We were told back in January that it could take 2 – 4 months for our things to arrive by boat. Thankfully, it only took two instead of four. It took all day for the movers to unload the truck, put together the crib and Liam’s bed, and unpack the boxes. But because we probably only brought a third of our stuff, putting things away is taking far less time. In fact, we were allotted 7000 pounds, and we only brought 4000. Now I wish we’d brought our bed! Mind you, 4000 pounds is still a lot of stuff. There are still several piles to go through, and the biggest pile of all is in the play room/guest room, which is now just a huge mess of toys and random stuff. But unlike in past moves when I’m still unpacking boxes a month after moving in, I feel confident we’ll have everything put away by the end of next week.
There are two more components to complete before we’re totally settled in — the hanging of our décor, and the swapping out of furniture. Because the walls are concrete, and the embassy is renting this property, we’re not allowed to nail ANYTHING into the walls. So the embassy will be sending some…I don’t know…hanging professionals?…to hang all of our pictures and whatnot. We’ll also need them to help install baby gates on the stairs. After that, we get a one-time opportunity to swap out some of the provided furniture we don’t want and request other things…like bookshelves. Many more bookshelves. And I’m hoping they’ll swap out our three twin beds for a queen in the guest room. Or maybe a sofa bed. And we could really use a wardrobe in the foyer for all our coats and jackets. It’s hard to say what is available and what they’ll agree to, but thankfully Ikea isn’t too far away, so we have access to stylish, fairly cheap alternatives.
Today James and I took a break from unpacking and drove to the Jumbo. We got a cart…had to put a 1 Euro coin into the slot to unlock it, then got our Euro back when we returned the cart. New concept for us — now that we have access to a trunk, we can warrant filling a cart. Anyway, we loaded up on household goods, things to replace the items in our welcome kit, and many things we forgot to pack that ended up in storage. It felt a little like shopping for my first year of college, actually. Then we did a little grocery shopping at the store on the first floor of the Jumbo. It was soooooo nice not to have to constantly worry about how much we’d have to carry home on the bus. Driving is awesome!
That feeling didn’t last. After we got the groceries home, I offered to pick up some comfort food — McDonald’s drive thru — for lunch while James put our things away and watched Violet. First, I missed the turn to the McD’s and had to figure out how to turn around. Then, on the way back, I couldn’t make a left where I thought I could, so I had to go through this horrible intersection I was doing my damnedest to avoid. Cars were trying to turn left in front of me, and I made the rookie mistake of hesitating. I’m quickly learning that if you leave even an inch of space between you and another car, someone will sidle in and cut you off. And if you hesitate for even a second, people will just drive right in front of you. So this dude turns left in front of me, and next thing I know I’m in the middle of this intersection and the cross traffic has a green light. I was all ready to just park there in the middle — another car next to me was in a similar predicament — but then a bus wanted to turn left and I was right in the way. The driver rather menacingly braked about three inches from my passenger window. So I did what the Greeks do when they’re about to do something stupid…I put on my flashers and edged my way through traffic to the other side of the intersection. Holy crap, my heart was pounding, the horns were honking, and many Greek curse words were undoubtedly being hurled my direction. But I made it home without a scratch…all for a McRoyale with cheese. Hmmm…no, not worth it.