We’re moving. Voluntarily, willingly, moving. To another country. Where the official language is not English. We do speak a little German. Plot twist: We’re not moving to Germany.
We’re moving to Dubai.
If you’ve just found yourself thinking something along the lines of “Wow! That’s…far!” and not wanting anyone to know that you also thought “Go where now?” – you should know two things: 1. this is a common response, and 2. PLEASE just ask Google whenever you have a question that could possibly, at all, EVER make you seem less intelligent that you would like to appear. Or Siri, you can ask that bitch. But here’s a quick geography lesson:
Now that we’ve cleared THAT up. Just to give you some further context, because usually the next question is “Will you even have internet there??” here’s a quick lesson on living conditions:
And because inevitably someone thinks I would take my children to some place “undesirable”, here’s an example of schooling:
Why would you move to Dubai? Is your husband military? -Nope. He has an office job with a very large, well-known, highly successful company. It’s a good job, we have FANTASTIC insurance, he has never missed a first day of school, could attend kindergarten “graduation”, never works holidays or “off” shifts, blah blah. He took a promotion that includes this 3-year assignment.
Since we are being relocated by the company there are many things we don’t have to do, my favorite benefit: we don’t have to pack. We do however, have to move all of our winter stuff to storage. We currently live in Polar Vortex, USA. We’re moving to the desert. There’s a ton of shit we’re not going to need there, that unfortunately we will need when we get back. We’ve lived here our whole lives, with a brief stint down South. We have a lot shit to store. Even if we had to pack ourselves, it would be nothing compared to the insanely tedious task of “document attestation”.
Let’s talk a little bit about document attestation. If you don’t know what that means, here’s a crash course:
1. Obtain, if you do not already have, a certified copy of your document with embossed seal. (examples of documents requiring attestation: birth certificates, marriage licenses, diplomas, degrees, power of attorney, etc.)
2. Take that copy to Secretary of State. Ohhhh, yes. Hope you have a vacation day to burn. In Hell.
3. SOS demon will look at your document, ask for your ID but never look at it, and rub your document’s seal.
4. SOS demon will “joke” about you getting killed because she thinks you’re moving to a war zone. You mentally present her with the above maps.
5. SOS demon will ask what makes anyone want to move to “crazy places”. You will not answer because it’s really just best not to antagonize a frickin’ demon.
6. SOS demon will sigh loudly when she realizes she has to walk to the counter 3 feet behind her to obtain gold sunburst-shaped stickers. You will just be grateful a demon called your number, and not the Dementor at window 2.
7. SOS demon will apply the sticker to a printed form letter saying your document is real and emboss it, then apply another sticker so that wraps the upper left-hand corners of your document and the letter and STAPLE them together. It’s a very high-tech process.
8. SOS demon will take your money ($1/document), and then, if you’re lucky, you can leave before she tells you some story about how she got this high-profile job torturing souls.
9. Next, you will need to send your document to the US Department of State, with the corresponding form indicating you are seeking attestation and for use in which country, include a pre-paid, self-addressed return envelope. And of course, send them money ($8/document).
10. The DOS will receive your documents and probably some poor intern will rub your seals and affix another embossed seal form letter to your document and send it back.
11. Now that you’ve got your formerly one-page document back, you get to SEND IT OUT AGAIN. This time to the embassy of the country where you will use your document, in DC. Include your pre-paid, self-addressed return envelope and more money (usually about THIRTY DOLLARS PER DOCUMENT).
12. DO. NOT. forget to put the damn money in that shipment. They will send your document back with NOTHING, and FedEx will laugh because now you’re single-handedly keeping them in business.
13. Someone on the consulate side of the embassy will rub your seals and then STAMP the back of another paper attached your document and send it back to you. Because THIRTY DOLLARS PER DOCUMENT doesn’t even earn you another piece of paper or embossed seal.
14. Once you arrive in the country (unless you have time to mail it there and back) you will have to take that document-turned-book to the embassy THERE for the last fucking piece of the embossed/stamped form letter puzzle. Undoubtedly, they will also need to be paid for their rubbing and stapling efforts.
15. You may NOW apply for your visa.
You can also go in person the to Department of State and Embassy, if you want to road trip to Virginia and DC, respectively, to do so. Also, you will have to repeat the super fun time you had at SOS at each of these locations – keeping in mind that the native language of the people at the embassy is NOT English. Clearly a process devised by the devil himself. It would be less involved to steal a fucking car. I’m just guessing on that, I’ve never actually stolen a car. It seems like it would be easier and less time-consuming to steal a car.
Let me get to the point, today’s first world problem: My husband has a good job, AND got a promotion.