EXPATS AGAIN

EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.

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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

A VISIT BACK HOME

The Wall Street Crash of 1929, the beginning o...Image via Wikipedia Wall Street during Crash of 1929.

I'm headed back home for a visit and it is with a mixture of anticipation and a dollop of dread that I return. The anticipation is for seeing my family and friends and sharing wonderful times together. The dread is for finding my country and my city
suffering. Each day I know that citizens are losing their jobs, their homes, and their possesions due to the current economy. I get a news feed from our local news station and I hear about the cut in wages, the downsizing, and all too often the closure of another business. Personally, I know people who have been asked to work with less hours, less pay, or foot part of their medical benefits just to stay employed. Fire departments, police, and teachers are all finding that their departments or districts are not able to meet the current payroll and must consider more cuts.


I also know of friends who have had to foreclose on property because they just were not able to make the payments. My heart goes out to these people because you just never know if one day you might be in their shoes. It's unbelievable the number of people I know who are facing difficulty in these uncertain times. We, h

Foreclosure - Impressive!Image by joelogon via Flickr

ere in Germany are not immune either. My husbands' company is in the final phases of downsizing staff globally by 30%. Being a new expat and having only been here for four months, my husband was waiting

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL- APRIL 03:  Richard McCull...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

for the bullet. We feel somewhat safe--this time. Should there be another round of cuts, who knows? There are so many variables that to predict what may happen to the world's ecomomy is sheer conjecture on our part. Speculation runs rampant and nothing is certain. It's a bit hard to see the effects of a worsened economy here in Germany. I haven't yet seen foreclosure signs or businesses leaving empty store fronts behind. But I understand that when the U.S. sneezes, everyone in the world catches cold so it is probably only a matter of time.


What makes it ever more stressful is that you know that our tax money helped bail out many businesses who just mismanaged their companies and yet we are giving them another chance. Who among us wouldn't like someone to extend a hand and bail us out of our deep despair and loss? I think it's the underlying unfairness of it all that I regret.

Families are already stretched to the limit and yet we all know that special services or maintaining the services we now enjoy will take more money. Where will it come from?

Returning home to boarded up businesses, homes that sit empty, and long lines at t

An example of a payslip from the John Lewis Pa...Image via Wikipedia

he job source center is not what I had in mind when I looked forward to my first return visit. Yet, that is the reality and I need to prepare myself for it. When I left, things were only starting to get worse--now, I have no idea what to expect. Northwest Ohio is in the unenviable position to have suffered immensely from the downturn of the auto industry. Auto workers make up a large percent of our population and I just imagine that they are some of the hardest hit along with their counterparts, businesses that supply the auto industry.


For these reasons, I am fearful of my return home. It won't be as it was or how I remembered it and the people whom I know and love will have been affected by it. Such is the way of the world at the moment. I wish I could bring something positive back for my family and friends, some happiness and joy at the very least, instead of souveniers and trinkets. This is all I can do for now. Hopefully, I can manage to make others forget about their life's burdens, if only for a short time.

So, although I am anxious and excited to reunite with all of my family and good friends, it is with trepidation that I do so. My mother was so right when she advised me as a young woman that the only thing to expect to stay constant in life was.... change.

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1 comment:

Expat Traveler said...

so true.. And I've heard countries are out of it.. Time and change will only tell!