If you thought here is the answer to the debates that you’ve had since you first noticed that you are infected with the Hong-Hong-Bug, this article will let you down. In other words, I’m still clueless.
However, since you’ve come this far, you may as well read the rest of it. Maybe you have a friend who is looking to start a business. In that case, I volunteer as the test client.
My realization is simple. Almost 90% of the attention in an expatriation process (I’m making this up, but since the relocation-scene has been on my radar for the past decades, I feel entitled to make up numbers) is focused on arriving, finding accommodation, schools, associates, interest groups, friends, your favorite brand of mustard and how to use a de-humidifier. Once you#re settled in you begin passing on tips. It’s pretty much all there.
When the day came and it was our turn to leave, however, I felt like I was stuck in a lift alone, waiting for it to crash to the basement. Paralysed at first, then sentimental and in fight-or-flight-mode. My various to-do-lists are competing for length whilst I am wondering how to say good-bye. But it’s time to be practical, and here is the thing: there’s no business or service that helps you to get the hell out of here. Why not? In Hong Kong, you can get pretty much everything done, built, delivered, catered. But when it’s time to leave and you need to wind down a family life, you are pretty much by yourself.
I dream of a maternity-nurse-like person who keeps me company, helps my kids with their homework, takes photos and measures all the furniture I want to give away or sell, sorts through our clothing, engages with PCCW to clarify the last 15 bills, closes our accounts, gets curtains made for our new place in Berlin, manages the dog’s transportation, asks the car insurance to confirm that I’ve not had a crash, takes the kids to the dentist, me to the psychiatrist, organises my calendar for leaving events, applies to schools in Berlin, prepares our new setup and the tax issues that come with relocating, helps me make decisions, brings me a coffee whilst I am writing this article… you see where is this going.
Where is the Kick-Ass-Exit-Service with a representative who will come with ready-made lists, sitting down with me asking: what do want to do about the curtains? Shall we donate this bed or do you want to sell it? How about these books – donate? Those two kids – sell, crate, and ship separately? Your Swarovski Glass Poodle collection needs insurance? Consider it done. More coffee? Oh, the broken drum-kit? Don’t worry, we’ll have it repaired. I’ll pick up your family’s health records tomorrow, sure… you go see your friends!