It’s been a long time since I last updated this blog, partly because moving countries is hard work and I had patchy internet connections and partly because I have been busy throwing myself into my new life back in the UK. But I still have plenty enough to talk about, so for as long as that continues I am really happy to be back here!
Last weekend we finally finished unpacking our things into our rented house and, just as when we moved to Brunei and our container arrived, I feel much more settled. Thankfully our possessions didn’t take too much of a hit from their two month journey across the seas, despite the December storms which held it up this end. The flat we were put up in in the UK while we were waiting for our things was lovely but a bit claustrophobic after a month with a toddler. Still, at least it was clean and had all the utensils we needed – unlike our final apartment in Brunei which had no cups, kettle (how does a Brit survive without a cuppa?), pans… Luckily we knew what to expect from the beginning of our expat journey in the same apartment and had come prepared with many things, or else leaned on the generosity of our friends to loan us the essentials.
It feels like we have been in limbo for a long time so it’s good to finally feel settled again. I think it started when we found out we were leaving Brunei as we were only given six week’s notice that our visas wouldn’t be renewed so after that things were pretty hectic. The company organised all of the logistics but, it being Brunei, we had to chase quite a few things ourselves and of course we wanted to organise our personal effects before shipping them and sell off any items we didn’t want to transport (something which is deceptively time consuming.) The packers came a week and a half before we were due to leave and were actually very efficient – so efficient that we had no chairs or any comforts saving our beds and the kettle for our final few days in the house! Once the container drove off we had just under a week in a temporary apartment and I was glad it was for no longer! The moment our container drove off I felt like we were just waiting around until it was time for us to leave, but my husband still had his last few days at work and we did have some lovely final meals and visits with friends before we departed for good. Not to mention the lack of stress once we didn’t have to worry about what was getting packed or coming with us. The flight itself I won’t go into save for mentioning that my husband came down with bad food poisoning the morning we set off to fly halfway around the world and I swore I wasn’t going to fly anywhere that took more than a few hours for the foreseeable future! Anyway, we managed to get back however miserable the journey was.
Arriving this end was just as frantic. My son had no coat or cold weather clothes and needed a whole new wardrobe, and all of mine and my husbands warm clothes were at least four years old. For the first three weeks, until the air freight arrived with my son’s toys and all other baby equipment, we only had what we had brought with us on the plane. There was, and still is, a lot of shopping to do with a toddler who is not too happy about the idea of shopping! There were also some lovely moments – my first trip to a supermarket (and every subsequent one – wow, look at all the lovely fresh food!); spending more time outside; a visit to the gardens where my husband and I got married (now one of my son’s favourite places to go); a haircut where I came out of the hairdressers really pleased with how it looked; the joy when you exchange phone numbers and realise – I just made a friend!
For now, the lovely moments keep on coming and displace the sadness I have at leaving behind many good friends and beautiful sunshine. Next time I’ll talk about the challenge of settling in to a new place and finding friends, but for now I have to get back to the housework now I have no amah…