Transitions are never easy. Paperwork and red tape in China is never-ending. Life as an ex-pat is never dull. I was taught to not use “never” and “always,” but these are common truths.
The list of things I have to do and the hoops I have to jump through seems endless. The thing is, it seems no one is definitely sure what exactly I need, which comes first, where to go, and then the rules change!
The latest rule is that I need a criminal check and my college diploma notarized and authenticated. Ok, so the police station gives me the criminal record, but that’s not proof enough? It needs to be notarized? And the college diploma one is just time-consuming and expensive. It costs $250 for the process. Stephen looked it up and we all have to do whether we change jobs or not. He said he would be surprised if we lose a lot of teachers who don’t have true or accredited diplomas. That’s fine with us. Makes us more valuable.
But oh my goodness, the hoops!, I have to go to one office, then another, and of course, each leg of the process has it’s cost. I’ll be honest. I haven’t even started the process yet. It’s a bit over-whelming and intimidating. But tomorrow, I will be going to the police station for a few simple and free documents I need to start.
I haven’t told my work yet that I’m leaving. I’m already getting the syllabus for the new job. I really, really wish the process was easier.
My birthdays in about a week, and I really want to do something. In fact, I want to go to the hot springs. But all this paperwork and running around may keep me tied up for time and money.
Do you know what else has been never-ending? The rain! All day, every day, for about 34 days! After living in Thailand, and living here for so many years, you would think I would be used to this, but this rainy season is particularly rainy, and long.
There are times when other ex-pats move back, and when they do, they get rid of their stuff in a hurry. Jodie knows a lot more people than me, so she often gets a lot of cool stuff. One thing she recently acquired is the entire video library of Little House on the Prairie which we have been borrowing. We have been binge watching on these very rainy days. We are up to season six.
Also, in my very limited free-time, I’ve been reading a lot. In our book club we are reading The Handmaid’s Tale. We are half-way through. Yesterday, we held club at Stephen’s Pizza Place, and I tried a new bacon cheeseburger pizza. I love that they let me try things before they are on the menu. Erek (a teacher from PA) brought two new guys, one from Italy, and one from Mexico. It’s nights like those that I really love the life I have established here.
It makes me want to make sure I get all that paperwork squared away so that I can do even better. That, and Rumi and Raine’s non-stop talk about going to school. They can’t wait. I’m only sorry that they have to wait until after Christmas. I know it’s a slow process, and I’m working full-time, so I can’t get it done any faster, but it will get done.