Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The joys of the "ex-pat" experience.

Well, it's Tuesday, so that must mean we're heading to Düsseldorf.

Actually, Gabe has to be in Austria in the morning, and her flight leaves at something like 8:30 out of Düsseldorf, so we're heading there tonight to camp out in a nearby hotel.
At first the address seemed a bit quirky, but it turns out it's close by, yet in a fairly quiet area. I read a whack of the reviews, most of which are in German, so my impression is that it's "functional". Certainly no Sheraton.

You'll note I spelled "Sheraton" right this time....and I've gone back and corrected the spelling in my last post.

The thing is, with the minor exception of the odd bout of homesickness and missing our friends and family, life is good. I was a little down in the mouth yesterday, but that was a combination of it being Monday and we no longer had the pleasure of our Canadian visitors, who by now are sitting on a plane somewhere over the North Atlantic, on their way back to muggy Toronto.

Being here in the Netherlands, we get to see and do things that would be darned near impossible if we were back home. Never in our wildest dreams would we think of going three times to some place like say Paris, in the span of six months.

I'm just saying, who does that?

It's also a hoot to have friends and family come and visit, and have a comfortable home base from which they can either travel on their own, or have us take them around.
We're nicely settled in here, which is why in some ways, it's with mixed emotions that we have to face the challenge of once again getting uprooted and heading off to another country.

Just another adventure. That's what we tell ourselves. It's working so far.

Now, many days have gone by since the word was out that we were in fact going to make a move. July first was the official date, (I know we blabbed to a few of you ahead of time, but told nary a sole on this side of the Atlantic) and here we are almost finished August, and it's taken a bit of prodding to get things going. Yesterday, there were finally a flurry of emails back and forth from the relocation company concerning just what was going to take place....

I'm getting there. Just be patient.

On the one hand, it's very helpful to have the assistance of a relocation company, who sort out all kinds of details in terms of permits, movers and on and on, BUT....the company that has been chosen to do this task (the same bunch that got us here) is not on this side of the planet. They say they're all over the globe, so it's a little disconcerting when I read the signature line from a recent email, and I see our contact person is in...

wait for it....

Irving, Texas.

I'll just let you think about that for a minute.

How many folks from Irving, Texas have lived in Europe, or even would know how to get here??
These are the same geniuses who thought it was somehow a good idea to use an American insurance company and send us a cheque in US funds to our house here. (Hello....ever heard of Euros?)

I'm just going to copy and paste a small section from what is a rather large email that I received this morning. You can draw your own conclusions.

Here ya go.....

and I quote...


Thank you for your time today. Please see below for the benefits for your assignment to Austria.

(That's because she ended up having to phone these people to light a fire under them....

so far so good....read on)

The Role of your International Assignment Consultant (IAC):

I will be your single point of coordination for the services and benefits provided for your assignment and will be initiating the various services providers to assist you with your relocation as you prepare to move to Iraq. You may work directly with each of them to set appointments and ask questions of the services they provide. Although you will be in direct contact with local experts and service providers, I will remain your primary point of coordination. Please call me or e-mail me at anytime with questions. My office hours are Monday – Friday 7:30 am CST to 4:00 pm CST. I can be reached at Tel: .......

Um....excuse me?? Hello there? Not sure about my travelling companion, but I won't be going.

Way, way down at the bottom of this email, they've put in a tag. Kind of like a company motto...you might get a chuckle out of that one too, in this context....

Our Inspiring Purpose: To deliver an exceptional experience to every customer, every day.

Yup.....got that part right. Moving to Iraq would certain qualify as "exceptional".
Except....don't take me.

Oh, and the response from this person when it was pointed out that we were not going to Iraq...

Sorry- this is a standard template for LTA benefits; my oversight.

Wow. Aren't we clever?

Oh, and I forgot to mention. First they thought we were being "repatriated", which would have been at least a helluva sight better than going to Iraq, except that it's a brutal commute to Vienna....

Just an oversight.


  1. hahahahahaha! oh boy, that is a hilarious and pathetic oversight on their part.... it must've been quite the shock to receive that in an e-mail.

    good luck with your relocation to Austria, such an exciting new chapter!

  2. Hey Thanks! Pretty sure I'll have a few more things to say when it comes to the whole process. Oy.


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.