Where can I buy food from my country? How do I find my way around the public transport system? Who makes the best sushi in town? Do you know a tailor? I am hosting a dinner and searching for catering material for 100 people. I need my chairs refurbished. Can you recommend a vet? Where can I work out?
If you've moved abroad, you know the Spiel. Starting daily routine all over again. Beginning from scratch by scouting the most basic necessities in order to get your family settled. Don't even get me started on the doctor search; by the time you've found a good paediatrician, a general practitioner who actually understands what you're saying and a decent dermatologist, it is time to move on again!
However, it is the part I love most about moving, the endless quest of discovering new places, meeting people whom you would have never met had you been comfortable on your home turf, searching for the latest gadget your kids seem not to be able to live without. Every day starts with little missions to conquer your new neighbourhood. Once you feel comfortable in your hood, you start venturing further. You realise how a place can differ with just a 10 minute metro ride!
It is the challenge that keeps me going. The challenge of putting a structure to my life and reaching a daily routine for myself and for my family. Every time you move, it's like a neatly packed stack of cards is being thrown into the air, it then falls on the floor and you need to start sorting it all over again.
And every September old friends move on and leave empty spaces and newcomers arrive. You somehow need to find a new place in your card deck - that you have finally managed to recompose - and your game becomes a little richer in experiences as well as in friendship.
However, in the end it is still YOUR card game and you decide the rules... well, at least that's what I like to think!