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12/31/2005

Tom works freelance now

The biggest worry on our minds had been that neither of us has a job yet when we move. Of course there's the money I got from selling the apartment, but we want to spend that on our new home in Indiana, not on living expenses.

Well, the job problem is solved!

Thanks to the internet (our best friend from the start) Tom will be working freelance for the same company he has been with for the past years in Germany. He will connect to their mainframe computer network from our DSL at home, using a smartcard and VPN to send/receive data encrypted and secured.

12/29/2005

Empty out the house

It took the relocating company two days and three workers to pack all our delicate stuff, box it up, take the furniture apart, make long lists for customs.

medium_20051229_0001.jpgIt had been snowing, so of course the entire house had muddy and wet footprints all over it. The new owners didn't mind though, they'll put in all new flooring.

While they were filling boxes, I thought they could never make it in time. But they did. Everything went kind of smooth, except for our food from the kitchen, which accidentally got packed too. Now they still have to find these two boxes and take them out of the shipment. Food or plants or anything organic is not allowed to be sent to the USA.

Standing there, all alone in my empty house, I felt a bit sentimental, awkward, lost. But after I had handed the keys over to the nice young couple who had bought my place, I was relieved and pretty happy again. 

12/24/2005

Start boxing things up

A few days ago, early in the evening, two people from the relocator came and dropped 130 cardboard boxes into our hallway. We had to hurry, get those boxes out of the way, make a big stack in the basement.

medium_basement.jpg

medium_boxes.2.jpgWe are allowed to pack books and clothes, because they can't break just for being *unprofessionally* packed. But we were told not to tape the boxes shut, and to put a label listing the content on top of each box.

Now we have a stack of 22 boxes filled with books in the living room, all numbered and labeled. And Excel-sheets on our laptops, with more labels ready to fill out and print for more boxes to come.

12/23/2005

Sign up for phone and DSL

Tom got us signed up for phone service and high bandwidth DSL services with Verizon.

Was a little tough to get past their automatic call-center robot, and talk to a real person. And then that person managed to mess up on the DSL part of the transaction. Tom got a confirmation e-mail with a totally different last name on it ?? And he had to talk to that old robot again, then to three different people, to finally get his own last name on file with them.

Our first big savings, compared to the cost of this in Germany: we'll pay around $55 a month for phone and DSL, as opposed to over €110.

12/22/2005

About us moving to America

Whenever you do something really big, you will find out about your friends and family members. You will see their *real* inside. That alone might make it worth your while. People, who are older than you, might tell you you're not as smart and experienced as they are - so you can't make the right decisions. People, who are younger than you, might tell you you're not physically and mentally as strong as they are anymore - so you will be unable to follow thru with your plans.

Some might envy you, for your courage to do something that they would have wanted to do, and didn't dare to. Some might think about all the problems you helped them solve, and now you won't be available for them. Very few people will truely care enough to worry about your future, wether you will be able to live your dreams and better your life, and that of your children.

Whatever anybody says or does, listen and watch with your heart wide open - and don't let them steal your dreams. You and your spouse and your children are all the people, whom you are responsible for. Nobody else. When somebody doesn't help you reach your goals, ignore them. When talking to somebody makes you feel warm inside, and strong and positive, spend more time with them.

Here's some of the negative opinions we had to deal with:

  • you are too old to move to a different continent, you won't be able to adapt
  • neither of you has a secure job there (yet), you won't survive
  • in Germany at least one of you had a job, you should not give that up
  • you should wait for your daughter to finish school in Germany, let Tom go to the USA alone
  • college is very expensive in America, you won't be able to pay for your children's education
  • the USA has a higher crime rate than Germany
  • health care and social security are better in Germany
  • there is virtually no public transportation in the USA
  • the climate is more moderate in Germany
  • Americans don't like Germans
  • your marriage won't last, and then you'll be on your own in a foreign country

The good thing is, we also got a lot of positive opinions:

  • it's better to do something, than just sit there and complain about your financial problems
  • you are healthy, smart and very flexible - you'll find a job which is fun and well paid
  • real estate is so much cheaper in Indiana, you'll be able to buy a nice family home
  • Tom will not miss all of his daughter's childhood, six years is too much already
  • Alejandra will have the oportunity to go to highschool, finish after 12 years (instead of 13) and pick the best of two worlds for her own future
  • to pay for a decent living for your family will not be a permanent fight against the economic situation in Germany
  • you get a real chance to build your very own business, on Tom's computer skills and Karin's organisation and people skills
  • with less everyday worries to handle, you'll be better, happier parents for your children

07:35 Posted in Opinions | Permalink | Comments (4)

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