Or perhaps it will just leave you scratching your head.
Faithful readers will recall that I’ve suffered “serial expat angst,” also known as Dante’s Fifth Circle of Hell (for the sullen), since late January. Running, the wisdom of Bruce Lee and compulsively reading books about North Korea, have all eased the anxiety caused by gaping into an unknown future.
You see, I had spent at least half a year under the assumption that we would be moving to Shanghai this summer. As such, I giddily re-applied myself to studying Mandarin Chinese, searched out bi-lingual schools for my young expat kids and asked lots of questions of other expats about neighborhoods, daily expenses, housing, transportation, etc.
And then one midwinter day, my partner suggested that, for sensible work- and air pollution-related reasons, we consider an alternative move. I spent the winter mulling this idea over, frankly unhappy with the changed itinerary.
I eventually swallowed the pill of this new future and started afresh on my expat relocation research.
But climbing out of Dante’s Fifth Circle of Hell (for the sullen), I stalled at Dante’s First Circle of Hell (for those in limbo). Even though I excepted the probable reality of our next move, the move itself remained a work-related uncertainty for my partner until May.
Finally, when the next country itself was a secure decision, for a host of logistical, quality of life, school and cost reasons my partner and I remained uncertain about which city to live in.
So after much dithering and gnashing of teeth, I am pleased to (finally) announce that we are moving to the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands.
The packers come in three weeks. I will ‘summer’ in America, before taking up residence in Utrecht in August. After which, I will be cycling, boating the canals, soaking up the city’s mix of medieval charm and modernist edge, learning what some might call a ’boutique language,’ and nosing around for part-time work.
Between now and then, however, I am scrambling to enjoy every bit of Hong Kong and China that I can possibly squeeze in.
If you have something lovely to share about The Netherlands or Utrecht, please chime in! If, however, you were once robbed in a dark alley on the outskirts of Utrecht by a man wearing a Miffy mask on a rainy night after eating your fourteenth meal in a row consisting of meat, potatoes and bread, reminisce in private.