Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Miss me??


Oh.My.Gosh. If you are military, have been military, or have heard about the military....nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can prepare you for the horror story that is my PCS move!!!! I say "is" because it is still ongoing...and I'm wondering when things will ever feel "normal" or "settled" again.

We have had:

- the movers from the darkest, innermost ring of hell! Forget that the packers were rude and incompetent. The moving company itself is beyond belief!!! BOTH our hold baggage (which was packed up on June 14th), and our household goods (which left our house on July 14th) is STILL IN GEORGIA!!!! We were told that our household goods were on a boat which left port on July 20th - LIE! - and our hold baggage would be flown last Saturday or Sunday, "for sure" - LIE!! Both are just sitting at the moving company and nothing has been done. Transportation here is run by Italians. They're nice, but totally worthless. And with the time difference, we have to keep calling, calling, calling them ourselves til late at night trying to find out what's going on. We get a lot of "oh, she just stepped out", "she's not at her desk", "can i put you on hold?"....ugh!!!

- super fun times dealing with Army Finance. We never did get our larger second part of our "advance" travel pay before we left the states. Then when we got here, not only did we still not get it, we got screwed out of a total of $4-5,000 traveling money. I was fit to be tied. Whatever, I'll get more money on my tax refund next year. *insert angry cusswords here*

- headache after headache dealing with the housing office here. It was ramping up to be another battle, but that was one we won because I got involved. There is a total jerk of a woman at the housing office here, with a notorious reputation. It's rumored that she gets kickbacks for off post housing so she never allows people to get the on post housing (which is actually off post but has it's own fence and gate like it's own little post). Well our sponsor, who is soooo awesome and Thomas' 1st Sgt, said the end unit next to him was empty and had been for a month. So we thought - great!!! But we were told we couldn't have it because it was for Junior enlisted only....even though the other three families living there were Senior enlisted!!! What the heck???

So I was like, uh huh, this is NOT going to happen, and I went down there to talk to the guy in charge. My plan was to be reasonable, and then resort to feminine tears if need be. Well the guy wasn't there and was going to be gone for a week (figures, right???), but we talked to another woman. She's from Spain and is new to the area too. I told her all the problems we had had, housing and otherwise, and explained our frustration and in doing so I really did break down because I was just soooo tired and done with it all!! She started crying too and gave me a big hug!! So bottom line - we got the house the next day!

Of course "getting" the house and moving in are two different things. I think I will either learn patience in this country or have a heart attack, because NOTHING is right away in this country and Italians aren't in a hurry to do anything, ever. But we moved in this past Monday and there was already furniture here. It was pretty clean too, although not "Jeannie Clean". The beds are so awful (think trying to sleep in wet cement) and I can't get a wink of sleep on them after two nights of trying. I'm going to borrow our neighbor's air mattress tomorrow and see if that helps. It honestly can't be any worse! At least Alex can sleep ok on the couch and Bella is ok on her bed.

So here's the things that are GOOD:

- Alex is here!!! I can't think how we would have managed without her!!! She is here til the 20th too. She's been a huge help in every way, and is able to drive us wherever we need to go, plus her big SUV holds all of us plus our PX and/or commissary hauls, lol!!! Bella is so happy to have her Sissy again. We don't know yet when she's leaving for Basic, so we might not see her again with that and her Tech School coming up. We got here on Wednesday, the 21st, and she drove down here from Germany on Friday, the 23rd.

- We're in our house, and although it's smaller and not carpeted, it's very nice and we have the best neighbors ever!!! We're also on the end and have lovely grass and trees!!!! It's surprisingly quiet and we're allowed to do whatever we want to in our yards - flowers, vegetables, decorate - anything!!! (pictures soon!)

- Bella's school is literally just down the street and it's brand new this year! It's just for elementary kids and looks awesome!!

- Directly across the street is the: 1) bus stop for the on post shuttle bus (runs every 30 minutes or so) and the Italian bus system, 2) the shoppette, 3) the CYS building where Bella will have her ballet lessons and 4) the on post pool!! We have the best housing possible!!!

- We have our own internet!! The internet at the hotel was so slow and this is lightening fast! We pay 29 euros a month for it, so about $40 or so. It used to take me an hour or more for even the shortest videos to upload on YouTube, but now it's 5-10 minutes!!

- Bella has had her school physical and sports physical already! She's getting her eye exam this morning. There is no longgggg waiting for anything medical. AND our brand new, state of the art hospital (and dental clinic!!!) will be opening in September!

- We will be getting a full refund from housing at Ft. Gordon - almost $600. You know, "eventually".

- We will be filing an Inconvenience Claim with the moving company today. They were contractually obligated to have our hold baggage here by July 28th at the latest, so now we can buy what was in there (not the Wii or games though, lol!), and be fully compensated for it. So I had to buy things the lending closet didn't have and we get to keep them, but get reimbursed for it too. Like bedding, cooking stuff, towels, etc. It will be over $600 worth of stuff!! You know, "eventually".

- We have done a bit of sight seeing and have loads of great pictures and videos to share soon! The restaurants so far have been AMAZING!!!! It's not cheap but oh so good!!! Gelato is every bit as wonderful as we had been told.

- We have a much smaller PX and commissary than at Gordon, but they do have almost all of my favorite "must haves"!! It's so nice to see familiar comfort items when everything else seems to be falling apart, lol! I also discovered an Italian "Vita Pop" microwave popcorn that tastes almost as good as my beloved popcorn from Rachel's husband Chris!! Which is great because who knows when my popper they gave me will ever get here!!!

So it's not all bad, and things are looking better. I think if we can just get our stuff, get settled and get back into a routine, things will feel more normal. Oh and sleep!!! I need sleep more than anything else at this point!!!!! If I am very, very lucky I'll get only a couple of hours at most. Exhausted doesn't even come close to how I'm feeling! But, for better or for worser, we're here!!

And I'd really LOVE some mail, so let me know if you need my new address!!! :D



Heatherlyn said...

Send me your address. I was going to send you an email today anyway. I saw letters to julliet in the theater and it reminded me that you are in Italy! How nice, although the moving part doesn't sound nice I'm sure that over time the location will more than make up for that!

Sonya said...

So glad you're back! I've missed your posts! So sorry the moving experience has been less than great...that stinks! Hang in there, before you know it, you'll be all about the enjoying part of being in Italy!

Cherie said...

Well after you very last post I was really worried about you - I was hoping you weren't going to kill a certain person in your life. Sounds like things are much better.
Moving is frustrating anyway, the thought of moving to another country - UGH!! I sounds like chaos but it also sounds like you are getting it dealt with. You are right they move pretty slow in Italy and pretty much everywhere in Europe - I noticed that just from traveling - they don't do anything fast!
SOOO Happy to hear that you have such a nice place to live and the amenities nearby are so great!!!
Most of all just glad to see you back on the blog - Hope all is going well with your family and hope you get your stuff soon!
Would love your address!

Cygnet said...

Hi Jeannie, glad you've arrived safely and soundly! Sorry there have been so many issues. I'd be ballistic.
Take care..I hope everything arrives soon so you can settle in.

Kristina P. said...

I'm so glad you're OK and getting settled. I was worried about you!

Deanna said...

Jeannie, I am so happy to see this post from you. Huge hugs! I cannot believe all that you have been through. Am waiting anxiously for more posts and pictures.

Mamarazzi said...

so happy to "read" you again.

wow talk about a royal roller coaster ride. moving ain't for sissies!


scrappysue said...

i love how you ended with all the good things, and did you notice that there were 3 times as many good things as bad things?! how old is alex? sounds like she was a sight for sore eyes! what's a PX? is it like your very own shop on post? my experience with italians sounds very similar, just as a tourist tho. they give you all the time in the world until someone italian speaking shows up and they forget you ever existed! everything works on italian time for sure! i sent you a card to your old addy - did it come thru yet?

Tammy said...

I am so glad you are back online. I have missed my Jeannie girl! Sounds like it has been a crazy ride but at least you can say you are home for now. Thanks so much for the emails. I have been thinking about you often and praying that everything is going okay. I am sure you will share more when you can. I am thrilled to hear from you. Sending you lots of love! I will get a card in the mail once I get back from vacay...we leave on Friday! Yay!

KatCollects said...

It was so good to hear from you. I really hope they get everything straightened out for you asap. You will be getting mail from me soon : )

AliceKay said...

It's great to have you back to blogging. I've been checking every day...just in case. :)

It sounds like you've had some pretty bad experiences in this move, but "eventually" everything will come together and you'll get your sleep and have a happy life. We're all here for you. Don't ever doubt that. *hugs*

(cant wait to see pics)

Sandy said...

It's great to hear from you again. I have been praying for you and I will continue to do so. I can't wait to see some pics of your new place!

Dee Crowe said...

Oh my goodness I've been wondering about you! Sorry the move was so crappy, but I hope everything works out "eventually"...

Can't wait to see pictures!

Intense Guy said...

Welcome back to your blogging home.

Your move sounds like an ordeal that would keep anyone with sense from volunteering for the military.

As for the Italians... You have probably heard that Italian dictator Benito Mussolini made the trains run on time (which is falsehood as he had nothing to do with it) but nothing else has ever been "on time" in Italy.

just call me jo said...

You still have that wonderful sense of humor. I hope everything finds you--"eventually." I'm soooo happy you're back. Soooo happy!! I missed you! At least you see some positive light at the end of that long tunnel. Damn bureaucrats. (I don't think thats spelled correctly, but...) Enjoy Italy. Seems they are pretty laid back to say the least. I think I'd already have had that heart attack.

shana said...

So glad to hear that things are looking up! Please post some pics when you get a little more settled.

foxy said...

Oh girl, you have SO been on my mind lately. I'm so glad to hear things are holding on, at least.

I know there are lots of issues to deal with right now, but YOU'RE IN ITALY. You're actually living your dream, girl! So, as bad as things seem, at least you've got that. ;)

I would love to send some fun mail your way... addy would be nice. Take care!

LadyStyx said...

YAY!! She's back!

So glad you arrived safely. Boo on them not getting things right though. Stupid buggers.

Lotsa pictures... means you're gonna get (or utilize one you already have) a Flickr account soon, right???

Annie said...

soooooooooooo GREAT to hear from you and to see that some things are looking up (and not everything is that bad:) ). I hope things will get better soon, but more than anything - I really hope you can get a better mattress and get some good sleep, everything seem to be better if you get a good night sleep. Hang in there, dear!!

JoeTacoma said...

Whew, what a move!

LindyLouMac said...

I am so pleased that you are now in Italy as I know it was touch and go for awhile, then you disappeared on us I thought never to been seen again, but you have bounced back, Hurrah.

Hope Italy lives up to your dreams and that the hassles you have coped with recently are soon just dim and distant memories.

Alex said...

Hang in there girl! After 24 years and 12 PCS moves, I have been there! Enjoy Italy, we absolutely LOVED it there - my daughter was born there and we plan on taking her back to see it now that she is old enough to enjoy it! Understand that Italians work on a different timetable and unfortunately, the month of August is when most of them shut down for the whole month and go on vacation! So, take a deep breath, and try and look at all the good things going on - smile honey!!! And, STAMP!!! It is great therapy!! *STAMPIN HUGS* Alex

babyrocasmama said...

I AM SO HAPPY to yer bloggy open again and hear HAPPINESS in your "voice". I have been emailing you but apparently they have been getting lost in the digital ether. :( I even emailed you (and called) a few time before you left.

PLEASE emaal me. I would love your address so I could send you a nice letter and a card. Would love to talk on the phone but not sure about those pesky international rates or the annoying thing called the international dateline. LOL

I really did send you a VERY long email. LOL Maybe I will forward to Styxie and her send to you. LOL Seems that is the most efficient way at the moment.

I want you to know that I have been where you were. I UNDERSTAND. Now I'm not going to plaster my life on the net but I would be happy to tell you by phone or email. :)


I am glad my move was easier than yours....I have missed you my friend. I have your address...and have some thing I am going to put in the mail tomorrow. I don't know how long it will take to get to you.....glad you are back. Oh so glad!

Mighty M said...

I am glad you're back - but what the heck happened? I was so worried with your last couple posts....

Hang in there it will get easier!!

Mary said...

Moving overseas is always a pain! Our hold baggage arrived AFTER everything else. But you're in Italy!!! Hubby is trying to work a deal with his Bn Cmdr (he's gonna be there next year) to get us there when he's done with all his schools. Cross your fingers!

Lynn said...

Girl I am gonna do my best to send you some mail next week, I have had a unsettling week this week, I cant wait to see pics of your cute lil house and thats cool that Bellas school is right down the road. It sounds like a wonderful place. I hope you get the money you deserve and I sure hope you start getting the sleep you need and things get back to some normalcy for you HUGS

Frances said...

I have been worried about you! I was so glad to see you comment on my blog. I tried yours every once in a while over the last month and did not "have persmission to access" it. I was sad.

I am so glad to hear that you have such nice housing. Your move experience sounds worse than any we have ever had, but is sounds like your new home will make up for it.

Welcome back!

Kat said...

I am so happy to see that you are blogging again!

Like Frances I kept getting those "do not have permission to access" messages when I tried to view. I even sent you an email with my "new" email address (although I still have the other one) that I use just for blogging.

I'm so sorry that the move has not been a smooth one ...... but hopefully those things will get "fixed" soon. But look at it this way - you get all "new" things from Italy and someone else pays for it ...... eventually :)

If you would be so kind to send my your new address we can send you some "home"-made things from time to time. You might come to appreciate those things that say "made in USA" that hasn't been filtered through the PX.

Jenny S said...

YEAH!! Glad to have you back! Assuming everything is better after some of those last posts before you moved. Italy looks amazing and I am jealous, even with all the moving drama!

Vickie said...

Jeannie! I am so glad you are back. I was worried and thought about you alot!

Sorry this whole moving thing was messed up! I hear moving companies suck and are a bunch of scammers:p When we moved the movers "couldn't" bring all our stuff. They blames the guy who gave us an estimate. So we had to leave a few things behind.

I am glad you are safe:) {{Hugs}}

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I have been checking back for posts. I am so glad you are Italy. I hope everything comes together that still needs too. The house and school sound great!