Horatio is in Taiwan for two weeks of immersion language training. He is already fluent in Mandarin but the two weeks of intensive, in-country, classes will help him brush up on his skills. Of course I’d rather have him here, but I am glad he has the opportunity to scope the place out for us.
He will figure out which car, if any, we will take over there. He will visit the American School and investigate the availability of groceries we have grown used to in the US.
Most important to me, is the chance to check out the potential living areas. There are two places we can live. One is a high rise apartment in downtown Taipei, and the other is a house out on Yangmingshan mountain.
If we want to take our beloved, three legged, German Shorthaired Pointer, Westley, we have to live in the house on the mountain.
We have heard, though, that nearly all of the expat community lives downtown. The school is a 10 minute walk from the apartment, but a 30 minute drive from the house. My heart breaks when I think of having to find a new home for Wes, but I can’t imagine choosing to live in a place that would isolate us from all social activity. If the boys’ classmates all live downtown, I don’t want my kids to be the only ones who live far away from everyone else. They’d never get to hang out with their friends. Four boys make for a very busy activity schedule. The thought of shelpping them back and forth, up and down the mountain, in the traffic I have heard about, makes my stomach flip. Living abroad is challenging in and of itself. I want to make the life we lead over there as easy as possible. So, Horatio can gather information and we can make an informed decision about where to live, after his reconnaissance mission.
Since Horatio’s return from deployment over a year ago, he has not had to travel very much, but it’s not as though I’ve forgotten how to handle things in his absence. I find, though, that my friends are concerned about my strength during this trip. A dear friend asked, with a worried look on her face, how I am managing with him gone. To me, two weeks is nothing. Easy peasy. Even the kids are surprised by the concern of friends. Rather than look at the down side to two weeks without a co-parent/husband, I look at it as time to get things in order around the house. I am much more efficient at getting things accomplished without the distraction of another adult around. The boys entertain themselves, for the most part, so I can bake, clean up, tidy up the bedrooms, do laundry and rearrange furniture (my favorite).
I’m sure these two weeks will pass quickly. I look forward to digesting every morsel of information Horatio gathers. Perhaps this will be the impetus that forces me out of my denial about the impending move.