It has been an eventful week for sure!

On Monday I finally received notification that the work and labor departments in both Frankfurt and Munich agreed that I could live and work in Germany so my work permit is ready! I will have to wait until next week to get it because I am waiting on my US passport to come back. In the last weeks I applied for and received a short term US passport (2 years) that I can travel with while my permanent passport is being replaced or, when needed, submitted for visas to work in other countries.

It was tough to find anything on the internet about people in my situation who travel so frequently for work - more frequently than replacement passports and visas can be processed. I finally went to the Munich consulate for advice (they should issue me a frequent shopper card) and they explained what to do.

Basically, I obtained a letter from my company stating that I travel frequently for business and need a 2nd passport. I received the short term one two weeks ago. Last week I said farewell to my first ever passport, issued in 2003 with no travel plans in mind, just to win a bet with a colleague. Now it's filled with two extension books, 2 Visas, about 150 Munich airport stamps, and various others including Mexico, the US and other European countries. The next one is already processing and will be here within a week. Hopefully it will have a tidier and longer, but just as full a life.

I've had it about up to here working with the Americans. I am counting the days until we finish their part of the project and move back to European countries. In a nutshell, they are so focused on morale and acknowledging what has already been accomplished that they forget that they are not done and are in danger of not making their timelines. I am American. I understand where they are coming from. It is just almost too much to ask to work with Americans right after the Austrian, Swiss and German group. And oh by the way, throw Latin America in with the US to make it a bit more interesting. It sure is. Interesting.

I have come a lot closer to reaching a conclusion behind door 1, 2 and 3 on my next steps with my career. Things have progressed favorably (quite surprisingly to me) towards signing on with the Frenchman. Top level management all endorsed the move and now it just remains for me and the Frenchman to go to lunch on Monday, work out the details and make a final decision. I turned down Singapore. With M. in the US quite a bit in the coming months I don't want to be heading so far in the opposite direction. Only a tiny tinge or regret but another 12 months in Basel in a well positioned spot with a group I enjoy working with isn't too shabby. If for whatever reason it doesn't work out, door #3 cracked open this week revealing some promising prospects in Germany and the UK so I am relaxed that all will play out ok now.

Now I just need to figure out when M. and I can get some time off together and plan a real vacation!

Posted from Basel


lobstah said...

Congrats on getting your work permit :) Good thing you didn't go to Singapore, mom would've flipped.

Expat Traveler said...

michelle thanks for all of the support on my photos. I hear you with work but you seem to be quite happy. That's not how things have progressed for me here at all..

I'm very curious to speak with you via email actually...

(I'll take a peak to see if it is in Haloscan..)

megan said...

Although I think we'd have been thrilled at Singapore (as opposed to remote China), considering all the effort you've put into getting yourself onto the same continent as your boyfriend, some additional months in Basel sound like a good idea. Looks like things are working out pretty well.

...and isn't funny how annoying Americans can be? More annoying even, since you left the country?

Michelle said...

Chris, Mom denies any inclination to freak out! hehehe

ET - sent you an email, we should get in touch!

Megan - you guys are not faint of heart that is for sure. China will be one hell of an adventure I am sure. I am developing a love/hate relationship with Americans. :)

Carol said...

What exciting happenings! I'd love to have a job in which I could travel as you do! (Said on the DAY I returned from Germany... sigh!)

Need any project managers?!