Sunday, May 27, 2007

Quo Vadis?

Google Map of Rome, Italy
Well its been confirmed, much like St Peter we're vadising to Rome - though with no intention of being martyred. Mind you there are probably a few things there that could kill us: the pollution, the crazy drivers or the high cost of living.

My blog "momma" lynette (Big Ass Belle) has asked: What's with Rome? When are you going? Why are you going? What's the story? Such an enquiring mind!

When are you going?
Well that handy little countdown at the right says it all - I was going to include milliseconds but thought that was a bit of overkill.

What's the story?
For 25 of the 29 years we've been together Laurent's been in the Canadian Foreign Service (Diplomatic Corps.) He's been posted to Mexico City, Cairo, Chicago, Amman, Warsaw and currently Beijing. Until 1999 I remained - like Penelope at her loom - back in the old Patria. Then, after 33 years at Air Canada, I packed it in and joined him in Poland. At all the other posts I've was there as often as I could be - working for an airline helped a lot.

In 2001 we came back to Canada; I landed a job with the Federal Government; we bought a beautiful heritage home in a small town near Ottawa and settled into a fairly normal life. Then three years ago he was offered Beijing - we knew that I could not join him but decided that for various reasons we would live with it. Well we have lived with it - and haven't enjoyed it. We've decided enough is enough - time we started living together again.

Why Rome?
When posting request time came Laurent put in for three cities that we knew would not create any problems for us as a family; being the Foreign Service none of those choices where offered.

Instead they came up with:

New Delhi - Don't think so! Given the homophobic attitude in India I have a feeling our little family unit would be less than welcome.

Moscow - Strangely enough I would have had full diplomatic status - who would have thought? And we've never been to Russia and it could be fascinating. However cost of living, living conditions and security were major concerns.

Rome - Need I say this was the most appealing! We both love Italy and Laurent is sure that he was an Emperor in another life. Problem is that Italy does not recognize same-sex or common-law relationships for diplomatic status. There were various suggestions - including the time-honored tradition of me entering as a member of Laurent's household staff (yeah right!), my true station in life confirmed by the Italian Government.

Solution - I hold an Irish (EU) passport under dual-citizenship and that allows me to move pretty freely within the European Union. Mind you I've received three different versions of what to do when I enter Italy - the Mediterranean confusion starts already!

How long will we be there?
The normal post length depends on the country and the hardship level. As an example Beijing is normally two years while a place like Rome is four. So, if things go according to plan, we should be in Rome until summer of 2011.


laurent said...

I did not think about it until 2011 but that sounds like a long time. Hopefully we will make most of it.

Tater said...

I am so happy for you and jealous of you all in the same breath! Have a fabulous time there, and please continue telling us fascinating stories with wonderful pictures!

BigAssBelle said...

willym, this is just fascinating to me, thus the many inquiries. i can't imagine what it is like to pull up and move halfway round the world. such adventurous spirits!

and how exciting to have lived in so many places. i guess you've been everywhere, if you worked for the airlines. now that i can fly after a 20 year hiatus, such travel holds great appeal.

okay, one more question . . . puppy? will puppy have to go into quarantine for months? how will you transport your child?

heh. my true station in life confirmed by the Italian Government ~ that's both of us, honey.

thanks so much for this. i am enchanted by your writing and delighted to find out more about your big move.

more cowbell said...

Oh, good for you! That's wonderful! This font should be showing up green to reflect the Rome-Envy I've got going on here.