Some of you might remember that we moved to Melbourne in December 2016 to ‘escape’ the boredom and confinement I felt in Indonesia. (That is not to say the entire Indonesian archipelago is boring, no. I’m just talking about my small slice of Indonesia here, where there is virtually nothing ‘out there’ for expat trailing spouses to do).
Anyways, so off we went to Melbourne where I promised myself giddily I was never looking back.
But, less than 4 months later, here we are back in Batam! What happened?
Well, honestly? The erratic weather drove us crazy. We missed our friends. We hated how dry our skin and scalp became. And we hated how the mere act of taking a shower became such a test of willpower.
Not Even Steve Jobs
For those of you who don’t know it yet, when you’re a foreigner trying to find work in Australia chances are very high that you’re likely to start at a junior position despite how lofty you’ve already made it in your career. The reason is because Australian companies are big on local work experience, and if you happen to have none, well ….
They even have this joke that even Steve Jobs applying for an IT position would be declined on the basis of not having previous working experience in Australia. So many career high-flyers from the UK, US, EU and elsewhere have given up in frustration, even to the point of calling this preference for those with local work experience racial discrimination.
In our case, we were financially prepared to be without income for a year. However, what we weren’t adequately prepared for was the impact to our confidence.
We learned that I was pregnant again in February, so I stopped looking for work. And while my husband bravely continued his job search, it was beginning to bother him that despite ace-ing aptitude tests and making it to the final interviews, the job offer still hadn’t materialized.
It hurt me a lot to see my husband experiencing rejection 💔💔💔 I know this is normal in any job search, but to think that the company he worked for in Indonesia (a world-leading German semiconductor manufacturer), was even prepared to move mountains just to keep my husband in their employ, made me realize I might have been a tad bit selfish to demand that the family move to Melbourne 😟😟
Confidence + Happiness = Sexy
Fortunately, only 3 months into Melbourne my husband’s previous boss [in Indonesia] called him and asked him to come back. The offer was discussed and (of course) it turned out to be much more lucrative than even what he would eventually earn in a senior/better position in Australia.
My husband drove home the point when he said to me “Look, Batam might not be that interesting, but the low cost of living will allow us to live well & save for the future all while doing fun stuff like overseas travel, pursuing hobbies & celebrating special occasions in fancier ways than usual. And all that on just one income. I can’t say the same for Australia.”
And since all I could think of at that time was the wonderful, beautiful sunshine which I missed SO much, I immediately said “yes”! 😂😂
So now we’re back in Batam and my husband behaves as though he’s just had his batteries fully charged. It’s pretty fun to observe! He’s happy, and who wouldn’t be? He feels needed, relevant, valued. The big bosses were all happy to welcome him back and immediately swamped him with high-profile projects. Coming back from his second day at work, he cheekily flashed me his shiny new ultra-thin laptop. LOL! 🤣🤣🤣
As for me, the one who had everything to gain by moving to Melbourne? All that will be in part 2, coming very soon, I promise 😉
Howdy beautiful people! 😘 Did anyone out there miss me? 😂
Our master bedroom is a huge mess right now. I am surrounded by scattered mountains of stuff that need to be packed into already burgeoning suitcases when ..
my eyes caught on my laptop 👀
And I just had to power it on because ~
A BIG HOLIDAY HUG TO ALL OF YOU!
I felt I needed to greet you a Merry Christmas & I of course sincerely wish you all the joy and warmth and happiness and blessings that the special season brings. Whoever you are, wherever you are, may the force be with you and yours always! 💝 💝 💝
A few updates …
Sometimes, a group of words can come at such the right moment that I just have to take a screenshot of it for repeat reading throughout the day.
I don’t have a lot of these but since the words aren’t as powerful to me anymore, this is another one for deletion from my iPhone’s treasury of odd photos (and screenshots).
But before that, maybe some of you might like it too so here it is:
Nowhere in my entire life is the adage of blooming where you are planted more challenged (or taunting) than in my present circumstances.
First, there is the double-edged sword of time freedom-in-abundance. I am a housewife with no small children to look after. And thanks to 2 wonderful housekeepers (included in the husband’s expat package) who come to the house every morning to do majority of the housework, I lift my fingers only quite sparsely – to load the laundry and hang it to dry, wash dishes and cook dinner.
Boy, am I lucky! So much time to explore the world, no?
However, there is a downside to my current situation. I am in a foreign, non-English speaking country. In a small, relatively young city that has yet very little to no options for entertainment and/or socializing (especially for foreign SAHMs). That little possibility that something worthwhile might be out there to explore comes with the hurdle of having to learn a new, very alien sounding language.
And I tried. But without the opportunity to immerse, I retain only the basics and my frustration. Or let me correct myself, I have found nothing out there (that does not require traveling far) that is worth getting fluent with the language over. Now don’t get me wrong, learning a new language is a boon in itself. But for me, there just has to be another incentive on top of that.
Hence I remain a couch explorer of the internet and of the antics of my own mind.
So now husband and I have decided to move to an English-speaking metropolitan city in December. (Our own decision, not tied to his job). Every atom is my body rejoices at the prospect. Libraries, museums, farmers markets, coffee shops, parks, cheesecake, oh my! And no more people running away from me in department stores because I am a bule.
But my husband’s boss apparently values the husband so much that he is coming up with all sorts of offerings of promotions and bonuses and of moving heaven and earth. Last week there was the offer to arrange a job for the husband in Germany, then last night there was an email that a post would be opened for him in Hungary.
I don’t blame the husband for feeling like the biggest rockstar since sliced bread. (That’s a double whammy for you in the interest of emphasis).
And for WAFFLING.
But the honest truth is that I don’t want to be uprooted any longer! (Stamps feet heavily to emphasize).
I want to build a HOME already!
This is beyond boredom or merely keeping myself occupied.
I want to take root!
And for me this means finally settling someplace where we can be together and where the 3 of us, not just my husband, will have opportunities and we can finally build a community. (And besides, news coverage has me questioning the safety of Europe at the moment).
But December is still about 4 months away and I can only “pressure” the husband so much.
And I did decide to be a trailing spouse. Although right now it sucks.
So I’m sitting here ranting to y’all and feeling the urge to splurge on yarn. Mountains of yarn. Warehouses of yarn! Ocean liners of yarn! (There, let the company you work for pay for that husband! Oh and I want unlimited supply of extra virgin coconut oil too! MUAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!).
So I don’t know. Maybe I will learn masonry.
TGIF everyone! I thought I’d share with you 2 yoga videos that I found really funny 😂 You know I love my funny videos every Friday!
Can you imagine if your yoga teacher was like this?
And here’s one more:
Hilarious huh?! “Just exhale into a little scream” … 😆
Oh and … it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow! I hope y’all made plans. It doesn’t have to be expensive or grand, just make it meaningful and special ❤
I wish you a ❤ Happy Valentine’s ❤ in advance and before I let you go, why not take a quick look at the secrets of happy couples and maybe learn something from them?
❤ 😘 ❤