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Mark Wijsman

Mark was born in the Netherlands and moved to South Africa to further his studies in 2010. He has not left since, and in these last few years has worked in communications and coaching. He lives in Cape Town and as a freelancer writes about life in the Mother City and his observations of living in SA as an expatriate on his website www.markwijsman.com, and you can also follow him on twitter @markwijs.
Cape Town Christmas

Christmas in Cape Town is Weird…When You’re Not from South Africa

By Mark Wijsman 05-04-18 00:08

With the year coming to an end, people are preparing for the holiday season. Because of its cultural diversity and colonial history, South Africa shares a lot of holidays with other countries. And it appears that South Africans do enjoy foreign festivities, because every year more events seem to be celebrated – aside from religious holidays like […]

Cape Town South Africa

5 Typical Things People from Cape Town Do

By Mark Wijsman 17-11-18 14:51

Someone from Cape Town recently told me that living in this city for 6 years does not make me a Capetonian. Apparently the official integration period is ten years, and I had to work a lot harder on my accent. Eish. Problematically, this caused my identity crisis to reach new heights as I already felt […]

South African Rugby…As Explained by a Foreigner

By Mark Wijsman 25-09-15 15:34

After years of living in Cape Town as a Dutchman, I was able to integrate as much as possible into society. When I wrote about the tradition of the South African Braai, and thereafter on many other observations of typical South African life, I realised I was always avoiding writing about rugby, perhaps the country’s biggest […]

Bicycle Cape Town

Cape Town is Really Not Bicycle-Friendly (Yet)

By Mark Wijsman 17-09-15 10:12

It’s not hard for any Dutch person, such as myself, to adjust to Cape Town. It’s substantially warmer and richer in nature than our own country. We’ll cope with the occasional safety concerns and learn to be a bit more patient spending two years of our lives at Home Affairs. However, not being able to cycle […]

Moving to South Africa

4 Things You’ll Have to Embrace When Moving to South Africa

By Mark Wijsman 30-07-15 16:57

So, you’ve decided to move to South Africa. First time visit? Fantastic. You’ll probably spend the first weeks walking around in safari gear with your wallet strapped to your balls, looking for wildlife. That’s ok, I get it. (Afterall, I’ve been through it – I moved here from the Netherlands.) Wherever you’re from, I’m sure […]

Surfing in South Africa: Only if You’re Brave Enough

By Mark Wijsman 26-07-15 08:42

My many years of living in Cape Town (from The Netherlands) have resulted in a large variety of interesting cultural integrations. In South Africa, I’ve learned to love biltong, understand all of Trevor Noah’s jokes, question statements by asking ‘is it?’ and when I encounter a difficulty at any establishment, I immediately ask for the […]

Load Shedding in South Africa: Surviving in the Dark

By Mark Wijsman 06-12-18 10:36

Ever since the South African power supplier, Eskom, has been struggling to cope with its capacity, regular blackouts have become a part of South African life. This year these blackouts – or ‘load shedding’ as they call it – have been intensified, and hit districts and areas at certain times, alternating throughout the week. For this, Eskom […]

South African ‘Braai’…as Explained by a Foreigner

By Mark Wijsman 04-04-18 23:32

Previously, I mentioned several unique things South Africans do that I got to observe in the time spent living in this country (away from my homeland, The Netherlands). Recently, I saw some people walking barefoot in the local supermarket. This phenomenon comes along quite often, and my initial reaction was to offer assistance. “Did someone […]

Tourists in Cape Town: Why They Make Me Laugh (with Love)

By Mark Wijsman 08-04-15 11:17

The city of Cape Town is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. And with reason. It hosts undoubtedly one of the most exciting environments to spend a holiday, combining city life, quality food and stunning nature, all in a comfortable climate. Since the city gets cold and moody from May until […]

4 Unique Things South Africans Do that I Still Don’t Understand

By Mark Wijsman 22-04-15 23:06

Moving to another place gives one the opportunity to learn and understand cultural habits and traditions, and I’ve had the fortune to do so on multiple occasions. Being abroad also gave me the chance to see my own country – the Netherlands – from an outside perspective, and see how incredibly (weird) silly we Dutchies […]