The Trappings of An Expat Life

I hate the words “economy” and “credit crunch” so much that I practically foam that the mouth when I have to say it aloud…

“Well, with the economy being the way it is…”

“The credit crunch is hitting us all…”

Ahhh! So aggravating, to say the least, but there’s no better way to explain our situation.

There’s still no word on Mike’s contract and it seems there isn’t going to be.

The projects that the company had banked on never came. Lack of funding, poor planning, politics, the ECONOMY… the exact reason hardly matters any more. Mike’s last day will be this coming Friday and our visas expire the same day.

The frustrating part is that had this been a company in the US, or dare I say, one of us was a British citizen, he wouldn’t necessarily be out of a job so abruptly.

Since his work visa has to be sponsored by the company, billed to a specific project, and legitimized, he simply cannot be paid for another second of his time without a new contract…

Apparently, the British are VERY strict about that… or so I’ve been told. I don’t really care to find out on my own.

We are still able to remain in the country, albeit temporarily, provided we leave and come back through immigration, thereby reestablishing ourselves on tourist visas. This is no different than coming here on a vacation and staying on our passports.

As tourists, we absolutely cannot apply for jobs in the UK. Although, I have no idea how that would play out since we were originally here on a work visa and Mike’s already well within the interview process at a few other London studios…

I mean, I’m sure there’s a way to work around it. I just don’t know what that would entail.

Either way, it’s an extra level of stress to the already tenuous situation of looking for a job in a bad economy. I know this because, I’ve been very casually, ever so slowly inquiring, if only to allow us more time in the UK.

The first question I’m always asked is, “Are you legal to work here?”

“Umm, I’m on a dependent visa, so yes except…  You see, my husband’s work visa… Okay, it’s complicated.”

…and I’ve lost them entirely.

We are absolutely gutted to leave London, especially so soon after arriving, but quite honestly, the feelings haven’t sunk in yet. There’s just so much to do.

A few weeks ago, I e-mailed our landlords in Australia to apprise them of the situation. They were very understanding, and then mentioned that they are expecting a new baby in NINE DAYS TIME…

(Read: This is SO not what we need to be dealing with right now. Go away and leave us alone.)

This past week, our house went back in the lettings market and I started accepting bids on shipping companies. Avery has to watch yet another train table that we can’t take with us be sold and we have to shed all trappings that have finally made our little rental property into a home.

Yeah, gutted is a very good British English word for it indeed.



Filed under Family, Packing Up and Moving, Production Widow

6 responses to “The Trappings of An Expat Life

  1. I hope all this works out for you. I hate all the uncertainty for you guys. Good luck with the job interviews, and the vistas.

  2. A'Dell's Mom

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. It reminds me of the days when we lived in Nairobi. Although living in a 3rd world country is different than London, some aspects of living overseas are the same. To help make you feel better, I will tell you I loved our first year in Kenya. We did a lot of sight seeing and traveling. I found all of the little idiosyncrasies to be amusing and interesting. Such as you never knew if the phone would be working or if the electricity would be shut off. Or driving down the road you would see freshly cut tree branches on the side of the road which was a warning of a problem up ahead. The second year I became impatient and annoyed at just about everything. I was sooo ready to leave. One year would have been delightful. Two years was too long. You are leaving while you still love London, and you will have great memories, and will still have the desire to return if the opportunity arises. Maybe you can leave the country and visit Paris, or Ireland. Then return on a tourist visit and see if something comes along. If things don’t work out, you have a lot of loving family and friends back in the States who will be delighted to see you.

  3. Oh, sweetie. Deep breaths. Remember…you are one with the adventure. And don’t ever have regrets about going…just regrets about the adventure being too short. London will still be there. Rich and I have been in the unfortunate boat before where we have gone back to square one with just ourselves and our suitcases…you can always make more money, the memories with your kids…in this moment and at this place are not always going to have an opportunity again. Those are the things they take with them through life, not the train tables…take lots of pictures before you leave. And it is ok to be sad. Keep up with the blog, it is a good cathartic way to deal with life’s curve balls. And you are a funny lady! Take care of yourself, and your family…in that order. Best to you…

  4. Molly

    I used to live in the London under the Highly Skilled Migrant programme (which I think is called something different now). I assume you’ve already heard about it, but just wanted to make sure, as it could be an option. It gives you a visa that is not tied to your job, provided you meet certain income and education levels. I did the application process myself, which was kind of a pain, but saves a lot on legal fees. If you have questions about it, feel free to e-mail.

  5. Ugh. That just sucks in a zillion ways. I’m sorry. Maybe the Brits at immigration will give you some sympathy if you play up the train table angle?

  6. Bec

    I felt sad reading your post and I really hope that everything works out for you and you’re able to find a way to stay!
    Will be thinking of you through all this and wish you all the best 🙂

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