Thursday, November 5, 2009

Expat dinner

It's funny the energy that flows when a group of expat women get together. Tonight at the table of a local Vietnamese restaurant, with only four total, sat 1 pregnant Brit, one Australian mother of two, an engaged American, another married American and myself.

The professions of these gals?
1. Pregnant Brit = Finance (married to a German)
2. Australian mother of 2 = Corporate Responsibility (married to a Swiss)
3. Engaged American = Residential Real Estate (engaged to a German)
4. Married American = can't remember exactly but it is polymer research related post doc with industry applications (married to an American)
5. Me = Marketing? (married to an American)

How many of these gals are employed?
Numbers 1 and 4

How many will be employed in the next few months?
Probably zero.

#1 is having a baby and moving back to England
#4's husband is a physicist and they had to decide whose job to move for. They chose his.

Tonight was full of belly laughs and cultural comparisons. For example, in Germany you can ask a woman in a job interview whether she is planning on having children and if she does have kids, how she is going to manage her job and her kids at the same time.  You are also expected to submit a photo with your CV otherwise you won't be considered.  You can't ask for the same in the US as it is illegal.

#2 is interviewing for jobs right now since her husband's company laid him off 4 months after they transferred him, his wife and their two children to Germany. How nice. She is already the mother of two and was asked not only how she would manage children and her job but also whether she was planning to have any more children.

I thought of two potential responses to the question of whether or not you are going to have children/further children:
1. No, I'm barren.
2. No, I've had my vagina locked.

Stupid questions, stupid answers.

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