Saturday, March 05, 2005

Saturday Ramblings

Last night my friend called and asked if we wanted to get the families together for a snow ball fight this morning. It snowed all yesterday afternoon and most of the evening and some snow had accumulated. However, we woke up this morning and it was all gone. It's actually mild enough to go outside this afternoon. I'm looking forward to taking the kids to the park for a little while.

My husband left this morning for a work trip to the US. For some reason, when we lived in the US, domestic business trips never bothered me. Now that we are in Paris and all business trips are international and often to places like China or South Africa, I worry when he leaves. I'm not sure why... is it that we have kids? is it that travel feels less safe? is it that he is often so many time zones away? I just hate waving goodbye to him as he gets into his cab.

Tomorrow is the end of the February ski vacation in Paris. I expect the roads to be filled with bouchons/traffic jams from the south east of France to Paris. At least it isn't snowing. I think the French drivers are pretty reasonable. While driving to Austria it's hard not to notice the difference in driving habits. As soon as we entered Germany the driving got a lot faster. It sort of reminds me of Detroit, where my husband is from. Germany and Detroit are all about the cars and you feel like people are almost too confident driving -- driving at higher speeds and closer to other cars. The drivers we think are the worst (sorry ahead of time for offending all you Dutch) are the cars with NL (Netherlands) plates. They drive fast and furious and change lanes all the time to try to get ahead. I ended up sitting next to a guy from Holland on a ski gondola one day. After he told me where he was from, I told him that we thought the Dutch were crazy drivers. He laughed and bragged that he personally tried to keep to about 200 km per hour (120 m/p/h). I'm really surprised we didn't see an accident on our way to or from skiing.

Tonight I head out to a going away party. Every year, starting in spring, people start leaving Paris and heading to their next adventure. The party tonight is for a friend's wife. She got a great promotion, but was required to start the new job right away.... in Houston. So her family is staying here until the school year ends and will join her in Houston in June. They've been here for nearly three years and have really enjoyed the life here, and are now starting to prepare for the move back. Everyone has told me that moving to Paris from the US is easier than moving back to the US from Paris. I guess you assume moving back to your home will be easy, but then you realize you have to start all over... buy a house, buy a car, find a school for the kids, find a job for the spouse, rekindle old friendships.. and it all becomes overwhelming. We still don't know if we are moving back to the US this summer, but I think about the possibility, and all it would entail, all the time.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
2:05 PM



Transitions ARE hard...especially with kids. Good luck on the decision.

Your kids are so lucy to be having this experience. Do you have the option to stay indefinitey?


# posted by Raehan : 3:56 PM  

Nikki, My husband's job is pretty much a permanent job. We could stay for as long as we want in Paris. However, I think we agree that we'd like the kids to grow up in the US -- as much as we do like the life here.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 5:36 PM  

Moving here (Houston) from Paris... yuck. I have only traveled for short periods of time, but always reverse culture shock is very hard to deal with, because expectations are so different. Good luck with everything!

# posted by Janna : 7:33 PM  

Well, like when I have too much to do or my son has too much homework I say- you only have so much time, do what you can and do your best - it'll work out well in the end. I admire you for living overseas and overcoming so! many obstacles - go look at yourself and say "hey I'm doing a fine job!"
Gee about your worry when hubby travels - treat yourself to something fun every day while the kids are back in school.

ps- my son's friends/classmates are in Passy and Montparnasse now "enjoying" the snow.

Terry in SF

# posted by Anonymous : 3:19 AM  

Janna, Thank you. Well I don't know if I'm moving yet, but I'm trying to prepare myself. I wouldn't move to Houston.. probably D.C. again.
Terry, I've missed you. I left for a week and all my regular commenters are missing! Glad you're back. I'll look for your son's class walking around the area. I hope they brought warm coats!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 8:40 PM  


# posted by loans : 5:47 PM  

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