Wednesday, 17 August 2011


Is exactly how the lead up to an international transfer with work can feel.

We’ve been ready to move since May 2011. We were celebrating Pesach (Passover) with family in Sydney, a rare and special occasion for us, when DH got a phone call ‘ there’s a job here for you if you want it’

We were in Sydney because of the earthquake that hit eastern Japan in March; DH was in Sydney cos we’d been gone several weeks and he came for a real quick visit. The phone call came out of the blue, yet at the time we didn’t realize just how perfect the timing was.

So, since May DH has had phone calls, texts, and emails back and forth with work discussing ‘the move’

We were so sure we’d be ‘moving over (northern) summer that we said sayonara to friends as school wrapped up in June. I resigned from my role on the PTSA; Mia said ‘see ya’ to friends, we cancelled ballet, swimming, gave school bag and PE uniforms to MissJ.

We stopped planning our ‘European Summer Vacation’ cos, hey, we’d BE THERE over summer.
In ‘LIVING LIGHT AND LOVIN’ IT” I shared how light we live, so there wasn’t that much to purge.
So we quickly booked a weeks R&R at Club Med Bintan (fabulous time, highly recommend it), we got THE CALL, tho still no contract.

Work has already organized for a 3rd party specialist organization to be in touch regarding the processing of our visa’s and work permits. Should take 2-3 weeks, the DH is expected in the UK (phew, I can say where) September 1.

The first bit of information we needed to supply was easy enough – passports, birth certificates.

We got married in Japan. Our marriage certificate (Konin Juri Shomeisho) is naturally in Japanese. We need to have the original copy with an English version by a certified translator, then notarized. With the help of the very kind, Tanaka-san at the Kanagawa Prefecture Office, I completed the request form. I was told it would take 5 working days to have the Konin Juri Shomeish prepared. ‘TWO STEPS FORWARD ONE STEP BACKWARDS’

Happy ending to this story – Tanaka-san phoned to say it was ready to be collected that same afternoon. She has requested “they prepare it very quickly for us so we could proceed with our visa application” (to quote her)

While I’m doing that DH went into the Australian Embassy in Tokyo to request print outs of the past 10 years of our international travel. We had to do something similar when we applied for our Japanese drivers license.

Oh dear. Seems he can only apply for his and MissM’s in writing, and collect it in 5-7 working days; I have to apply for mine in person, in writing and collect it in 5-7 working days. DH was NOT HAPPY.

So last night, DH poured over his archived calender and TripIt notes and meticulously recounted every trip we’ve done these past 10 years. He’ll check with visa people if this is acceptable or if we still need the official Embassy record. We were pleasantly surprised at how busy we’ve been!

Today I took the Konin Juri Shomeisho (Japanese marriage certificate) to Mei-san at Jack Rabbit Travel who will patiently translate the document and take it to be ‘notarized’. Should have it back Wednesdsay next week.

Meanwhile MrsS in Dublin has found out they are not moving as quickly as they were hoping to either. The only good thing here is that our families will hopefully get a weekend together before they do.

MissM’s back to YIS today and what a lovely welcome! With hugs and kisses and ‘I thought you were leaving’ and explanations, it’s nice to still be here for a few more weeks.

I’m helping behind the scenes with PTSA events while scouring the apartment for more things to possibly sell/donate before we pack, and working out what to take with us as luggage and what to pack in terms of clothes, shoes etc. as the container shipment will take 5-7 weeks to get to the UK and thru customs.

I’ve stopped looking for schools cos we don’t know where we’ll be living. DH will be working out of the Newbury office (not Guildford or Reading as we thought) so all research done to date is now null and void ‘TWO STEPS FORWARD ONE STEP BACKWARDS’. Thanks to suggestion from MrsP, we are researching Oxford and maybe Windsor to live (doesn’t that sound like a nice address?)

Some companies are much better at moving people than others. MrsS told me of a friend who’s husband was told in July they’d be moving; everything was confirmed in writing within a week and by August they were settled in their new home, schools booked, awaiting their shipment.

MrsMac and I laughed while she shared her stories as a HR professional in a global company who moved employees around the world. What people ask for, how they go about asking, what the company can and does do, and now she and her family have experienced the ‘expat negotiations’ how different it is.

Meanwhile, MrsJ has packed her home in Japan last week and had to send it to her father-in-laws cos they have no idea where their next adventure will be as hubby is still looking for employment having been laid off.

International moves are exciting but they are also fraught with huge amounts of stress and ‘TWO STEPS FORWARD ONE STEP BACKWARDS’.

We breathe deeply, remember to smile and keep a sense of humour about things as so much is totally out of our control.

Here’s to a few more weeks of fun with friends in Yokohama!

With friendship

No comments:

Post a Comment