Well, this has been one very hectic week for the Barker clan. For those that don’t know already, we are in the process of moving to Chania, on the island of Crete in Greece. This has been in the works for some time now, but just recently started coming together.
When we got back from our trip to Arizona, I finally got my official job offer and subsequent orders to take us to Crete. With orders in hand, I was able to schedule the pickup of our household goods just in the nick of time, since our lease was already set to terminate at the end of August. So, the packers were scheduled to come to our house on the 27th and 28th of August.
They got there a little bit late on the 27th, but quickly got to work. But that was probably the only quick thing about it. Overall, it was a REALLY slow process, with lots of breaks and discussions. They called it quits at about 8:30 at night the first day. The second day they got there around 8:00 in the morning and worked until 11:00 at night, but did get everything all packed up. I felt bad for everyone in the neighborhood, though, as they pounded the nails in on the crates at such a late hour. Nobody got a lot of sleep that night!
While the packers were there, I shipped the first of our cars. I shipped my PT Cruiser myself, which cost us €1100.00; for those that don’t deal in Euro, the exchange rate is really poor right now so I paid $1,653.89 to have my car shipped from Heidelberg, Germany to Piraeus, Greece. That still leaves me having to either take the ferry or fly to Piraeus, clear the car through customs, and take it back to Crete on the ferry. Fun stuff! I just hope I can figure it all out!
So, with the house all packed, we moved on into a hotel in Leimen. It seems that I had made the reservation for the 28th instead of the 27th, but they found a couple of rooms for us to stay in until the apartment room opened up on Sunday.
In the meantime, we had just Friday to do all the cleaning of the house and the painting. When we signed our lease over 5 years ago, it was still a requirement that as a tenant you were responsible for painting the entire inside of the house before you left. While that German lease law has changed since, we were still obligated to do it. Fortunately we had done a lot of painting last year, so we only had to fully paint a few rooms and touch up the rest. Between that and the cleaning, we were busy from dawn to dusk on Friday and still had to come back Saturday morning to clean the windows and finish up.
While Ginger and the boys headed over to Jump-Inn for a farewell party with the Victory Kids (our Sunday school class), I met with the housing official and our landlord to go through the house. We were a little worried because we only had 1 day to clean, but everything went as well as could be. She was very impressed with how well we kept the house up and even asked if we had hired a professional to paint or if we did it ourselves! I guess if I ever need to find another career…
Today we shipped Ginger’s car and that was much tougher. This is the one that the government ships for us, and they went over the car with a fine-tooth comb. Needless to say, the car got rejected the first time through because there was dirt and dog hair in places I never would have thought to look, much less clean. So, with Ginger and the boys as my helpers, we set in to give the car a really good and thorough cleaning. It took a couple of hours, but in the end, the car was accepted and now we’re borrowing a car from one of Ginger’s friends.
So that brings us up to date. We’ll be here until the 14th of September, when we’ll fly to Crete and start our next adventure!
P.S. – Oh, and did I mention we’re all sick? Gavin went to a going away party at his Germany kindergarten and brought home a wonderful bug to share with all of us. So, family full of sickies in a cramped apartment = fun stuff!