in these areas.

If you decide to travel to or remain in these areas it would be reckless to do so unless and until you have taken full, appropriate professional security advice and have acted on it.  You must be vigilant at all times and make sure that your local host and family know your travel plans and timings.” 

I have made contact with several family and friends with knowledge of Nigeria and have asked for some clarification about the security arrangements before putting my X on the final contract.

The fact that Nigeria has been given the same risk level as Afghanistan and Iraq is a worry, but then again so too has Thailand, which is my alternative (and unsalaried) destination.

The job (assuming I do accept it) is due to start in two weeks time. My suggestion of starting date in 5 months was treated with much hilarity in the interview. So it is time to get some last minute holidaying in. Two weeks is too short to get in much of what I’d planned to do in South East Asia so I’ve decided to head back to Scotland and see family and friends there and tie up a few loose ends.

Next stop Edinburgh!


Tags: johannesburg


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