Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Out With the Old?

Thanks to Author Julia for suggesting the title of today's blog entry.

I swear, Moscow was handing out some heavy, angry energy on my last few days there.

I sliced the back of my heel on a friend's stairs. I slipped on some ice and wrenched my knee. I stepped in a small hole and twisted my ankle. Banged my leg under a restaurant table. Workers cleaning ice and snow off the roof dropped a load that just missed me and the girls.

It was as if Moscow really didn't want me to leave. Or was expressing some profound anger that I was.

Yesterday was Travel Day, and I woke with very unstable stomach.

I attributed it to stress.

You see, there was an issue with getting a Power of Attorney for the move, and I thought that it was very possible that The Spouse would have to stay behind in Moscow to deal with it.

Then there was the snow, which would have grounded any airline except Aeroflot.

Add to this all the headaches of getting the cats through the bureaucracy at the airport.

I ended up going to the airport in a taxi by myself, and the driver had the heat cranked. At one point I thought I was getting car sick.

My vet, Yuri, and his wife, Valeria, accompanied us to the airport, and Valeria worked her miracles both in the vet office there and at check-in (somehow she arranged for us to have a whole row to ourselves which meant an invaluable extra two seats as it turned out).

I was feeling worse and worse. I bought a Sprite, this is how bad I felt, thinking it would make me feel better. I was hot. I was cold. I could NOT get comfortable.

Long story short, about three hours into the flight to Paris, The Expatresse utilized TWO, count 'em, TWO "air sickness bags."

I had to hand the first one to The Spouse. That's love, you know. When you can hand someone your bag of vomit.

I went and sat in the loo for a bit, but by then the crisis had passed.

The rest of the journey was uneventful.

First impressions:
  • We arrived at the Luxembourg Airport about 7:00 p.m. Where did everybody go? Other than the nice lady at the car rental desk, and the nice man in baggage claim, no one was there.
  • Where was all the traffic? It was 8:00 p.m. on a Monday night when we drove to the temporary apartment. Where did everybody go?

The apartment is light and airy and spacious, although it is really only one bedroom, and The Spouse and I have the foldout couch in the living room, and it is on the third floor (fourth as Americans count it) with no elevator, but that won't kill any of us.

It has a dishwasher in the kitchen and a washing machine in the "keller." There is a bakery right next door, and a place to park our rental car in front. There's free WiFi, and plenty of channels in French (and God knows what else) for the kids. We watched an episode of America's Next Top Model last night, and I don't know what the subtitles were. Maybe Dutch?

It is going to have to be home for a while, too, as the moving company cannot release our shipment until we receive a "certificat de residence" which we cannot possibly have before our original delivery date of April 1.

Why do the moving companies ask you when you want to take delivery when it is rarely, if ever, anything you can control? Why do they even ask?

I expect we will be here until at least May 1, which helps justify the 27 kgs of excess baggage I paid a small fortune for yesterday. I just thought we might need something other than winter coats.

The other very fun thing is that I have already driven a car! I drove The Spouse to work this morning AND found my house again. This was my first big victory as I did not study the corner of our street for landmarks on my way to his office. It really is so terribly simple it is laughable: go to the corner, turn left, and continue until you get to the street his office is on. It is a 15-minute journey round-trip. The ease of it really did make me laugh: this is so NOT Moscow.

More evident to the un-Moscow-ness of it all:

Cats, happy to be done traveling, enjoy the view.

Behind our building is a park.

This is, apparently, a lot of snow for Luxembourg.

Skittles in the kitchen.

The view in front of our building.

What a nice, sunny day.


Iben said...

It looks so civilised and CLEAN!

Bob Bishopric said...

You are a real inspiration to handle such stress and (calmly?) report on it all. Your temporary place looks fine. What does your permanent place look like?

Andrea said...

Told you to take me with you. I would've held the bag...

Tina in CT said...

Could you have had a quick passing bug? Poor you!

The apt. looks great but wonder why they didn't give you a 2 bedroom. It looks like a nice apt. Beautiful views but where are all the cars and pedestrians? Isn't it wonderful to not have all the heavy traffic, cold, snow and overcast skies? I bet it is a real treat to be driving.

Do the girls go to school tomorrow or is it winter vacation?

How nice that the vets went with you to the airport to help with the cats. Did they ride in the plane with you or have to go in with the luggage?

katbat said...

ahhhhh breathe!

Luna said...

Hey! I bet if you try and cross the street at the pedestrian crossing, cars will even stop!!

Hope you're feeling better!

kate said...

Oh, my. You ARE gone!

valentina said...

Oh sweet friend, the worst is over and the best is yet to come! What a dreadful escape but your new apt looks quite fine and although a bit crowded seems to have all of the necessities! I hope you all have your umbrellas as it looks like you have a week of rain ahead... We have 10" of snow impending...The cats look happy... they have some new views from the new windows! So congratulate yourself for once again having made the enormous move! It looks like the girls can have pain au chocolat each morning on the way to school! That should make the adjustment easier! Can't wait to hear about your new adventures but I hope you can get some rest, some time to recover from all of the change and the stomach bug... I hope you are feeling well again... love to all, v

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Dear me, what a trip! Few things are worse than being sick on an airplane. Glad you made it there safely and have begun your adjustments. Looks like it's beautiful where you are, and, hopefully, daily life will be a little simpler? We can always hope.

Anonymous said...

Oh my!
That is why I hate all these moving adventures - everything breaks, your driver license become expired all of a sudden, movers ask for money on both end of the move, and meanwhile break a cast iron chair... and so on, and so on
Now you need to take a very deep breath and relax!
Good luck

Anonymous said...

Life will be very dull after Moscow !

Anushka said...

Nice posting and pictures are also looking very bright.