19 July 2010

The one where Step One is killing me

So as many of you already know, Andy and I have been trying to move out of the country for awhile now. We are both a bit nomadic in nature and we both feel like we’ve been in California for way too long. You know all this sun and ocean and palm trees and shiny happy happy is just a bit too much and we simply Can’t Take It Any Longer. It’s time to move on!

When we first talked about moving, we set our sights on Singapore. It’s clean, it’s friendly, English is spoken there, and it’s different – it’s Asia after all. But the more we thought about it, the more we thought that Singapore wouldn’t be that good of a fit for us, mainly because of the humidity (we both hail from cold weather climates and sweat the moment the mercury climbs past 75 degrees)(well, Andy sweats. I’m a woman so I simply glisten). I was also a bit put off that Singapore banned chewing gum. Who bans chewing gum?! That’s just not right. I can’t live on breath mints alone to combat smoker’s\beer\morning\stress breath. Singapore was out.

Sorry kid, not in Singapore.

As time went on, we started thinking about New Zealand. New Zealand is pretty, they have lots of sheep to chase, and they speak primarily English. Andy brought home this photo journalistic book of New Zealand and we spent an evening looking over the pretty scenery. Oh the mountains! Oh the waterfalls! Oh, the green valleys and rolling hills! Oh, the quaint little towns! Oh, the sheep – the wonderful fuzzy furry sheep! I think it was a few weeks after that I brought it up to Andy, “Um, there seems to be a lot of nature in New Zealand. Auckland is the biggest city and it’s still pretty small. Are you saying that if we want to travel away from Auckland, we’d have to get in an airplane to get to another big city?” “Hmm…looks like it.” “Andy, I’m sorry, I can’t do Auckland. I like my driving vacations, and I don’t really care for nature.” And with a few hems and haws, Auckland was right out.

Sure, it's pretty...but when you are done looking at it, you may want to ask yourself, "Where's the pub?"

We finally decided on Melbourne, Australia sometime last summer. Melbourne had a lot of things we both were looking for- which if you boil it down mainly means: lots of pubs and weird animals (sometimes in the same place – roar!). We have, in some manner, been doing the slow crawl to migration for a year now. It’s not a fun process. Word to the wise out there, try not to fulfill your deepest desire of foreign soil during a recession. You might as well try to walk backwards in a mound of pointy nails with a shark attached to your nose. And not one of those small sharks either, I’m talking about a big mother fucking shark. Basically, we are no further to moving to Melbourne then we were a year ago. Well, that’s not true. We have our fingers in a few things that we’re hoping might pan out, and not one of them is a profitable mango pie business (sorry, that was a random joke…anytime I hear “fingers in a few things” I immediately think of Little Jack Horner and am thus forced to make a bad pie reference).

C'mere and give me a kiss.   I don't mind chewing gum one bit.

So yes! Where does that leave us now? Andy and I still desperately want to move (“The sun! The palms! The sweet ocean breezes! MY GOD MAN! IT’S TOO MUCH!”) (Yes, I realize Melbourne has all those things…it’s a joke…let it go) so we’ve been investigating Secret Plan B Option. Secret Plan B Option isn’t really all that secret and it’s pretty obvious if you think about it but I don’t think Andy and I are willing to reveal SPBO until we are fairly certain that all our pie fingers have been officially lobbed off by the angry pie maker. But because SPBO (and our pie fingers if it comes to pass) does require some Official Paperwork to be completed, I’ve started the process known to expats everywhere as the Official Paper Work From The Devil’s Lair Where Verbiage Will Confuse and Mystify the Weak and Unprepared, Meaning You.

First off, Chloe. No matter where we end up, to get Chloe to where we’re going means that we have to start the process….well, yesterday. Before I even go into this, let me tell all those out there who have met Chloe and hate Chloe (she’s a really difficult cat) that Chloe is coming with us. It will be expensive and annoyingly tedious, but we’re doing it. Because Chloe is difficult, no one who has met her will take her. Taking her to a shelter would mean a certain death sentence. I haven’t spent 7 years with this creature only to send her to die. I’ve seriously invested way too much in cat toys to do so. Oh yeah, and I love her to bits even if she is a bitchy kitty. The first step to get her out of the country (either or) is to get her micro-chipped. Oh sure, you might think, no problem. She’s already micro-chipped. But yes, dear friends, she’s not ISO brand micro-chipped. The US uses its own micro-chipping system. Did you know that? I didn’t. Now I have to call around to the different vets in this area to see if anyone micro-chips and if they do, do they happen to have the ISO version. Then I have find a way to sedate Chloe long enough to get her into the vet (have I mentioned she’s been banned from a couple vets already?). For anyone who is counting, that is 3 things I have to do to get past STEP ONE in an 8 step list to get Chloe ready for travel.

"You are NOT shipping me in this stupid box.  NOT.  NOOOOOOOT.  Mew.  Give me tuna."

Fuck, I’m tired already and that’s just the cat. I was thinking about starting on my paperwork today (which in total is the equivalent of getting a giraffe to write a referral for me stating that I did indeed make potato chips in World War II and was very happy to do so for $1.20 an hour) but got stuck on STEP FUCKING ONE – which is to say that I’ve forgotten to get a new passport with my new married name on it.

DAY ONE of Attempted Migration: -2 days due to efforts needed to comply with qualifications for multiple STEP ONE’s. Clear Winner: Official Paper Work From The Devil’s Lair Where Verbiage Will Confuse and Mystify the Weak and Unprepared, Meaning You.


  1. Moe - good idea to veto Singapore - the humidity might not work with your bouffant.
    Hope the migration process gets better. Took 8 years for me to officially get to call the UK my home! And you are officially awesome for not dumping your mal-tempered pet on someone else. I have a lot of respect for that.

  2. VW,

    Oh god, I hope it doesn't take 8 years! We're hoping for 8 months.

    And yes, Singapore would surely mean that I would be forced to shellac my hair in a huge ball of bobby pins and hair spray. I can't imagine it would be good look for me.

  3. It shouldn't take that long - 8 years included the citizenship deal and that's not strictly necessary for enjoying a long term stay in the UK. You should be fine going to Oz - it should be easier. Stop in and pick up my post if you're heading to Oz, I've not been back in 3 years, so there might be a bit of a backlog. kthxbai!

  4. tellin' ya, you're missing out. Move to Oregon, mountains, trees, high desert and a LOT less people.
    well, and me :)

  5. It's tempting! But...no. You'll just have to come and visit us in the UK.