It is more than six months since I last posted a blog. Then, life was ever so busy in Doha. My husband and I had been discussing retirement and leaving Qatar for good for the last years and according to the plan, we were going to reside in the UK. It would be a simple and straight forward solution for a normal expat couple to repatriate to their home country, wherever you may be. However, for us, it was a bit more complicated. As you all know, I am Indonesian, and Keith is British, we met on our first year post in Qatar, and we carried on from there. And this is where the complication comes in.
I had to prepare a Settlement Visa for UK prior to entering the UK as a spouse (not as a tourist) of somebody who is a British National. Next step was clearing out our apartment where we lived for the last 10 years as expats. What makes it worse was the fact that I was busy as well in the office, where normally my job was pretty easy, this time it was very hectic.
I could go back and live in Indonesia, that is ‘home’ to my home country as an option, except that we decided that it ould be very hard for Keith to re adjust to Indonesian lifestyle and the heat and humidity. Being English and a little bit older, we decided that it would be too hard for him to do so. We were joking that everywhere in the world people speak English, so being an Englishman, he never had to learned English like the rest of the world, he was born with it. Yes, a lot of Indonesian people now speak English, but not on a daily basis. Thus, at his age does he need to learn another language to operate in Indonesia???
As I said in my previous blog, “I go wherever he goes”, thus the compromise is for me to adjust living in the UK, as I already (sort of) speak the language… and of course I am younger!!!! Thus we decided to both retire to the UK instead of Indonesia. Having said that, it’s not that easy as it seems, there’s this entry clearance, which was a nightmare to process; it took us more than 6 months and emotional exhaustion just to clear the paperwork only.
Once it was all done, there’s the physical moving preparation, which also took all our time and energy, disrupting our normal routine to a different routine, there’s sorting out all the ‘junk’ we have, Keith’s 14 years expatriating in the Middle East and 10 years of mine.
We were not just packing everything up and closing the apartment, we couldn’t ship it all to UK. The plan was to start a new in the UK, thus we will not take furniture, or other bulky stuff. Yet some sentimental stuff that we collected from our travels, I would like to take, and then there are my books that I also would like to be part of the decoration of my new home.
I also had to sort out the rest of the stuff that we didn’t want to take to UK, that still has some value where I could trade it for a bit of money There is some stuff that will go to Indonesia, and some stuff that will travel with us before we finally enter UK (I can’t enter UK just yet), and then there are those things that has some value yet we could not take with us, such as our car, computers, and other electronic goods, or furniture that we could sell.
Two weeks to go, before our last day in the office, our job was still equally demanding, that was why I could not find time to blog; I was hoping that I could start blogging regularly after those moving nightmares as well as routine office jobs.