This afternoon an expat came by our house to get advice on opening a business. Thankfully we had kept detailed notes last year throughout our painful process. We spelled out to her the need to first find an office, name your company, write a business proposal in a different language, apply for barcodes, wire in money, ect.ect.ect. We showed her sample documents of everything we got approved and stamped by the government. We told her stories about the officers who only wanted bribes and try to make your life harder so that you will pay them, we told her at what offices she might meet a helpful person. We filled her in on the rules that we know have already changed.
The more we shared of our rather painful experience the better we felt about our ability to thrive out here in many awkward situations. The more crazy stories she heard the more the colour drained from her cheeks and the more she took on this rather freaked out facial expression. I’ve seen that face before, in fact I think my roommate/business partner reflected it back at each other for months last year. Scared, intimidated, overwhelmed, drowning, ready to run, or throw-up, or throw in the towel, or forget the whole plan ( a face can really reflect all of those negative emotions in a few seconds).
Reviewing the process made me so thankful to be where we are today.