We are repatriating, and so I will no longer beat the tamtam from Singapore. I am not planning on continuing to blog from the Netherlands - it'll be crazy enough as it is, buying a house, finding a primary school, looking for a job. So this is goodbye.
We are going back because of family and schooling. It's been four and a half years, and I actually quite like my family, so it'll be nice to see them more often than once or twice a year.
As for schooling - Blondie is turning six this year, which means we have been looking at primary school options.
There is local school, which is very affordable, but a) we have no guarantuee of securing a place, and if we do, we have no guarantuee of the location of the place. It could be on the other side of the island. And b) our little Dutchie would from the start have to have two sets of tuition, both in Chinese and Dutch, and she'd have homework everyday and exams. I have discovered that I have a deep, primal resistance against the idea of my 6-year-old doing homework, exams and tuition. Which is to say, I can't get over it.
Then there is the Dutch school, which is utterly lovely, as it ought to be, for the price you're paying. We could, maybe, afford this for one child, but not for two. Which means we'd need to leave in two years anyway, when Big Boy hits the big 0-6.
In both cases, since we don't employ a helper anymore, when the children come home it ends my working day. This would be 1pm for a local school and 3pm for Dutch school, severely cutting into my working hours - and income. Not to mention school holidays.
So, there was the option of going back to fulltime employment to pay for a helper to look after the children so I could work in order to pay for the helper and the school, and I thought hang on. There is a country that has a school system I agree with (although it certainly doesn't get Singapore's results), where I have family to help me out, the opportunity to have a job within my field and part-time to boot.
So why not go there?
And just like that, the answer was clear.