We made it! After the usual series of last-minute hassles, including a drive to USDA-APHIS in Richmond the day before our flight to get one silly piece of paper for the kitties which NO ONE looked at, even once, the entire trip. Shipping pets is truly Kafkaesque. No wonder moving makes me so cranky.
But OK, whatever, we’re here, and everything is good.
After our first year in Vienna, which started in a temp apartment, then moved on to a (dirty) apartment which was essentially a kiln, then to a mid-tour move to a much nicer place, I could not help but be a bit nervous about housing here in Warsaw. I seriously did not want to go through all that again—I have hit the psychological wall on moving and can take only so much.
So, it is a huge relief to arrive and unpack my suitcases knowing that I will not have to do it again for three years. The apartment is very nice. Maybe not as big as many people would like, but it’s fine for us. We like cozy. With modern conveniences that Austrians seemed to be opposed to on principle, like actual closets, a dryer that vents to the outside so the laundry room doesn’t become a sauna, window screens, and (gasp!) air conditioning! We even have mostly new furniture. And the place is clean. Really, really clean! No dirty oven this time!
By pure coincidence, my poopy blue brocade sofa of doom from Vienna was just featured in the Foreign Service Journal (page 14). I am pleased to say that while my latest Drexel sofa may be an odd mustard color and sized for basketball players, it is not brocade, and definitely not poopy. It’s quite comfortable, as a matter of fact.
So, we are no longer in the lowest level of Drexel Hell. We’ve moved up a notch to Drexel Purgatory. Or, at least we will be there when I can get them to take these chairs back to the warehouse.
I’ve decided to celebrate our housing luck this tour (and reward myself for moving again) by unleashing my inner domestic goddess. I am going to invest some time and money in decorating our place for a change. I ordered a bunch of new bedding and bathroom stuff ahead of arrival. I’ve been looking up Drexel hacks to deal with the furniture. And there’s nice balcony that needs some greening up—once I get a fence installed to keep cats from trying to fly off it…
Oh yes, I have plans!
Those chairs were also on my “right back to the warehouse” list. What were they thinking buying something like that?!?!
I suspect the warehouse is stacked with these stupid chairs that have been sent back. After being shipped all the way from North Carolina. Such a waste of money!
So grateful to have found your blog as we are getting ready to move to Warsaw. Can I ask for more details on your trouble getting the cat over? I read that the cat needs to be microchipped and have a current rabies vaccine. There is obviously more to it if you had to go to Richmond. I’d just rather not have any surprises.
Are you PCSing with the State Department? If so, contact the OBC (but trust, then verify!) If not, you need to visit the USDA website or better yet, call their office in Richmond (if you are leaving from DC) to ask them directly about the paperwork. The short story is that the paperwork is more necessary to get the cat OUT of the U.S. than it is to get it IN to Poland. Do not rely on the Polish embassy website for information or links to forms. That was my mistake–they link to an outdated form, or so the USDA said. Allow plenty of time for the paperwork to be Fed-Exed to the USDA office and back to you before departure (accounting for the fact that nothing can be done on the weekend). That’s all I can tell you. Good luck! Warsaw is very nice, we like it a lot so far.