Continuing from part I of the A-Z of expat life, which covered ‘Armpit of the Earth’ to ‘Moving’ here is part II, from ‘New’ to ‘Zoo’.
N is for New. New experiences, homes, languages, countries and cultures. Embrace the newness. N is also for Next Life, as in those wistful words frequently uttered by my husband and many other expat working spouses; ‘In my next life I’m coming back as an expat wife.’ A charmed life it can be, but being a ‘Lady who Lunches’ is not always quite as easy and glamorous as you may think.
O is for One in a million expat partners. These are the patient, resilient, uncomplaining (okay, that’s a lie, they complain sometimes, sometimes they complain a lot) men and women who follow their other halves half way across the globe for a different or better life.
P is for Packers. They descend on your home like a swarm of ants armed with bubble wrap, packing boxes and tape. You thought you were ready, you thought you had it all under control until the chaos of the the packers is unleashed. They scatter to the far corners of your home and garden. You have to keep an eye on them. If you didn’t lock and barricade the door to the room with your suitcases that are not to be packed, they’ll be the first thing out the door and wedged at the back of your container. Kept a bit of food in reserve for a final supper? Careful, it could easily end up packed and festering in a container for weeks. Left a small i-pod, cash or sunglasses lying around? These could end up being packed in someones’ pocket and never seen again…..and the ripping sound of packing tape being stickily unwound will haunt you forever more. P is also for Personal Grooming, another of the lesser known challenges of expat life. My particular bugbear under the Personal Grooming category is getting a haircut. It can be a bit of a hair raising or should that be hair razing experience. Continue reading