Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday Progress Report: I'm a PC

I’m a little late posting today, but I have a valid excuse. Say hello to my new best friend:

For the past 4 years I have tried desperately to be something I’m not: A Mac person. With ever fiber of my hipster-wannabe heart, I have tried to understand the unique and beautiful creature that was my i-Mac, but I finally had to admit that it just wasn’t working out between us. Yes, the prodigal daughter has returned to her PC roots and I couldn’t be more relieved. Last week was the first week that I had access exclusively to my i-Mac with no supplemental PC usage and Jonathan received several text messages about the various ways I was going to murder that computer. After extracting our files from it last night, he concluded that the best thing to do was just to hurl it over the balcony. The fact that a friend had agreed to buy it from us for $500 was the only thing protecting it from a gruesome end.

Just like there are cat people and there are dog people; there are PC people and there are lunatics Mac people. I will proudly shout it from the rooftops: I AM A PC PERSON! That being said, I have several friends who swear by the Mac operating system and say it’s more user friendly. Let’s just agree to disagree. I’m just that glad I can right-click again.

So my excuse for posting this late is that transferring all my files from a Mac to a PC took the better part of Sunday afternoon, and a few hours to decompress after the homicidal urge that Jon and I felt towards the old computer. The last thing I felt like was hopping on the new computer to blog. You can understand that, can’t you? Sounds like a solid excuse to me. So now, let’s get back to relocation related information because quite a lot has happened in the past week.

Logistics: We have officially applied for a Visa. In total this process consisted of receiving work visa sponsorship from Jonathan’s company, applying online for a UK visa (hint: answer no when asked about any prior terrorist activity), taking passport photos, and getting fingerprinted. We sent all of that information along with our passports to the UK embassy on Friday afternoon. It could take anywhere from 5-30 days to receive approval. From what I understand, the UK government has a fairly rapid turnaround time, but the Scottish branch of Jon’s company might hold up the process. We’ve been assured that his approval will be at the top of the list so we are optimistically expecting to have our Visas within the next two weeks. Once we receive our passport back, we will take a house-hunting/business trip to Aberdeen.

We also can’t officially put our house on the market until we are granted work visas. According to relocation policy, we have to interview two realtors to market our house. We’ve already met with the first one and I’ll meet with the second later this week. Hopefully everything will be in place so that we can put our house on the market as soon as we receive our visa approval. Last week we started fixing things around the house that we’d been putting off, including landscaping. Jon got me purple and gold flowers for our patio, which in my book makes him the sweetest husband in the whole wide world. I’m a simple girl: buy me something purple and I’ll love you for life.

The biggest thing we need to do before putting our house on the market is paint our guest room. The previous owners used the room as a nursery and some of the wall decals peeled off the underlying paint. We thought it would be easy to match since they had left the information of all the paint colors in the house. However, when we patched up and painted the walls, the color didn’t match exactly, so now we have to repaint the entire room. One of the good things about living in a teeny-tiny cottage: teeny-tiny rooms. We plan to tackle this task this afternoon. Of course, I said that yesterday afternoon as well, but sometimes it’s more important to take a nap instead.  

Another big accomplishment last week is that our dogs have been micro-chipped and vaccinated against rabies which are steps 1 and 2 of a 5 step importation process. It sounds simple, yet it’s anything but. I’ll start calling pet transport company’s this week to get cost estimates and hopefully they’ll be able to help me navigate the process.

Shipment: We joined Costco last week and started buying a few things to go into our shipment. As with a lot of things in this process, I feel like its one step forward, 2 steps back. When I got home with $200 worth of Rotel, Taco Seasoning, Oatmeal, etc we found out that the policy has changed to where no food, medicine, or appliances can be shipped to the UK. Our strategy now is to bring some of it over in our suitcases when we go for our initial trip and leave it with a friend until we move. We’ll bring the rest in our suitcases when we make our permanent flight.

We’ve also become more comfortable with the idea that we will survive if we can't find American items. Part of the experience of an international assignment is eating locally. We’ll just have to be resourceful and creative when adapting recipes with Scottish ingredients. But Rotel is non-negotiable, even if I have to smuggle it in. I can see it now: Locked up Abroad: young woman caught with a kilo of tomatoes with green chilies stuffed into lining of Vera Bradley suitcase.  It’s a calculated risk, but one that I must take for the sake of Taco Soup.

Unlike food, something that is encouraged when moving to Scotland is a good pair of hiking boots. Luckily my mom had a pair of gently used boots from her stint in Aberdeen that she has given to me. One more item to scratch of my list!

Miscellaneous: I decided not to lug my library of books around the world with us, and so I took a loaded box over to Half Price Books to sell. I made 14 smackers! It was kind of sad to see the last 4 years of my reading life reduced to 14 dollars, but what’s important is that they all find good homes.

This week: We already completed our Ex-Pat Orientation required by Jon’s company (I’ll write a separate post on the information). I’ll meet with our second realtor on Wednesday and hopefully we’ll have chosen our real estate agent by next week. We also have a psychological assessment Wednesday morning to make sure we’re stable enough to handle living in the most beautiful country on the planet. Mainly this week will just be centered on getting the house ready and securing our pet transport company. I’m feeling much less overwhelmed now that the process is rolling along and I feel good about what we’ve accomplished so far. I also feel real good about right-clicking.

1 comment:

  1. It's a good thing we were friends before this, as Mac rules my world :) It's amazing how many hoops you have to jump through to get over there!! And don't you love when policy suddenly changes on you? Rotel is definitely worth smuggling!!!