So, if you review your Sunny blogs as of late you will find that about three weeks ago I threw a tantrum. Like my children's tantrums this was loud, obnoxious, and did nothing to change anyone's mind about anything. The reason I was upset: we were put in temporary housing because our permanent house was still occupied when we moved here. This was a bit of a hassle but you learn very quickly in the foreign service that hassle is the name of the COLA/differential game, nothing is easy overseas, nothing. So you suck it up and deal with it.
Here is my list of things I suck up and deal with:
2. Not having my stuff for a year
3. Flying internationally economy class without access to any lounge or anything to make my life comfy
4. Having to start all over and set up things like internet, which I may add if you hate your local cable man just think of how fun it is to have that same experience in a language you can't understand
5. Not understanding anything
This list could go on but I really want to give you some content and not just ranting today. So, as I was saying we got put in temporary housing. We were told we would be there almost two months.
Everything was great until we made a call to find out when we were moving. They told us we were moving in a week and we had to pack everything ourselves.
So, they dropped off twenty box and left me to repack our UAB.
I should note here that when the movers came to pack our UAB it took two men about four hours to pack the UAB and they are professional, and they do not have darling children who like to constantly be around you, that like to touch everything, that will not go an leave you alone to pack.
So, that was the last post. I cried about that because it just didn't seem fair that I should have to the packing and cleaning alone without help when it wasn't my fault we were not put in the permanent house right away. (Note: Seth took time off to help and pack but it still sucked).
Since I was given no option but to pack and clean myself that is what I did. It was, as I thought, awful. There were some good moments in it all but none of those moments involved packing or cleaning.
Our new friends came through and made sure were taken care of the day of our move. They fed us and made us feel like normal people. We have been lucky to find people where ever we go that are just good people. People who know how to be a good friend and neighbor. I hope that I can be that kind of person to others because they are lifesavers.
So...the day of the move was a mess. We had the movers coming to the temporary house to get our self-packed UAB (we ran out of boxes) at 9:00, we had movers coming to our permanent house with our stuff from Manila that had been in storage in Antwerp for a year. They were coming at 8:30. We also had to get our kids to the daycare/babysitting at 8:30. Last I checked there were only two parents so we were in trouble. Luckily, we befriended a newlywed who is kickin' it Belgium while her husband has an internship. She was a lifesaver. She supervised the temporary house move and I was able to get the kids to the daycare while Seth met the movers at our new home.
Remember that weird Mark Walberg movie called the Perfect Storm where all of the elements of disaster come together for one moment and make a colossal wave? That was my life for about two hours. Two moving vans came to one house and tried to unload crap at the same time.
Eight hours later we had mostly everything in our home.
Our home is a four-story town home. It has five bedrooms and four bathrooms but only three toilets. Oh, and not one toilet is in any of the bathrooms. Of the rooms with toilets only one has a sink. This is not conducive to teaching your children hand washing skills or for adults to practice those learned skills.
The kids decided to sleep on the top floor. Even though it is a different floor than mine I like it because it has pitch black shades. This is good in a country that has the sun stay up til 11 in June. The funnest part of their floor is the little nook on the hallway that we made into a puppet theater.
The floor below is our guest room, office and master. The office doubles as a dressing room and has closets galore which is good because the master's closet is teeny and we only have one dresser.
The main level has a kitchen that is newly redone and true to form has a dorm sized fridge. Which is fine because in the garage we have an extra fridge and freezer. The main room has a kitchen with a breakfast nook, dining area, and living room. This is the first time in my parenting life that the living room has not doubled as a playroom.
The ground floor has a good sized garage that is way too steep to actually get our car in. It will be a place that that kids can ride their bikes if the embassy ever comes to get their excess furniture.
So... we got the new issue furniture, which I really like (relatively). However, they decided to put the entire set of furniture in the home. This means we have eight extra Victorian chairs, three lazy boy type chairs, four end tables, two sofas, and three dressers. Our tandem garage is stuffed to the brim with furniture. We have been waiting patiently for them to come and take it but it looks like that just isn't going to happen for a while.
My final issue with the house is the readiness of it all.
Sure they sent a clean team to make sure it was tidy when we came. Everything else though, a wash.
There are nails in the walls, holes in the walls, and not just small holes GIANT gaping holes. They just didn't do the painting or walls. They have told us we can put in a work order to get it fixed but it bums me out they just didn't do it right the first time.
I have told Seth I am happy to fix it myself if they would let me pick the paint color.
My favorite part of the house so far is the backyard. I decided to start a garden. I know NOTHING of gardening. I have never started one.
I ordered some seeds bought some dirt and now the grand experiment is beginning. This would be super easy but I have been frustrated because the spigot in my yard is calcified. When I put a work order in they informed us it was our responsibility to fix that.
I have problems with this on several levels.
Level I: We just moved in and in no way are responsible or caused the calcification that happened over years to make the spigot un-usable
Level II: Part of our responsibility to care for the house is the yard and garden making access to water a necessity and not optional.
Level III: No on in this household has the skills or ability to install a spigot if we even did feel responsible or want to fix it ourselves.
I am filing this on the list of things I have to suck up and deal with:
6. Having a spigot that was broken before I came and being told I have to repair it myself.
And so you have it folks. The past three weeks.
I would love, love, love to give you pictures but until the embassy comes and gets their furniture I cannot really move in and would rather not show you the mess of settling in.
I will however leave you with a picture of my garage showing all the junk we are storing for the embassy.
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