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Having a down day

(11 Posts)
Missymoomum Fri 10-Dec-10 03:13:20

I'm really sorry but i just need to get this off my chest. We're living in Asia and have been here for 2.5 months so really not that long. Most of the time it's great and i haven't really been homesick but i'm having such a down day today. It's the last day of term today and practically everyone i have met over the last couple of months are either going away on holiday or are heading home for the holidays and we're staying here. I know we've only been here a couple of months so shouldn't be feel. I'm desperately hoping we may be able to afford a trip home in Feb but at the mo we seem to be heamorrhaging money left right and centre so i don't know if it will be possible, so otherwise we're here til July and i just feel completely trapped.
With the holidays coming up i don't know what i'm going to do with the children as i still don't know where to take them for trips out yet especially with the cold weather and all the play centres are again, ridiculously expensive! I'm used to being able to hop in the car and drive somewhere but here we have a driver so everything has to be pre-arranged which can be really restrictive sometimes.

Everything just feels like such an effort because of the language barrier. We also have a housekeeper as well as a driver who is great but i just feel like everything is 'fake.' I don't know if that makes sense but it's the only way i can think to describe how i feel. I suppose it's a lack of control thing. For example we live on a compound and one of the workmen came round to check something earlier and rather than tell me what he was doing he told the housekeeper as if i wasn't important and as i don't really speak the language i had no idea what he said! This time i knew he was coming as the management office had run to let me know what he wanted to check but otherwise i'd have been really really pee'd off! Oh and also on the same subject i'm fed up with workmen constantly coming round to do things, i want my house to be my own!! Everytime the doorbell rings i'm filled with dread as it's the start of another ridiculous pointing episode! And the amount of things that break etc.......

I'm missing the run up to Christmas, there are Christmassy things in the expat areas but there's just no 'vibe' to it and although i know everyone has had a nightmare in the UK with the weather but i miss the snow

midtowner Fri 10-Dec-10 04:48:55


I didn't want your post to go unanswered. We're not in Asia now, but we have been in the past so I know what you mean about compound living and household staff.

I always think the 8-12 week period after you arrive is the hardest: the newness has worn off, and it hits you that you are there to stay for however long the posting/contract is. And like you say, you spend so much getting set up those first few months that you feel broke all the time. And judging from some of the other expat threads, there are a lot of people feeling like you at this time of year.

We're in the US, so it is overly Christmassy (and has been since Thanksgiving) smile.

dubaipieeye Fri 10-Dec-10 05:05:27

My first post!

We are in Dubai and have been for two years. My first few months were very similar to what you describe so I can TOTALLY empathise. We also live in a compound and the mangager drives me nuts with sending workmen round to do totally unnecessary things without so much as a call to warn me! I have 9 week old and invariably the doorbell goes just as I've got him down for a nap...

Anyway, I have only just had my first so I'm no good with suggestions re what to do with the kids - sorry...but I wanted to say that you are not alone and it does get better! Everytime I have been home I realise that I have been remembering life in the UK through rose tinted is a great place but a very tough one at the mo!

Good luck, hope things improve for you.

Missymoomum Fri 10-Dec-10 05:55:46

Thank you for your replies. It's good to know it's a common thing and i expect i'll probably feel better tomorrow. I've just completely lost it with my DS and i'm sure the housekeeper now thinks i'm completely evil!

Hello dubaipieeye and welcome to the forum. I've not been on here for long either (obviously!). I know you're right about the UK as if i was still there i'd be longing for an adventure so i guess i can't complain. Grass is always greener... and all that.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 10-Dec-10 08:15:12

Missymoomum, where are you? There could be things going on that you can join.
I know when we first moved abroad, it was such a shock. The weather, food and being covered up so much was a real eye opener.
Have you made any friends with the other mums at school? They are generally my first port of call for finding activities for the girl.

anonymosity Fri 10-Dec-10 13:50:32

I am not in Asia but something you said struck a chord - and that was about the school term ending. I think day to day routines are important for keeping you going sometimes. I really rely on the school pick ups / drop offs for saying hello to a few people, chatting a few minutes with teachers and so on. So I understand the increased feeling of isolation you feel when all that stops. Do you have skype to talk to family and friends back home (is the time distance viable for that...?)? Are you interested in learning the local language? Just having a one-on-one tutor, or a small language group would provide some social structure as well as greater access into the culture. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family anyway. smile

thanksamillion Fri 10-Dec-10 21:15:23

Not really got any good advice but it really does get better. We moved about the same time as you must have done (but 3 years ago) and I think that Christmas hits really hard and emphasises the feeling a bit lost - probably because it's the time of year when we have most 'traditions' to miss. The only thing I can think of is to start your own family 'traditions' and make a big thing of them (ideally something that you could do wherever you are if you expect to move again). It could be anything and doesn't need to cost much but also might help you to start feeling a bit more in control again.

Also do try and learn a few phrases of the local language. Most people will warm to you much more if you make an attempt even if it's not a very good one! smile

midtowner Sat 11-Dec-10 17:14:47

How are you feeing today Missymoomum?

britgirl4 Thu 16-Dec-10 02:34:21

I hope you are feeling a bit better this week. It's a slow process settling in. We moved to the US in March and I thought things were going really well - until today I had a complete and utter breakdown in the middle of 'Mommy and Me'!! It was so one of those situations where as soon as I started crying I couldn't stop. I think I was getting rid of all my tears about missing my friends and family back home throughout the Christmas period. I could feel all the other mums staring at the 'odd crying english girl'. I think what I've learned from today is to acknowledge when I'm feeling a bit low, and have a few tears if I need to at home or when talking to people in the UK, instead of trying to pretend that everything is rosy just so they don't worry about me.
However, despite my total embarrassment, one of the other mums came over and looked after me, dragged my son and I back to her house for the afternoon, made me tea (yes she had proper tea!!) and has invited me out on Friday evening. It was bliss to have a proper conversation during the day with someone who wasn't my husband or the cashier at the supermarket.
I have lots of people to wave and say hello to. But today I think I've found my second proper friend here. And yes, I am going to go back to Mommy and Me next week, just probably in disguise :-)
Midtowner - where are you in the US?

Wordsonascreen Thu 16-Dec-10 04:39:12

I'm 4 months into expat life and its only this week its suddenly hit me (before I was happy as Larry)
I don't think Christmas is helping.Its just not the same here. Kids are in a new school and although they do a concert and have a party and christmas tree its just not THE SAME. I don't feel excited by Christmas at all, have hardly sorted any presents and will go to the supermarket on Christmas Eve and cross fingers they have brussel sprouts. We're going back for NY and I'm so looking forward to seeing family and friends.
I sobbed yesterday over my sons bad handwriting .

I have to laugh about the workman .. am currently watching 8 blue boliersuited workers trying to sort out a fountain .. (its day 5 so far)

ClareNasir Thu 16-Dec-10 05:04:40

I am also in Dubai and, apart from my DH and my son, I do not know one living soul here. My DH is working over Christmas, so I know I will also be feeling a bit lonely.

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