Then Again, Maybe Not

Life is what happens when you’re making other plans…

Dear Barbara,

Soon after your last email, the announcement for Connor finally arrived. Thank you for thinking of us. It is still strange somehow to think that you’ve already been a mother for several months now. 🙂

We have news, although not so positive.

In the aftermath of the sale of the division, the position Oliver was to take in Changchun was eliminated. In fact, we understand that a good number of positions in Changchun have been eliminated. All plans for us moving to China have come to an abrupt halt. We received the news just two days before I was to quit my job and we were to cancel our apartment. Luckily for us, none of this had actually happened yet, but we are both seriously disappointed at the change in plans.

The news also came just two days before our long-delayed honeymoon trip to Oman, which was very good timing indeed. We’ve had a little time to get used to the idea that we’re staying (for now) and it was good to be able to do this away from the office. This was especially true for me, as no one knew I was about to leave. Mentally I was already on my way to China and it’s been a bit hard to ‘come back’ to a job I’d already stopped thinking of as mine.

Our disappointment is both professional and personal. We’d always kept in mind the possibility that something like this could happen, and because of the sale we knew that the chances were even higher. Still, it is disappointing and we are both quite sad about the fact that we won’t be coming to Changchun. Although for me the move may have initially been a step back, the position for Oliver presented a great opportunity. I was looking forward to him having such a great challenge to tackle and being there to help him succeed at it. On the personal side, I think we’re both certain that, even if another possibility opens up in China, we will never be so lucky as to find such wonderful people as we’ve met in Changchun, in particular you and Frank. It is a credit to your kindness and generosity that we are so sad not to be coming.

We do hope that another opportunity will present itself. This experience has taught us that we are ready for something challenging, and that there will never be a better time to go abroad. We are more ready than ever to go somewhere and now that we’re immunized and finished with our ‘cultural training’, China is our clear preference. We’ll have to be patient and see what the new year brings us. For now we’re going to enjoy the unexpected gift of another Christmas in Europe, which promises to be snowy. I am looking forward now to Christmas markets and drinking Gluehwein. 🙂

It is with a lot of regret that I cannot end this letter with “see you soon”. I had very much been looking forward to that. I hope that if you and your family ever find yourselves in Munich, that you will let us know. And who knows? Maybe next year will be our year, and we end up neighbors after all.

Until then, I wish you, Frank and Connor a Merry Christmas in Changchun and (hopefully) a very interesting New Year for all of us.

Warmest regards from Munich,



2 responses to “Then Again, Maybe Not

  1. Holy crap. Ummmmm. Holy crap! So sorry to hear about the job and China situation, but so glad to hear you hadn’t quit and given up your apartment, and really glad you got to go on a honeymoon. I can’t imagine how difficult this is to switch gears at the last possible moment. We are all thinking of you guys and sending our love to you. Have a happy German thanksgiving!
    Bonita, Marc and Brody

  2. OMG, that’s just so abrupt.

    Sorry to hear about the sudden change of tide. But well, luckily it happened before everything else was set in motion. 🙂

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