So, today, I grumble and whine.

Well, I can’t download the pictures of my beautiful new wall from my camera, because somewhere between the hotel, the many bags, and the move to the new empty apartment, I seem to have lost or displaced the necessary cable. And so, today, I will rant.

My husband is in India. He had to go back there for some final debriefing. They have a big country meeting, and he will see his colleagues from Hyderabad, and those from Delhi and all over India, some of whom have become good friends.

Last night, at the dinner table, my daughters commented on the fact that it was not fair that he could go to India ; they also wanted to go, see their friends, familiar faces and places.

Brace yourselves, for here come the grumbling and whining. I know this is a new adventure, bla bla bla. I’m the first one to constantly clamor that we are so very lucky to have this kind of life – traveling the world, living in different countries, discovering and sampling new cultures, forever broadening our horizons.

But you know what? Some days, it’s bloody difficulty. Especially at the beginning. Or rather, after the very beginning.

When we are no longer in the hotel, and having to learn the daily ways of our new host country.

When I discover that in order for me to do any kind of shopping, I basically need to give up half a day, and out of that half day, a good two hours (sometimes more) will be spent in the car, fighting maddening traffic jams.

When I start the day thinking that I need to work, but after an hour or two seating in the very uncomfortable forty-seventh-hand couch that we bought with the option of reselling it again as soon as we receive our personal effects, my back hurts like hell, and now, what do I do? The apartment is empty. Go out? Where? To get stuck in more traffic? And anyway, kids will be back in an hour or so, which means I don’t even have time to go anywhere.

When I miss my friends back in Hyderabad.

And where is my husband, who is the person whom we are trailing? In India, working, yes, but he gets to see familiar faces, and to go back to a place that feels familiar, because that’s where our home was for the past few years. Even at work, here, in Bangladesh, he’s met up with colleagues, friends he already knew from New York, or elsewhere, people he’s worked with before. He doesn’t get to start all over in quite the same way.

Do we, expat, trailing spouses and children get any credit for this? We should.


7 thoughts on “So, today, I grumble and whine.

  1. Oh, Katia! Big virtual hugs from far, far, away. Yes, you should get credit for all this picking up and starting over.

    My father was in the army and we constantly had to start over as he got transferred around the country. You know how different states can be in India. Luggage came late, got lost, old friends and familiar places and languages were left behind. But your country hopping is even harder!

    Hang in there … xoxo Nandini

  2. Ahh dear Katia…Bright spiirit…know that I am thinking of you and sending you love in this time of beginnings, transitions and bumps…I do not know the life of an expat…but I do know about beginnings, transitions and bumps…they end; they fade; they smooth out. Time passes. The good things remain and resurface.

  3. Désolée, Katia ! J'ai su dès le départ que cette nouvelle affectation serait proche de l'enfer. J'ai rien dit… Mais tout ira mieux quand tu auras rencontré des gens. Tu oubliera cette odeur de moisi qui ne disparaît jamais, les longs trajets pour acheter des trucs inintéressants, les jours de hartal où on ne peut pas mettre le nez dehors…
    Courage ! La foi en l'être humain, y a ksa d'vrai !

  4. Oh dear Katia–
    This is the stuff that novels are made of–keep whining but write it all down–every last snivel. Don't worry about the work–document all of this because you'll never feel it in this city ever again once the newness fades.
    Or so I tell myself as I begin to learn Penang…

  5. Thanks for the support, everyone. As I just wrote to Robin Pascoe on Facebook, even when we know something will pass, the only way to get on the other way is still through. And writing about it all does indeed help, Janet, as does knowing that others understand us. Again, thank you so much…

  6. Amen, sister! We are starting our 4th post now and starting over sucks. But I take heart that each post was a blessing and adventure that we would have never had if we hadn't said good-bye to somethings and someones.

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