Leaving Germany is somewhat of a trend these days. Every time you turn on your TV (and I strongly advise you don’t) you see some sort of show about people moving, or wanting to move, to the States, to Spain (Mallorca, those imbeciles) or some other country they think they can live in without working much, earning tons of money and living the dream. Now, while I fully understand how one could be fed up with this country, with the job market and the lack of perspective for oh so many professions…
Emigrating ain’t easy.
And I have to know it. Been there, done that, didn’t even get a lousy T-Shirt. We’ve made an attempt in ’05. I met this guy in May, we got together in June, and in November I was in Canada, waiting for my work permit to go through. We did so much wrong back then, but we still managed to stay in Beautiful British Columbia (it says so on their license plates so it’s the gospel truth, folks) for a little over two years, until my husband’s permit didn’t get another extension and we had to leave rather… quickly. If you ever had to pack up an entire household, list everything including it’s value, get three cats chipped and ready for a long flight and dealt with a cranky toddler and an equally cranky guy, you know why I said I didn’t want to go back. Ever.
But guess what? We’re going back.
It’s been a long time coming. My husband has been working 14-hour shifts every day, 5 to 6 days a week, with a ridiculously low pay that didn’t allow us to pay for all our bills. I started an apprenticeship, went to vocational college along with it, but the pay I got was just enough to cover gas. In a situation like that, if you know you could earn what you make in a month now in two weeks if you just move to another country… you’d be extra stupid if you didn’t take the chance.
This time we were smarter…ish. We hired an immigration lawyer, one of my favorite people on this planet right now. We still had to fill out more applications than you need to adopt a gang of children form Africa (please do list your employers of the past ten years, your addresses of residence of the past ten years and hey, while you’re at it, fill out a personal form. Four times. And let’s not talk about obtaining a passport for a Canadian child living in Germany), but our new friend made sure it was all filled out the right way – please submit that form again, your signature is touching the border, it will be declared void. You can’t write it like that, it sounds better if you fill it in like this… And who knew that using another term to describe your job would heighten your chances of gaining the so highly sought after work permit? Not to mention the fact that this woman knows more about the entire process than you as a mere mortal will ever be able to figure out on your own. It was a huge relief and definitely worth all the money. She even coached my husband’s future and ex employer for an interview some government official or other wanted to do with him. Don’t get me wrong, but the guy is Austrian. My German friends will most likely have a certain picture in their head, painted with colorful sterotypes. And yes, all that.
And now here we are. The fussband, as I always like to refer to him, will leave next week. The kid and I will follow him a month after that. Am I excited? Hell yes. Am I sad to leave? Sort of. Ever since we came back I missed Canada. All of it. The people, the landscape, the general… canadianness (that is a word). While I was in Canada I missed my friends in Germany. I’m not someone who generally gets attached to living creatures unless they are furry, but I do have a few friends I value and that I will miss terribly. I’ll miss our ventures, the incredibly stimulating conversations about all kinds of topics (bikers, food, kittens, knitting, music, TV Shows, musicians, stupid people (men), palm trees, noses, Slayer (TM)… all in the course of an hour), the fact that they made me feel like I’m not the only one completely bewildered by everyone else. Everyone else is crazy, you know. And they don’t laugh about my weird eating habits. Yes, I will miss them.
Maybe one day I’ll write about the farm we bought to grow veggies, raise our own bacon and breed alpacas. My husband refers to it as “Camp Serial Killer”… If I could I’d pack up those three people I’m thinking of right now and take them with me… Then life definitely would be perfect.