Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Here at last
After a year of thinking about it, planning it, dreading it, looking forward to it and organising it, we've finally done it.
We said goodbye to Cambridge on Saturday, leaving behind an empty shell of a house which really didn't feel like a home any more, struggled down to Heathrow with enough luggage to build our own house with, and finally left UK soil at about 10.30pm. The flight itself went as well as could be expected, with both boys falling asleep pretty much straight away. What a pair of stars! Because of my back, I've been told not to sleep on long plane flights, so I spent most of the night wandering up and down in a tiny stretch of cabin, getting in the way of the staff and envying all the scrunched up piles of humanity all around me. The only other "stayer-up" I saw was a girl of about twelve who spent the entire night playing on a Nintendo DS... good for her!
Anyway, we arrived early and then began the long slow process of getting out of the airport. Even at 5.00am on a Sunday morning, we had to queue for about an hour to get through immigration, then queue for another twenty minutes or so to get through customs. Once outside though, the traffic was incredibly light and we were at our new home within about 45 minutes - it can take up to three hours on an average day.
And then, suddenly, there we were... home. Home is a very nice house in the posh part of town. It belongs to a guy who works in banking and has just spent a huge amount of cash doing up the place - only to be sent over to England for a few years to work there. We're fortunate it's furnished as most of our possessions will be waiting in England for a while now, until we can sort out the monstrous pile of paperwork needed to bring it into Brazil... more about that another time. For now, we have just what we brought with us on the plane - admittedly quite a lot - but it's funny how you never realise how important things are until you don't have them any more...
A saucepan, a microwave dish, a cafetiere. In most countries it probably wouldn't matter because you could just pop out to the equivalent of Argos and pick up everything you need for a few pounds, but out here the whole concept of Argos has yet to be invented. I saw a cafetiere yesterday - half the size of our old one mind - and it was only £35. The only saucepan I've seen so far, £30. At that sort of price, I think I'll hold out until the ship arrives from England.
The other thing we're really missing is a fast broadband connection. We are connected at least, but in a race between a slug and our internet connection, it would probably come third! Still, I can't really complain. If I get bored waiting for pages to load I can just go and sit outside in the garden where the mid-winter temperature is 26 degrees.