Thursday, 16 February 2012

Plan A

Today,  I think, was the first time I've had actual doubts.  Not regrets.  Not misgivings.  But doubts.  But it's not as if giving up is an option - there is nothing to return to in the UK.  That, in a way, is quite liberating.  Once you've given up everything, anything else is the only option.

It wasn't a particularly good day on at least two fronts.  At my morning job, Internet Men arrived unexpectedly.  The one who did the talking spoke like pebble-dash and with such an impenetrable accent that I could not make any sense of it.  The situation was managed by my ringing the lady of the house and her putting her bilingual hairdresser on.  Thank god for bilingual hairdressers.

At my afternoon job, H had a total meltdown.  Pushing, kicking, shouting that she hated me, crying, shouting, hating me, etc.  Because I'd asked her to put her boots on.  We have graduated from "You're not my friend" to "I hate you."  Even though one knows it's a three year old and in five minutes she'll forget it, I am finding this daily enmity difficult.

Back at the house there was a Pinteresque silence while she listened to stories and I stared out the window with my coffee.  I didn't ask her to plunge the cafetière today.  And then I decided I wasn't going to be beaten, literally or figuratively, by a child.  So I balanced some stacking cups on my head and sang.  This made her giggle.  We continued thus for a good half hour, real pee-making giggles.

The thing is, I have no room for failure.  I need to make this situation work.  There is not, and never was, a Plan B.


  1. Jane, have an NTT style ((((hug)))).

    I'm finding it difficult to think of something constructive and positive to say without also being patronising! So please take this in the way it's meant, rather than the way it might sound.

    a) You DO have a Plan B - find a "proper" job in Brussels. And it'll happen, sooner or later.

    b) Remember to treat yourself to something you enjoy every day. Even if it's only dancing around your living room singing down a hairbrush to your favourite song. It's even more important until you build up a local social network, I think.

    c) erm, that's it actually. Oh, but remember you have the resources to cope with whatever life throws at you, even if it's stroppy three-year-olds having a tantrum. You've just shown that!

  2. Yep, what bernie said (waves at said bernie)

    Doubts are inevitable, all expat life in forrin produces doubts and these doubts will some days become joy at having relocated - you can do this!