Monday, June 28, 2010

And what a year it has been!

I turn 29 tomorrow, and although it started rocky, this year might just have been one of the best, most eventful ones yet.

Last year was kicked off by a surprise from the Penguin and assorted others who made P call in through Skype to say hello and sing 'happy birthday' to a very surprised and overwhelmed me.

July and August were nerve wracking to say the least. In the midst of almost daily pm meetings that turned my social life into a big fat ZERO despite the Penguin living across the road (ah! those days!) I'd wonder daily when my company would get back to me on the status of my move to the US to be united with the soon to be husband. After multiple follow ups, and some ingenuous tactics initiated by my mentor, I was finally told I couldn't move after all. This was 10 days before my wedding and instead of looking forward to the event to be, I was miserable thinking about which one of us would have to give up a much loved job and move to another country jobless.

September was the wedding. A fun filled affair followed by a much deserved holiday in Bali, which we spent blissfully ignorant of the uncertainties that lay ahead, simply coz P had an interview call from a company in Singapore. Just as well, I suppose. At least our honeymoon wasn't wrecked by the worry that plagued us for most days before the wedding.

By the end of September we'd had our bubble mercilessly burst. The interview was shit and to make matters worse, the guy who interviewed P basically discouraged him to the point where he wondered if it would ever be possible to find a job in Singapore.

And hence, October and November went by in a crazy haze trying to figure who would finally take the big step of moving. Jobs were hunted left, right and center.

Finally it was clear that me moving to the US outside of my current company would mean endless H1B struggles and a year or more of potential unemployment. P's moving here was no easy feat either. At best he would be underemployed, settling for a pay grade and position far less than what he had in the US. At worst, he would be unemployed. But since Singapore has a more open attitude to work visas and jobs in his sector were more numerous than mine near Philadelphia, finally it was decided he would move here.

December was a month of mixed feelings. On one hand, P was finally coming here for good. After 2 years of long distance, we'd finally get to live under the same roof. On the other hand, the next few months would be fraught with the stress of finding him a job.

The end of December was a brilliant time. We were in Madras for Christmas with P's mom's side of the family and a wedding on his Dad's Punjabi side of the family. Every time a new relative found out he had moved continents to be with his wife, instead of the aghast expressions we expected, we were treated to a very thrilled "wow, you will be SO much closer to home now!". At some level this was awesome considering no one gave me the third degree for putting their boy out of a job (explaining H1B hassles to a distant Chachi = not my idea of a smooth dialogue). At another level this was also a little deluded, coz no one really understood how difficult all this had been for P to cope with. P, as always, maintained his stoic silence and suffered quietly through it all.

We came back to Singapore on the 29th of December welcomed by our friends and began a real life together.

Jan and Feb passed in a blur of happy moments. What I had expected to be teething trouble while living with a new flatmate, was made smooth by the fact that P is the most low maintenance dude ever. This and the fact that Mogambo had trained him in the fine art of housekeeping made him the best flatmate I've ever had!

I always knew he'd be cool to live with (it's why I married him, no?), but I didn't quite anticipate the amount of 'awesome' he brought into the relationship. Life before P suddenly paled in comparison with life after P :-)

March, April and May were probably the toughest months we've been through together. There was no sign of a job on the horizon, and although P is an overall calm person not given to panic (like yours truly), this is when he started to get well and truly scared that this job thing would never ever happen, much less in a decent company. I have to admit, these were scary times for me as well. Although we never quite lashed out at each other, there was an undercurrent of "will this ever happen for us" always at play. Going through pain yourself is one thing (and P went through enough of this) but seeing someone you love so much go through such pain and knowing that it's all for you is something I never figured out how to deal with. Guilt was my best friend in these months. And faith.

My only real prayer was for things to get sorted out by P's birthday on the 21st of May. He doesn't really care about them, but I do, and him having a good birthday just seemed like the one thing that would redeem the crap months we'd been through.

On 15th May, an interview that P had given a few weeks back showed signs of working out. Finally on the 19th of May, he had an official offer from a really good company headquartered in the US and with operations in Singapore. We celebrated his birthday 2 days later, with much fanfare amidst good friends.

From then on, things have only gotten better. Mogambo landed up here sometime later in collusion with P and surprised me. Much shopping and much drinking later, we headed out on a short trip to HongKong and painted every bit of it red. My work life went from better to plain awesome as some really good work for the year was wrapped up. I made a new friend in my co worker, Andy (long distance seems to be my specialty, considering she lives in Beijing and we've only ever interacted over the phone).

But it all gets better in July. Tomorrow, I turn 29 and P and I have officially lived together for 6 months :D We had a brilliant weekend, cause I leave on work for Beijing tomorrow. And after work I stay back over the weekend with Andy and her family to trek up the Great Wall and see the sights of Beijing :)

Mogambo comes back from Madras at the end of July and I go home in August/ September to see my parents after VERY long. :-) Interesting work stuff coming up as well.

A year that started so uncertainly is coming to an end quite brilliantly. To that, and to many more years to come, CHEERS!

Happy 29th birthday to me :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

A new life begins....

P starts work today. He received an offer about Mid May - right before his birthday in the 3rd week of May. Ever since then, it's been like a constant joyride with all the pleasant surprises and the very new feeling of no worrying about the future. His birthday was followed by S's visit here which in turn was followed by a brilliant trip to Hong Kong. My birthday comes up accompanied by a work trip to Beijing where I stay on an extra weekend and get to experience all the magic of the old city and finally meet my colleague and good friend Andrea.

Life has been good (touchwood!!) for a while now and I hope it stays this way for a while to come. :-) Thanks to everyone who sent their prayers our way :-)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Hong Kong Babbbyyyy!!!

Just back from the most incredible short trip ever. Hong Kong turned out to be so much more fun than I'd ever have expected it to be. Of course, being surprised by a dear dear friend over the last weekend (P and her colluded to have her fly in from Seattle to Singapore!!!) and having her around to plan this whole trip and take it with us just made it all the better!

S, I hope you do decide to come back on your way back to Seattle. I wait with bated breath. I promise to take you on the stupid Singapore flyer thing, take you shopping again, watch that awful SATC2 movie if it's still on and take you partying all night every weekend night that you're here :-)

More later ...