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Travel back home for expats - what's typical?

  1. #25
    MommieMid is offline Registered User
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    Thank you for your in depth analysis of my suggestions on this thread. Unfortunately, there are no diplomas on offer. Dissecting paragraphs and phrases gives no marks, you will not get approval or congratulations, of note.
    Does your suggestion contribute to analysing her dilemma and situation? She is asking for your perspective or opinion on her problem.
    My suggestions centre around her needing to be very sure of any decisions that she makes. I tried to support her by showing her that I completely understand her dilemmas.
    What are your suggestions or help that you can offer her, trapped in this alien environment?

    Carang,
    After 17 years in a country, of course, I know you feel it is now your home. When you came here, the country was a colony of sorts, similar territorial rights as your own home country. A lot has changed since then. You have become a permanent resident and remain at home in your 'adopted' home. Newcomers to this new 'independent' environment however, feel starkly the enormous difference between inhabitants of the established community and the temporary population passing through. To young people, or couples without children, this doesn't have an issue. However, to a Mom who has come here and now stays to continue to support her husband, life looks very different. I assume it can on a daily basis become increasingly oppressive. The antidote to expat life is the freedom and love of returning to your 'real' home for the summer months to watch the children play with their cousins, to see the countryside and the hills and to renew your relationships with the people who love you.
    After the freedom of the lovely months spent at home, mothers return to their expat life with renewed vigour, and with excitement at renewing their proximity to their husbands.
    Carang, no matter how settled you feel here, I view the situation through the eyes of an expat. The British government returned the island to China because if they hadn't, there would have been growing disharmony. Harmony prevails here and is a lovely place to live, but as a Canadian, you will always be viewed as an 'outsider' by the population who feel this island is their birthright. I don't believe that I am truly welcome here. Actually, I know this to be a fact. They tolerate us for the potential prosperity that we contribute to the local society. I live here for the interest and experiences of our whole family, and to support my husband, but at the enormous cost of foregoing my potential alternative life.

  2. #26
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommieMid View Post
    My suggestions centre around her needing to be very sure of any decisions that she makes. I tried to support her by showing her that I completely understand her dilemmas.
    Your suggestion (stop negotiating, save your money, take the kids away without discussion/approval) borders on criminal.
    I fail to understand how you can justify this type of activity which most likely will ruin the marriage and may land the mother in jail.

    I've read and re-read your 3 lengthy posts and have come to the conclusion that you are seriously misguided and it is you that most likely needs help. There are quite a number of agencies in Hong Kong that equipped to deal with such matters; If you need advice and suggestions, please let us know.
    Last edited by howardcoombs; 01-26-2012 at 07:32 AM.

  3. #27
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    thank you for putting words in my mouth.

    yes, by some, i will always be viewed as an outsider.... but i have no idea where you get the "unwelcome" bit. i have only once in all of my years here ever felt unwelcome and that was when i ran into "Long Hair" in LKF right before i got married.

    other than that altercation, i have NEVER felt unwelcome. perhaps, you live too much of an "expat" lifestyle. do you ever make it out of your little comfort zone? do you ever venture beyond the mid-levels/central/admiralty bubble?

    i never set out to be here for as long as i have. i originally came here for a 1 week holiday and ended up staying. you make it sound like i don't miss "home"... you really have no idea how much i miss it.

    i really, really can't see how you would feel "unwelcome" and if that is how you are feeling, i suggest the problem does not lie with "expats" but with you and possibly your attitude of otherness.

    i have found in my time here that there are generally 2 types of expats:
    1) tries to find a place in the local community of both expats and locals. makes an effort in getting to know the place, explore beyond their little neighbourhood, try the local food and find little local places and make connections with the employees/owners, learn about the local traditions and customs.
    2) stick with the expats, drink in LKF or wanchai, work in central, live in mid-levels/pok fu lam, taxi to work (maybe, possibly bus or walk) and almost never try to find out anything about the locals or the local culture. these are the ones who moan about the "lack" of culture, the terrible food, the rude/money-grubbing locals. these are the ones who are happy to mix with their own kind~~~ "any Canadians" or "australians" or "XXX" mums want to gather for a playdate?

    i am not saying that either of these is wrong. they are just different. each person handles situations differently. i came here as a 22 year old, right out of university. i was looking for adventure and excitement. i didn't know a single soul here and the internet was just getting going. life was very different then (no one had mobile phones... everyone had pagers!). i most definitely fit into category 1. i have a feeling you are a category 2 person.

  4. #28
    bagel is offline Registered User
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    Another practical thing to keep in mind is that when one parent travels internationally with the children, the traveling parent has to carry and produce a notarized letter from the absent parent proving that she/he has permission and consent to do so. Immigration at most airports ask for this.

  5. #29
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagel View Post
    Another practical thing to keep in mind is that when one parent travels internationally with the children, the traveling parent has to carry and produce a notarized letter from the absent parent proving that she/he has permission and consent to do so. Immigration at most airports ask for this.
    From what I've heard, if the mother shares the children's last name, they don't always ask for this. I've only made four flights with my daughter without my husband - all between Hong Kong and Australia, and I've never been asked for such a letter. Good thing too, because I never thought to bring one with me!! People who I have talked to, some brought such a letter, others did not - but most of the time, it was not specifically asked for. Only when the mother did NOT share the child's last name... (of course, such a letter would be beneficial, but I don't think it is "necessary" in most cases)
    rebekah likes this.

  6. #30
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i have been asked for a letter EVERY time i've gone back to canada with my kids and without my husband. i share a last name with both hubby and kids.

  7. #31
    penguinsix is offline Registered User
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    Canada is one of the strictest places about those letters, from what I've read on frequent flyer airline message boards. With other countries it is "hit or miss"--some do, some don't, but the general advice is to have such a letter, especially for trips to Europe and North America.

  8. #32
    Flack is offline Registered User
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    Notarised letters are not necessary if you are traveling to Australia on Australian passports as permission for solo travel is implied by both parents signing the passport application. To stop a parent traveling alone a court order is needed. This is not the case for other countries such as Canada.

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