Line 2, our home telephone line, rang at 12:40 PM Pacific Standard Time. I answered and amidst a great deal of static and echo from my voice back at me, I made out the voice of a man with a Québécois accent, who said that he was our driver for North American Van Lines, and had our stuff. He was at a truck stop in Manitoba, he continued, and that he would meet us at Customs in Vancouver, but had no idea where that was. He also said that he would call us on Monday with details, and it looked very much like he would be delivering our furniture and belongings on Wednesday, August 31st.
We were thrilled to get some kind of a communication, no matter who or what it was. The truck to pick up our belongs in Boston arrived right on schedule on the morning of July 5, some 52 days ago, but any schedule after that disappeared into the mists of time. In fact, this is the first we had ever gotten a telephone call from anyone connected with North American Van Lines. Oh, we’ve talked to them. Over the over the past weeks, our calls to their 800 number gradually changed in tone from polite and curious to pleading to furious to threatening. No matter when the moving van arrives, it will be over a month and half late (46 days, to be exact, since they originally agreed they would deliver — in writing — on the 15th of June).
We had grown accustomed to waiting for our things, to living in a sparsely furnished apartment, using the same clothing, towels and sheets that we hand-carried with us over the border. Now it looks like our things will arrive just as the summer is ending, and possibly even by the month of my birth.
So, as the last boxes of home improvement items (some fans) arrived, they are about to be buried in a sea of boxes with computer equipment, furniture, clothes, personal items, papers. Hopefully there won’t be too much damage, but I can’t imagine that all of this time has gone on without at least one or two mishaps as our belongings were probably loaded and offloaded to warehouses 4–5 times. I do have a backup of all the computer data, so if that is destroyed, there is a way to get it back. I hope that our artwork and leather furniture hasn’t been damaged by the extreme heat they must have endured. At least there wasn’t a piano in the load.
I’m told that we’ll probably have about 48 hours to report on broken or damaged items. Let’s hope we can find that quickly. In the meantime, I guess this will be the last weekend before our past catches up with us (although crawls up to us is a more accurate statement). We can enjoy our lack of clutter just a few days longer.
The US — and it’s Dollar — Continues to Sink FurtherI still keep track of the news from the behemoth floundering to the south of us. Despite all of the horrible things going on, the same stories seem to keep repeating over and over again; more deaths in Iraq, Rove even more powerful (despite the fact that he clearly committed treason and endangered the life of a CIA agent, but hey, who cares), Oil continues to go up in price, US gas stocks are depleted, Americans continue to get fatter (obesity is at an all-time high), and dumber (‘Intelligent Design’ is now even talked about as often as Molecular biology, which is like putting Astrology alongside Astronomy as a science). How much longer can it go on? Does the US intend to drag the rest of the world down with it? I hope I’m far away enough to insulate us from the muck that spews from Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and Robertson’s mouths (one wonders what else that last guy can say before anyone realizes what a disgusting creature he is — or is Christianity now truly back to the days of Crusades and Inquisitions, where it’s fine to kill the name of the Church’s own selfish interests?). In addition, as the US continues to sink in the eyes of the rest of the world (of which I now count myself), the dollar sinks as well. That’s a real pain, as we haven’t been able to change enough of ours to Canadian dollars fast enough. The dollar used to trade at $1.25 or so to the Canadian dollar. Now it’s at $1.19 and falling. At this rate, in short time, the Canadian dollar will be worth more. Good news for us in the long run, at least.
I won’t talk about Canadian politics as compared to US politics. Frankly, there just isn’t much here to talk about. Maybe when your life isn’t negatively affected on a daily basis by the actions of your government, it just doesn’t come up as much in conversation, eh?