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With husband being on travel for the whole month of November, we have been video-skyping each other almost everyday. Our topic is always about the move, no romance whatsoever. Paperwork comes from both Germany and Australia and we need to sort out everything together. For example, on one side we have to stop our contracts with, among others, the phone company and apartment owner in Munich. On the other side, the Australian immigration asks, among many many other things, Certificates Good of Conducts from the countries we've been living for the past 10 years (3 countries for hubby, and 4 for myself).

Busy and tired? Sure. Preparing to move is a pain. However, relocating between oceans means the movers will pack every single thing we bring inside the container. So like the Indonesians always say: we are still lucky (masih untung) there will be no packing hassle on our side. As a truly Indonesian myself, I keep on counting my blessings to see the silver lining between these crazy days. Like luckily we have an agent who helps taking care of our visa and received it in a lightning speed, luckily our kids are already in the French schooling system in Munich so since a month ago they are already listed in the French school in Australia, luckily husband and I are a good team when it comes to relocation, and so forth.

We told our kids about the move before husband left for travel. Joseph, at 6 years old, was sad at the beginning, as he understood he will leave his friends and girl friend(!) behind. After a while, he became excited and asked questions about Australia. "Will there be active volcanoes down there?", "Are we going to experience heavy earthquakes?", "Will there be living mummies walking on the streets?" and hundreds of other weird questions related to his current interests. Louise, at 2 years and 7 months old, was simply too young to understand.

A month from today I will be leaving Europe for the 4th time in my life. The previous three were in 1981, 1999 and 2004 and it's tough to think I will be away again from this great continent. Regular readers of this blog might know that I've been trying to analyze my TCK identity. It's a blessing, and a curse, to have grown-up in many lands and to keep on living nomadically as adult. The experience has taught me to view things from different perspectives: to see the beauty in ugly, feel the pleasure in pain, and smell the nice perfume inside a rotten trash. These enable me to befriend those from various backgrounds, fall in love to every place I live in and cherish every bad moment I go trough. Somehow living here and there has toughened me: prepare everything until the smallest detail, work very hard to reach my goal, set aside attitudes I consider mellow and find ways to overcome obstacles.

Yet being here and there lead me to face an accumulated broken-heart and homesickness towards everything I touch, see, hear and smell. It turned me into a sensitive-melancholic person. A song, story, poem, photo, painting or picture brings back memories, moves me easily and even puts me in tears. Between dealing with the hustle-and-bustle of our relocation, my mind will go back to the days my brothers and I played together in Wassenaar, weekends in Damascus where my father and I spent at the swimming pool, days when husband and I were dating each other in Amsterdam, university hallways in New Orleans, corners at the Children's Museum in Chicago, the safe and secure feelings that made me fall for Munich, and sad faces of my parents each time my vacation in Jakarta ended.


Last summer The Jakarta Globe interviewed some adult TCK including myself. Title of the article: "Third-Culture Kids Live Life on a Global Stage" and the link is here.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2009 11:43 am (UTC)
Wow, yet another move. Tiring, but also exciting, I hope. Wow! Good luck with everything. And I'll pass along a blog of an American in Australia that you might enjoy: http://mayarn.blogspot.com/.

Hope it all goes smoothly!

Dec. 17th, 2009 09:26 am (UTC)
Thanks for the link.. I've checked it out and it's very interesting to read! Thank you... I haven't visited any blog since a while ...hope I can catch it up once we're in australia.
Nov. 30th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
Here we go again! wow!
Hang in there darling, it'll be over before you know it! I'm sure you know this one better than I do lol
Love all the questions that comes out of Joseph's mouth!
Great article San, you are one of the living proofs that a TCK needs to marry another TCK, just what the writer has been looking for :)
Aduh itu kuncirnya si Louise pingin gue cowel ajah, lucu banget siy mereka bedua lagi skype-an ama papanya.

Hugs - Ake
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:27 am (UTC)
Re: Here we go again! wow!
Ake, yeah you just have to bear my sensitivity and melancholic nature heheheh. Thank you!
Dec. 1st, 2009 06:05 am (UTC)
Third culture kids article
Hi I write about third culture kids and came across your blog. Was wondering if I can send you some interview questions for an article I am writing. It will be on how being a third culture kid has made a difference in your life.

Here is my link, my contacts are on the site. Please click bio and follow the link to send me an email: http://www.examiner.com/x-26490-Third-Culture-Kids-Examiner

Dec. 17th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
Re: Third culture kids article
Thank you for having published the interview. Will put it soon in my entry :D!
Dec. 3rd, 2009 01:34 am (UTC)
Artikelnya bagus ya, San. Bikin gua tambah ilmu gimana dilema anak2 TCK. Good luck buat pindahannya yah.
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
Thank you, Cin! We just need to live the moment :D!
Dec. 3rd, 2009 12:46 pm (UTC)
Happy family reunion !!
Dear Santi,

I can re-track your feeling about leaving places and seeing husband again after a long separation.

Wish you and your family the best !!

regards, Anky
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:28 am (UTC)
Re: Happy family reunion !!
Yeah, we keep on missing the places we used to live :D. Thank you, mbak Anky.
Dec. 6th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC)
A nomadic life like yours often seems to be enviable and exciting, but I guess 'partir c'est mourir un peu' is essentially true as well. Even the second, third of tenth time. Speaking for myself, the saying also applies to those who the emigrant leaves behind.

Well anyhow, I really do trust the four of you manage to move relatively smoothly to 'down under' and even have a wonderful Christmas in spite of all the fuss.

Dec. 17th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
Yes, Colson, you're right, we are forever cursed, LOL. Immigrants also have more or less the same feelings: thorn between the love of two countries.

Thank you, merry Christmas to you too. I have something for you but it might come very late (early next year).

Dec. 7th, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
hi hi hi, lol at 'masih untung' sayings. keindonesiaan banget yaaa...
good luck with moving, san :)
Dec. 17th, 2009 09:31 am (UTC)
We are 'untung' all the time, ya Dinyhehehhe it's ok as it lift up our moods, no?
Thank you!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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