Saturday, November 21, 2015

Handshake Day

A week or so ago it was Handshake Day across the Foreign Service.

Handshake Day is the day when officers start learning what their onward assignments will be. Not everyone learns that day (and Diplomatic Security is a notable exception). But enough people learn where they're going next that, if you're affiliated with the FS, your Facebook feed will be filled with pictures of flags and bridges and maps for a solid 48 hours as your friends start rolling out their announcements.

So far, I have friends who are moving to Guatemala and Gaborone. Tanzania and Venezuela. Morocco. India. Austria. Ukraine. Japan and Germany. Turkey.

So many places to go in this wide world.

For the first time ever in the history of us, we got our handshake on Handshake Day, too. Usually we're a few - or more! - months behind. But not this time. This time, we already know that in summer of 2016, we'll be in...

(drumroll, please)

The United States of America.


Kind of anticlimactic, no?

But alas, it's time for us to come home - or so DS tells us. They've offered B a great job, one he's really happy about. And so, in the coming months, we'll start the slow-but-stressful transition stateside.

There is a lot to do in order to move "home."

Sell a car; buy a car.

Enroll 4 kids in 3 separate schools. Un-enroll them from their current school.

Update medical clearances.

Purge household goods so you don't have too much stuff at the other end.

Figure out how to ship a cat and a dog.

Negotiate leave dates with the losing post (Moscow), and arrival dates with the gaining post in the U.S.

Get rid of old 220 volt electronics and figure out how to replace them with 110v equivalents.

Cell phone plan? What's a cell phone plan? Last time we lived in the U.S., we used our landline exclusively - except when it was tied up by the dial-up internet service.

Change addresses for every bank account, magazine, friend - but to what? We own a house, so we'll have to work on getting the tenants out if we want to move in.

Find temporary housing in the mean time.

Moving back to the U.S. is an expensive proposition. In addition to fixing up a house and buying two cars, we need to buy all new electronics (television, computers, iPads, phones). We need to furnish an entire house - I think we still have toddler beds in storage, but those maybe won't work so well with the kids we have. We need to - arghh, I don't even want to think about it.

Instead it might be best to concentrate on Wegmans and Chipotle and signs in English and parking lots and left turn lanes and Target and pho and real chocolate milk.

I will miss this overseas adventure we've been on. But I guess it's time.


Jennifer Ambrose said... [Reply]


Popster said... [Reply]

We'll look forward to seeing you stateside.

Stephanie Sever said... [Reply]

Congrats on your next post, returning home!

Just US said... [Reply]


Please. Write your own stuff.