19 September 2005

Busy, busy

Well, a lot has happened since my last update. We have painted our apartment, I have turned in three applications to private schools, and, what else...oh, yeah, our shipment from the US finally arrived. We are actually eating off of real plates, not plastic. And we can really cook something on the stove, not just cooking on foil in the oven. Imagine the possibilities!
Some of you have heard the Nightmare of the Shipment, but I'll sum it up here for the rest of you. Two weeks after our shipment was picked up, we were notified that it was double the size that we knew we shipped. After a few days of arguing over that, it was agreed to pay the original contract, and the shipment would be remeasured upon arrival. There was also a problem with insurance: they wouldn't sell us any. We were told we could add it at any time, and after all the problems that came up (including our shipment not being placed in a crate) we felt the need for insurance. However, since the shipment was on the water, no insurance could be added, which was news to us. The boat got to Sydney on Sept 1 and was remeasured. It came in right between what I said and what they said, due to some creative stacking of the the boxes, but I let it go. We had three days to get it out of the warehouse before they charged us $88/day, which Tradewind burned by not returning calls or emails. That Friday, Heather and I pulled an all-nighter to get this wrapped up, including caving and paying what they said we owed. Even though we paid Tradewind that night, they MAILED a money order to their company, Troy, who of course waited until they received it before releasing the shipment, so we ended up paying five days of storage. Oh, and Tradewind had lied to us about them port charges, so that was another $500. Oh, and the boxes looked like they had been dropped off a cliff.
Now for the good news: virtually everything was undamaged. It looks like I am going to lose a pair of shoes to some bizarre sole warping, and a couple of books had to go, but that's it. Dishes--check. Glasses--check. Eames chair--check. Framed French ad poster--check. Everything else--check. But wait, it gets even better: On the morning I took everything through customs, I got a phone call from the Federal Maritime Commission, who I had filed a complaint with during the Marathon Friday Night, at the suggestion of both Tradewind and Troy. A lawyer for the Feds is currently reviewing 101 emails I sent her, contracts and other documents, and pictures of the shipment. I don't know if we will get anything from this, but I'll bet Tradewind and Troy will get hefty fines or some other punishment. Turns our Tradewind isn't licensed to operate in the US. If you ever need a shipper, I can't tell you who to use, but I can definitely tell you who NOT to use.
One other thing, since this is getting long. What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it? Mine was Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and yes. Let me know,

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