In an unexpected turn of events, I am giving up work to go and live in the Caribbean. Even a year ago, I wouldn’t have predicted such an unfolding of circumstances but here we are.
This international move will have all kinds of additional flavour. Life will not be the simple and straightforward existence we have known in Western Europe. Our limited reading on the topic coupled with input from colleagues who have visited or lived in Trinidad suggests that “getting hold of things” will be the main challenge. Given that our household survives on the combination of iPad, internet connection and a multitude of delivery men, this may prove to be more of a challenge for us than most. As a result, at this early stage in proceedings, my mind turns to Getting Organised. Getting Organised mainly involves even more use of the iPad, internet and delivery men (this week slowed by our router breaking down which in turn required use of the iPad, 4G and delivery men to get it fixed) to stockpile items for the container which will be shipped. This is coupled with apprehension about whether the container will be big enough. On return from Cologne, the container was full and we have since acquired a piano, several chairs and another bike. Getting Organised is soon going to include Clearing Out. So far, I feel pleased with myself for having filled a box of books and a small pile of clothing for charity but there will be much more Clearing Out needed.
The Handsome Dutchman’s focus is on paperwork – specifically, immigration and work permits. Apart from form filling, this has also necessitated a visit to the police station for fingerprinting. Various police authorities will need to declare that he is not a criminal and need the fingerprints to check their databases. So far, my criminal (or otherwise) status is deemed irrelevant. I have acquired a new status of Just the Wife. Being Just the Wife meant my fingerprints were not needed and I therefore had the pleasure to sit in Queen Street Police Station waiting room with the flotsam and jetsam of Aberdeen. On Friday morning, the flotsam and jetsam included someone waiting to have their computer scanned to ensure it had no illegal images, various people paying fines and others accompanied by multiple police officers, presumably because their behaviour amounted to more than just paying a fine. When the Handsome Dutchman finally emerged, all pleased with himself because the fingerprint lady had been very friendly, I made it clear that we should not hang around further and we skidaddled towards the nearest Starbucks for a reparatory hot chocolate and cappuccino. We were left wondering why we had to prove lack of criminality for a country with such a crime rate and what we do if we could not repair to the nearest Starbucks in times of need.
Another step forward in Getting Organised was to acquire some linen suits and office wear for the Handsome Dutchman who is due to make a business visit in the next weeks. Last season’s heavily reduced John Lewis menswear did the trick. The Handsome Dutchman concluded he was now ready to visit the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel or join Michael Portillo on a Great Continental Train Journey, being as we don’t know anyone else who actually wears a linen suit in real life. I pointed out that this might be because other people don’t wear a suit to the office in tropical climes. The Handsome Dutchman pointed out it would be unprofessional not to wear a suit and there is no greater sin than to appear unprofessional!
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