Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A mighty decade

It's really incredible how it's almost 10 years after the millenium happened. Not only is a new year beginning, but a new decade. So a little decade-examining reflection is de rigueur. It has definitely been an important decade for me.

Year 2000 started with a bittersweet taste. After being unemployed for 9 months or so, a few days before the end of 1999 I started to work at a small French telecoms company's office in Buenos Aires. A week before that, my beloved great-aunt died of cancer and left a big hole in my heart. I still miss her and will do so til the end of my life.

Later in 2000 I moved for the first time on my own and I travelled a lot for work. I went to Rio, NY, Miami and Marseille, enjoying the sweet times of the telecom industry. I also reconnected with lost friends from high school.

In December 2001, a big economic and financial crisis hit Argentina and all hell broke loose. People's bank accounts were frozen and most people lost a lot of their savings. I didn't have much to lose, so my finances didn't suffer much. But I did lost the will to live in a country that would allow such things. A country that would smash your efforts and suffocate your dreams. I decided it was time to do something about it and my long-baked dream of living abroad started to become more tangible.

The ensuing crisis that hit the telecom industry speeded things along and, after desisting to move to Mexico to keep my job, in April 2002 I got my severance package and used the money to make my exit to Europe, where I landed in August 2002. I chose Antwerp, Belgium, as a starting point, because my good friend C. lived there and offered to live with her while I looked for a job. I met Mr M on the same day I landed in Belgium (although we only started dating a few months later) A few weeks later I landed a part-time job at a banking institution. On my free time I followed French and Nederlands courses and walked through Antwerp a lot. My friend C. moved out to live with her then-boyfriend (now husband) and I took over the lease of her appartment, a lovely attic in the heart of Antwerp.

I moved in with Mr M in Brussels in 2003, just in time to start a new job near the Zaventem airport. In 2004 we bought our lovely appartment and started working on home renovations, which we realised over the years: first the garden and a deck terrace, then de kitchen, then an extension, lately a brand new bathroom....
In 2005 we started trying for a baby and in May 2008 Bibu finally showed up, feeling our lives with a lot of new adventures. In June 2007 we got married in Brussels and in May last year we started our latest adventure: a couple of years living the expat life in Tokyo.
So, it's ten years from the 'millenium bug' thing and I've come a long way, baby.
Wonder what this new decade will bring. Adventure beckons!

1 comment:

  1. With a bright mind everything is possible, even recovering for a nice economical crisis. I don't share your opinion about leaving a country beacuse of an economical crisis that ended up with major caos in 2001-2002, but was present since 1994, with major unemployment, privatizations and calamities for most of the argentine people. Anyways money come and goes, and although some other problems are lying around, it's not such an awful place to live. But of course this is not europe or japan. If you were able to make it through the years in an alien country, with another culture and all, twice, then I think it's the best for you, but nothing changes my views of bright skies, mighty oceans, great mountains and wonderful people.