4 weeks today we leave one Commonwealth country and set out to another (hopefully warmer...) one.
By and large we are still in that lull period - the quiet before the storm - but with every new day the 'lull' is slowly beginning to get a little tinge of urgency to it. In another two weeks and it will be full blown mayhem I am sure; despite our best efforts to get as much done in advance so we are not flying around in circles.
No matter how much you plan, there is always some flying around in circles, not knowing whether you are doing or going. That is pretty much guaranteed, at least it is with us!
We have cancelled contracts for the phone, TV and internet, which are all due to finish at 8am on 18th June.
Our mobiles should be cut off at midnight 18th/19th June.
I say due and should, as I never quiet believe these big companies. So eager and helpful to sign you up; when it comes to cancelling their services it is a whole different matter. The phone lines for starting a contract are open for far more hours than the departments which deal with the leavers.
We have been burnt in past experiences of the telecom giants; we have asked, upon signing up to something, if we are able to cancel our contract early and been assured we can leave easily and without hassle.
Never believe that one!
In Spain we had a nightmare trying to cancel my mobile phone contract. Over eighteen months later we were still receiving threatening letters from the company (one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, you would have hoped their customer service would have been a little better...). We had paid up what we owed - but this was the problem, as we had a lot going on at the time and thought we probably hadn't paid that monthly bill so we paid it, even though we were back in Germany by then. Then they asked for more...
We sent cancellation letters recorded delivery.
They claimed to have received them.
We called in a friend to try and cancel it over the phone in Spanish. They wouldn't let her.
This went on and on for months, but they seem to have finally got the message...
At least this time, in Montreal, we made sure our mobile contracts were not tied in to a length of time, therefore we don't have the drama of paying off what's left on our phone etc etc.
(f you are not sure you are not going to be living in the country for less than the two to three years of most standard contracts check how to get out of it before you sign, or preferably, buy the phone outright and then you often aren't tied in as much. A large expense to begin with, but a lot cheaper in the long run! And a whole less stressful!)
The enquiries sent in the daytime or evening seem to be the most fruitful. I can't help but feel it may have something to do with the hockey team playing in the all important play-offs at the moment: guy comes home late from an evening out drinking watching the game with his mates, to try and soften the angry glare of his wife for him being two hours late and falling over the chair/passing out on the sofa etc etc, he then promises the wife she can have the cornflower blue mixer or the lovely shiny bike, and to appease her sends an enquiry email...
Something along those lines...
In the cold light of day, the promises and declarations of love are 'forgotten' about...
However, last Wednesday my stress levels did become pretty high.
Someone had been due to come and look at my bike on the Tuesday night. I am reluctantly selling it, so was hoping the sale would be quick and more like ripping a bandage off rather than gently peeling it back, that kind of thing - a quick sale with not much thinking about.
They didn't turn up.
I emailed them and they replied sounding apologetic, saying they were stuck at work. They would contact me with another time.
They haven't made contact.
The following day another lady was supposed to come and look at the cart in the kitchen at noon, and then someone else was due to come and look around the apartment at 1pm.
I had spent the best part of Tuesday and all Wednesday morning clearing the cart and getting the apartment looking nice (not that it matters to us if they take the apartment, but it's still a matter of pride that you don't really live in a tip...)
I waited....noon passed...
No one showed up for the cart.
Oh well, at least I had to be in for the apartment viewing...
No one showed up to look around the apartment. The agent knocked on the door at 1.20pm and said they were a no-show.
I was not impressed.
I sent an email to the cart woman, probably more abrupt than my usual email it has to be said.
She replied and apologized having forgotten being stuck in a meeting, could she come at 5pm.
I agreed, but was sceptical about her turning up.
But 5pm on the dot she was at the front door, and she bought the wooden kitchen cart...
...as well as admiring the shiny clean apartment...