There’s no way to put this delicately but…I’m bored. Bored stiff. Bored stiff in Frankfurt.
Anyone and everyone I know has been telling me how lucky I am being able to move to a different country, experience a different culture, learn a different language, see new things etc. etc., and I totally agree. I also agree that I’m lucky that I don’t have to face the 9 to 5 slog on a daily basis. However, I’ve realised that I can’t not work. I’m just simply not able to.
Not being able to work here (long story involving visas and contracts) is just about driving me crazy. Sure, Pépé and I left our highly stressed and super fast-paced lifestyle, not to mention the long long LONG work hours as cadres* (the 1 RTT* per month just wasn’t worth it) for seemingly laidback Frankfurt (well, it feels laidback compared to Paris), but going from overworked to not working at all just doesn’t sit well with me.
I feel like I should be doing something productive. Sure, learning German is productive, but I feel like I should be climbing some corporate ladder somewhere, sucking up to some ungrateful superior, taking coffee breaks when I’m not supposed to or even just whinging about having to go to work!
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of things that I can occupy myself with, for example, learning the articles for German nouns (they have 3 genders, 2 just wasn’t enough), but somehow it just feels like I’m idling the hours away. Maybe it’s my Asian upbringing where the constant climb the corporate ladder, climb the corporate ladder, get a career, get a career has been deeply engrained in my entire being, or maybe it’s just that I feel like a …wife. A stay-at-home wife.
After having played the “I am an independent woman, I make my own money, I can kiss arse and I can climb nice shiny corporate ladders as well as any man can” for nearly 10 years, I am now…a wife.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just not used to it.
So if you can excuse me now, I’m going to go Google “How to be a stay-at-home wife”.
* I’m not completely sure how to translate cadre, but in France, it refers to a category of employees, mostly white collar workers who have some kind of diploma to their name. Anyone out there with a better definition?
Anyway, when you’re a cadre, you work more than 35 hours per week but get compensated with 1 RTT (day off) per month.
** RTT = la réduction du temps de travail