Thursday, 11 August 2011

As one door closes ..............

In HUMBLE BEGINNINGS I alluded to our new adventure and started sharing what's involved in the transition phase between leaving one home and starting a new one.


We're still in Japan at least for the next 4-6 weeks (at this stage). ‘Work’ (how funny, you all know who DH works for but it feels weird saying it out loud on ms.havachat) has offered to manage DH’s work permits and our visa applications.  Fingers crossed it will be done without a hitch.

The NEW plan (lost count which version we are up to) is, DH will go ‘there’ (can’t wait to share where ‘there’ is) mid September for 2-3 weeks for a handover with the manager he is replacing.  (An aside, the manager DH is replacing is a mate from Sydney Office and the boys worked together.)

As soon as MissM and my visa’s are done we will book the movers, flights and get started on our Next Adventure.  So we could all go together mid-late September or not ………. Watch this space hehehehehe

Expat friends reading this will be laughing at this scenario as we have all gone thru similar experiences. False starts, delays in contracts, movers not available when you want them to be, timing the move out of your home into the hotel before the scheduled flight, then having short term accommodation at the other end while searching for your new home, checking out schools for kids and praying you make the right decision then waiting for your shipment to arrive. AH! The joys of international moving – does it get easier? Or the more moves you make the more aware you are of what might get in the way? At the very least, you are aware of the (usual) pitfalls and the order things should be done in. If you are not, there are numerous books being published on the subject of expat life, let alone the blogs and web based community groups.

Most expats are of the same opinion: that few, if any HR people working for global organizations have ever been expats. One seldom hears of well-organized, fluid moves. Some stories are certainly worse than others, but suffice to say we all move with trepidation and anxiety before excitement kicks in.

DH keeps reminding me that even tho we knew of the move in May 2011, this will be the quickest move we’ve done. Sydney – Ireland took three attempts over 8 months; Ireland – Japan took about 5 months, including DH doing several trips back and forth. Guess moving internationally is a bit like childbirth – your brain is built to forget the pain so that you are ready to do it again, and again.

I (along with a few friends who are also in this transitional phase) was so convinced we’d be moving over summer, find myself undoing a number of things I ‘did’ in order to be ready to move over summer, but now realize I did way too early.

DH is laughing cos he did suggest to me on several occasions to calm down and wait. Those who know me know I like to be organized.

So, MissM will start Grade 2 at YIS next week. She’s a bit confused as she knew ‘we were moving over summer’ but happy to have a few more weeks with friends.

The one question MissM has asked is ‘may I have another sayonara party when we rrrr-eally leave Japan’

I’m happy to be here a bit longer cos I get to see my gal pals a few more times. We stay in a great time zone for Sydney. Also get to go to book club this month and discuss Cutting for Stone – an incredible book! Plus we get to spend some time with our new neighbors who arrive today.

Remember the feeling when you KNOW you have a date looming in the distance. My cousin MsG does – her wedding is in a few months, or friends who are about to sit HSC in Sydney. There are things to do in order to hit that deadline in a positive manner. Moving is no different.
You start to weigh up things you haven’t done vs. what you have.
For some reason or other I’ve not done one Japanese cooking class despite there being numerous opportunities. I sadly stopped Ikebana way too early and haven’t acquired the level of skill I had hoped for. My Japanese is pitiful tho I have managed well enough; never made it to Taiko drumming classes (the times were never suitable), we didn’t get to (personally) experience China, or Korea tho we feel we’ve been as we’ve enjoyed seeing friends’ photos.

We loved our time in Kyoto (visited there with Mum), Nikko is beautiful, sharing the annual Snow Festival in Sapporo with Family Paps and Abrell was wonderful, and our day trips into Tokyo were always interesting and enjoyable. I have covered 4 tea boxes, finally found the perfect little Joji, Walked’n’Talked with Global Girls, located several space invaders with MrsH, enjoyed every visit to Machida Market, loved each art gallery exhibition, have a few favorite restaurants we’ll eat at one-more-time, enjoyed Book Club tho maybe not every book as much as the conversation and wine, tho I didn’t get as many monthly C&C lunches as I would have like, thoroughly enjoyed the ones I did; learnt lots about Japanese culture and traditions, experienced REAL Chinese New Year, participated in a few Japanese traditions and finally got to Singapore.

Our RED VISITORS BOOK has a few more inscriptions. Our regular visitors popped over (Mum, in-laws, Davis’, J & C Landis) and the Scotts.
My time on PTSA was brilliant! I made wonderful friends across the school community, learned lots and hoped I help make a positive difference in return.

FRIENDS! Oh my, where would any of us be if not for FRIENDS. You learn, well I have anyways, that there is more than one definition of friend (another CHAT maybe). We’ve made terrific friendships here, and know that with the help of facebook and Skype we’ll stay in touch no matter where any of us end up. The world is a very small place, so who knows where/when we’ll meet again.

The number of photos we have collected says it all – we have 9,325 photos in 28 albums on our iPhoto collection! Of which, the best of the best are 5 themed apple Mac hard copy albums and 4 Creative Memories albums. Not bad for nearly 3 years.

With all this reminiscing, it sounds like we’re leaving tomorrow hehehehehehehe

You can tell from my CHAT how one’s mind, well at least mine, is working at the moment. This despite a week’s blissful holiday!!!!

For now, we live each day here like there’s no tomorrow, because sooner rather than later there won’t be a tomorrow cos we’ll be on our way to our new adventure full of wonderful memories and most importantly friends,

With friendship,

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