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  • Big Move, Am I Crazy?

    Hello all, after reading all the posts here and noticing their dates, I thought best to make a new post. My husband has been offered a position in Cape Town. We are currently in Canada with 2 young children. My children & husband are Canadian by birth, I am an American by birth.

    My husband will be touring the area for about a week to get a 'lay of the land'. But it does not seem we will be able to get us all out there before making this decision. I will be trusting my husband's decision on a country I have never seen. We will have people from his job to stay with as we get settled as we were not advised to be set up in our own accomodations seeing we knew nothing of the area. His job would be in the Epping area. Now in Canada, you normally find where you are working, & start looking for housing nearby. It doesn't seem to be the case in SA. Am I wrong?

    My young children are 5 & 6. I see school starts at 7. My children have been in school for 1-2 years already & can read English well. Is there schools they can still attend? How in the world to you choose schools? Is this a society strongly based on 'who you know' as I am getting the feeling as I am reading this forum & some other sites?

    Please advise!!

  • #2
    Yay! Cape Town!

    Originally posted by Momof2
    Hello all, after reading all the posts here and noticing their dates, I thought best to make a new post. My husband has been offered a position in Cape Town. We are currently in Canada with 2 young children. My children & husband are Canadian by birth, I am an American by birth.

    My husband will be touring the area for about a week to get a 'lay of the land'. But it does not seem we will be able to get us all out there before making this decision. I will be trusting my husband's decision on a country I have never seen. We will have people from his job to stay with as we get settled as we were not advised to be set up in our own accomodations seeing we knew nothing of the area. His job would be in the Epping area. Now in Canada, you normally find where you are working, & start looking for housing nearby. It doesn't seem to be the case in SA. Am I wrong?

    My young children are 5 & 6. I see school starts at 7. My children have been in school for 1-2 years already & can read English well. Is there schools they can still attend? How in the world to you choose schools? Is this a society strongly based on 'who you know' as I am getting the feeling as I am reading this forum & some other sites?

    Please advise!!
    Cape Town is awesome. You will be fine.

    There are numerous private (i.e. non-government) schools that are not bound as tightly by the "rules". There are also "international" schools (formerly the "American School", which used to administer an American education, as opposed to the South African system, which is quite different.) You will have no problem finding a suitable school, if you're prepared to pay a little more.

    Epping is an industrial area conveniently located to the Southern Suburbs residential areas (Pinelands, Rondebosch, Mobray, Observatory, Rosebank, etc.) and Northern Suburbs residential areas (Goodwood, Parrow, which are not as exclusive.) There are other residential areas around Epping, like Langa, Thornton, Bonteheuwel, Elsie's River, Kensington, but these are areas you will want to avoid. They are low-income areas, some still being upgraded into what you would even begin to consider "habitable". These areas have their charm, and a strong sense of community, but drug use, unemployment and abject poverty are endemic. Nobody wants to raise kids there, least of all those who find themseleves doing so.



    If your husband is prepared to commute for an hour, you can live in luxury, almost oblivious to the existence of such poverty, in suburbs like Constantia, Hout Bay, Blauwbergstrand, Durbanville. The advice to find a neighbourhood once you get there is good. If your plan is to buy a house, don't wait too long, as property prices are escalating rapidly, but renting for six months will leave you much the wiser. I wouldn't recommend selling any Canadian property until you're sure Cape Town is the place for you and you're ready to buy a house there.

    I have plenty of pictures I can email you. I just don't have the time right now to put them online. Click on the images below to open them up full-size. They're about 450kB a piece, so you'd best be patient if you're on dial-up.


    That's the view from my parents' house in Fish Hoek, in the far-Southern Suburbs, around an hour's drive from Epping.


    That's Kommetjie beach, also in the far-Southern Suburbs, about 15 minutes away from Fish Hoek in the opposite direction of Epping.


    That's Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which is nestled between the exclusive suburbs of Constantia and Bishop's Court, about a half-hour drive to Epping.


    That's Bonteheuwel.


    That's a part of Langa which is being upgraded. Other parts of Langa look similar to (and better than) Bonteheuwel. Other parts look like below.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the input. Really needed. I have been doing my best to research suburbs via maps, but distances can be decieving. Someone mentioned to me to look towards Somerset West & Strand as shopping would be more like what I am use to. (Most people here make their weekly trips to the mall to shop while teens hang out and roam prety protected.) But something tells me they would be a much longer trip than what they look like on a map. Right now it takes my husband 30 minutes to get to work, so that or a little more more would not be too big a deal. I will start searching in the burbs you mentioned.

      I guess never leaving North America makes me excited & scared all in the same breath. I have heard things like censorship in media is an issue. Is it true? This may sound like such a small issue, but what is the cable/satilite channels like? Get any BBC or U.S. channels? Is there broadband or is everything dial up? I am spoiled with my high speed internet access. I know to be far away from family I will rely strongly on my internet. Has voice over IP's been established yet? Are they mainstream?

      Also, thanks for the pictures. It looks so beautiful. Boy I miss the ocean. I grew up on the Pacific in California & since leaving in '88, I miss being around the salt air. It looks So 1st world in some areas, others, like the last pictures look 3rd world. So much extreme.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Momof2
        Someone mentioned to me to look towards Somerset West & Strand as shopping would be more like what I am use to. (Most people here make their weekly trips to the mall to shop while teens hang out and roam prety protected.)
        Somerset Mall is huge. However, the Southern Suburbs has Cavendish Square, which is more up-market, but equally safe and large for teens to roam around. You're right that it would be a long commute from Somerset West, and down the N2 (freeway/highway/interstate), your husband would be competing with the nightmarish minibus-taxis, who have their own interpretation of the rules of the road. (The city has really clamped down on driving recently, however, so it's not too bad and on a par with Tennessee, anyway.)

        Somerset West/Strand is about 45 minutes drive to Cape Town (as in the "downtown"/city of Cape Town), probably the same length of time to Epping during peak traffic, if not longer. The N2 can back up something chronic, although last time I drove it in the peak times was before they added an extra lane to the bottleneck. Basically, your husband's commute would take him past Khayelitsha, Crossroads, Nyanga and Langa -- the least appealing neighbourhoods in town. The whole trip would be on the N2 freeway, so his safety wouldn't be compromised.

        Originally posted by momof2
        I guess never leaving North America makes me excited & scared all in the same breath. I have heard things like censorship in media is an issue. Is it true?
        Censorship in the media was an enormous problem under apartheid. It is not a problem at all now.

        Originally posted by momof2
        This may sound like such a small issue, but what is the cable/satilite channels like? Get any BBC or U.S. channels? Is there broadband or is everything dial up? I am spoiled with my high speed internet access. I know to be far away from family I will rely strongly on my internet. Has voice over IP's been established yet? Are they mainstream?
        There is broadband, but it is very expensive. My brother pays R1,000 (almost US$200) per month for 512kB up/downstream, capped at 6Gb per month. There is no cable. Mnet is the satellite TV/encoded broadcast TV provider. Visit that link and you can see a full list of channels. My husband watched the Superbowl live, but with no commercials. No VoIP that I noticed when I was there.

        Here is a link the the Internet Service Provider Association in South Africa. It lists the service provider members, and what services they provide. You can email them and find out if any of their members provide VoIP. It looks like these guys are now doing it, although their taget is business customers.

        Telephone calls are generally expensive in South Africa. Calls between landlines and cell phones are particularly expensive. The local landline provider, Telkom (formerly government body) still holds a de facto monopoly, but a second service provider has been approved and in the next year or two hopefully phone calls will get cheaper.

        Originally posted by momof2
        Also, thanks for the pictures. It looks so beautiful. Boy I miss the ocean. I grew up on the Pacific in California & since leaving in '88, I miss being around the salt air. It looks So 1st world in some areas, others, like the last pictures look 3rd world. So much extreme.
        Cape Town is as near to California as you can come without going to, like, you know, California. It is both first and third world, with the former encroaching on the latter day by day, thankfully. Cape Town is a very cosmopolitan city. The people can be flaky and cliquey and are very trend conscious. It's very much about the Diesel clothes and the BMWs in some circles. In other circles it's all about the barefoot, surfing, barbequeing.

        Stellenbosch is a 20-minute drive from Somerset West/Strand, 45 minutes from Cape Town, and it's a world-renowned wine-growing region. There are about 15 wine tours you can take in the Western Cape.

        The Afrikaans language still has a strong foothold in the Northern/Eastern suburbs -- Durbanville, Stellenbosch (home to an Afrikaans-medium university), Somerset West, Strand. These days you'll get by fine in English, but socially you may feel a little more outcast.

        Cape Town is an awesome place. The South African currency, the Rand, has strengthened phenomenally over the past two years, so it isn't as economical as it used to be. Inflation is still higher than what you're used to (7-10%) and gas prices are per litre what you'd pay per gallon in the US. Cars are smaller, but not cheaper. Make sure your husband is being offered a good salary. Visit the South African Home Affairs website and find out whether you'll be able to work too.

        Keep posting your questions as they come to mind and we'll keep answering them.
        Last edited by ches; 12th April 2005, 22:58.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Momof2
          Hello all, after reading all the posts here and noticing their dates, I thought best to make a new post. My husband has been offered a position in Cape Town. We are currently in Canada with 2 young children. My children & husband are Canadian by birth, I am an American by birth.

          My husband will be touring the area for about a week to get a 'lay of the land'. But it does not seem we will be able to get us all out there before making this decision. I will be trusting my husband's decision on a country I have never seen. We will have people from his job to stay with as we get settled as we were not advised to be set up in our own accomodations seeing we knew nothing of the area. His job would be in the Epping area. Now in Canada, you normally find where you are working, & start looking for housing nearby. It doesn't seem to be the case in SA. Am I wrong?

          My young children are 5 & 6. I see school starts at 7. My children have been in school for 1-2 years already & can read English well. Is there schools they can still attend? How in the world to you choose schools? Is this a society strongly based on 'who you know' as I am getting the feeling as I am reading this forum & some other sites?

          Please advise!!
          I think you will find a big difference between Canada & South Africa. It is kind of like going back 20 years in time or so as far as things like broadband and VOIP is concerned. The telephone provider, telkom, was state owned and has a monopoly. Its actually cheaper to call the UK over VOIP than it is to call a local number - check the rates at Skype.

          Also, things are very expensive in SA compared to Canada, or any developed country, and you will be shocked at the low range, bad quality, and high prices. Although parts of Cape Town are nice, other parts are not, including Fish Hoek, which is very windy and generally run down - don't let the views fool you. Epping is an industrial area surrounded by slums and is an extreamly dangerous place to travel to. This is the kind of dangerous where people will kill you for a few cents or to take your car. The best area, at least for me, is the southern suburbs, but you will need to get used to living behind razor wire and / or electric fencing with armed patrols - a very insular type of living, which is bound to be stressful for you.

          The state education system is generally bad (with some notable exceptions) and for an education comparible to Canada you will need to send your children to a private school, which are excellent. For university, however, an overseas education is a must.

          Sounds bad? Well it is but much better than a few years back and should improve over time. Strange for someone from Canada wanting to live in SA, its almost exclusively the opposite.

          Are you crazy? YES!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by pds1602
            I think you will find a big difference between Canada & South Africa. It is kind of like going back 20 years in time or so as far as things like broadband and VOIP is concerned. The telephone provider, telkom, was state owned and has a monopoly. Its actually cheaper to call the UK over VOIP than it is to call a local number - check the rates at Skype.

            Also, things are very expensive in SA compared to Canada, or any developed country, and you will be shocked at the low range, bad quality, and high prices. Although parts of Cape Town are nice, other parts are not, including Fish Hoek, which is very windy and generally run down - don't let the views fool you. Epping is an industrial area surrounded by slums and is an extreamly dangerous place to travel to. This is the kind of dangerous where people will kill you for a few cents or to take your car. The best area, at least for me, is the southern suburbs, but you will need to get used to living behind razor wire and / or electric fencing with armed patrols - a very insular type of living, which is bound to be stressful for you.

            The state education system is generally bad (with some notable exceptions) and for an education comparible to Canada you will need to send your children to a private school, which are excellent. For university, however, an overseas education is a must.

            Sounds bad? Well it is but much better than a few years back and should improve over time. Strange for someone from Canada wanting to live in SA, its almost exclusively the opposite.

            Are you crazy? YES!
            I have to ask, but are you South African?

            Because I have a degree in Engineering from the University of Cape Town, and it is infinitely superior to any state-run US "college". The ABET Engineering degree, for instance, requires less than half the amount of Engineering course work that the South African system requires. My husband is currently enrolled in a State University, andt he quality of his education leaves a lot to be desired. It is shameful that this glorified high school is considered "tertiary" education.

            I also grew up in Glencairn and attended Fish Hoek Primary and Middle schools before doing high school at Wynberg Girls. I spent the month of February in Fish Hoek, neither behind barbed wire nor living with an Armed Response alarm. I found nothing run-down, and did not once fear for my life.

            While I was there, the Plumstead Spur was held up at gunpoint. A friend's father was murdered in his Ottery factory in December. Crime is higher, for sure, but hijacking is not a problem in Cape Twon like it is in Johannesburg and to a lesser degree in Durban.

            Canada is reliably in the top 3 places to live based on broad quality of life statistics. Nobody expects South Africa to match up to Canada. However, South Africa is devoid of snow unless you go up into the Lesotho Highlands or camp out on a mountain in winter. Fish Hoek is windy two to three months out of the year. It's a small price to pay for not having to have a block heater so that you can start your car.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ches
              I have to ask, but are you South African?

              Because I have a degree in Engineering from the University of Cape Town, and it is infinitely superior to any state-run US "college". The ABET Engineering degree, for instance, requires less than half the amount of Engineering course work that the South African system requires. My husband is currently enrolled in a State University, andt he quality of his education leaves a lot to be desired. It is shameful that this glorified high school is considered "tertiary" education.

              I also grew up in Glencairn and attended Fish Hoek Primary and Middle schools before doing high school at Wynberg Girls. I spent the month of February in Fish Hoek, neither behind barbed wire nor living with an Armed Response alarm. I found nothing run-down, and did not once fear for my life.

              While I was there, the Plumstead Spur was held up at gunpoint. A friend's father was murdered in his Ottery factory in December. Crime is higher, for sure, but hijacking is not a problem in Cape Twon like it is in Johannesburg and to a lesser degree in Durban.

              Canada is reliably in the top 3 places to live based on broad quality of life statistics. Nobody expects South Africa to match up to Canada. However, South Africa is devoid of snow unless you go up into the Lesotho Highlands or camp out on a mountain in winter. Fish Hoek is windy two to three months out of the year. It's a small price to pay for not having to have a block heater so that you can start your car.

              To imagine a US University education is inferior to a SA one is an exercise in delusion. People from all over the world go to the US for a University education, how many go to SA? The South African University system is now a hopeless mess. Maybe it wasn't when you were there but it sure is now. How many students in the US trash the University and demand to pass simply because they have enrolled on a course?

              Anyway, you will note, if you had read my post, that I was referring to Canada, not America.

              And, yes, I am from Cape Town. My family still live there and I was there a year ago. They live in Tokai and all the houses now have armed response and major security, at least those that can afford it. My in-laws were held up in their own home by armed thugs, my sister in law witnessed a shooting in her driveway, the local shop has been held up numerous times, my parents neighbour had an armed robbery and their car stolen twice and this is in an area, I'm sure you will agree, far more "upmarket" than Fish Hoek. As for Hijacking; a man was killed for his car in Claremont, a lady was run over with her own car in Harfield and a man was hijacked and stabbed in the Constantia Center in the two weeks we were there last year. So, yes, generally speaking there is an underlying climate of fear in South Africa and Cape Town is not special in this regard.

              As well as the crime problem, the AA issue is a very serious problem and this is the main reason I left. To deny someone a job based on their skin colour is wrong, and it makes no difference who is doing the denying - it simply cannot be justified. Although I had a great job, I couldn't see any future for my children as they would be unable to find a job, never mind go to University, simply because they are white. What parent can accept that?

              The weather, in winter, is better than Canada but that is a silly reason to recommend Cape Town to someone isn't it? The weather doesn't improve the situation and I, and any sensible person, will much prefer a block heater.

              I think it is highly irresponsible to recommend South Africa as a great place to live to someone from a first world country, when we all know it is not. It is particularly irresponsible if the person making the recommendation has lived in a first world country and is in a position to compare the two.
              Last edited by pds1602; 3rd May 2005, 15:17.

              Comment


              • #8
                You say it Ches I love your attitude - so positive. I was so happy to see so many more S Africans with the same attitude on my last visit to my folks in August, an increase from Feb even! I love SA and I will be moving back in a years time with my young family, for good I hope. I've lived in Zim, the UK, much of Europe fleetingly and Kuwait and I can tell you NONE of them compare to South Africa.

                My husband spent 8 years in Canada and the USA at several universities doing several degrees and he tells me education in the USA is a joke compared to Europe and he wouldn't send his kids there if it was the only choice he had. Education in SA is still great if you chose the right school.

                The number of SA ex-pats who have lived out here in the Middle East with us who are now also returning home is staggering! They come over to make enough cash to go back and start up their own businesses. They know that the grass is definetally greener back home and they are going back to make it even greener.

                Crime is major and we all know it, but as long as we dont stick our heads in the sand and we address it, we will win in the end.

                Mom of 2, As for moving to Cape Town, you will love it!! Its is so beautiful. You wake up in the morning and smell the air and look out of your window and you cant believe its real! I spend a month there every year staying with various friends, most with children and they all LOVE it! Enjoy!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pds1602 View Post
                  To imagine a US University education is inferior to a SA one is an exercise in delusion. People from all over the world go to the US for a University education, how many go to SA? The South African University system is now a hopeless mess. Maybe it wasn't when you were there but it sure is now. How many students in the US trash the University and demand to pass simply because they have enrolled on a course?

                  Anyway, you will note, if you had read my post, that I was referring to Canada, not America.

                  And, yes, I am from Cape Town. My family still live there and I was there a year ago. They live in Tokai and all the houses now have armed response and major security, at least those that can afford it. My in-laws were held up in their own home by armed thugs, my sister in law witnessed a shooting in her driveway, the local shop has been held up numerous times, my parents neighbour had an armed robbery and their car stolen twice and this is in an area, I'm sure you will agree, far more "upmarket" than Fish Hoek. As for Hijacking; a man was killed for his car in Claremont, a lady was run over with her own car in Harfield and a man was hijacked and stabbed in the Constantia Center in the two weeks we were there last year. So, yes, generally speaking there is an underlying climate of fear in South Africa and Cape Town is not special in this regard.

                  As well as the crime problem, the AA issue is a very serious problem and this is the main reason I left. To deny someone a job based on their skin colour is wrong, and it makes no difference who is doing the denying - it simply cannot be justified. Although I had a great job, I couldn't see any future for my children as they would be unable to find a job, never mind go to University, simply because they are white. What parent can accept that?

                  The weather, in winter, is better than Canada but that is a silly reason to recommend Cape Town to someone isn't it? The weather doesn't improve the situation and I, and any sensible person, will much prefer a block heater.

                  I think it is highly irresponsible to recommend South Africa as a great place to live to someone from a first world country, when we all know it is not. It is particularly irresponsible if the person making the recommendation has lived in a first world country and is in a position to compare the two.
                  AMEN to that!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sarunds View Post
                    You say it Ches I love your attitude - so positive. I was so happy to see so many more S Africans with the same attitude on my last visit to my folks in August, an increase from Feb even! I love SA and I will be moving back in a years time with my young family, for good I hope. I've lived in Zim, the UK, much of Europe fleetingly and Kuwait and I can tell you NONE of them compare to South Africa.

                    My husband spent 8 years in Canada and the USA at several universities doing several degrees and he tells me education in the USA is a joke compared to Europe and he wouldn't send his kids there if it was the only choice he had. Education in SA is still great if you chose the right school.

                    The number of SA ex-pats who have lived out here in the Middle East with us who are now also returning home is staggering! They come over to make enough cash to go back and start up their own businesses. They know that the grass is definetally greener back home and they are going back to make it even greener.

                    Crime is major and we all know it, but as long as we dont stick our heads in the sand and we address it, we will win in the end.

                    Mom of 2, As for moving to Cape Town, you will love it!! Its is so beautiful. You wake up in the morning and smell the air and look out of your window and you cant believe its real! I spend a month there every year staying with various friends, most with children and they all LOVE it! Enjoy!
                    I beg to differ. I know quite a few SA expats in the Middle East (where I am located), and the mood is one of pessimism if not of total abandonment of any hope to return to SA. The grass is greener in SA? I know you meant it figuratively. And equally figuratively I ask you, is there any grass left in SA? All I see is RUBBISH.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ed, it sounds as though you really hate South Africa and all it stands for. I have so many expat friends here (And in the UK!) who are planning their return. Some are bringing back new building techniques, others alternative energy sources, others retail and brands they developed here and want to take back, even more in construction management. We all see an opportunity to prosper and to advance the SA economy, and to live in beautiful SA.

                      I do also know SA Expats who have no intention of returning, mainly because they couldn't find jobs that they wanted due to AA. They are happy here and have plans to move on to Australia or Europe. It's a free world and I wish them luck. For my friends who are returning home and planing their own businesses - the more the merier.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Because I have a degree in Engineering from the University of Cape Town, and it is infinitely superior to any state-run US "college". The ABET Engineering degree, for instance, requires less than half the amount of Engineering course work that the South African system requires. My husband is currently enrolled in a State University, andt he quality of his education leaves a lot to be desired. It is shameful that this glorified high school is considered "tertiary" education.
                        Ches, although I respect you and appreciate what you say, this statment here really disappoints me. I mean Ed Carson gets banned for what he says, but then out some form of political correctness its okay to smash and bad mouth Americans and their institutions? this is just not right. Specially coming from someone who is not from here. Your obvioulsy a very intlegent woman, but you were not born and raised here, you are not an american, and I think on some issues, to be able to bad mouht them a person has to be from here.

                        There is a lot that my country does wrong, a lot I hate about it, but its my country and I have that right, I was born with it. But to actually say the American education system is shameful, is just out right ridiclous. We have the highest education standards in the world. People from all over the globe come here to study, our courses, degrees, and certificates, are accepted laterally and universally across the board, in just about every country on the planet. I went to a state college, earned a BFA in painting, I had excellent studies, upon graduation, I was accepted into a graduate seminar, and studied Mexican Muralism in Mexico City for four months.

                        All of my siblings have college degrees, that they received from state schools. My brother has a phd in sociology, and teaches and studies all over the world, currently in Amsterdam. He is one of the premier scholars on the Sociology of Disaster, and lectures all around the world.

                        I'm sorry but your statments are ridiclous. Americans are amongst the most educated people in the history of the world. We set the standard for "civilized" living. We may have a bunch of bafoons running the government right now, but as a country, as a people we are still the model of prosperity, democracy, and civilized living. Every country in the world one way or another looks towards us for direction, and motivation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My husband spent 8 years in Canada and the USA at several universities doing several degrees and he tells me education in the USA is a joke compared to Europe and he wouldn't send his kids there if it was the only choice he had. Education in SA is still great if you chose the right school.
                          This is just flat out stupid. Education in the US is not a joke, and contrary to what you want to beleive, becuase for some reason right now its okay and kewl to bash America and everything it is, more canadians and europeans study here than vice versa, especially in the graduate programs, in particluar the medical field and other hard science programs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm sorry Rache, but I just completed the coursework for a masters degree at a snooty private university in the top-50 engineering schools in the country and it was a complete joke compared to my undergrad. I did not learn anything I didn't already learn in my undergrad. I have also had my undergraduate degree accredited, and have over 60 more engineering credit hours in my undergraduate degree than is required in the US.

                            Foreign students come to US grad schools, not for the quality of the education, but because there are funding dollars that pay them to go to school. At home you pay to do your post-grad degrees, whereas in the US unless it's a professional school, it is the other way around. Furthermore, the Chinese students I met do not intend to go back to China, and the opportunity to become a citizen of the US on completion of a PhD (fulfilling the 5-year residency requirement while a student) is surely another attractor.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rach2005 View Post
                              Ches, although I respect you and appreciate what you say, this statment here really disappoints me. I mean Ed Carson gets banned for what he says, but then out some form of political correctness its okay to smash and bad mouth Americans and their institutions? this is just not right. Specially coming from someone who is not from here. Your obvioulsy a very intlegent woman, but you were not born and raised here, you are not an american, and I think on some issues, to be able to bad mouht them a person has to be from here.
                              Firstly, Ed Carson was not banned, he was quarantined to give him a chance to cool off and find his inner zen with the rules of the forum. Secondly, Ed Carson was quarantined for consistently breaking the rules of the forum. Nearly every post he made had to be edited, some of which are still a little "out there" and he also re-posted several times posts he knew were either deleted for being personal attacks and nothing more or in moderation being brought into line with the forum. He has no respect for the forum rules and that was why he was quarantined, incidentally not by me. Finally, on that score, this is not an appropriate place to discuss another member, if there even is one.

                              Next order of business, I am a tax-paying permanent resident of the USA and while that doesn't mean that you have to like it, I am entitled to an opinion even if I am not entitled to a vote. Next year I will be eligible for citizenship, and could become an "American." Do not forget that your country was founded by immigrants.

                              We have the highest education standards in the world.
                              I very much doubt you can back that statement up with statistics. It smacks of "America is the greatest country in the world." It is noble to feel that way about your country, but that doesn't make it factually correct.

                              Americans are amongst the most educated people in the history of the world.
                              I'm sure that's not hard when you can get a "degree" after two years of tertiary education at just about every institute of tertiary education, be it a research institute or not, be the program rocket science or fashion design, genetics or using AutoCAD. There is no doubt that US research institutions like MIT are at the forefront of research, and attract some of the greatest minds in the world, but to expect me to believe that every Tom, Dick and State University is a leading light for the world is ridiculous. And as for your high school education, well we like to learn more at high school than where to score drugs and which cheerleader in middle school will do it under the bleachers.

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