It's just more of me whining about My Bad Day.
You might want to navigate away from this page now.
Okay. But don't say I didn't warn you.
Moving is just stressful no matter how many times you do it. I will make a little plug for my current moving company, Crown, as they are, so far, creating a much more professional experience for me than when I moved to Moscow. I won't mention any names as your mileage may vary.
Let's just say I should have stuck with AGS. Worst mistake I ever made regarding a move.
I mean, I actually called the other company for a quote about moving us to Luxembourg and could not get their Expat Contact Lady to return my calls. In fact, the Estimate Gal who eventually came out to do the survey even said, "Oh, she never returns calls . . . she only emails."
All well and good, but how am I supposed to email you when you have my computer on your truck?
They didn't even follow up with a call to see who I had chosen.
Who doesn't call a potential client to ask for their business?
Meanwhile, Crown has not given me anything in exchange for the mention here. Unless you count letting me shout at their Documents Dude on the phone this morning.
It wasn't his fault. It was the Idiot Notary preparing the Power of Attorney documents. And Documents Dude, in his defense, actually went out of his way to be helpful.
And what was his thanks? Having to listen to me cry on the phone and make snarky remarks.
In my defense, why is it that people, especially professional movers, don't grasp that when you are in the middle of a move like this you really Do. Not. Have. Anything.
Dox Dude made the mistake of suggesting I print a document. That would be fine except your team very efficiently PACKED MY PRINTER. Yesterday.
[NB: Seriously, they went through our place like a dose of salts. They originally said they would need 2.5 days to pack and load us. And they did it in 1.5 days. They managed to take the piano out without me even hearing it. Unlike when The Clowns brought it in. Up. Every. Step. For. Seven. Flights. BAM. BAM. BAM.]
Okay, okay. Here's my whole day.
7:30 a.m. Left New (temporary) Apartment and dropped kids off at school.
[NB: The New Apartment is just fine. Really. But the toilet makes me laugh. It is a "water closet." As in my knees hit the wall making the whole process not unlike the stateroom scene out of A Night at the Opera.]
I mistakenly thought I could relax for a bit, enjoy a coffee and maybe a little breakfast, while I waited for HR Babe at The Spouse's old job to get to work. I thought I would breeze in and sort out a few details. Never occurred to me that she might have meetings until 11:00.
Sheesh. The nerve.
So I ate half a cheese omelet and then went to what we are now referring to as the "Old Apartment."
I cleaned the bathroom and started on the kitchen when The Vet called to say she had my travel documents. She came over and explained everything I will have to do at the airport on Monday.
She left at 10:45. I know because I had set the alarm on my phone to go off reminding me to go see HR Babe.
In the meantime, I had several snarky conversations with Crown's Document Dude. Including the one as I was leaving the building that frustrated me so that I started to cry.
The details aren't that important.
But the short version is what notary won't accept your actual passport when Russian Immigration will, but insists on a translated form that then has to be notarized? It's not like our names on our Russian visas aren't already in Cyrillic.
Got to HR Babe's office around noon and filled out some forms so The Spouse can have some life insurance until we buy him another plan in Luxembourg.
Because when you work for an American company, things like life insurance come with the job. But insurance is not a benefit with a European employer because they all have insurance through their country. And so will we once we have a residency permit. Health insurance anyhow.
The life insurance we will have to buy. In the meantime, since The Spouse had that little pulmonary thrombosis scare while the rest of you were eating turkey and cranberry sauce, I thought I might want to extend his current policy.
Except, they want a check.
I haven't written a lot of checks since 1999 when I started living abroad. But I do still own a checkbook.
Which the movers very efficiently packed.
Because, I don't need it. Usually.
So I had to call American Blogging Girlfriend Katbat and ask her to write me a check.
"When you come back," said HR Babe, "just leave the check in an envelop at Reception."
"Um, HR Babe," I had to ask. "Can you give me an envelop?"
She was horrified, and did and even gave me a sleeve to carry the copies of the insurance forms. Because I am really without anything I normally have access to.
I'm about as prepared as the family pet. And it's extremely stressful.
Baboo finished school at 1:00 p.m. I stopped at the bank before and took a LOT of dollars out of the ATM to give to Sister Katbat and then ran around looking for one of those machines to feed money into for my phone. They are everywhere when you don't need one and curiously missing when you do. And boy, oh, boy, now that The Spouse has a Lux number and we aren't both with the same Russian service provider, is my phone ever costing me a mint!
Took Baboo to the New Apartment and then ran across the street to Hoover down a Big Mac Combo Meal.
[NB: There's a McDonald's across the street from us now. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been in a McDonald's since we moved to Moscow. Mostly I walk in and walk out because there is NO PLACE TO SIT. McDonald's just celebrated 20 years in Moscow, and it is as popular as ever.]
While I was sitting there inhaling French fries, my phone rings.
It's Natasha from the Luxembourg office. She's handling our travel details. She wants to know the measurements of my cats' travel cages.
Which would have been really easy to answer even yesterday when I had access to measuring devices, but now I. Do. Not. Have. Anything.
Quick: Tell me where to buy a measuring tape in Moscow! Metric or English, it doesn't matter.
I know of two hardware stores . . . and a few of those places in the perehods where you can get yarn and embroidery kits . . . but tick-tock, tick-tock . . . Natasha is two hours behind me, but she still needs the information today.
I admit to crying again while snarfling French fries, wasting an awful lot of my phone credit blubbering to Natasha about my helpless state, and wondering if I choked on the fries if anyone would try to rescue me or if they would just push my lifeless body under the counter where I was sitting, happy to have found a seat in McDonald's.
Realized I could ask Katbat, a confessed sewer, if she had a tape measure while I was over at her place utilizing her banking services.
Loyal Beetnik, Katbat truly is One-Stop Shopping. She lent me her measuring tape, which I must return this weekend.
I dropped the check off for HR Babe (thankfully Katbat lives across the street), picked up second child at 3:00 p.m. (who, like her sister, was weepy about her Last Day . . . heartbreaking to watch) and 5 liters of water (which is heavy!), and took both to the New Apartment before running back to the Old Apartment to measure the cat cages.
Got back to New Apartment around 5:00 p.m.
Now, as I type this, having the benefit of a very nice dinner out and a healthy portion of vodka, all of this seems so silly. But at the time I was just holding on until this moment.
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
3 years ago