Back In The USA – AKA Leaving Asia
I wrote a while back about a company transfer back to the USA after nearly 11 years in Asia. Singapore to be exact. Well, I returned on 3 September (kicking and screaming) and settled in north Atlanta, Georgia. I assure you all, it hasn't been an easy transition. But, I had extended my stay in Asia far beyond the normal tour and always knew I would have to return eventually. Upon arrival I went through the following:
– Finding an apartment. What a f#[email protected] hassle. All the places I looked conducted a full background check on me to ensure I wasn't a deadbeat loser or owed anyone money. After that, I was given a lease to sign that basically stated that if I broke the lease for any reason, I would have to sign my checkbook over to them or face the wrath of the massive and ruthless US legal system resulting in my credit rating being trashed for the rest of my life. Every place I searched for an apartment was the same. Seems they all huddle up to see how they can best screw tenants. I finally bit the bullet and took a place that was far below the standards I was used to. Hell, I have to live somewhere. Note: I chose not to buy since I don't intend to stay in this country too long. Just long enough to retire and return to Asia. Then there was utilities hook up, cable hook up, Internet hook up and telephone hook up. All come with a nice hefty security deposit and again that background check to ensure I'm not a deadbeat.
– Buying a car. I had to have a Georgia driver's license first. That took a full day standing around with my thumb up my ass until they gave me the written test, the eye test and then the driving test. All of it was also available in Spanish I might add. Hell, everything here is in bi-lingual language. The worst part of it was I had to forfeit my Singapore driver's license to boot. I asked why they had to take it and the women replied, "turn it in or no license". I gave it up even though it had four years left on it. That hurt. I really wanted to keep that license for when I returned "home". Car insurance is high by any standards. So, I bought the cheapest thing I could find and took out liability only. Still, I'm paying nearly $900 a year. Pay, pay, pay. That was my welcome home reception.
Overall, I find the Georgia people friendly enough. And, the grocery stores are huge by any standards. They claim the Atlanta area has seven single women for every single guy. Well, since I'm over 30 that leaves me out of the ball game for the hard bodies I'm used to. I chatted up a barmaid at a local pub the other day and almost asked her out on a date. Fortunately, she pre-empted me by saying that I reminded her of her father since I was about his age. Ha. That saved me some embarrassment. Had I asked her out she would of laughed and said "get out of my face you old fart". No bargirl in LOS would ever said that to me! The women I probably could date are far and away out of my zone. The USA is not the LOS but the LOFA (Land of Fat Asses). I haven't seen so much ass on any women in ages. Sorry mate. I'm not into fat asses. So, I've concluded that I should accept my fate and take my sexual needs "in hand" for the time being. There are girlie bars here. Plenty of them. You can pay $40 for a lap dance and more for a private room. And, there are places with Thai women available. But, all of that doesn't interest me. It would not be the same anyway. So it's best for me to keep things in hand and save my money for my return to Asia.
I've been here nearly two months now. The time is passing both quickly and slowly. My new position is okay and the money is fine. However, I'm really taking it in the wallet by now having to pay rent and the added burden of state and federal income taxes. I'm taking home far less than I did when I lived overseas. Bummer. But, the way I view things, it's one foot in front of the other. In no time at all I'll be retirement eligible. Then I'll be free to return to Asia and live in relative comfort while I look around for something to do with myself. Bangkok is a possible destination. Pattaya might work as well. When you have financial freedom, i.e., enough money flowing in from retirement, etc. (it doesn't have to be a lot, just enough to live comfortably) you can do just about anything and live just about anywhere. That's my goal and I keep it in focus despite waking up every day wanting to chuck my job, my retirement, etc., and return to Asia now. Now will come eventually. Asia will still be there. It isn't going anywhere. And the warm ladies of Asia will still be there as well. I figure I can move there permanently in a year. Two years would improve my financial situation and three to four would make my life there lavish by Asian standards. A trip a year to LOS for two to three weeks at a time will keep the environment I left fresh in my mind and senses. I can wait. This is just a brief stop in my adventure of life. I'll come "home" soon. My only worry is that I become complacent about it all. I mean, with the passing of each day, I get farther and farther away from Asia. Reading Stickman regularly and keeping focused on my grand "plan" for returning is essential to me. It seems to be working so far.
Good on you for making a tough decision and short term sacrifice for something that should have future benefits.