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My Time with Pedro* – Day 9

Many of the discussions I had with Pedro were around the topic how the both of us can actually live together. Pedro was very enthusiastic to discuss this topic and wanted to find an agreement as quick as possible. As much as I like to discuss future life plans the less I’m willing to make life changing decisions without really knowing somebody. Usually I and most other people I know need a few months’ time to get to know each other to make big decisions such as leaving Germany and spending the rest of the life abroad. Sorry, but I simply cannot make such a decision on day nine! Probably I would have been totally crazy and made such a tough decision if everything was simply perfect (which never is really the case) but Pedro and I actually living together would require quite a number of compromises on both sides. I was aiming to understand the compromises I actually need to take in order to think about them and make an informed decision when time is up to do so. Whenever I have made a decision I usually stick to it which involves sticking to what I have promised to others. Pedro gave me the feeling he just wanted to decide quickly without really knowing what he was up to and I’m pretty sure he would try to challenge what he has promised as soon as he understood what it actually requires from him.

The main decision Pedro was requesting from me was to leave Germany and live with him in Brazil or any other undefined country he needs to go for work in the future. Such a life changing decision requires a lot and you must be very sure what you are doing when taking this step. But how can you be sure about what you doing on day nine with somebody? First of all, you really need to know the person for whom you take this step and you can put complete trust in him / her. Secondly, you need to know the implication of leaving your home country especially when you move from a developed country into an emerging one. It’s not just your family, friends and complete social network which you leave behind but you will also be affected with regards to social security. Living in Brazil would probably mean less money for the same type of work, fewer opportunities to save money for retirement and potential unemployment or disability, a less sophisticated health system etc. This will be even more challenging if we move between countries every few years when Pedro’s work is requiring it. Especially when you getting old and need to find a new job every few years, you are living in a less developed country or you are less flexible because you have a family & kids the impact will be even more rigorous.

I was questioning what will happen if Pedro and I break up after 5 or 10 years and I want to return to Germany. Without having really considered the impact of stopping to pay into the German social security system this might end in me not being able to take care of myself and needing to live from taxpayers money. As much as I can imagine to spent my life abroad as much I would like to know exactly which impact it will have on my future life and make sure life is not hitting me hard in case I want to return to Germany.

I wasn’t really sure if Pedro understood the point of view I was coming from. From his perspective everything would magically work out if I simply stay with him and he takes care of me. I wasn’t sure if he actually understood that in case it doesn’t work out between the both of us I don’t want to stay in Brazil and live from rice and beans he would still be paying for. Instead I would most likely return to Germany and don’t want to find me at the lowest level of the society and not being able to take care of myself. Therefore, leaving Germany would require talking to several experts such as tax and insurance professionals to know what has to be taken care off to stay on the safe side regarding social security in Germany.

Another point I was unsure about is if Pedro is really able to accept my desire to work and me having a career as well. He gave me the impression his career will always be much more important as mine and probably he would appreciate it if I either don’t work or work in a low paying job for which you need little qualification such as teaching German. As casual as I look when being on overland travel (not wearing fancy clothes, being a bit dirty from camping, not wearing any make-up) he probably found it hard to understand I’m actually an executive of a multinational company, I have a real desire for doing business and I will definitely not become a housewife with a side job but a working mum who is balancing business and private life.

In the evening we went to the cinema to watch the movie “Drive”. The entrance fee was with 96 Real (56 USD) for two tickets quite expensive and not really worth it. Okay the seats and the sound system were better than in regular cinemas in Brazil but in my eyes it doesn’t justify the significant higher payment. Probably this location lives from the desire of some Brazilians wanting to show their money and they are able to afford the higher entrance fee.

After cinema we went back home and Pedro wanted to watch another movie called “Bobby Fischer against the World” which is a documentary about the American chess master Bobby Fischer. Pedro is a passionate chess player and therefore, he was very keen on watching it. The beginning of the movie was very interesting but after a while I was falling asleep since it was already far beyond midnight and I was tired. I’m sure I will watch this movie again whenever I’m awake and can actually concentrate on it.

(* name changed)

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