July 2007

Despite my best intentions, it has once again been more than a week since I wrote (okay, so almost two…). This country has been doing its best to kill me and/or send me home early without being here for my pack-out, but I think I have finally triumphed. I’m hoping this is the last time I have to rid my system of some mysterious malicious something in this country at least. Since I have less than two weeks left here, I think I have a fighting chance.

On the topic of the last blog entry, we’ve decided to move all of our things into our temporary apartment (which has been leased, yay!) and to buy a car in DC to have while we’re there and ship overseas. Our next post has a reasonably good public transportation system (and lots of cabs) in the area of town where we’ll be living, so if our car isn’t there immediately it’s not the end of the world.

We have our pack-out and our final inspection scheduled, we have plane tickets, and we have all sorts of appointments set up when we get back with doctors and dentists. Now that I’m back from the dead and will hopefully be able to eat real food again soon, we’re both getting very excited about our six weeks off at home to relax and visit family and friends and generally revel in being home and having the freedom to move around again! The lists of things we plan to do when we get back will follow…


The business of moving

One of the things that Danny and I are finding as we’re preparing for this move is that our basic philosophies of what is easier and/or more logical when it comes to moving are very very different. Not surprising to anyone who knows us, I’m sure, as so many facets of our personalities are definitely very different, but this is one we hadn’t run up against before. Here’s our basic scenario: we’re moving home for about four or five months, then moving again to another overseas post where we will be for three years and at which we will have a really apartment with access to real grocery stores and the ability to go outside.

My general belief is that if someone is going to do your moving for you, it’s generally easier to go through everything you have before you move to get rid of the extraneous stuff, and then let them move everything. Clearly influenced by my previous life as a military brat, in which all I had to do was pick which toys and later clothes we were giving away, which ones went into air freight, and which ones went in our household effects. To that end, I’ve been advocating for getting all of our stuff out of storage, delivered to our temporary home, and then packed up again in December or January before we leave. I admit, even I don’t know that unpacking, repacking and unpacking again within six months is actually easier, but at least that way I get to have my stuff while we’re home and we don’t end up in our next post with sixteen boxes of things that have been in storage for the past two or three years even before we moved that we don’t even recognize as ours.

Danny was in favor of either having everything shipped straight from storage to our next post and making do while we were home with whatever is provided in a furnished apartment, thereby eliminating one of the extra packings and unpackings. Although I can see how that’s probably more convenient on one level, I still want my things back, even thought it would just be a difference of a few months. I think some of it has to do with our different philosophies on moving — he sees most anything that we’ll be doing in the next few years as temporary, so doesn’t see the point in getting everything out of storage for a temporary living situation. I, on the other hand, want to have all of my things around me so I can convince myself that wherever it is that I am is actually home even if only when I’m inside.

The other point of discussion has been the car — we’re home for five months, give or take. Do we buy a car there and have it shipped out, or rent one for five months and then buy one once we get to our next post? Do we buy a newish car at home, or an older one we don’t mind being destroyed in transatlantic shipping? If we buy one there, same question — older or newer? My initial thought is that it’s easier to buy one in the States and ship it, since that way we can get whatever we want and someone else has to bother moving it. Danny generally agrees but pointed out that we should probably make sure they can actually get parts for and/or fix whatever car we get in our next temporary home. A valid point, I must admit.

We haven’t come to final decisions on all of these points yet, and I’m sure we’ll change our minds a few more times between now and January. I just thought it was interesting to see how things end up working. We have less than a month to go, which is awfully exciting!

So almost four months later, I wonder if any of you are even still checking this?

I gave up for a while — the sheer frustration of having every day be exactly the same since our last brief break in early April was really getting to me for a while, and rather than write cranky blog posts about how pointless it was to post anything when nothing ever changed I decided to fore go posting all together. For anyone who is still periodically checking this page, thank you for your patience and your faith that I would eventually pull myself out of my funk and get back to this blog!

We’re now less than four weeks away from leaving, which I guess is why there’s finally a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s funny though, something I had forgotten about moving is that as much as being close to departure really does give me something to look forward to, it makes a lot of the little indignities of everyday life harder to bear as well since I know their time is limited. For that reason, I’m alternating between excitement about leaving and rage at how nonsensical so many of the things about my job are. I know when I was a kid, somehow I usually imagined that everything would be better when we got to the next place, that I would be cooler and less awkward and everyone would love me (hey, cut me some slack, I was a kid!), and I’m trying not to make our homecoming into a panacea as I know there will be plenty of frustrations once we get there, but there are so many things that will be so lovely about being back in America and out of this job!

It’s funny the things you forget to factor in when you don’t have to deal with them for a while. We realized last night, for instance, that we have booked our plane tickets out of Richmond, where we will leave our yet-to-be-purchased car, and back into D.C. It only later occurred to us that we were not going to be driven to the airport in an armored car, and would in fact have to figure out how to get ourselves back to our car if we ever wanted to be able to drive it again. It’s the little things…