So our bid-list is due on Tuesday morning, and I'm still mentally re-arranging my order. Each day that I'm certain I've picked a winner, I learn some game-changing tidbit and the cards get reshuffled. While still maintaining a modicum of discretion, I'll list the places by region and the pros and cons:
1. Massive North American City - (remember there are more than two countries in North America!): Pros - tons to do, probably good job opps for Tim, easy access to come home or for home to come to us, chance for language training. Cons - see title after "1." Massive cities tend to come with their own drawbacks such as traffic, pollution, crime.
2. Tiny Central African City - Pros - close-knit community, chance to really get to know my coworkers instead of just clocking out on Friday evening and returning on Monday morning. Adventure in spades! Nice housing, Tim speaks the language already and would feel comfortable in the environment and no pet quarantine (they have bigger fish to fry than to bother with pampered American pussycats!). Cons - See title after "2." And apparently ants, lots and lots of ants. Oh, and I speak the language very, very poorly. Security concerns (in Central Africa? Really?)
3. Gritty European City - Pros - I've always wanted to see this country and explore the countryside! And we just sold Tim's grand-dad's accordian to a guy who is sending it back to his brother in this country. It's like we have kin there already! Cons - See first adjective in title. Add bad traffic and ZERO experience with the language.
4. Schmancy Eurpean City - Pros - See title. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Zero hardship pay, in fact returning to Snohomish should incur hardship pay after living in this place. Cons - See first adjective in title and remember that schmance doesn't come cheap. Yeah, I speak some of the language, but Tim doesn't and there certainly won't be any development jobs there for him to sink his teeth into.
5. Dangerous South American City - Pros - timing is perfect for language training for me, higher pay rate, big embassy with exposure to many other agencies working there. Cons - The weather sounds as if it will always be early-April in Seattle. I've had enough of that. Also, see adjective after title and realize that we'd be greatly restricted on free movement to visit the countryside (with good reason). Hmmm... why is this one in the top five again?
So there you have it. All will be decided in NINE days.
Anyone care to offer their vote?