So before I set off on my journey and move to my new country, I have to say goodbye to all of my friends and family. By now anyone who knows me well, knows I suffer badly from wanderlust and it was here again. This time initiated by my wife but also knowing that I would be returning in late October and back to work for PlaygroundPlaytimes.
I would like to thank in no particular order the following people:
Mavis Jones for storing some of our valuable belongings.
My brother, Steven Massey, for keeping my car going which I shall be using again in October.
Dorothy Turner, my dear mother in law, for agreeing to take the redirection of mail, and keep an eye on our affairs whilst we are in India.
Sange Wilson for agreeing to foster, but give back, our two wonderful cats Buster and Mim.
Angela Castro, my dear Spanish friend and adopted Spanish grandmother of the two boys. For all her help in Spain, her kind ways and supporting us when perhaps our Spanish language skills are lacking.
Lastly, Richard and Lorraine Smith for the help in packing up our house in Spain and getting me ready to move to India.
As I said earlier, there is a lot of organising to be done when you move abroad. The plan was simple rent our house in England; store both cars, leaving me one to use on my return to England; reorganise my work to run in line with a 3 week return to the UK; rehome our two cats; have an holiday in our in Spain and then a house swap holiday in Barcelona; pack up the house in Spain and get to the airport after storing the 2nd car in the garage in Spain. Easy.
We had all decided that it was better for Michelle to fly directly from our holiday in Barcelona, to India, on her own. She needed to be there for the opening of her new school, and we thought it would be hard enough settling into being the Head of Primary in a new school and new country, without having to worry about the two boys and me.
So this was a chance for us boys to enjoy the rest of the summer holidays together in sunny Spain.
We left Michelle at the airport in Barcelona – this would be the first time she had been without the boys for so long since they were born.
Anyway we had a great time together and we face-timed Michelle, most days, who had now arrived safely in India. She was put up in a hotel while she was going to look for a suitable apartment for us to live in. She did seem a little lonely at first, but once she had started school and met all the other ex-pat teachers, she seemed to be enjoying the experience.
The boys were excited to get to India and meet up with their mum again – we had spent over two weeks without her.
So the time came to pack up. Lorraine and Richard had arrived and they were going to help us pack the house including the car into the garage and give us a lift to the airport in Santiago.
I would almost need another blog to explain what happen in the week of packing up. All I can say is Lorraine watched the packing go ahead through her glasses that were raining from the inside. Richard ended up with a “saw” head.
We thanked Richard for dropping us off at the airport, and I will miss the continuous laughter we shared over their time with us in Galicia.
We had 36 hours of travel ahead of us. Santiago to Madrid, Madrid to Dubai and Dubai to Mumbai. All was well until we arrived in Madrid. We had 5 hours to wait before our next flight to Dubai. So we ate, then it was time to check the tickets, after going to wrong place on 3 more occasion we had found the Fly Emirates desk. The lady looked at our tickets and her face changed. We had two hours before our flight to Dubai was due. She said “these tickets will not get you into India”.
“Why? I replied. It was the dependence visa – it was less than a year old. I explained that you can only get a dependent visa for one year, so as soon as you get it will be less than one year old. She was very apologetic. “What can I do?” I needed a valid ticket out of India for me and the two boys.
We all looked at each other. After all this organisation, this trip isn’t going to happen. My first thought I need to phone Richard and ask him to pick us up near in Madrid, get back to our house in Spain and rethink the whole situation.
I phoned Michelle – she was trying to stay calm but I don’t think she can’t believe it. I don’t think we have enough money in the bank to buy three tickets out of India.
She told me to leave it with her, she was going to contact the school. They will have to buy us the new tickets.
I am thinking it took them nearly four months to buy these tickets, how can they purchase out going tickets within two hours?
The Emirates lady tells me when she has seen I have the tickets out of India, she will allow us onto the plane.
‘No way’, I am thinking. Theo starts to cry ‘when will we see mum?’
Anyway after several phone calls both ways, the tickets are bought. The wonders of the internet.
I sighed. I turned to the lady behind the desk: ‘has this happened before?’
‘All the time’.
‘What a stressful job you must have’.
She said ‘yes’.
Then she added, ‘that’s India for you’.
We haven’t even arrived yet and I think that this is a sign. It’s not going to be easy.