Monthly Archives: August 2011

Changing Species

I’m considering changing species and registering myself as a dog because the lady who we’re talking to about moving Sally out to Hanoi sounds so lovely I’d rather like her to take care of me too!

More seriously though, of the three relocation agents I contacted last week only one responded promptly, one claims they replied and the other hasn’t even responded to my second attempt to get a dialogue going with them!

The one who claims they replied have now sent me a 5 page form to complete which entails me walking around the house ticking boxes as to how many of each item we’ve got, then specifying items of particular value and putting an insurance valuation price on it all.  Blimey, I’m bored just thinking about it!

On the 14th September someone is coming over from Leeds (from the first company – oh go on Karen, name them.  Crown Relocations) to talk us through the process and establish how best to move the contents of one quite large family home into a 20 foot container and ultimately a house in Hanoi and I’m quite excited.

Whilst on the subject of clearing the house – which I’m sort of talking about today aren’t I – having started to give away clothes to charity (and binning the stuff that I don’t think they’ll want) I’ve just come across clothesbank.co.uk who PAY YOU for reusable clothes, shoes, belts and handbags.  Alright, it’s only 60p per kilo but, they do collect and I’ll need that money to buy my own dog biscuits when the inter species transfer comes through!

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Strange thought …

Ooh, I’ve just been overcome by a strange thought that has been sloshing around on the edges of consciousness ever since we decided to try for an expat life:  what if either of my parents die while I’m away?

Now I know, in the rational bits of my brain, that death or the possibility of it, accompanies all of us, all the time and we somehow reach an accommodation with the thought whereby it doesn’t cripple us provided we acknowledge it’s presence occasionally.

But my father is 83, fit and healthy – not that that’s a ‘get out of jail free card’, there are plenty of perfectly healthy people who die!  Maybe my misgivings are around the distance and logistics of getting back to the UK from Hanoi.  As the oldest of three daughters I would anticipate people looking to me for guidance and support and realistically I simply won’t be there for them in those first few hours.

This might seem like a very morbid topic for a post but it’s real and important to think about so as to prepare myself as best I can for the eventuality which – God willing – won’t happen!

I have some processing to do around this issue and will write more if it seems pertinent.  All comments welcome please from everyone who has had to deal with just such an event or at least the thought process around the possibility.

🙂

Whole new Vocabulary

Well, I’m learning a whole new vocabulary.  Words like ‘relocation agent’, ‘work permit’, ‘DEFRA’, ‘pet taxi’ and ‘non-resident landlord’ are now entering my world.  Some are obvious and easily dealt with where others appear deceptively simple whilst actually being a portal into a whole other world of complications!

Even trying to find out from the Vietnamese Embassy in London which sort of Visa I should apply for and what’s the longest duration I can apply for at a time – i.e. 6 or 12 months perhaps – becomes a little tedious when you realise you’re in an automated reply loop that it’s impossible to break free from.  Will resort to the telephone between the hours stipulated online.

So the news is semi officially announced at hubby’s work – some people know and some don’t yet.  This can be tricky unless you just forget all about it and wait for the other person to raise the subject.

The reaction of family has been interesting – generally incredibly positive and supportive with the occasional touch of petulance that we’re leaving them behind.  Who’d have thought a soon to be 17-year old who’s still at grunting stage conversationally, would have been all that concerned.

I think maybe what we’ll need to manage over the coming months is the perception and expectations around our move, rather perhaps than the reality.  Change is often uncomfortable, particularly for those left behind and I guess doubly so when you’ve had no say in the change that’s taking place.

I’ve started to make lists of things to consider, think about, action over the coming months and this week will begin to fine tune it and try to work out a calendar/schedule that I could put on my home office wall to track progress (or otherwise!).

Starting with a conversation with a relocation agent sounds like quite a good idea – will probably unearth a whole load of other stuff I didn’t even know I didn’t know about!

Right, where’s that number …..?

First post after Hello World!

I’m not completely convinced I’ve done the Hello World post properly because I wrote it a couple of days ago and it’s showing as having been written in May but I guess that doesn’t really matter.

Our dream of moving abroad as ex pats moved a little closer today when my husband did a deal with his firm – still only verbal so it could of course go pear shaped but we’re one step closer.

Over the next few posts I’m going to share my thoughts, history, expectations, concerns and excitement – highs and lows – as the experience of moving to Vietnam next year slowly comes to fruition.

I’ll also talk about my expectations regarding the experience of being an ex pat wife and again, a bit of background into my own personal history in this regard.

Before I go, just let me say, we are both 50 somethings who are ready to have an adventure before we’re too old/tired.  Or we’re in the midst of a mid-life crisis – depending how you look at it!

So, until next time,

Smiles