The preparation of an expatriation seems to be filled with joy, sadness, and a lot of unexpected things. That’s what people are going to tell you. To be completely honest, it’s more like a period filled with trouble (I wish I could say “crap”). And we are extremely lucky, since the Cher-et-Tendre’s company provides almost everything to help us. I just don’t want to think about all the things you need to do if you are alone in it.
But let’s start with the beginning: one day, that’s it, you get your “go”, and you are becoming an expat-to-be (or, like us, you never got an official “go”, but the time you wasted spent filling paperwork and the convocation at the embassy are giving you a good feeling about it!) First reaction: you are happy, overjoyed, and almost hysterical (but I have a background!). So you know, that’s precisely here that the troubles crap begins!
First of all, you have to spread the news. To the family, the acquaintances, the friends, knowing that some people are going to be more than happy (I know for a fact some people who are extremely happy not to see my face anymore!) and some others are going to be heartbroken (grandma, if you’re reading this!…) I am warning you, because it is going to be a lot of fun, you can expect everything. Every. Little. Thing.
Let’s begin with something positive: the guy who is sincerely happy for you. Shocked, at first, but 100% supportive. Enjoy this one, he’s not the one you’re going to meet the most!
Then, the one who don’t give a sh**. He is happy, because he likes you, but he hates the US so he is pretty indifferent.
You are also going to speak with the paranoiac, the one who believes in the conspiracy theory, the one who is certain that we are the puppets of the government (Whole Foods Reward Card? The Central Intelligence Agency under cover! The United States? Worst country ever! Obama? The cause of all the bad things!). Enjoy this one, first because he is a rare specimen, secondly because he is really, really funny!
The jealous is going to be difficult to uncover: you could easily think that he is sincerely happy for you, but his extreme bad faith should put you on the right way. He is also always speaking too much, saying how “happy for you, but sad” he is, or how “he would have been happy to be in your place”. Try to avoid him, he could almost make you feel culpability (or not).
I bet you are also going to bump into the expert. The one who knows someone, who knows someone that knows the second cousin by marriage of someone who got a work permit just like that, wishing for it (and so do not understand why you are wasting so much time doing all the paperwork!) (About it, and if you read French, I invite you to read the great post about it on the blog on that blog)
And, to finish, you’ll get: the sceptical (and a little bit of an expert): “So you are saying that you’re going to have a work permit….. Do you realize how difficult it is to obtain the right of working in the States?”. The desperate: “You CANNOT leave me alone here” or the one who finds an interest in you being abroad: “Great, I will visit New York for free (!).
Feel free to add some example to the list, for instance by leaving a comment below. I will be super happy to read about your experience!