Friday, October 1, 2010

Lost at Sea

When we left Calgary at the beginning August, we packed up and sold our house, and what we didn't give away or put into storage, the movers put into a 40 foot sea-can.  They secured the doors and sent the container on its way, with the promise that it would arrive in Doha by the end of October.

We've been able to track the shipment's progress online; it was sent from Calgary by train to the port of Montreal.  From there, it went to Spain, across the Mediterranean, through the Suez Canal, across the Red and Arabian Seas, and then into the Arabian/Persian Gulf, where it was trans-shipped in Dubai.

So, imagine our excitement last Thursday when we learned that our shipment had arrived in Doha early, and was scheduled for a Customs inspection yesterday.  However, when Dan contacted the shipping company yesterday morning, he was told that the port was experiencing 'unusual congestion' and that it would not be inspected by Customs as scheduled.  Based on my limited experience with how things operate in this country, and knowing that individuals in the service industry here are loath to bring you bad news, this could mean one of three things:

1) the port is experiencing 'unusual congestion';
2) the port is experiencing 'unusual congestion', and our shipment hasn't left Dubai yet; or
3) the port is experiencing 'unusual congestion', and our boat went down in the St. Lawrence Seaway weeks ago, and there is a school of carp currently residing in our piano.

Were I a pessimist, I might alight on a fourth option:  a crack team of steely-eyed Customs officials is currently poring over our cookbooks and DVD collection looking for evidence of bibles or porn.  We've seen many a shipment arrive at the compound in the last couple of weeks, from the U.S., Nigeria, and the Czech Republic, some completely unopened, others with just a few boxes re-taped, their contents neatly repacked and undamaged.  But we all know it's us Canadians that they really need to look out for.  Thanks a lot, Atom Egoyan.

I don't want to sound ungrateful, as we live in a beautiful furnished villa, and we're very thankful to have four dinner plates and three forks to use in the interim.  However, there are a number of things that I'd prefer to stop living without.  They are, in no particular order:  the kids' bikes, sharp knives, enough dishes for five people, Lego, the piano, the teapot, my toothbrush holder, and the banana hanger.

So, for now, we'll eke out our existence with our meagre possessions and hope that the air hockey table hasn't vaporized sitting inside a giant tin can in 40 degree heat.  Meantime, pass the fork Dan, there's pie...

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