My series of misfortunate events
Okay, so on Friday I came really close to exploding. I almost threw a temper tantrum in the middle of traffic on my little street. Instead I counted to 10 while realising “Eeets not Posseeble” is the Belgium English version of Inshallah, although there’s no hopefully or maybe attached to it.
Flashback to Thursday: I go to Ikea asking if I could add a bed and mattress to my delivery expected to arrive the next day. I paid 100 euros for a truck with a lift, so that all my shit could go up through my windows versus the elevator. The receptionist at work called the police to reserve a front spot for me, so I was nice and ready to move much-needed stuff into my place. Anyway, I figured adding a bed to that order would just make my life easier since I need bed. After some phone calls and whatnot “whalla” it’s done. My bed was scheduled to arrive with another delivery; they couldn’t get it on the same truck, but a note was written to lift driver to wait.
Oh and then I ask if the bed will be assembled with the rest of my furniture. Pause, “Madame, there is no assembly in your order.” What? I asked when I bought it if assembly was included, or did I need to pay extra (which I would have!), and I was told it’s all included. I even repeated this to make sure it was. Yes, Madame.
Well, the reality was No Madame it is not. Okay, whatever I will figure this out, just bring my shit: which, by the way, is three chairs, a sleep sofa, a day bed, four armoires, a high table for my kitchen, and three dressers, oh and now that queen sized bed and mattress.
Thursday night I get home and see two spots out front reserved. One under my window and one near the garage entrance. I assume the one under window is mine.
8 a.m Friday, big ass truck and small ass lift truck are there. Parking spot under my window has an SUV in it, so guess what? that one’s not MY spot. Lift guy says he can’t reach my window from the other spot. I point out ways he can manoeuvre his vehicle to do it: “Eeets not posseeble.”
Furniture truck guys say it’s better for me if they unload my furniture, and I call another lift when a spot opens up. “But, I paid 100 euros for this one!” Oh, and we’re still waiting for the bed and mattress too. I show lift guy the note that says he needs to wait. He looks at me like I’m bat shit crazy if I think he’s actually going to abide by it. So, we agree that the furniture guys will unload my boxes, and we’ll pull into lobby, and hopefully a spot closer to my window will open up.
The furniture guys feel sorry for me and manage to lug boxes up the stairs and put some stuff in the tiny elevator, which we’re not supposed to do, but at this point I’m desperate, so I’m literally praying it’ll all work out.
It’s going great until an elderly couple cuss us out because of all the boxes and because they caught the guys putting some stuff in the elevator. They are not happy at all, and we keep trying to explain what had happened, and they yell at me in French that I should’ve called police to reserve a spot. I point to the one I did that with, and blah, blah, blah. I just know at this point I’m getting a call from my landlord (whew! so far that’s a no). Anyway, they leave all pissed off (yay me on making new friends). Another little old lady comes down, and bless her soul offers to move her vehicle in the front. This is when I learn the lift guy left!!!!!!!!! It’s okay, I’m told, that spot wouldn’t be close enough anyway. I’m still like, but I paid 100 euros for that guy. All I want is my shit upstairs without pissing off my neighbours!
Here’s just some of it. The wine table is perfect for my kitchen. Love, Love, Love it! And, the black sleep sofa is my bed right now and is quite comfy. Thanks, Doug! Leslie and I laboured away on a big closet, which has one more thing that needs to be done, and she also got a tricky little drawer thingy together for me. There are lovely chairs to sit on as well, so it’s coming along.
Anyway, long story longer the furniture guys did manage to get everything upstairs, and I do appreciate them working so hard to help me. I think they felt sorry for me when they saw I was lugging up smaller boxes myself, and the bed and mattress never showed up! Until 8 a.m. Saturday, when I get a call saying the bed is on its way. Oh hell no it’s not! At this point I’m so frustrated I cancel the bed and demand a refund. I’m told I’ll get it. I’m sure that’s a process too, but I’ll deal with it this week. There was just no way that early on a Saturday morning I was going to risk pissing off the neighbours again trying to lug stuff up those stairs and that elevator.
Now, on to the good stuff! There are always heroes in a bad tale.
Thursday night I message Leslie and Doug, a couple I’ve become friends with. They’re new here too and Doug hasn’t started his new job yet. I offer to pay Doug to help me assemble furniture. Friday morning I send out an SOS if he could come sooner (this was when I realised I might just explode but thankfully didn’t).
Doug gets here to help out while Leslie finishes work and arrives later. Both of them stayed here until almost midnight helping me put furniture together. Of course we sipped wine and nibbled on cheese, but we were so busy working that we never even left for dinner. I cannot believe they gave up their Friday evening AND dinner to help me. In return all they ask is for me to pay it forward. Don’t worry, we’re all headed to Paris for a day trip next weekend, so I’ll be sure to treat us to some good wine and food.
We didn’t get everything assembled, but that’s okay because they brought me back to reality and made me realise it’s okay, Efff that lift guy driver because anything EEES Posseeble, and when there’s chaos, there’s also always someone to the rescue.
Another treat was there’s a leak under my kitchen sink. The plumber came on Friday too, since I was home, and I almost cried tears of joy when he told me the landlord said I spoke some German, did I understand him now (after my now common “I have no clue what you’re saying” look to French). I was soo happy to be able to clearly communicate! The poor guy, I just rambled off about how his day was and how grateful I was for him, and blah, blah, blah. He’s coming back on Monday to replace my kitchen hot water heater, and I think he’s bringing a buddy to divert some of my rambling. And, I really appreciate my landlord sending a German-speaking plumber since she didn’t have an English-speaking one. It’s the little things that matter oh so much!
Another good thing I got to do was chaperone the Homecoming Dance. It was so nice to see teenagers from around the world decked out and having fun. I got to see some adorable moments when parents hovered in the lobby to take pictures of their kids, or when boys waited, corsage boxes in hand, for their dates to arrive and then nervously slip them onto the girls wrists. I know there’s a lot of effed-up mess in our world, and much of it is government (from all countries) botch ups, but I’m going to put all that aside and point out one of the things done right: and that is the effort that is put into making these kids lives as normal as possible. They didn’t choose to live on this base, but they’re still having sports and school-sponsored parties — and by the looks and sounds of them on the dance floor, they’re having fun. I am very blessed to be a part of that effort. Despite all the nonsense of moving in, I am right where I want to be. Come on Joe and Badger, I can’t wait to have you be part of all of this with me!
And on that note, it’s time for me to brush my teeth, get dressed and go to a bizarre on the base. I hear there’s a furniture store selling stuff — maybe the bed that is really meant for me is there waiting. I’ll just have it delivered the same day as my stuff from America (which is arriving Oct 30th — woo hoo!).
p.s. same day later on: No bed; but I discovered that you can fit a 55 inch t.v. into the back of a Twingo — click here if you’ve never seen one —if you drive with your face squished against the windshield (okay I’m exaggerating but not by much). Joe will be so happy. For the first time in my life I bought a t.v. that big — ewwww and it’s curved too.