When you move overseas, you often move twice.
I’ve spent the last seven weeks in the transient, half-life of the “serviced apartment,” the eternal business trip. There are people who spend whole passages of their existence this way, a few crisp shirts hanging in a narrow mirrored closet and a week’s rotation of underwear, laptop and smartphone their constant companions.
Seven weeks was enough.
Last Friday my ship came in. Tomorrow I move into “the flat,” along with 10 cubic meters of material wealth.
Moves mean weeding out and reorganizing things, but the emotions seem to rearrange themselves too.
This week, Mother’s Day to moving day, was a contemplative one. Vivid flashes of Granville Ave and its full arching summer trees, the shimmering lake, a silent drive up Lakeshore flanked on the left by night buildings shining like caught stars, the hopeful roar at Wrigley.
Longing for friends and family – alive and also gone – and those left behind to grieve, new babies everywhere, nieces and nephews changing more rapidly than seems fair. My mother never got to go to college, but late in her too-short life I learned she had wanted to be both an English teacher and a U.N translator. If she could visit, she would quietly take it all in for a day or two and then probably say, “There are a lot of people.”
If feeling torn between two places and two sets of people is an expat cliche, I’m guilty. I will make a new life here, for how long or how deep, I simply do not know. In the meantime, some pics.
MOVE 1: Shama Serviced Apartment
Or as my brother said, “Do you live in the Industrial Revolution?”