Lately, I have been thinking about our house back in the US a lot more than normal. This is mostly due to the fact that it currently looks like a screenshot from Waterworld. Major parts of the city are underwater and more rain is on the way. So much for a drought.. (when it rains, it pours?). Our realtor contacted me and let me know that the tenant living in our house reported a roof leak and that he was sending someone out, but it wouldn’t be until the following day because EVERYONE had a roof leak or problem.(At least its not under water). Geep and I are of the same opinion that our realtor, which we often refer to as Douche-hog, is pretty much useless. He is terrible at communication and follow-up. At least he collects the money and helps the tenant with any problem she may have, even if it is not always in the most timely manner. That being said, it has been more than a few days since he told me about the problem and I replied back with a few questions, and I am still answerless. I hope our house is okay, but kinda not. We wouldn’t mind knocking it down and building another one, but that’s a different story.
There are two points I want to make here:
1) It is VERY important to find a good realtor to manage your home while you are over-seas expating. You need someone who is responsive and understanding of the time differences, etc. We were kind of in a pinch and he was our quickest option, even though we knew we weren’t going to be super thrilled with him. He looked at our house like it was a horribly disfigured barn cat and kept asking if it would be okay for the tenant to paint over some of our color choices, which he clearly did not approve of. I see him as more a beige everything kind of guy. It was also probably because our house was not a million dollar fortress on the lake he was more used to. Now, our house has some color in it ( lime green library, dark purple kitchen, etc) but it was tastefully done and not overwhelming. We didn’t know we were moving halfway around the world when he painted. It is our house after all. We understood, however, if someone wanted to paint a few places, but he acted like the things should just be sprayed white. He also said he would help us fight our property tax increase since it was crazy-pants, but never did. Needless to say, our property tax is even more crazy-pants than before. Thanks Douche-hog! Anyways, if you every decide to do what we did and move your whole life elsewhere for a little while, FIND A GOOD REALTOR!
2) With all this flooding and our hometown being in the news, it is hard to separate myself from here and there. We usually don’t take about going back too often, so we can ‘live in the moment’ and enjoy our time here in Paris. Plus, it gives us anxiety. How did we ever live without daily fresh baguettes? But, much to my chagrin, I have been thinking about the house and the US more than normal. It has even invaded me dreams. Now, we still have 6-7 months left ( we hope for one more extension after that,too) so it isn’t like we have to start prepping for our departure, but it is in the back of my mind. I had a rather vivid dream of us sitting on a stack of suitcases and looking out our window to the Invalides dome and feeling empty. I had another dream where we went for a walk the evening before leaving and drank lots of wine and cried. These are both very likely situations.
When we lived in the US, we didn’t know any better. I had never been overseas before moving here. Now that we have been introduced to this whole new world, we realize just how much we were missing. I’m not dogging American life, its a good place to live and has many perks, but I feel like France is more my home than Houston. The people here know how to live. I love going out with friends and not talking about their jobs, their kids, their families, etc. We talk about the new exhibits in the museums, things we saw that we found funny, places we went or are going, and books that we should all read. We talk about everything and nothing. It is wonderful. There is music, festivals, museums, and art fairs constantly changing here. Parisians are always learning, or have the opportunity to do so more than we did back home. (BTW, I don’t know if I can stomach a houston museum now. We shall see). This experience has changed us in so many ways, how will we ever go back to life before Paris? Will we get there and feel like it was all a dream? Like coma patients waking up after many years and remembering everything, but feelings like it was all so far away?
We try not to think about it, and will continue to do so. We need to live in the moment while we have it.
I blame all these feelings on the fact that our one year anniversary is coming up this Sunday. I keep looking back at the last 365 days with wonder and asstonishment. Look at everything we have done and everything we still need to do. It is impressive, but feels insignificant. It’s not enough. I just hope that when I return back to the states, that I will dream of Paris every night to remind me of our time here. Let me float in a dream world of baguettes, cold breezes, interesting conversations over small cups, and ancient history….. and find a MUCH better realtor.