Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Vacation

My family left for our hometown yesterday afternoon. I spent most of the weekend watching DVD movies and drinking brandy. I slept late last night at about midnight. I got a text message from my son when they arrived at the airport in a province outside the city. I will try to call them later this evening. I will leave next Monday for my vacation and join them for my 2 week holiday. We will be back together here in Singapore on the 31st of December. I will miss the reunion with my relatives next Sunday but it's for the best. I don't feel like meeting them although it maybe our last visit for a long while once we transfer overseas.

We had a phone conference with the relocation manager last Saturday morning which was Friday morning over there. She is a kindly woman who looked like a grandmother. She told us about the steps for relocation and the process of moving. I asked my wife to join so she can also hear about the process so she can plan as well. My wife will also be able to share this information back home once she meets with my family. I miss her terribly and realize that she has kept my life on an even keel despite my flights of fancy. I don't know why but seems that I appreciate her more while listening to the works of Somerset Maugham. It's strange that he could write with such delicacy and detail about family life. I especially like his stories about the life of expatriates in Malaysia and Singapore.

I can identify with the challenges faced by English families living in the colonies. We have moved about 7 years ago to Singapore and we are preparing again for another move. It will be another difficult time I think for my kids but maybe I am just exaggerating it. I think it will be a good environment and I am just being pessimistic after remembering all those images seen in American movies about schools with unruly kids. But the relocation manager in her kindly voice reassured us that it will be alright. My kids may need to stop their studies for a few months since they will be changing school when we move over.

During our talk with the relocation manager, she mentioned that there is some discussion on the my starting date with the company. I told her that the date reflected in the computer system is my start date here in Singapore and not at my home country. It should be about 13+ years covering my years at the old Philippine factory. Again I was suspicious that not enough effort is being done locally to help me in the transfer. I get the feeling again that I have to do all the work myself to push the transfer through. Strange that my former boss - the snake is now the head of our resource service. But it's my paranoia again working overtime.

I watched a good Chinese movie on Sunday, 'The King of Masks'. I still have a fresh memory of my trip to Liaoning province. This place always evokes for me a kind of exotic ness about China which I can't get anywhere except maybe Hong Kong. But Hong Kong reeks more of the British while Liaoning reeks more of the Japanese and Russians. I feel that I have had a settling of my mind during my stay there and my monkey mind is again reacting. But with my family on holiday and the house empty, it will be a difficult time to settle my thoughts. Loneliness and travel and assimilating into foreign local shores are a constant theme in Somerset Maugham's works and I can't help feeling the pain of his characters.


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AAsh said...

Ps I love the works of Somerset Maugham but don't let him get you down!