Sunday Column (58)

Tired – and I have said that for years – really sums up this week. Switzerland left us very tired with sleepless nights. We tried catching up this week. My busy work schedule resulted in me getting tired too, e.g. on Thursday at 6pm I was just totally tired.

Good news is that Colin is getting better. He doesn’t have an ear infection but a virus infection that might have looked like an ear infection last weekend. The comment of a doctor in the UK, after seeing the drugs we got in Switzerland, was “where did you get those, you would have never got them in the UK“.

Now, that makes me think. Think about what I have been thinking for a while, having been in London for almost 6 years and the UK for 9 years. Should I stay or should I go? This is a fundamental question, and no question that I would answer within the next year or so.

But let’s look at it realistically:
– Health care: I believe that other countries, including Switzerland & Germany have a better health system
– School system: I could find a good school in the UK but have to pay for it.
– Job: I earn well but pay high prices in London. If I moved away from London, I earn less, pay less, and possibly have fewer career prospectives (not necessarily). But would I consider a life in the UK outside London?
– Weather: After 6 months of rain, snow, constant heating and many bugs, I could imagine living somewhere where the average temperature is around 20 degrees.
– Living standard: housing in Switzerland & Germany and many places are just more solid. Of course some countries re-built their houses after the 2nd world war, whilst Britain still has many 100 year old houses. Still, whilst here they still talk about some energy efficiency, other countries are far more advanced.

Now, this might sound like a moan but it isn’t. It is German honesty. I get accused a lot of being negative, but I am not. Actually I am a very positive person. However, I realistically look at my current living standard, working hours, expectations, surroundings and what would be best for my family too.

There is no doubt I will be in the UK for another 3 years, job wise and some personal reasons, however there will be the point when we need to make a decision. And, that would be when the wee man goes to school.

Would Germany make me happy? I doubt it. I don’t think I want to go back to Germany, and if of any places there, it would have to be Munich – high living standard, work-life balance but also high prices and a big town.

Career wise Hongkong or Singapore could be of interest. I have never been, but living quality seems to be not as good. Then maybe Sydney or New Zealand. Of which both might be too laid back for me, or as a friend said “these countries are not fast enough for you, Volker“. Who knows?

America – there is an idea. But comparing living standards, health and school systems with the UK, I’d rather stay. So maybe Canada, but the weather is just a bit colder than 20 degrees. I think, and that is without consulting my wife, that Sydney, Vancouver, Munich or Wellington seem to be the next possible places to live. But who knows what happens in the next 3 years, ey?

So finally I got a topic I could write about this week. Guess I had time to relax this weekend. My parents were over from Germany and we had a fantastic time. Happy Easter by the way πŸ™‚

We went down to Tonbridge and Tudely to see the Chagall windows. A nice trip for an Easter break. The weather wasn’t fantastic but ok. we had some rain showers. However, it is great to see the grand parents to see their boy and it was good to see my parents. Sometimes they are just too far away.

Have a good rest bank holiday weekend and a good and short week.

Volker & Family