In case you’re a personal friend, a relative, or if you’ve been following me on social media, you may have noticed that we’ve moved posts. Yes, my treatment of this personal space of mine online has been quite appalling the past few… Err… Weeks? Months? But between packing, tying loose ends (freelance work wise), saying goodbye to dear friends, and moving from one continent to another, there just wasn’t enough time to actually sit down and pen something down.
So where in the world am I?
Right now, I’m in a café along Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, waiting for my husband to finish his first day at work. (But this post will definitely be published a little later.)
We arrived in Germany on Easter Sunday along with hoards of people who were just out on holiday. I’m still reeling from the sudden change in temperature. It’s supposed to be spring time by now and last week, it was actually starting to get warmer (according to my husband’s colleagues). But the universe likes to play jokes on me and decided that the whole city needs to freeze a little.
There’s a flu coming in this week, I could feel it.
Leaving Kuala Lumpur was definitely bittersweet. My expat and local friends, my husband’s colleagues who also became dear to me, and all the people I met while doing some writing – they made it really hard to pack up and move away. I had a network and my freelance career was pretty much on a roll, if I may say so myself.
Ambassador Malaya who was Alvin’s first boss at post was like a mentor to him. One career advice that he gave Alvin was to get cross-posted while he’s still young and moving is (relatively) easy. This, he says, gives you more experience, perspective, and keeps you from getting bored and stuck in a routine. It keeps things fresh and makes you excited to go to work everyday. Alvin takes things he learned from his mentor to heart so that was one of the pioneer reasons for this move. Another is that my dad who’s based in Scandinavia isn’t getting any younger and I should move closer to be able to spend more time with him. I also have half siblings in Scandinavia and my Mom is based in Amsterdam.
In the end, it does make a lot of sense.
It really is funny how life can be. After resisting being part European for 27 years, here I am. Will I follow my sister’s advice and try to embrace hygge? Will I be a little bit relaxed? My intense, Asian self still thinks I won’t as work tends to find me wherever I go. And you all know I do love being my workaholic self. But let’s wait and see.
Leaving is never easy and adjusting to a new place takes a lot of work. I’m already missing my friends and starting to think that I should learn even just a bit of German. A lot of the locals prefer that you speak their language and everything else – from banking forms to food and shampoo labels in grocery stores – is in German.
I’m actually pretty excited to try out a new language. It can be quite daunting as everyone knows German is hard. But since I’m a “get yourself out there and learn” type of person, I’m pretty sure I will get by soon enough. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
You’ll be hearing more from me soon. I want to come up with a first impressions sort of post for Berlin since despite coming to Europe before for fun and family, I’ve never dropped by Germany. Just need to get some articles with looming deadlines out of the way.