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Published: October 6th 2005
Yes, another blog entry. The pictures for this entry are pretty random, but basically were taken this week while our workers were putting in our new patio and grass. So, why another blog update so soon? Well, because I am sitting in an office near the San Jose airport, waiting for over an hour to meet the inspector who will go over Beth and my goods that finally arrived from the U.S. I was on time at 2pm as requested, but the inspector was late of course.
This is the part of moving to a foreign country that I hate—form, waiting, and more waiting!
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the moving company in the U.S. I will be sending them a nasty letter. I won’t name them here (for fear of a lawsuit), but if you want to know who NOT to use, contact me.
The moving company was competitively priced but it took over four months to get our stuff to Costa Rica and the goods are not at our house yet! We only had a partial container and I realize the company has to consolidate it with other shipments before sailing here, but the
Two of our workers
Mario on the left, and Danielle, the foreman. Terrific people both of them!
picked up our property in Washington, DC on May 20th, and it finally arrived in Costa Rica on October 1st! And, they think their offer of “free storage” is generous! Yes, our stuff sat in a warehouse in Jersey City for almost four months.
Honestly, neither of us had anything of huge value to ship—I left some stuff with a friend in DC—but we still wanted our stuff.
Interlude from this ranting….
When I left my house this morning to go to the shipping company warehouse, I almost didn’t get out of my house because five cows set themselves down in the middle of the driveway, smack in the middle of it. Honking my horn got them to get up but I was a little frightened as two of them were not cows, rather bulls I think (they had big horns), and they looked none too happy with me. So, I “chased” them about 200 meters down the driveway with my car until they finally found a clear area in which to move aside.
Back to the shipping saga….
Like I said earlier, there isn’t much of value in the boxes but items we do
need for the B&B. In particular, Beth bought all new bedspreads, sheets and shower curtains before we left the U.S., and they are waiting in one of these boxes held up in customs, until the Costa Rican government can duly bless our boxes (about 6 days I’ve heard)! Beth cracked me up before I left the house as she exclaimed, “Can’t they just give you the box with the bedspreads!?” Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The boxes are kind of in “no man’s land” at the moment like the moment in which an airline passenger arrives in a new country, steps off the plane but has not yet cleared immigration and customs.
So, I wait for the inspector and hope I make it back home for a 6:30pm dinner party we are having tonight for 12 neighbors and friends. The main course is pastitio, a Greek lasagna type dish that I’ve made often, but honestly, I bought everything and Beth put it together while I searched the Internet for some cheap airline tickets to the U.S. for her trip in the future. She promised, though, to tell our guests that I made it. It turned out well but
Beth had this parking area dug out while I was in the U.S this summer. We're putting sod in this week so the dirt and mud doesn't cover ours, or our guests' cars!
needed a little more cinnamon.
As I wait for the inspector and I’m sure there will be more to the shipping story, I find myself gravitating to another subject. Since I am writing often lately, one of the things I’ve learned, besides the fact that my grammar and vocabulary are weaker than I thought, is that when one writes about personal experiences, it forces you to notice things more. I watch people more closely (stop snickering, DC crowd!) and take note of the things people do, and their facial/body expressions. I think it provides better insight into people and events. Now if I could only speak Spanish fluently.
Ah, there is more to the shipping story….
So, I am finally taken into a huge warehouse to go through my goods with the inspector. His job is not to make sure I got everything, rather to go through each box and see if I need to pay taxes on any items. I know there are a few.
The warehouse had all kinds of stuff from all over the world but I was particularly impressed with what I estimated was about 1000 boxes of Yahama motorcycles and off
Fernando, our terrific neighbor!
Next time I'll add a picture of Fernando's wife, Maryellen.
road vehicles—pretty impressive.
So, they bring out a pallet of boxes with a fork lift and I immediately recognize the boxes as ours. However, I also notice of about 65 boxes that we shipped, this pallet appears to have 20 boxes. I don’t panic yet but inquire casually. They’re casual answer is, “Yes we’ll go try and look for another pallet.”
So they roll out a second pallet and now I’m up to about 45 boxes and also pleased to discover that my bike, my large picture of the “Lotus Blossom woman” that I bought in Vietnam, and Beth’s outdoor chaise lounge has arrived. Funny, the inspectors and the various warehouse workers could not understand what her chaise lounge was as it was upright on the pallet. They thought it was a sled. I later demonstrated its purpose: lounging with a tall cold drink on a hot day. I had the whole warehouse in stitches!
Ah, finally, they find a third pallet about ½ hour later and all boxes appear to be accounted for. They were not in bad shape either.
The inspector did open each and every box. It took about 2.5 hours. He wrote
down the serial number and model/make of anything electronic from computers to blenders to hair dryers to stereos. Luckily, there isn’t much tax, if any, on older items and most of electronics stuff is not new. I know, however, that I will get tagged on the brand new scanner/fax/color printer/picture printer combo I bought at Best Buy just before moving here.
Thankfully, since we had many boxes and all kinds of stuff in each, he got tired of going through each one and became more casual about it towards the middle of his work. We both kind of snickered when he went through Beth’s box of personal hygiene products. He did do some things I found odd such as count the number of Beth’s disposable razors and count the number of blank CDs I had that I use for writing to on the computer. I tried to communicate with him but he only knew a few words of English.
So, I get out of the warehouse and back to the airport where I left my car by about 6pm. It is a 40 minute drive home and the dinner party is at 6:30pm. I knew I’d be late.
It was not a formal dinner, but a buffet so I was not worried. I did not anticipate, though, that a bus would slam into four cars right outside the airport and directly in my way of getting back on the highway (“autopista”) to get home. So, I finally made it home about 8:30pm. Most of the guests were still there, apparently having a great time, and there was some pastitiso left for me! I was very tired having left the house at noon, but even more hungry!
That’s all for now!
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