Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Finally! Hello from Ireland!
Hi! Its me, Facty posting from the Emerald Isle. It has been a long month getting here and getting settled in - to recap:
The first week of August, an amazing crew of workers came into my house and packed up all my stuff. They separated it into three piles: Plane (stuff to take with us on the plane, which included our clothing and thats about it), Boat (stuff that was going to go into a huge cargo container and take the 6 week journey from LA to Dublin by sea. It included stuff like pillows and cooking pots - only 29 boxes!) and the final pile Storage (Holy crap it was an amazing amount of stuff! Will we even want it when we get home?)
We stayed in a hotel for about a week until our flight left - It was weird feeling like I was ready to go home before the journey even started.
Finally it was time to take the flight to Ireland. I had taken as many precautions as possible - I had called ahead to have us escorted though security just in case Cal started talking about bombs or something. I had a purse full of pop tarts and sudoku puzzles, 2 fully charged Nintendo DSs and was actually looking forward to 10 hours with nothing that had to get done. Everyone was great and the flight was lovely. The Aer Lingus crew were super nice and very understanding of Calvin not wanting to try anything but crackers. He even got to peek into the cockpit after we landed!
Next was getting to the hotel with 10 pieces of luggage. We took an airport shuttle and made it but poor Franklin had to carry all the bags from the shuttle stop to the hotel (did I mention I had hurt my back and couldn't lift ?) We made it to the hotel and had just begun settling in for a rest when the phone rang. It was our housing coordinator and he had a property for us to see ASAP. Evidently he thought it would be the perfect place for our family, it was well priced and would be snapped up if we didn't move fast. So we gathered up our exhausted babies, jumped in the housing guy's car, and set off to see the property.
Of course it was perfect. Furnished, 4 bedrooms, washer (in the kitchen) dryer (in the garage) huge garden for the kids (full of fairies) and cable ready. We decided to take it on the spot. Little did we know it would take a whole week before we would be able to move in. A whole week in a teeny tiny room with four people and 10 big bags. We were all going a little crazy by the end and were glad when the lease signing day finally came.
Guess how hard it is to get money out of your bank account when you are out of the country? If you bank with Washington Mutual it is nearly impossible! We tried everything to get dollars from the US to Ireland from Western Union to Moneygram to American Express. We needed about seven thousand dollars for the security deposit, rent and fees and you'd think we were trying to smuggle rocket launchers full of cocaine out of Thousand Oaks. Finally we had to just go the ATM and pull out as much cash as we could 300 euro at a time. We gave the landlady all the cash we could come up with (about 1600 euro) and promised to secure an International Wire transfer as soon as we possibly could. Our lucky break finally came when The bank opened Monday and I called and found one of the bankers who knew me from poker. He helped us get together our wire transfer (did you know you are supposed to do those in person? ugh) Anyway the cash was delivered and we are home.
The next step in the settling in was to get our utilities switched on. Now luckily we had water, gas, and electricity, but phone, cable and internet have been more of a challenge. I ordered the phone service no problem, but when we got to the end of the call the nice Irish agent said "a workman should be there in about 28 days." *gasp* "Then, another 5 days after phone service starts, we can test the line for DSL" aaaaaaaaaa! No Internet for a MONTH??? How would I live?
Well at least my computer arrived so I could set it up with my itunes and games and stuff right? I unpacked it excitedly and got ready to plug it in. I had already made sure it could handle the power change and had an adapter ready. I plugged, and....nothing. Hmm maybe I needed to get a new power cord from Sony - luckily there is a Sony store just a short bus ride away. So I dragged the kids, got them some McDonalds, and bought a couple of power cords. When I get them home I plugged in my computer with confidence....and.... POP! Smoke started pouring out of the machine - I lunged for the cord and pulled it out of the wall. I picked up the computer and ran to the kitchen where it smoked for about another two minutes before fizzling out. Then, I cried. I cried and cried and cried. I called Franklin and cried to him. He was great about it - he didn't even mention that I had forgotten to flip the little step down power switch on the back of the box.
So how am I writing this? I am on a borrowed laptop while my new Dell is being delivered. I ordered this crazy wireless internet that seems to go out whenever the clouds roll in. And I finally have a minute between getting shool uniforms, books, and lunch makings ready for the first day of school Friday.
Stay tuned for next post, "Coys?" Till then - Slan go fóill (goodbye for now!)
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