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Relocation package

As I pass myself off for an expatriate blogger, I guess I should at least occasionally post entries that fellow expatriates could use as empirical advice. This lengthy entry concerns relocation package negotiation. Actually, I am hardly qualified to say anything about the negotiation itself. Primarily, because I did a…

Paris, Paris

The latest disruption in my posts was caused by a long-weekend excursion to Paris, which was immediately preceded by another round of problems with the website, which hopefully have now been resolved once and for all (but claimed as their victim the recent Tuscany gallery album, which I am yet…

Occurrences good and bad

Contrary to my regular protestations of an utterly routine boredom, things happen to us all the time. As it happens with the rest of humankind, only the biggest things tend to leave an imprint on our memory and, later on, resurface at a point of writing a blog entry. The…

New friends and other events

It took me a while to emerge from under the pile of emails after a protracted absence from work. But I did emerge from that battle victorious, if in desperate need of another vacation. Nice trips, I always found, have an annoying quality of appearing insufficiently long, when recalled after…

Return from Paradise

And the Spring Break holidays came to the end. We are home, in excellent spirits and feeling perfectly rested after a week in Tuscany. I am quite sure that that feeling will not survive through Wednesday… But allow me to dwell on this pleasant week, and talk about Tuscany a…

Cotswolds

I will only manage to get in a single blog entry in between two vacation trips, so I better write as much about the first one as possible before going onto the second one. So, here we go, briefly about Cotswolds… Cotswolds is an area in Middle England that has…

Inexplicably free of charge

A funny realization has hit me a few days ago – in a certain sense, somehow, we have been living for free for quite some time. Ok, that statement is true only when applied to gas, electricity and broadband internet. And more likely than not, it will catch up with…

Revisions and social life

The car is in a driveway and has already been properly appreciated by all family members, the new TV looks great and works great, and the new food processor performs its magical duties like crazy. Things are looking up. Natasha, actually, demands a couple of corrections to the previous post.…

Acquisitions and deliveries

That hail on Sunday was a precursor to worsening weather – with the official start of the spring, the temperatures dropped to near freezing, the skies turned to mostly grey, and several short snowfalls made an appearance, melting instantly. Natasha’s dad continued his exploration of London nonetheless, only devoting more…

Return of the active weekend

It has been a while since we managed to stay active on both Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend. Winter weather is hardly conducive to outings, and you can only go on back-to-back museum trips so much. But with spring-like weather, hundreds of places that we want to visit…

Spring is in the air

It really only takes once to disrupt regularity of posts, and then it becomes very hard to get back into the habit. Or, maybe, it’s too much booze… Going out, at least, if not the booze. We were out with a friend who was on a business trip from Geneva,…

Life goes on…

Sincere apologies to my faithful readers for such a long gap in my posts. I was not in much of a mood for writing. My family in New York has suffered through an inconceivable loss, and a beautiful little girl has never got a chance to open her eyes and…

Karaoke, bikes and cars

It’s nothing short of amazing that I don’t impersonate Natasha-without-her-voice today. Try singing karaoke for a hundred songs in one sitting, and you’ll understand… We went to visit our new friends Valera and Zhanna (whose daughter is Kimmy’s classmate). There was a nice meal, highlighted by Zeppelins, traditional Lithuanian stuffed…

Bye, house!

Well, it was bound to happen and it finally did happen. Our New Jersey house is no longer ours. The process took longer that we initially hoped for, and caused us enough nerves. The house was sitting empty since October, with my parents having to periodically visit and check things…

Out and about with a mute

Next on the list – learning sign language. Natasha is definitely feeling better overall, but her regular malady befell her. She lost her voice, and even whispering hurts her vocal cords. She communicates primarily by gestures instead, which are not always easy to decipher. Conversations inevitably turn into drawn-out charades,…