The Wandering Continues...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Moving to Shanghai – Chapter 1 : Insurance and Medical Check Up (Part II)

So we have completed our series of medical check up this morning. These consist of Eye test, Hearing test, EKG (cardio function), Lung function test, blood and urine test. The result will be finished in one week and also the immunisation. So..we'll see..


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Moving to Shanghai – Chapter 1 : Insurance and Medical Check Up

So many things to do, so little time..

I had a meeting with the human resources lady last week to start the expatriation process and she handed me a long list of things to do for the China preparation.

One thing that catches my direct attention is full medical check up and insurance coverage prior to departure.

I have to present list of all immunizations that I had received in my whole life and I have to give up for a HIV Test. I should undergo a series of necessary immunizations and perhaps other medications before I leave for Shanghai.

The company will also apply a 24hr casualty insurance coverage for me and Jorge during our 3 years stay in Shanghai (this is on top from the normal medical insurance)

Is it just me or it really feels like I am going to a war or something…

PS: I learned that Germans have a so-called “Impfungsbuch” which records all the immunizations that they received since birth. Some priviledges that I don’t have as Indonesian, of course.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Living in UK – Lesson # 9: London & Edinburgh

One has not yet completed his/her journey in United Kingdom if one has not yet been in London and Edinburgh.

London is the so-called-capital-city of England whilst Edinburgh is for Scotland.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Next on the agenda: Shanghai!

My company has announced that I will have a 3-year-assignment in Shanghai, China starting from March 2007. It seems to be far away but if we consider Christmas holidays and preparation time, well, it is really not that far anymore.

My friends keep asking how do I feel about moving to China. I can't really tell you as I'm sort of having a split feeling about it. On one side I am full with excitement for all the new adventure I will have; the new culture, new friends, new works and new language, new travel plans, etc. But on the other side, I am sad to leave Germany and all the things that I have established in here. You probably don't know this but the Germans are not very popular with their hospitality especially if you don't know the language and still stubborn enough to work together with them for 4 years.

Some people have also told me that I am crazy to trade Germany and all its excellent high-end facilities and infrastructure with China, a country with a lot of question marks. I know that Shanghai is an international & megapolitan city with over 20 million population but nevertheless the infrastructure in rural area of Shanghai is probably not as develop as in Stuttgart. Plus China is also full with complexities and full with intransparents regulations that one can never understand.

Put aside all the facts above, I have indeed one thing that worries me the most. I have a big question that I have never managed to find the answer.

'When will enough be enough for me?'
how do you know how much is too much
too much too soon?
too much fun?
too much adventures?
too much flexibility?
too much to ask?
and when it is all just too much to bare?

For those who don't know me, I have wandered in almost half of the world. I was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia until I finished my high school. I spent 4 years in USA to pursue my university degree and then came back to Jakarta to start my first working experience. Upon 5 years in Jakarta, I decided that I had enough with the city and packed my bags for a job offer Germany. I can't never recall what I had in mind at that time; to work in a country that I don't even speak the language!!! Lucky for me that it turned up ok, thanks to my very tolerance work colleagues who were willing to cope up with my 'I-don't-speak-German-but-let's-just-give-it-a-shot' German skills. And now, after 4 years striving here and managed to settle down a bit, my adventurous ego called me back in and hunger for another a country that (again!) I don't speak the language! Not to mention that they will have different alphabet this time!!!

If you ask me if I have fear of making another step? I'm terrified! I have all sort of questions going on in my head. What if I am no good for the job? What if I don't find any friends? What if I never learn to speak the language? What if I am wrong? What if I am making a decision that I can't undo? What if I don't like Chinese culture? Where will I end up after my 3 years-assignment is over?

I know I will never find the answer to all my questions before March next year. I know that China is also not my final destination. I know after 3 years I will try to move to another land that I can't even think of the name today.

But here is what I know. That if you are willing to make a change, whatever it is the result that's waiting for you in the other side, knowing that you have at least tried, it beats the hell out of never trying.

And perhaps someday, if I am lucky, I will find a place that I can call 'home'

Just my two cents, and the song fits the mood...

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