Now that we’ve done a semester of this thing, DrBob working in London and me holding down the fort all by my lonesome, we feel qualified to reach a few conclusions about what will or will not happen.
Moving to London is a no. I think I said this before, that the level of disorganization there is fine when you’re a 20-year-old backpacker who can miss a meal or spend a night in the train station, but the whole cascade of things-not-working becomes really problematic when you grow up, and especially when you have children. You can’t sign a lease without a bank account, but you can’t get an account without an address. “I’m sorry, you’ll need an appointment for that, and the person who deals with that is on holiday at the moment, call back in two weeks.” “We tried to deliver your package, but we couldn’t find your house.” “Oops, administrative error, your paycheck won’t be in till next month…” DrBob has to work so hard to get any bureaucratic task done, and you know how bureaucracy just balloons when you bring kids into the equation. There’s just too much that can go wrong there.
The other factor is money. We did some careful calculating to see if he could even afford to take the job, but unexpected expenses keep coming up, like the stupid Ikea thing. We’re okay, but it’s tight, and at this rate, I don’t see how we can ever save up enough to make the move. Property prices in England are frankly appalling. Some have suggested that we live outside of London and DrBob can commute in. Turns out everyone else had that idea too, and anything within reasonable commuting distance is just not affordable – especially as we’ve just bought a house here, and selling it… well, our neighbor got transferred to Dresden last summer, and their house still hasn’t sold. They’re still here, he’ll go up soon and start work, his wife and daughters will just stay here on their own until the house sells, because like us, they can’t afford to buy a house without selling one first.
I just don’t see how it could work, but I can see very clearly how miserable the kids would be if it didn’t work out. And if they’re miserable, I will be too.